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Appendix A: Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research

[Adopted March 2008]

The following policy on undergraduate academic integrity was originally formulated by the University of Connecticut Scholastic Standards Committee. It was adopted by the University Senate on March 31, 2008 and modified by the University Senate in December of 2012.

This appendix of The Student Code describes the types of acts that shall be considered academic misconduct by undergraduates, and it presents the process for resolving complaints of academic misconduct.

Student Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is dishonest or unethical academic behavior that includes, but is not limited to, misrepresenting mastery in an academic area (e.g., cheating), failing to properly credit information, research, or ideas to their rightful originators or representing such information, research, or ideas as your own (e.g., plagiarism).

A. Instructor’s Role

  1. Instructors shall take reasonable steps to prevent academic misconduct in their courses and to inform students of course-specific requirements.
  2. When the instructor of record or designee (instructor) believes that an act of academic misconduct has occurred, the instructor is responsible for saving the evidence in its original form and need not return any of the original papers or other materials to the student. Copies of the student’s work and information about other evidence will be provided to the student upon request.
  3. When an instructor believes there is sufficient information to demonstrate a case of academic misconduct, the instructor shall notify the student in writing of the allegation of misconduct and the academic consequences that the instructor will impose. The appropriate academic consequence for serious offenses is generally considered to be failure in the course. For offenses regarding small portions of the course work, failure for that portion is suggested with the requirement that the student repeat the work for no credit. The written notification shall also inform the student whether the case has been referred to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board (Board) for consideration of additional sanctions. The instructor shall send the written notification to the student and send a copy to the Office of Community Standards (Community Standards) within five business days of having discovered the alleged misconduct. At the Regional Campuses, a copy shall be sent to the Office of Student Affairs (Regional Campus Student Affairs). Cases that are purely technical in nature, without any perceived intent to achieve academic advantage, may be reported at the discretion of the instructor.
  4. In certain cases, the Dean of a school or college or designee may become aware of alleged academic misconduct and may bring a complaint forward to the Board.
  5. The student has five business days from receipt of the written notice to respond to the instructor and/or to request a hearing (see “Academic Integrity Hearing Board”). If the student does not respond within the allotted time the instructor’s sanctions shall be imposed. If the student requests a hearing the instructor shall forward the request to Community Standards or the Regional Campus Student Affairs. If the student and the instructor reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the case, the instructor shall notify Community Standards (or Regional Campus Student Affairs) of the agreement. The instructor shall also notify Community Standards (or Regional Campus Student Affairs) if the instructor withdraws the allegation of misconduct. A student who has been notified about an accusation of academic misconduct may not withdraw from the course in which the alleged misconduct has occurred without the approval of the instructor and the appropriate dean. If a student withdraws from a course during a pending academic misconduct case, any academic sanction imposed will overturn the withdrawal.
  6. If a semester concludes before an academic misconduct matter is resolved, the student shall receive a temporary “I” (Incomplete) grade in the course until the instructor submits the appropriate grade.

B. The Academic Integrity Hearing Board

  1. The Academic Integrity Hearing Board, which is administered by Community Standards, is comprised of two faculty members, two students, and a nonvoting chairperson, all of whom are appointed by the Director of Community Standards. At each Regional Campus, a designee working in conjunction with Community Standards is responsible for the organization and administration of their Academic Integrity Hearing Board. Hearing procedures will be in accordance with the hearing procedures described below. Community Standards will ensure that appropriate Dean(s) and Faculty are kept informed of the status of misconduct cases in a timely fashion.
  2. The respondent or the accusing instructor may refer a case of alleged academic misconduct to Community Standards for it to be adjudicated by the Board. Community Standards will review all academic misconduct cases as they are received to determine if a case needs to be heard by the Board to determine if additional sanctions need to be considered. After receiving written notification of the academic misconduct from the instructor, Community Standards may meet with students to discuss additional sanctions outlined in The Student Code to determine if an agreement about additional sanctions can be reached. If an agreement cannot be reached between a student and Community Standards, the case will be heard by the Board.

C. Hearing on Academic Misconduct

  1. An essential component of any academic integrity hearing is the determination and the weighing of the facts that pertain to the allegation(s). Therefore, it is vital that personal statements and other information be presented clearly and factually. All participants are expected to be respectful of each other’s purpose in the hearing process and to conduct themselves according to the direction of the Board.
  2. Normally, an academic integrity hearing will be conducted within fifteen (15) business days of the respondent being notified of the hearing.
  3. The complainant (instructor or designee) and the respondent shall each have the right to:
    1. Be notified of all alleged violations by means of the address (University e-mail, residence hall address, or permanent address) provided by the student via the Registrar’s Office. Typically, this will be done via e-mail which will provide a link to the documentation.
    2. Review any written complaint(s) and supporting documents.
    3. Be informed about the hearing process.
    4. A reasonable period of time to prepare for a hearing.
    5. Request a delay of a hearing due to extenuating circumstances. The decision to grant or deny any such request is within the discretion of the hearing body.
    6. Submit a written account, a personal statement regarding the incident and/or any relevant documentation or records. All documentation must be provided by the date established by the non-voting chairperson. Documentation will not be accepted past the established deadline and failure to provide documentation by the established deadline will not be an acceptable reason for an appeal. The decision to not present information is not an admission of responsibility.
    7. Provide the names and contact information of incident witnesses, those who have direct knowledge of the incident, and provide a list of questions for any incident witnesses, including the involved parties. This information must be provided by the date established by the non-voting chairperson. Failure to provide witness information by the established deadline will not be an acceptable reason for an appeal. The non-voting chairperson will make every effort to interview those witnesses with direct knowledge; however, the witness cannot be compelled to speak with the non-voting chairperson.
    8. Be notified of the identity of witnesses who have been called to speak at the hearing or who have been asked to provide additional written information by the Board.
    9. Be accompanied by a support person during the portions of the hearing in which the student is participating. A student should select a support person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the academic integrity hearing because delays will not be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of a support person.
    10. Be present at the pertinent stages of the hearing process as indicated by the Director of Community Standards. The deliberations of the hearing body are private.
    11. Present a personal or community impact statement to the hearing body upon a finding of “Responsibility.”
  4. An academic integrity hearing shall be conducted by the Board in accordance with the procedures listed below:
    1. Formal rules of process, procedure, and/or technical rules of evidence, such as are applied in criminal or civil court, are not used in these proceedings.
    2. A hearing shall be conducted in private.
    3. Admission of any person into the hearing room shall be at the discretion of the Board. The Board shall have the authority to discharge or to remove any person whose presence is deemed unnecessary or obstructive to the proceedings.
    4. When a hearing involves more than one respondent, the Director of Community Standards may, at the Director’s discretion, permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted either separately or jointly.
    5. If a respondent or complainant, after receiving notification, does not appear for a hearing, the hearing will proceed without the absent party.
    6. Except as directed by the chair, the support person shall limit his/her role in a hearing to that of a consultant to the respondent or complainant.
    7. The identity of any witnesses must be provided to the Board at least two business days before the hearing. The Board may elect not to permit one or more witnesses to participate in the hearing if the information they are expected to provide is not relevant to any material issue and is deemed unnecessarily redundant of other information already in the record. The party proposing a witness is responsible for any communication with the witness regarding attendance at the hearing. The Board may request the attendance of witnesses not proposed by the parties. The Board cannot compel the attendance of witnesses at the hearing.
    8. The respondent, complainant, and any witnesses will provide information to and answer questions from the Board. Questions may be suggested by the respondent or complainant to be answered by each other or by other witnesses. This will be conducted by the Board with such questions directed to the Board, rather than to the individuals directly. This method is used to preserve the educational tone of the hearing and to avoid creation of an adversarial environment. Questions of whether potential information will be received shall be resolved at the discretion of the chair.
    9. Any additional information may be accepted for consideration by the hearing body at its discretion as long as such information was provided in accordance with The Student Code. Information presented by a student during a hearing that indicates a potential violation of The Student Code may be investigated at a future time.
    10. The Board shall determine whether the respondent has violated the Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research Policy. The Board’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the policy.
    11. When a respondent has been found “In Violation,” the Board shall examine the student’s academic transcript and student conduct history, accept impact statements by both the respondent and complainant, and then impose the appropriate sanction(s).
    12. All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the Board.
  5. If the Board finds that the student is “Not in Violation” for the alleged misconduct, the Board shall not impose any sanctions and the instructor must reevaluate the student’s course grade in light of the Board’s finding.
  6. If the Board finds that the student is “In Violation”, the instructor’s grading sanction shall be imposed. The Board does not have the authority to change or influence the grading sanction imposed by the instructor.
  7. Upon consideration of a student’s record of misconduct and/or the nature of the offense, the Board may impose additional sanctions. The Board should apply these sanctions in proportion to the severity of the misconduct. These sanctions may include any sanction as described in The Student Code.
  8. All academic integrity hearings will be recorded and the University will maintain the audio recordings as required by Connecticut state law and are the property of the University. Participants are prohibited from making their own recording. Upon written request, a respondent or complainant may review the audio recording and make appropriate arrangements for it to be transcribed on University premises. Arrangements for a transcriber and all associated costs involved in the transcription will be the responsibility of the requesting individual.

D. Hearing Appeal

  1. The decision of the Board may be appealed to the Provost or designee. An appeal is not a new hearing. It is a review of the record of the hearing.
  2. An appeal may be sought on three grounds:
    1. On a claim of error in the hearing procedure that substantially affected the decision.
    2. On a claim of new evidence or information material to the case that was not known at the time of the hearing.
    3. To determine whether any additional sanction(s), not including academic consequences, imposed by the Board were appropriate for the violation based on the student’s conduct history and/or significance of the violation.
  3. Appeals on such grounds may be presented, specifically described, in writing within five business days of the announcement of the Board’s decision.
  4. The decision of the Provost or designee is final. There will be no further right of appeal.
  5. The Provost or designee shall have the authority to dismiss an appeal not sought on proper grounds.
  6. If an appeal is upheld, the Provost shall refer the case with procedural specifications back to the original Board who shall reconsider the case accordingly.