Faculty FAQ

Faculty FAQ

The following is a list of questions that faculty often ask when they suspect a student of academic dishonesty.

1. I suspect that a student has plagiarized. What do I do?
2. Can I simply handle the situation by giving the student a lower or failing grade, without making a formal accusation and going through the process?
3. How do I report an accusation?
4. What happens after I report an accusation?
5. What happens when the student meets with the Department Chair and me?
6. What happens at the meeting with the student and the Associate Dean?
7. What do I have to do if the student appeals?
8. What is a typical penalty for a first offense?
9. What happens to this letter?

I suspect that a student has plagiarized or otherwise committed an an act of academic dishonestly. What do I do?

Instructors are obligated to report academic dishonesty to their Department Chair as soon as they discover it. The Academic Integrity Policy outlines the process for handling suspected cases of academic dishonesty.

It is important that you report your suspicions of academic dishonesty as it provides an opportunity to educate the student regarding appropriate academic behaviour. Students should be held accountable for their actions.Top

Can I simply handle the situation by giving the student a lower or failing grade, without making a formal accusation and going through the process?

No. Students must be afforded due process. Taking matters into your own hands in this way, sends the message to students (as well as faculty and staff) that matters of academic integrity are not taken seriously. In addition, it has the potential to hinder the University’s ability to properly discipline academic misconduct offenders.

How do I report an accusation?

You should contact your Department Chair, within 10 working days to report the suspected academic dishonesty.

What happens after I report an accusation?

After you have contacted your Department Chair, s/he will contact the Registrar to place a hold on the course. This prevents the student from dropping the course while the case of academic dishonesty is being adjudicated.

The Department Chair will then contact the student to arrange a time for the student to meet with you and the Department Chair.Top

What happens at the meeting with the student?

At the meeting the Department Chair shall, explain the purpose of the meeting and inform the student of his/her rights and responsibilities; ask you (the instructor) to outline the specifics of the alleged academic dishonesty and review pertinent documentation and evidence with the student; give the student fair opportunity to provide verbal response and offer any documentation or information in reply to the accusation of academic dishonesty; and, inform the student of his/her discipline recommendation.

Should the Department Chair determine that no grounds for a charge exist, or there is not sufficient evidence with which to proceed, s/he shall inform the student, the Associate Dean and the Registrar within ten (10) working days. No record of the occurrence shall exist.

If the Department Chair determines there is sufficient evidence of academic misconduct, s/he shall inform the student of such and refer the case, within ten (10) working days of the date of the meeting with the student, to the Associate Dean along with any supporting evidence and discipline recommendations from the Department/Centre/Program.Top

What happens when at the meeting with the student and the Associate Dean?

The Associate Dean shall meet with the student to discuss the circumstances of the case, and seek to discover any new information that may be relevant to the situation.

During the meeting, the Associate Dean shall, explain the purpose of the meeting; review the specifics of the alleged academic dishonesty as well as any pertinent documentation and evidence with the student; give the student fair opportunity to provide verbal response and offer any documentation or information in reply to the accusation of academic dishonesty; inform the student of his or her discipline decision at the end of the meeting; and, inform the student of his or her right to appeal the decision.

Should the Associate Dean determine that no grounds for a charge exist, or there is not sufficient evidence with which to proceed, s/he shall inform the student, the Department Chair and the Registrar within ten (10) working days. No record of the occurrence shall exist.Top

What do I have to do if the student appeals?

A student appeals the decision of the Associate Dean; and it is the Associate Dean who attends on behalf of the Faculty. Instructors are normally not part of the appeal process; however, under certain circumstances you made asked to be present at an appeal hearing.Top

What is a typical penalty for a first offense?

The typical penalty for a first offense is a grade of zero on the assignment; and a (sealed) letter of disicpline is placed in the student’s academic file.Top

What happens to this letter?

The sealed letter of discipline remains in the student’s academic file until they graduate, or until three year’s after the student’s last registration; and, is expunged. However, should the student commit a subquent act academic misconduct, the letter is unsealed, and becomes a permanant part of the student’s academic file. The first offense is now considered in any subequent discipline decision for academic misconduct.Top

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"Quote" of the Month

"Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people."

-- Spencer Johnson