Definition of Staff Member
Staff members are University employees who are not part of the instructional team for a course (i.e., not instructors or teaching assistants of any kind). Staff members include regular employees and all other student employees. Staff can be in academic roles like tutors, Study Zone leaders, writing fellows, and the like, or non-academic areas as dining services or orientation.
It is important for students suspected of violating academic honesty policy to be able to seek support and guidance from staff. Staff are not automatically obligated to report any potential policy violations (unless the suspected academic dishonesty was practiced against them). All students suspected of violating academic honesty policy may choose to disclose their actions in the course of seeking a trusted staff member's advice.
However, the Arts, Sciences & Engineering Academic Honesty Policy does requires staff members to report actions that violate the academic honesty policy to the Board when it is directed at their position or their office. In this situation, staff members cannot avoid reporting, and should not promise to keep the students' actions fully confidential. For example, staff members must report when a student lies to them for the specific purpose of gaining academic advantage, or when a student falsifies their signatures on paperwork pertaining to academics.
For an introduction to academic honesty in AS&E, please refer to the overview of academic honesty in AS&E PDF.
Staff may encounter students who seek their advice about academic honesty, either as a general topic or because they are suspected of violating the academic honesty policy. When advising students, staff should:
- Connect the student with the right resources for their concern
- Ensure the student knows how to access support for any distress they may experience
Distress is an immediate concern. For students at risk of harming themselves or others, staff members should call Public Safety at (585) 275-3333. Staff can find additional University resources for distress on the student resources page.
Whenever possible, staff should seek to refer students to the academic honesty liaison. The liaison can provide precise, expert information to help resolve technical questions about policy and process. International students may need to be directed to the International Services Office (ISO), which can help with information about visa implications or Optional Practical Training. See the international students page for information about when to direct students to ISO.
Staff can also help by assisting students in reflecting on and identifying the factors that led to the suspected academic honesty violation(s), as well as by connecting them with the appropriate academic, emotional, and other resources to ensure they can complete future work in compliance with the policy.
Students can also ask staff to attend a board hearing as a support person. A support person must be a member of the University community who is not acting as an attorney, and plays no role in the hearing other than being physically present as emotional support and offering advice to the student as needed. Staff are encouraged to honor such requests.
Helping Students Report
Students may ask staff members how to report concerns about violations of or cases of non-compliance with academic honesty policy and process, including concerns that involve potential dishonesty on the part of students, and concerns that involve failure to follow established reporting processes on the part of instructors.
Students can report their concerns to the:
- Course instructor
- Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty
Students can also contact the academic honesty liaison to discuss the pros and cons of different reporting options.
When a staff member reports a student’s suspected academic honesty violation to the Board on Academic Honesty, the staff member must keep the identity of the student confidential from others. The AS&E Academic Honesty Policy mandates confidentiality that can only be waived by the student.
However, staff members are not bound by confidentiality when students are seeking advice about academic honesty from staff. Staff should nonetheless treat such information with discretion.
The unrelated federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also generally prohibits University employees from disclosing the education records of students.
Staff may need to identify which students have academic honesty violations for the purposes of an application, award, or other non-mandatory processes. Staff can use the general waiver forms on the academic honesty website to obtain permission from students to check their academic honesty record.
The academic honesty liaison can also assist with building waiver language into an existing application or award process.
Staff can request academic honesty training for instructors, employees, students, or other groups. The academic honesty liaison can work with staff members to tailor academic honesty training to meet the needs of a specific group.