Information for Faculty who are Aware of an Academic Integrity Violation
Do I Need to Talk to Anyone Before I Bring a Charge?
You are not required to meet with or talk with anyone before bringing an Academic Integrity charge. You may, however, choose to meet with the student(s) involved. The purposes of this meeting could include (a) confronting the student about suspected behavior, (b) obtaining more information about the situation, or (c) informing the student that you are filing a charge. You also have the option of meeting with the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council for advice about whether a particular situation constitutes a violation, about how to compose a charge letter, or about whether you have sufficient evidence to bring a charge. You can also seek the advice of your department chair or any member of the Academic Integrity Council on these matters. While you may discuss a case in general terms, it is your responsibility to protect the identity of the student(s) involved. If you seek the advice of your department chair or another faculty member, do not reveal a student's name or any information that would reveal the identity of the student suspected of a violation.
Do I Put Myself at Risk by Reporting a Charge?
No. Colleges' established procedures for dealing with Academic Integrity violations are respected by the courts. Faculty members who follow these procedures do not put themselves at risk. However, for example, if a faculty member does not report a violation, but instead imposes a penalty apart from a hearing, the faculty member risks liability for failing to follow our own procedures. If you have any questions about this, please talk to the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council.
How Much Time do I Have to File to a Charge?
You have 48 hours-excluding weekends, holidays, and other breaks in the calendar-from the time you determine that a violation has occurred to report the violation in writing to the Chair of the Academic Integrity Council. Note that the 48 hours does not begin from when you first suspect that violation might have occurred, but rather from the time that you have determined that you have sufficient evidence to support a charge.
It's the End of the Semester and Grades are Due. Should I Report a Grade?
If the deadline for grades is approaching and you suspect a student of a violation (or you have filed a charge and the hearing has not yet taken place), you should report a grade of "NG" (No Grade).
What Should a Charge Letter Include?
There is no set format for a charge letter. The following items should, however, be included in your letter:
- A clear statement of the charge being brought (see p. 2 of the AI Handbook for a list of violations);
- The name(s) of the student(s) being charged;
- The course in which the violation occurred;
- A course syllabus and relevant assignment sheet;
- An explanation of the evidence that supports the charge.
In plagiarism cases, please make sure to include with your charge letter the student's work and the sources from which you believe material was plagiarized. It is especially helpful if the correspondences between these two are clearly marked in some fashion (e.g., with highlighting or underline along with matching letters or numbers). If you use Turnitin, feel free to submit that report as well, although please realize that this report cannot substitute for the the student's work or the source documents.
Revised July 29,2011