Academic Integrity

Standards of academic integrity are violated when a student engages in actions as outlined on the Office of the Provost, Principles Regarding Academic Integrity webpage under "A. Basic Standards of Academic Integrity." Academic dishonesty is a serious matter for graduate students committed to intellectual pursuits, and will be adjudicated in accordance with procedures approved by the Graduate Faculty.

3.1 Academic Integrity Violations Procedures

Issues of academic dishonesty not involving research integrity*, such as cheating or plagiarism, will be addressed using the procedure adopted by the Graduate Faculty as outlined below.

*Research misconduct issues will be investigated by the Office for Research Integrity (ORI). If there are concerns regarding potential research misconduct, please consult the Office for Research Integrity policy and procedures concerning research misconduct.

3.1.1 Reporting of Alleged Academic Dishonesty

Any case of alleged academic dishonesty involving a student in The Graduate School (TGS) should be reported by the complainant (course instructor, faculty member involved in graduate education, other party) to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs at The Graduate School (the “Associate Dean”). Such a report must be made in writing no later than thirty days from the date the complainant becomes aware of the alleged dishonesty. The complainant may confer with the student prior to making a written report if doing so would help rule out the possibility of misunderstanding regarding the alleged academic dishonesty.

Students charged with academic dishonesty may not change their registration in a course in which a charge is pending, or in which a finding of academic dishonesty has been made. An incomplete grade (Y grade) should be issued to the extent possible for any course in which there has been an allegation of academic dishonesty while the case is pending.

3.1.2 Case Review

The Associate Dean will review the case of alleged academic dishonesty to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to warrant an academic integrity meeting. The Associate Dean may request additional information from any of the parties involved.

3.1.3 Notice of Alleged Academic Dishonesty

Once the Associate Dean has determined through the case review that there are sufficient grounds to warrant an academic integrity meeting, TGS will notify the student/former student in writing by email. The notification will indicate:

  • the charges made
  • the date of the incident
  • the individual(s) reporting the charges
  • the nature of the alleged violation and supporting evidence

The student will have ten business days from the date of this notification to request a meeting with the Associate Dean to discuss the case and present any relevant materials or statements. If the student fails to schedule a meeting within ten business days or does not wish to meet, the Associate Dean may make a determination on the basis of the available evidence. The Associate Dean may grant reasonable requests for an extension of this time deadline at their sole discretion. Prior to this meeting, the student will be allowed to view the case materials and respond in writing.

3.1.4 Meeting with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs

In meeting with the student, the Associate Dean (and, typically, another TGS staff member) will review the charges made and the evidence supporting those charges. The student will have an opportunity to be heard and to elaborate on the written statement, if submitted.

The Associate Dean for Student Affairs has the authority to determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence available, whether a violation of academic integrity has occurred. After the review, the Associate Dean shall inform the student by letter of the Associate Dean’s decision and the sanction, if any, to be imposed.

3.1.5 Sanctions

Sanctions which may be imposed by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs include, but are not limited to:

  • a letter of warning
  • a defined period of probation
  • a defined period of suspension
  • exclusion from the University
  • expulsion from the University
  • notation on the transcript
  • withdrawal of University funding
  • revocation of an awarded degree

Any grade entered for a student in a course in which an allegation of violations of academic integrity is pending against the student, whether for the course as a whole or for a piece of work submitted in the course, is subject to modification after all proceedings and appeals are concluded. Should the student be found to have violated academic integrity, the course instructor is empowered, in their sole discretion, to determine the effect this violation will have on the student's grade in the course. Possible actions range from disregarding the incident in calculating the grade to failing the student in the course.

Academic integrity findings and sanctions by TGS do not preclude a student’s academic program from taking additional actions that it may deem warranted based on such findings, consistent with published program policies and expectations.

3.1.6 Appeals

The student may appeal any adverse initial determination by submitting a written notice of appeal to the Senior Director of Student Services within ten business days of the date of the initial decision letter. The written notice of appeal must state what is being appealed (whether the finding that a violation occurred, the sanction imposed, or both) and must describe in detail the grounds for the appeal. The appeal should specifically outline what parts of the written record are incorrect or reasons why the findings or sanction(s) are inappropriate. In the event of an appeal, a standing faculty committee will review the case and appeal. 

The intent of the appeals process is to reassess whether academic dishonesty occurred and whether the sanction was commensurate with the finding. Generally, implementation of sanctions will be suspended until all appeals made by the student have been exhausted. If no appeal is filed within ten business days of the initial notification, the decision of the Associate Dean shall become final and will be implemented at the conclusion of the appeal period.

The student will be granted an opportunity to present their case for an appeal and respond to questions from the committee in person. If the student wishes to be present they must notify the Senior Director of Student Services in writing at least five business days in advance of the meeting.

Following its review and meeting, the appeal committee may sustain or reverse the finding of the Associate Dean and may, if finding of a violation stands, sustain or modify the sanction(s). The student will be informed of the committee’s decision in writing.

3.1.7 Appeal to the Provost

The student may appeal the decision of the appeal committee to the Provost of the University. An appeal to the Provost must be submitted within ten business days from the date of the appeal committee’s written notification to the student. Such appeals must be in writing and include a detailed statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal. Appeals to the Provost will be limited to alleged errors in procedures, interpretation of regulations, or alleged manifest discrepancies between the evidence and a finding and/or sanction.

In the absence of an appeal to the Provost, the decision of the appeal committee shall become final and be implemented at the conclusion of the Provost appeal period. In the event of an appeal to the University Provost, implementation of the appeal committee decision will be suspended until a decision on the further appeal is rendered by the Provost. The Provost’s decision is final.