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Academic Honesty

Staff Resources

ATTENTION: OUR ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY HAS CHANGED
This is the current policy as of Fall 2015.
Need the old policy? Applies to classes taken during and before Summer 2015.


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What if I suspect academic dishonesty?

          University of Rochester administrative, academic and support staff have the responsibility to uphold the College policy, model integrity in their own practices and educate students about disciplinary standards (Section I).
          All cases of suspected dishonesty must be reported to the Board on Academic Honesty. If the suspected violation involves course work, a staff member should report the incident to the course instructor, who will follow the guidelines for the appropriate process. For all other suspected violations, staff members should contact the Chair of the Board (Section VIII.A.4.c).

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How do I advise a student accused of academic dishonesty?

Undergraduate and graduate students are covered under the Academic Honesty Policy (violations listed here). Occasionally, a student you advise will be accused of academic dishonesty.

If it involves an undergraduate student: If the improper academic conduct is minor and results from inexperience, instructors may choose an Instructor Resolution Warning Letter. In many cases, instructors choose an Instructor Resolution With Penalty. For all other cases, suspected academic dishonesty is resolved using the Board Resolution process.

If it involves a graduate student: If the violation is minor, instructors may choose an Instructor Resolution With Penalty. If the violation is moderate or major, instructors must use the Board Resolution Process. Graduate student misconduct in research is not included under the policy.

Instructors can choose to pass any case to the board, even without notifying the student. For a diagram of the above options, see here.

How will the process work?

Note: Confidentiality is vital. Reporting persons and Board members must not discuss cases with any third parties once the case has been submitted to the board, and must not share the names of students involved in reported cases with anyone except under the conditions described for Internal and External Reporting in Section XV. University officials, including instructors, are limited by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the consequences for violating FERPA are severe.

Warning Letter (Undergraduate Students Only)

The Warning Letter works according to these guidelines. The instructor will meet with the student, present him or her with the evidence of dishonesty and offer a penalty. If during that meeting the instructor determines no improper academic conduct occurred, it is no longer suspected dishonesty and the process ends. If the instructor still suspects dishonesty, the student will be referred to the Academic Honesty Policy and given the completed Warning Letter, and will have 48 hours to decide what to do.

If the student admits responsibility, the signed Warning Letter will be submitted to the secretary of the Board. All penalties must be approved by the Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty. If the penalty for the infraction is not approved, the Warning Letter must be renegotiated or a hearing must take place. The chair of the board will initiate this process by contacting the instructor and then the student. If the student does not admit responsibility or does not agree to the proposed penalty, the case must be forwarded to the board for a hearing.

Instructor Resolution With Penalty

The Instructor Resolution works according to these guidelines (or these guidelines for graduate students). The instructor will meet with the student involved, present him or her with the evidence of dishonesty and offer a penalty. If during that meeting the instructor determines no violation occurred, it is no longer suspected dishonesty and the process ends. If the instructor still suspects dishonesty, the student will be referred to the Academic Honesty Policy and given the completed Instructor Resolution Form, and will have 48 hours to decide what to do.

If the student admits responsibility, the signed Instructor Resolution Form will be submitted to the secretary of the Board. For undergraduates, all penalties must be approved by the Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty. For graduates, all penalties must be approved by the Graduate Dean of AS&E. If the agreed-upon consequence for the infraction is not approved, the Instructor Resolution must be renegotiated or a hearing must take place. If the student does not admit responsibility or does not agree to the proposed penalty, the case must be forwarded to the board for a hearing using the Board Resolution Form.

These are the range of suggested penalties for undergraduate students and graduate students, based on the categories of violation.

Board Resolution

The Board Resolution works according to these guidelines. A hearing will be scheduled, and the student will be notified of the allegation and the hearing date. Encourage the student to review their case file by making an appointment with the secretary to the board. They will not be permitted to photocopy or otherwise make an image of the case file, but may take notes on the contents of the file. The College Academic Honesty Policy contains detailed information about the rules and procedures.

Students may bring one community member (University of Rochester instructor, administrator, student or staff member) to the hearing for moral support. That person may speak to the student during the hearing, but may not speak to the board. This community member must not be acting as an attorney, or an individual involved in the case. At the hearing, the student should be sure to refute any information presented in the file or during the hearing that they believe to be in error.

If the student is found responsible, a letter will be finalized and sent to the student and reporting person detailing the decision and penalty. The Chair of the Board reviews undergraduate cases, and the Graduate Dean of AS&E reviews graduate cases. If the student is exonerated, the record will be destroyed after 30 days. Students may appeal the board finding by a written letter within seven days of the decision. Undergraduate students submit their appeal to the Dean of the College, and graduate students submit their appeal to the University Provost.

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How do I check if a student has a prior finding of academic dishonesty?

If an undergraduate or graduate student is applying for on-campus employment, Students’ Association or Graduate Students Association positions, membership on the Board on Academic Honesty, Study Abroad, fellowships, scholarships or any other award, staff members may include a waiver for the student to sign giving permission for the person in charge of the process to request information about the student’s Board on Academic Honesty history. Without a signed waiver, no information will be released about the student's academic honesty record. With a signed waiver, findings of responsibility will be reported. Findings of exoneration will not be reported, nor will a Warning Letter (undergraduates only) when it is the only report in their file. For more information, see Section XV.C.

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Questions?

Contact the Chair of the Board.

A more detailed description of the procedures for reporting academic dishonesty may be found under Reporting Cases of Suspected Academic Dishonesty in the Honesty Policy. Hearing Procedures are also outlined in the policy.