The Settlement Process
When an instructor becomes aware of a possible case of academic dishonesty, he or she should move quickly (usually within three days) to investigate the violation and to contact the student. If suspected violations occur at the end of the semester, the instructor should assign a grade of Incomplete and begin the settlement process as quickly as possible but no later than the start of the following semester. Even when suspected violations occur after grades have been submitted, the settlement process must be started before the end of the semester following the suspected violation.
The formal process of initiating a charge and settlement involves the following steps, with occasional minor variations depending on the nature and timing of the case:
- The instructor arranges to confer with the student to discuss the integrity violation and the evidence supporting it. During or shortly after the instructor’s conversation with the student, the instructor presents the student with a written statement of the charge and the proposed penalty (see the Academic Dishonesty Settlement Form). The student has the opportunity to respond to the charge. After listening to the student, the instructor may decide to revise the charge or penalty, or drop the charge all together. If, for any reason, the faculty member believes that the violation deserves a penalty more severe than failure in the course, he or she may immediately refer the case to the University Review Committee (URC).
- The student has three business days to respond to the charge, either by assenting to the charge and penalty by signing the settlement form, or by requesting a hearing before the URC. At that hearing, the student may either dispute the charge or the severity of the penalty. While considering how to respond to a charge, students are encouraged to seek advice from someone knowledgeable in matters of academic integrity, such as a faculty advisor, an academic dean, or another trusted advisor. If a student charged with a violation does not respond in the specified time, the matter is immediately turned over to the URC for a hearing.
- Once the settlement form has been signed, it is forwarded to the academic affairs office to be kept for five years. If this proves to be a second violation of the academic integrity policy, an academic dean will convene a disciplinary hearing of the URC.
Note: Once an academic integrity charge has been initiated against a student, he or she may not withdraw from the course in question unless the charge is dropped by the faculty member or the student is found to be not responsible through a hearing or an appeal. A hold is placed on the student’s transcript until the charge has been settled.