This is the academic misconduct page for faculty. For students, refer to this page.
Faculty are essential in upholding the highest academic standards. Your time and attention to prevent and address academic misconduct is appreciated by the entire university community. This website is designed to provide information and resources to support you in understanding the process, performing your role in documenting and reporting academic misconduct, and setting up your students to succeed in your class(es) with integrity.
The Academic Integrity Process
The Instructor/Faculty Role
When an instructor observes or discovers a potential act of academic misconduct, the instructor should document it and collect information with particular attention to what behavior violates the code. Instructors may, but are not required to, contact students before submitting a report in order to assess accuracy of information indicating if academic misconduct occurred, to explore the manner or context of the observed behavior, to ascertain information integral to the report, or to give additional notice that an Academic Misconduct Report is forthcoming. If the instructor believes that the collected information indicates a violation of the Academic Misconduct policy, they should consult with their department head (in accordance with AR 15 and departmental protocols) and then submit an Academic Misconduct Report. The report provides a portal for uploading all documents related to the allegation of academic misconduct, which could include physical evidence of misconduct, the course syllabus, email correspondence, etc. Once a report is submitted, the instructor’s primary responsibilities are managing any grade adjustments pending the outcome of the Academic Integrity Process or providing additional information to a College Hearing Officer or Appellate officer, as needed.
After a report is submitted
After you submit an Academic Misconduct Report, the College Hearing Officer (CHO) designated for your college will facilitate the Academic Integrity Process to bring the case to resolution. This will include a number of steps, including:
- The CHO reviews the report and creates a conduct case with this information.
The CHO contacts the student to officially notify them of the allegation and provide them an opportunity to participate in the academic integrity process. A CHO will share information as needed with appropriate parties.
- The accused student may meet with the CHO, review the information supporting an allegation of academic misconduct, and provide a response, either at the time of the meeting or in writing within 10 business days.
- The CHO will consider the student response in addition to the other collected information. The CHO will confer with SCCS, and if a graduate student, the Graduate School, to ensure they have all the information they need to finalize the decision and assign a sanction.
- If the case is a first-time or otherwise lower level offense or if the allegation is insufficiently supported by evidence, the CHO will communicate their decision regarding responsibility and, when applicable, sanctions. A CHO will share information as needed with appropriate parties.
- A CHO’s sanction likely will include, at minimum, an academic penalty. The CHO will communicate with the instructor to ensure the academic penalty is accurately applied.
- In the event that the case is a repeat-offense or is otherwise more severe, the CHO will refer the case to Student Conduct and Community Standards for additional processes and to subject any violation to the full range of University sanctions, which could include suspension or expulsion. The CHO will continue to participate in order to have the Academic College to influence any academic sanctions that come from this additional process.
- SCCS will do educational follow up with the student for any sanctions (other than academic penalties).
- A student is permitted to submit an appeal in accordance with the requirements of the Code.
Addressing Academic Misconduct (In progress)
If you observe potential academic misconduct, you may choose to interrupt or prevent it before it clearly becomes a reportable offense. Examples of this could be requesting that students sit multiple seats apart or reminding a class that books, papers and phones should be inside bags and out of view.
However, if you believe that Academic Misconduct is occurring, and therefore you are going to need to make an Academic Misconduct report, it will be preferred that you continue to observe and collect information. If possible, collect as many details about what you are observing, so in your report you can make your report with explicit details. For example, a description such as “I saw Student A look onto Student B’s exam 7 times in two minutes and at the time, student A was filling out answers 15-30 on his exam. Those questions would usually take a student and average of 15 minutes to complete. Upon comparison of tests, Student A and Student B had the same answers on questions 15-30, including three incorrect answers,” is a much more measurable observation than “I saw student A copy off of student B’s paper. I took Student A’s essay and told him I would be reporting him for Academic Misconduct.” If possible, ask another faculty member or objective person, such as a GTA or exam proctor, to observe the area and independently note what they observe. Such efforts to continue observation, rather than acting on an initial impression, will promote effective reporting. After the exam or assignment is complete, you may address and report the incident as guided by the policy and process.
Suggested Syllabus Statements
One method of clearly articulating your expectations of what behavior is acceptable in a manner all students should be able to understand and remember is through the course syllabus. This document can set the tone and demonstrate your interest in their learning, as well as your commitment to reporting any failure to adhere to your expectations or the Code of Student Conduct. By describing your particular expectations, you remind and educate the students and by doing so, reduce the likelihood that they engage in behavior that you explicitly covered.
You are expected to do your own work and demonstrate academic integrity in every aspect of this course. Familiarize yourself with the standards set forth in the OSU Code of Student Conduct section 4.2 (available at studentlife.oregonstate.edu/code). You must only access sources and resources authorized by the instructor and cite all sources that contribute to your completion of an assignment. You may not show your work to any other current or future students without my authorization. Violations of these expectations or the Code of Student Conduct will be reported. If there is any question about whether an act constitutes academic misconduct, it is the students’ obligation to seek clarification and approval from the instructor prior to acting.
Additional considerations for syllabus statements:
To help prevent misconduct in your class, you might want to think about adding additional information for students in your syllabus outlining your expectations. Consider these questions if your class involves…
- Lab Work: Can lab partners work on the lab write-up together? Can students use the same data?
- Group Projects: How can group projects be divided among group members? What happens to the rest of the group if one student plagiarizes?
- Collaboration: What does acceptable collaboration look like? What would cross the line and become misconduct?
- Behavior during exams
- Online Assignments: What resources can students utilize (including classmates) for completing online assignments?
- Explicitly prohibited or permitted resources: If you are teaching a language class, to what degree do you want student to access online translation tools? Or in a writing class, do you want students to generate citations exclusively using the APA manual, or is it okay to use a bibliography-generator online to create correct citations?
- Computer Coding: How are students allowed to help each other when coding? Can they show other students their code? Can students post their code online? Are students allowed to reference codes outside of lecture and the textbook?
You should also consider if you have set standards for recommending academic penalties. Some instructors/colleges have a minimum penalty that they would recommend if a student is found responsible for academic misconduct in their class. Would being found responsible of academic misconduct automatically result in failure of the assignment or course? If so, then you can state so in your syllabus*.
*While the College Hearing Officer has final determination of sanction, you can have standards as far as what you recommend. Your articulation of potential consequences may support a College Hearing Officer supporting your recommendation. Work with your College Hearing Officer to align your expectations with the general expectations across your college.