Frequently asked questions about student (undergraduate) misconduct.
Does the University of Connecticut have a policy regarding academic integrity and academic misconduct?
Yes, the Undergraduate Academic Integrity policy can be found in the Responsibilities of Community Life: The Student Code: Appendix A: Academic Integrity in Undergraduate Education and Research. The policy details the procedures the University uses to resolve academic misconduct cases. The policy was originally formulated by the University of Connecticut's Scholastic Standards Committee and adopted by the University Senate on March 31, 2008 and updated in December of 2012.
Why does the University of Connecticut have a policy regarding academic integrity and academic misconduct?
The University of Connecticut is an institution that is dedicated to learning. Through the UConn Creed, students are encouraged to practice both personal and academic integrity. Integrity, honesty, and fairness are the foundation of the educational process. Academic misconduct violates these principles, and demeans not only the student committing the act of misconduct, but the entire University community.
What is considered academic misconduct for undergraduate students?
Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
- Providing or receiving assistance on academic work (papers, projects, examinations) in a way that was not authorized by the instructor
- Any attempt to improperly influence (bribery, threats) any member of the faculty, staff, or administration of the University in any matter relating to academics or research
- Doing academic work for another student
- Presenting the same or substantially the same papers or projects in two or more courses without the explicit permission of the instructors
- Situations where one student knowingly assists another student in committing an act of academic misconduct, and any student doing so will be held equally accountable for the violation
How is academic misconduct reported?
In most cases, an instructor will report a student for academic misconduct when he/she believes there is enough information to demonstrate a case. When an instructor believes there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate a case of academic misconduct, he/she shall generally notify the accused student in writing and orally within five days of the discovery of the alleged misconduct. Evidence of academic misconduct can include continuing suspicious behavior during an exam when warned by the instructor to stop and academic works being submitted by two students that are remarkably similar. The instructor is responsible for saving all information on academic misconduct in its original form and does not need to return any of the material to the student. Copies of the students work and information about other evidence can be provided to the student upon request.
What is the instructor’s role in preventing academic misconduct?
Instructors should take all reasonable steps to prevent academic misconduct. For example, a faculty member should inform students of course requirements as well as the Undergraduate Academic Integrity policy at the beginning of the semester. If an instructor observes suspicious behavior during an examination, he/she should warn the students involved and request them to stop the suspicious behavior. Please understand that ultimately it is your responsibility to not engage in academic misconduct.
I have been accused of academic misconduct. What happens now?
You will be informed in writing that you are being accused of academic misconduct and the academic consequence(s) being imposed by the instructor. If you choose to contest the instructor's allegation of academic misconduct, you may submit a written request for a hearing to the instructor within five business days of the instructor's first written notice. Please understand that when requesting a hearing, the Academic Integrity Hearing Board will only make a determination on whether you are responsible or not responsible for engaging in academic misconduct. The Board does not make decisions on academic consequence(s) imposed by the instructor. However, the Board does have the ability to assign additional sanctions based on a student's record of misconduct and/or the nature of the offense.
If I am found responsible for academic misconduct will there be anything put on my transcript?
There is no special notification that goes on your transcript for being found responsible for academic misconduct. If you fail the course as a result, then, yes, you will have that course grade on your transcript. Please note that the Academic Integrity Hearing Board does have the ability to assign additional sanctions (See answer to "Can I receive additional sanctions"). If you are suspended or expelled from the University as a result of academic misconduct, a notation of suspension or expulsion will be put on your transcript.
What are typical academic consequences?
For serious offenses, typical sanctions are generally considered to be failure in the course. For less serious offenses, it is generally failure in that portion for which you are accused of academic misconduct. Please understand these are guidelines and that the instructor ultimately determines the academic consequence(s).
Can I receive additional sanctions beyond the instructor’s academic consequence?
Yes, you can receive additional sanctions. Upon consideration of a student's record of misconduct and/or the nature of the offense the Academic Integrity Hearing 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. 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 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 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. Please know that additional sanctions do not depend on whether your case goes to the hearing level. Additional sanctions can be considered by the Board, even if your case did not originally go to a hearing.
What happens at an Academic Integrity Hearing?
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 in Responsibilities of Community Life: The Student Code - Appendix A. If the Board finds that the student is "Responsible", the instructor's academic consequence(s) shall be imposed. The Board does not have the authority to change or influence the academic consequence(s) imposed by the instructor.
If the Board finds that the student is "Not Responsible" 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.
If I did engage in academic misconduct but disagree with the academic consequence, can I still request a hearing?
Yes, you can still request a hearing. However, the Hearing Board only makes decisions regarding whether you engaged in academic misconduct and cannot change the instructor's academic consequence. You can request a hearing, but if you are found responsible, the Hearing Board cannot change the academic consequence.
If I file for an appeal will a new hearing be scheduled?
No, an appeal is not a new hearing. It is a review of the information presented in the appeal letter and the case file for the purpose of determining whether there is cause to believe that the outcome of the hearing might be flawed. Students may appeal the hearing board's decision on three grounds: (1) on a claim of error in the hearing procedure that substantially affects 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, and (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.
My appeal was upheld. What does that mean?
If the appeal was upheld, the Provost or designee shall refer the case back to the original hearing body who shall reconsider the case accordingly.
My appeal was denied. What does that mean?
If the appeal was denied, then the original decision of the hearing board will stand, and the instructor's academic consequence(s) will be imposed.
I appealed the Board’s decision to the Provost or designee, but the original decision was upheld. Can I appeal to someone else?
No. The decision of the Provost or designee in an appeal is final. There is no further right of appeal.
What happens if the Board hasn’t made a decision before the end of the semester?
If a semester ends 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 after the resolution of the academic misconduct matter.
Who serves on the Academic Integrity Hearing Board?
The Academic Integrity Hearing Board is made up of both faculty and student representation from across the schools and colleges.
How can I get involved in serving on the Academic Integrity Hearing Board?
If you are interested in serving on an Academic Integrity Hearing Board, you can contact Community Standards via email at email@example.com. Or speak to your Regional Student Affairs contact.
If I have questions about the policy or being accused of academic misconduct, who can I contact?
You can call Community Standards at 860-486-8402, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your Regional Student Affairs contact.
* Adapted from the University of South Carolina