This is the academic misconduct page for students. For faculty, please refer to this page.

 

I've Been Accused of Academic Misconduct - Now What?
Process Description
Possible Outcomes
Advisors, Advocacy and Support
Appeal Information
Accessibility, Participation and Language Information
Conduct Records
Use of Prohibited/Unauthorized Online Resources
Authorized Online Resources
Report a Conduct Incident

 

OSU students and graduates benefit significantly from the university's emphasis and value of academic and scholarly integrity.  All community members contribute to fostering an environment where learning and academic achievement is earned with fairness, honor, and integrity.  Prior to attending OSU, students may have experienced differing expectations and practices when it comes to academic performance, but by attending OSU, you have chosen to hold yourself to a shared standard of practice in completing academic work. Understanding what you are responsible for and what the expectations are for students in essential for avoiding academic misconduct.  In addition to learning the responsibilities and expectations, students should also learn the appropriate resources available and enhance study habits and skills in order to never feel the need to engage in academic misconduct. 

 

I've Been Accused of Academic Misconduct - Now What?

If you’ve been accused of Academic Misconduct, you should read your email thoroughly and remain in communication with whomever contacted you to discuss the allegation of Academic Misconduct.  Students are afforded opportunities to effectively participate in response to an allegation in accordance with the Academic Integrity Process (Section 5.11 of the Code, and included on this page).   Here are some general things to know if you have been accused of academic misconduct:

  • Academic Misconduct is a significant offense that could result in academic penalties and other sanctions, including suspension or expulsion from Oregon State University. The Academic Integrity Process, which includes an opportunity for accused students to review and respond to reported evidence of academic misconduct, is primarily facilitated by College Hearing Officers designated by the college in which the violation was alleged to have occurred.
  • All written communication from the University regarding a case will be submitted to students’ oregonstate.edu email. Students are expected to check this email regularly in order to assure effective communication around this incident.
  • Once any decisions and outcomes are finalized, students are expected to comply with any sanctions and directives issued.  Failure to do so may result in a registration hold placed on the student account and/or further conduct action by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
  • Students may not withdraw from a course in order to circumvent accountability for Academic Misconduct.  While students are permitted to withdraw and retake courses, in accordance with the permissions of the Academic Regulations, Academic Misconduct allegations will be pursued and resolved regardless of a students continued enrollment.  Additionally, if a College Hearing Officer assigns a penalty of an F grade for the course, that penalty will override any alternative grade format requested by the student, such as a “W.”

 

Process Description

From Code Section 5.11: Academic Integrity Process: Academic misconduct violations (see Section 4.2) are primarily investigated and adjudicated within the academic College in which the alleged violation was reported. The alleged violations are resolved via the academic integrity process in which the student is invited to participate.  The purpose of this process is to provide an equitable forum for the review of the available information regarding an alleged incident of misconduct. The hearing authority will decide by a preponderance of the evidence whether or not the accused student is found responsible for the charge(s). The following procedures will be used in an academic misconduct review process.

  1. A report of suspected academic misconduct and all supporting evidence is submitted through the online Academic Misconduct Report portal. Primarily faculty members or instructors will be submitting this report and information. 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. Per Academic Regulation 15 (AR 15), instructors will consult with their unit head prior to submitting an Academic Misconduct Report.
  2. A designated College Officer will be assigned to review the case. This officer will be selected by designation of the Academic College in which the violation occurred. The Academic Dean of each College, or in the case of a remanded case post-appeal, the appeal authority, may designate an alternative College Officer when a particular need, such as conflict of interest, arises.
  3. The accused student will be emailed a notice to inform them of the report, the specific alleged behaviors that indicate a violation occurred, and information about the Academic Integrity Process and other resources. The student will be instructed to respond within three* (3) business days to schedule an appointment to review the reported information.
  4. The student has the opportunity to meet with the College Officer, review all evidence relevant to the alleged behavior, provide their account of what happened before, during, or after the incident, provide additional information and context, and/or engage in questioning relevant to the report or allegation. If a student fails to respond or fails to appear for a scheduled meeting, the College Officer may proceed to the next steps of reviewing the allegation.
  5. Within ten* (10) business days from the date of the meeting, even if the student failed to respond or attend the scheduled meeting, the student may submit a written statement or response and provide additional information relevant to the allegation. An online portal will be provided to submit the response and information securely. If a student fails to submit a response within the afforded timeframe, the College Officer may proceed after that time. A student may elect to submit a response prior to the expiration of the ten business days, or waive their ability to submit further response, which permits the College Officer expedite to their review of the case.
  6. The College Officer will confer with SCCS and, if the accused is a graduate student, the Graduate School. The College Officer may communicate, solely on a need-to-know basis, with the reporting party, relevant fact witnesses, the college or program of the accused student, or other campus units, in order to collect/assess relevant information or provide support. This may occur at any step of the Academic Integrity Process as needed.
  7. The College Officer may refer the case for hearing by the SCCS Committee at any step of the process if it is warranted, in accordance with section 5.5.
  8. The College Officer will determine if the Student is “responsible” or “not responsible” for violating each of the policies alleged using the preponderance standard of proof as outlined in Section 5.2.
  9. The accused student will receive an outcome letter that will detail the College Officer’s decision of responsibility and, if responsible, sanctions. Generally, for first-time, non-egregious violations, sanctions will include an educational sanction and an academic penalty. The academic penalty can range from a reduction of assignment or exam points up to an F on the assignment or exam. For more severe or repeated violations, the full range of College Officer sanctioning authority can include a grade penalty up to an “F” for the course, a restriction and reversal of grade replacement or withdrawal options regarding the academic transcript and Registrar’s records, or removal of the student’s enrollment in a College or program.
  10. Any sanctions will be tracked by the SCCS office, or designee until completion. Failure to satisfactorily complete sanctions as assigned will likely result in a registration hold that will prevent a student’s registration related actions until conditions of sanctions are met.

 

Possible Outcomes (Sanctions)

If found responsible, the College Hearing Officer (or other hearing body if referred to SCCS) will make a determination of sanctions that are appropriate to the violation and the surrounding context (which may include consideration of prior violations). College Hearing Officers are authorized to assign Academic Sanctions as described in the Code.

From Code Section 6.1.8: Academic Sanction: Students whose behavior is found to constitute Academic Misconduct as defined in Section 4.2 are subject to additional academic sanctions, which may include, but are not limited to, failing the course, restriction from course withdrawal, grade replacement provisions, or removal from an academic department, college or program.  Students may also be sanctioned to complete the online Academic Integrity Course.

A hearing resulting from a referral to SCCS could result in Academic Sanctions, as well as University-level sanctions, such as University Conduct Probation, Conduct Suspension, Expulsion, or Degree Revocation.

 

Advisors, Advocacy and Support for a Student Through the Process

Students responding to an allegation of misconduct may not feel experienced or prepared to engage the process alone. To support students through the process, OSU has ways for students to obtain and utilize the support they need to effectively participate in a conduct process. See information below about Advisors, as permitted in the Code, and the Office of Advocacy.

From Code section 5.5: Advisors.  At any stage of the process, an Accused Student, accused Student Organization, or Complainant may be accompanied by any one (1) advisor of the Student's or Student Organization’s choice, so long as the advisor is not a party to the alleged incident (such as a witness, complainant, or additionally accused student) and that their presence, participation, or availability does not hamper the timeliness or procedure of a meeting, investigation, or hearing. The advisor is not permitted to speak on behalf of the Student or Student Organization in a conduct hearing or meeting; the Student or Student Organization will be expected to speak for themselves at all times.  By bringing an advisor, the student explicitly consents to university officials speaking openly regarding student information in the presence of any advisor while they accompany a student.  If Students or Student Organizations wish to waive their privacy rights to give further permission to the University to otherwise share private information, they may do so in writing via the Student Conduct and Community Standards office.

One of the resources supported by the Associated Students of Oregon State University is the Office of Advocacy.  The Office of Advocacy can provide advice and guidance for students preparing to respond to an allegation of academic misconduct.  Information about the Office of Advocacy, including how to contact the office or schedule a meeting with an advocate, can be found at their website: asosu.oregonstate.edu/asosu/advocacy

 

Appeal Information

A student may appeal an outcome or decision within certain timelines and under specific criteria.  A student may submit an appeal by sending in this form

An appeal is not a second hearing of the case, but rather a review of the process and information to determine if the process provided met the standards of the Code.

An appeal must be submitted within 5 business days and be in congruence with one or more listed grounds for appeal as described in Section 8 of the code, which include:

  • An action or omission that occurred that was not in accordance with the procedures outlined in or referenced by this Code of Student Conduct, or was fundamentally unfair, which substantially impacted the outcome;
  • New evidence exists that was unavailable at the time of the original hearing that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction (a summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included); failure to participate or otherwise present available information in the original hearing does not constitute new evidence; or
  • The sanctions imposed are disproportionate given the context of the violation.     

For findings of academic misconduct by a College Hearing Officer, appeals will be heard by the designated authority, based on the student’s program of enrollment.  Undergraduate Student appeals will be reviewed by the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, or their designee.  Most graduate student appeals will be reviewed by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, or their designee.  Graduate student appeals, where the Graduate School College Hearing Officer heard the original case, as well as for students enrolled in the College of Pharmacy and the College of Veterinary Sciences, will be reviewed by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

 

Accessibility, Participation and Language Information

From Code section 5.6: Accessibility.  SCCS is committed to making the student conduct process as accessible as possible for all students. Students unable to participate in person may request arrangements to participate in other ways (including by providing written statements, through telephonic or online means, etc.). Students with disabilities have the right to reasonable accommodation.  Non-native English speakers may request translation services.  Students who require a disability accommodation, language support, who are off campus or otherwise indisposed, or who may have other factors that could impact their ability to participate in the student conduct process should contact SCCS at least 3 days prior to a meeting, conference or hearing at sccs@oregonstate.edu to make a request, which will then be reviewed by SCCS.  SCCS’s ability to meet requests may be limited without enough advance notice. 

 

Conduct Records

Information related to alleged academic misconduct will remain in a student conduct file in accordance with the University’s records-retention policy for a minimum of 7 years.  More information regarding conduct records is available in Section 6.3 of the Code of Student Conduct.

 

Use of Prohibited/Unauthorized Online Resources

OSU has observed a trend of increased availability of websites and businesses online that offer services that are by their nature violations of the Academic Misconduct policy if used by an OSU student. 

It is the responsibility of students to understand the policy and avoid use of any such resources.  

Examples of “services” from such websites/businesses include: paying or rewarding students to upload tests and assignments they completed for OSU classes, offering to complete academic work on student's behalf, including assignments, tests and even classes on behalf of a student for pay, offering unapproved “tutoring” services that perform assistance beyond what is approved or allowable, or offering unapproved test and proctoring services.  Such services are prohibited. 

Some websites represent themselves as legitimate or explicitly state that they help students avoid academic misconduct, but these are often misrepresentations.  Furthermore, college students and international students have been targeted by these websites and have experienced negative impacts including loss of funds, violations of the Academic Misconduct policy, and suspension or expulsion. 

 

Authorized Online Resources

If you have questions or wish to pursue the use of online resources, check with your instructor for each course to ensure you understand what is allowable and authorized for a particular assignment.  Instructors understand that use of online resources can enhance the learning experience and this provides them the opportunity to articulate what is acceptable for their class.