|University of Arkansas at Little Rock|
|Policy Name: Academic Integrity and Grievance|
|Policy Number: 501.13|
|Effective Date: August 1, 2018
Revised Dates: August 1, 2018; November 19, 1993; April 1, 1989; April 3, 1985; February 12, 1981; March 21, 1979
Most Recent Review Date: January 19, 2018 (Faculty Senate)
Academic Integrity and Discipline
The university has developed certain regulations to make possible an orderly academic environment where all members of the community have the freedom to develop to the fullest extent. Academic dishonesty cannot be condoned or tolerated in the university community. Such behavior is considered a student conduct violation, and students found guilty of committing an academic offense on the campus, or in connection with an institution-oriented or sponsored activity, or while representing the university or academic department, will be disciplined by the university.
Students may not gain undue advantage over their classmates by deceptive or dishonest means. Throughout their education students should be impressed with the facts that cheating, duplicity, unauthorized reproduction of classroom materials, and plagiarism are morally degrading and that such practices seriously interfere with learning and intellectual development. It is a responsibility of instructors to make every effort to prevent dishonesty, protect honest students, and take appropriate action in instances of dishonesty. It is the responsibility of the student not only to abstain from cheating, but in addition, to avoid the appearance of cheating and to guard against making it possible for others to cheat. Courtesy and honesty require that any ideas or materials borrowed from another must be fully acknowledged. It is the obligation of each student to report all alleged violations of academic integrity to the instructor, as well as the responsibility of all instructors to report all alleged violations of academic integrity to the Office of the Dean of Students.
Students may not reproduce, in whole or in part, classroom lectures or study materials presented by a professor without specific approval in advance by the professor. Publication of any such material shall only be with the express consent of the professor.
The determination that a student’s work was the result of dishonest action can be considered in the instructor’s evaluation of that work and in the determination of the course grade. In addition, disciplinary action will be taken by the appropriate university official (representative from the Office of the Dean of Students) or by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
Definition of Academic Offenses
The following list identifies categories of offenses that are subject to grade penalty and disciplinary action. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
- Cheating on an examination or quiz: To give or receive, to offer or solicit information on any quiz or examination. This includes the following classes of dishonesty: (a) copying from another student’s paper; (b) use during the examination of prepared materials, notes, or text other than those specifically permitted by the professor; (c) collaboration with another student during the examination; (d) buying, selling, stealing, soliciting, or transmitting an examination, or any material purported to be the unreleased content of a coming examination, or the use of such material; (e) substituting for another person during an examination or allowing such substitution for oneself; (f) bribery of any person to obtain examination information.
- Plagiarism: To adopt and reproduce as one’s own, to appropriate to one’s own use and incorporate in one’s own work without acknowledgment, the ideas of others or passages from their writings and works.
- Collusion: To obtain from another party, without specific approval in advance by the professor, assistance in the production of work offered for credit to the extent that the work reflects the ideas or skills of the party consulted rather than those of the person in whose name the work is submitted.
- Duplicity: To offer for credit identical or substantially unchanged work in two or more courses, without specific advance approval of the professors involved.
Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
This committee is a Faculty Senate committee. To see its makeup and purpose, see the Constitution of the University Assembly of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Article III. It provides the members of hearing panels. The AIGC shall follow these procedures for conducting academic offense hearings. The procedures shall be distributed to all members of the committee by the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. Reasonable deviations from the time frame or procedures will not invalidate a decision unless the deviations cause significant prejudice to the student.
There are two types of procedures: one for students enrolled in a course and one for students who are not enrolled in a course. In either case, students are encouraged to consult the Student Rights and Privileges Regarding Academic Offenses.
Steps toward Redress for Academic Offenses
Academic Dishonesty Procedures for Students Enrolled in a Course
These procedures are applicable when a student is enrolled in a course, and an instructor suspects the student of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or similar activity, and when the suspicion is supported by substantial facts or evidence.
The instructor is responsible for notifying the student in writing of the specific allegations within five class days of identifying the offense (using the Allegation of Academic Offense Form), delivering this form by mail, by email, or in person; also, the instructor is responsible for retaining a copy of the form, and for forwarding one copy each to the relevant department chairperson and to Office of the Dean of Students.
Upon receipt of the notice form, the student is responsible for contacting the instructor for the purpose of arranging a conference; both parties are then responsible for cooperating as necessary to conduct the conference within five class days of the student’s receipt of the notice. The purposes of this conference are:
- to ensure that the student is aware and understands the specific violation and the substantiating evidence; and,
- to ensure that the student has ample opportunity to present to the instructor his or her position and explanation.
If the student admits to academic misconduct or the instructor still believes a violation occurred, a grade penalty can be imposed. Regardless of the outcome of this conference, the instructor is responsible for immediately notifying the Office of the Dean of Students of the results.
If the instructor and student reach agreement that the student is responsible for the violation, a grade penalty may not be imposed until and unless the student has failed to file a formal appeal by the official deadline for filing, or has signed an informed-decision waiver of the right to appeal, after conference with the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students. If no formal appeal or waiver has been filed by the student at the expiration time of the allowable period, the instructor may immediately impose a grade penalty.
A grade penalty may be imposed only by the instructor. It is recommended that if a student is found to be responsible for the violation, the instructor will consider the individual circumstances, nature or severity of the offense, similar class violations, etc., before assessing the grade penalty. Grade penalties for consideration for academic offenses are:
- a grade of F in the course,
- a grade of F on the examination, project, etc. ,
- a grade adjustment,
- no credit for material presented.
If the conference’s outcome is that the instructor continues to believe with objective cause that the student is responsible of an academic offense, and yet the student maintains a position that they are not responsible, then grade penalty may not be imposed until one of the two following conditions has been met:
- Either 10 class days have passed since the student’s receipt of the Allegation Form, and no official appeal or waiver of rights to a hearing (Disciplinary Alternative Form) has been filed by the student; or
- The student has filed an appeal within the prescribed 10 class days, and has pursued the university’s judicial appeals procedures to the maximum possible extent desired, and has been ultimately determined through and by those means to be responsible of the offense.
The student shall schedule a meeting with the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students after meeting with the instructor. Subsequently both the student and the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students are responsible for cooperating as necessary to conduct the conference no later than five class days from the date the student met with the instructor.
The purposes of this conference will differ, as will responsibilities pertinent to it, depending upon whether the student acknowledges responsibility regarding the academic offense. Therefore, two categories follow:
- In a case wherein the student has acknowledged responsibility for the academic offense to the instructor and also maintains that position after conference with the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students, and the offense warrants a severe penalty such as expulsion or suspension, the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students will, within three class days, refer the case to Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee. If the offense does not warrant a severe penalty such as suspension or expulsion, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will elect one of two options:
- the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, with agreement of the student, may opt to directly impose disciplinary sanction, provided due process conditions have been met in the student’s interest; or
- the case may be referred to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee for disposition.
- In a case wherein the outcome of the instructor/student conference is that the student does not acknowledge responsibility for the academic offense, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will review the following information with the student: the specific violation and evidence, student’s rights and privileges, appeal procedures, operating policies of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, disciplinary proceedings, etc.
After this review, if the student changes their position and acknowledges responsibility, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will immediately notify the instructor and the relevant department chairperson.
If the student continues to maintain their position that they are not responsible for the violation, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will offer to assist the student in writing a statement of appeal; this formal written statement of appeal, when it is delivered to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee, constitutes the student’s initiation of the university’s judicial appeals procedures. The student is responsible for delivering the appeal statement to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson or designee. This delivery must take place no later than 10 class days from the date of the student’s initial receipt of the Allegation Form.
Regardless of the outcome of the conference between the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students and the student, the representative of the Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for immediately notifying its results to the instructor and to the relevant department chairperson.
The student’s conferences with the instructor and with the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students are mandatory steps prerequisite to the filing of an official appeal. The intent of this guideline is to ensure that all reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the outcome of the academic offense allegation before the matter is brought to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
The Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee chairperson or designee is responsible for immediately notifying the following persons, upon receipt of a student’s appeal in regard to allegation of academic offense: the relevant instructor, the department chairperson, and the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students.
The student has the right to attend classes until the appeal is resolved. The student may not withdraw from a course while an allegation of academic dishonesty in that course is being considered. If the student withdraws from a course after receiving notification of an allegation of academic dishonesty, the student will be reinstated, pending final adjudication of the allegation.
At the conclusion of the consideration process:
- If academic dishonesty is found and a grade of “F” in the course is assigned, then the failing grade will be recorded and remain on the student’s transcript.
- If academic dishonesty is found and a penalty less than a grade of “F” for the course is assigned, then the student may continue in the course or withdraw from the course at that time as long as it is before the final withdrawal date indicated in the academic calendar.
- If academic dishonesty is not found, the student may continue in the course or withdraw from the course at that time.
- If academic dishonesty is not found, and the student was prevented from withdrawing from the course because the deadline passed during the consultation and appeal process, the student is eligible for the same opportunity to withdraw from the course they would have had at the time they were accused including any refund of tuition.
If the consideration process is not completed before the end of a semester, a temporary grade not affecting the student’s GPA will be submitted until the adjudication process is completed. The student may re-take a course in which a grade of “F” is assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty. However, in such cases, the original grade of “F” will not be replaced but instead be included in the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA along with the subsequent grade received.
Academic Dishonesty Procedures for Students Not Enrolled in a Course and Students Representing an Academic Department or the University in a University-Oriented or Sponsored Activity On or Off Campus
When an instructor on his or her knowledge or on information given by a student believes that a student has behaved dishonestly, he or she should immediately notify the Office of the Dean of Students of the suspicion of cheating, plagiarism, collusion, or the like. On receiving the notification of the alleged academic violation, the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students shall investigate, consult the involved instructor(s), and summon the student(s) for a conference within five class days. No action shall be taken until the student has been informed of the violation, has been given an opportunity to present his or her defense, and has been notified of his or her right to appeal the case or have a hearing before the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee. In a case of academic dishonesty in which the student admits responsibility and the offense does not warrant suspension or a severe sanction, the matter may be handled by the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, and a lesser disciplinary action (sanction) imposed.
In such cases, the fundamentals of due process shall be followed. This administrative route may be taken when all of the following hold:
- responsibility is admitted by the student(s) involved;
- accused student(s) request this administrative route;
- the student is made aware of the disciplinary action that will be imposed; and
- the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students can deal with the case objectively.
In a case of academic dishonesty where the student may be suspended, a severe sanction is warranted, or the student maintains that he or she is not responsible for the violation, the case will be referred within five class days to the chairperson of the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee.
Procedures for Academic Offenses Referred to the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
- The chairperson or designee, on receiving a written appeal or referral from the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, will convene a hearing panel within 15 class days to consider whether the student is responsible for the violation and when necessary, the appropriate disciplinary action (sanction).
- The student and the instructor will be notified in writing at least 10 class days before the date set for the hearing of the nature of the complaint and of the date, time, and place the case is to be heard. They shall also be notified that, should either party choose not to appear, the hearing will proceed as scheduled. For the purpose of this section, the day after the date of mailing of the letter of notification shall be the first day of the 10-day delay period. The committee shall, when possible hear the case within 15 class days of the time the appeal or referral was filed. The determination of the date, time and place of the hearing will include consideration of the student’s and instructor’s schedules and of their convenience, but in the interest of fairness, reasonable speed shall be the watchword.
- The student and the instructor will be notified that each can bring witnesses in his or her behalf, that each will have a reasonable opportunity for confronting witnesses appearing against him or her, that each has the right to be present during all phases of the hearing, and that each may bring to the hearing two non-participating representatives.
- At least five class days before the committee is convened, the student and the instructor must submit to the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students all the information that each feels is pertinent to the appeal or referral. This information must be in writing and supported in detail, and it should specify what additional evidence, witnesses and/or legal counsel the student or instructor will bring to the scheduled meeting. Copies of this information will be distributed to all involved parties.
- Legal counsel is permitted at academic offense hearings. Legal counsel serves in a non-participatory capacity and is restricted to the role of advisor.
- A hearing panel will be selected from the AIGC to consider the appeal. A panel chair will be chosen from among the faculty members present at the hearing panel. A panel to hear appeals for academic offenses consists of the chairperson and three members; of this number, one must be a faculty member and one must be a voting student member. A representative from the Office of the Dean of Students may also attend the hearing. The Faculty Senate/Assembly president and the Student Government Association president or the Graduate Student Association president may appoint temporary committee members during the summer months to hear cases in an emergency and only after the associate vice chancellor has made all attempts to contact committee members and alternates.
- The only persons present at meetings of this committee shall be members, the student, the instructor, designated observers, nonparticipating representatives, and witnesses actually testifying before the committee. With prior notice to the hearing panel, any of the parties involved in the hearing, the student, the instructor, or witnesses, may appear via synchronous technology rather than in person. All proceedings shall be recorded.
- Written statements by witnesses in lieu of personal appearance should not be allowed except in rare instances.
- During the process of making a determination of responsibility for the alleged violation or in determining the appropriate disciplinary action (sanction), the hearing panel shall consider only that information which (a) has been presented during the hearing and (b) is relevant to the alleged violation.
- A decision shall be reached by a majority of the panel members.
- If the hearing panel finds the student is responsible for the violation, the instructor will determine the appropriate grade penalty based on a recommendation from the panel, and the panel will determine the appropriate disciplinary sanction. In such case, the panel chair may request the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students to open the student’s file to see if there is a prior disciplinary record. If the panel finds the student is not responsible for the violation, the instructor will treat the student accordingly; in any case, no disciplinary sanction or grade penalty shall be imposed until the appeal deadline has expired. The administrative officer will maintain all records during the appeal delay period and on the expiration date will forward all records to the Office of the Dean of Students for filing and appropriate administrative action and notify the instructor to impose the penalty.
- The administrative officer shall notify in writing and deliver within five class days of the hearing to the appropriate persons (the student, the instructor, and the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students) the decision and determination of the case, the disciplinary sanction imposed, and the right of the student, the instructor, or the representative from the Office of the Dean of Students to petition for appeal. The Appeal Procedures and Instructions shall accompany the letter. A grade penalty cannot be appealed.
- If the disciplinary sanction imposed was suspension or expulsion, the administrative officer shall notify the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and the Chancellor in writing of the hearing panel’s decision and the determination of the case, reasons for the decision, sanction imposed, and verify that all involved parties have been notified of their right to petition for appeal in accordance with the University’s Procedures and Instructions.
Sanctions Imposed by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee
Sanctions which may be imposed by the Academic Integrity and Grievance Committee for academic offenses include but are not limited to the following:
- Administrative Class Withdrawal
- Counseling Disciplinary Probation
- Disciplinary Warning
Descriptions of sanctions are found in the Student Handbook
Administration of Conduct Records
Academic records and conduct records are kept separate to minimize the risk of improper disclosure. Disciplinary suspension shall not result in a notation on a student’s permanent record. Temporary notice that a student is on suspension and ineligible to return to the university until a certain date shall be attached to the student’s official record, i.e. transcript, on the ledger in the Registrar’s Office, and in the student’s personnel file in the Office of the Dean of Students. This action shall be taken to notify other schools or prospective employers that the student is not presently in good standing with the university. Once the student has reestablished his or her eligibility to return to the university, the temporary note shall be removed.
Conduct record information is released only in these circumstances: (1) receipt of written release from the student; (2) demonstrated need to know on the part of university personnel; or (3) receipt of a court order from legal authorities.
Student Rights and Privileges Regarding Academic Offenses
The student has the right to the following:
- Receive a written charge statement to include the nature and the specific charge(s) at least 10 class days before the hearing.
- Be present at the hearing and have an opportunity to speak in own defense and to present evidence.
- Receive names of witnesses and persons testifying against him or her.
- Present witnesses, question university witnesses and persons testifying against him or her, and to review statements submitted.
- Have an opportunity to review the information to be submitted at the hearing in advance to prepare a defense.
- Present a version of the facts through personal and written statements including statements of witnesses or persons testifying.
- Appear alone at the hearing or bring two non-participating representatives of his or her choice (faculty, staff, student, legal counsel, etc.) to advise the student but not to question. The committee may retain university legal counsel to furnish advice in such cases.
- Have a determination of the facts of the case based solely on information at the hearing by the authority that holds the hearing.
- Be informed in writing of the findings and the determination of the case, and the reason(s) for the decision and any sanctions imposed.
- Receive a copy of the summary of the hearing and have a copy of the hearing tape made at his or her own expense.
Source: UA Little Rock Faculty Senate, January 19, 2018 Minutes
Custodian: Faculty Senate
Originator: Faculty Senate
Approved By: Andrew Rogerson, Chancellor, August 1, 2018