Conduct Banner

Faculty/Staff - Addressing Academic Misconduct

When you are faced with a possible case of academic dishonesty involving your students, the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards (CSCCS) recommends that you collect all the documentation on the situation, such as statements from graduate student instructors or other witnesses, and the exam, paper, or assignment in question. Then arrange a meeting with the student to discuss your suspicions with the student.   Here is some specific advice (from Barbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching, pp. 301-2).
  • If you have qualms or hesitations, talk with an experienced colleague or your department chair before you meet with the student.
  • Consult with the Office of Student Conduct for specific guidelines and due process procedures.
  • When you meet with the student, objectively explain the problem as you see it.
  • Describe why this is a problem in grading or evaluating the student's work.
  • Avoid using the words "cheating" or "plagiarism."
  • Project an air of concern for the student as an individual, but communicate the seriousness of the situation.
  • Listen to the student's explanation.
  • If a student denies any wrongdoing, question him or her about specific aspects of, say, the paper by asking for definitions of terms, interpretations, or restatements.
Resolution Options
    1. Resolve Yourself
  • Student NOT Responsible -End matter.
  • Student Admits and Accepts Academic Sanctions
Faculty Disposition for Academic Dishonesty: With the student, complete this form and assign an “academic sanction”. Upon receipt of the Faculty Disposition, the CSCCS will send the student a “notification” and file the Disposition for the purpose of information ONLY. The Disposition alone will not create an official conduct record with the CSCCS. If the student has previous violations on file or CSCCS deems the violation egregious, CSCCS may pursue more severe violations. In the event of future violations, CSCCS may consider the Disposition in assigning sanctions.
    2. Refer Directly to the CSCCS
  • You Do Not Feel Comfortable Approaching the Student
  • Student Admits but Case Is Egregious
  • Student Does Not Admit or Agree to Academic Sanction
  • Student Wishes the Matter Reviewed by CSCCS
Discipline Referral for Academic Dishonesty: Complete this form to forward the case to the CSCCS for administrative review and resolution. For full judicial procedures once CSCCS receives the case, click here. Once you refer the case, CSCCS will work with you to resolve the case by notifying you of the receipt of the complaint and the possible code sections violated, requesting a recommendation from you on the sanction(s) should the student be found in violation, and notifying you when the case is completed. When a case is under investigation by CSCCS, you should refrain from assigning a final grade for the course. Should the course conclude before the investigation is completed, it is recommended that you submit an “Incomplete.”
Academic Sanctions
Academic sanctions by instructors are governed by a November 7, 1987 memo from the Academic Senate Committee on Courses to all instructors. This memo states that “[a]n instructor may assign an F grade both to the assignment in which the cheating occurred and, when the offense is sufficiently serious, for the course as a whole. A student should, however, always be informed of the action taken. The student should also be told of the right to a grade appeal, if he or she considers the grade unfair.” Copies of this memo at the Academic Senate, 320 Stephens Hall.