academicintegrity

PART E: DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES - ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

This policy was adopted by the Central Connecticut State University Faculty Senate on May 10, 2010, amended on February 14, 2011, and amended on December 5, 2011

The following procedure guides instructors in addressing allegations of academic misconduct for all students of Central Connecticut State University. Academic misconduct is defined in the Student Code of Conduct and spelled out at www.ccsu.edu/AcademicIntegrity. Instructors and students should be aware of this definition; instructors should consult it as a guide for addressing academic dishonesty in their classes. This procedure must be established by the Senate, in agreement with the President.

The basic principle of this procedure is that instructors have oversight over academic penalties. In cases involving multiple acts of misconduct, and/or which involve both academic and non-academic misconduct, only the academic portion shall be handled according to the disciplinary procedures for academic misconduct described below. The non-academic portion shall be handled through the Office of Student Conduct which may precede any academic disciplinary action.

    1. Instructor’s Role and Responsibilities:

      a. Instructors are encouraged to inform their students of course-specific requirements and the penalties the Instructor may impose for academic misconduct as informed by their professional judgment. Instructors should also refer students to the definition of academic misconduct in the Student Code of Conduct and at www.ccsu.edu/academicintegrity.

      b. Incidents of academic misconduct can range in severity from minor violations to major violations. Instructors determine sanctions according to their professional judgment as to the severity of the misconduct. The academic sanction should be commensurate with the severity of the misconduct (see Guide for Evaluating Academic Misconduct). These sanctions may include one or more of the following: a reduced grade for the assignment in question, the opportunity to revise the assignment or complete additional course work, a grade of F for the assignment in question, a grade of F for the course. Instructors may recommend that a Faculty Hearing Board consider disciplinary sanctions.

      c. Upon the well-founded suspicion that an act of academic misconduct has occurred, the Instructor shall attempt to notify the student of the alleged misconduct and sanction to be applied. Often, instructors may wish to handle minor violations informally, according to their discretion, especially when there is no sanction beyond revising an assignment. Instructors may refer students to The Learning Center to attend an Academic Integrity Workshop.

      d. Whenever an Instructor has reasonable evidence that a student has engaged in academic misconduct, she or he should complete an Academic Misconduct Report. In cases for which the Instructor intends to assign a grade of F for the course due to academic misconduct, or in which the course grade is dramatically affected, it is imperative that she or he file an Academic Misconduct Report. One copy of the Academic Misconduct Report shall be sent to the Department Chair, one copy shall be sent to the Office of Student Conduct, and another copy should be maintained by the Instructor.

      e. If, based on an appeal from the Accused Student (see item 2b), the Department Chair or the Faculty Hearing Board determines that the Instructor did not provide sufficient evidence to support the alleged misconduct, then the Instructor should assign a grade based on the quality of the work as originally submitted.


    2. Student Rights and Responsibilities:

      a. It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and to avoid all forms of cheating and plagiarism as directed by their individual instructors.

      b. If a student can demonstrate that she or he has been unjustly accused of academic misconduct, she or he has the right to appeal the allegation to the Chair of the Department in which the alleged misconduct occurred. The appeal to the Department Chair must be made using the Academic Misconduct Student Appeal Form within seven (7) University calendar days of receipt of the Instructor's written decision and should include substantial evidence supporting the student’s innocence or suggesting that the Instructor’s standard was applied unfairly. The Department Chair shall respond to the student’s appeal in writing within ten (10) University Calendar Days of its receipt and meet with the student during a mutually convenient time. The Department Chair shall also forward a copy of the Appeal Form with an indication of his or her ruling to the Office of Student Conduct.

      c. If upon receipt of the ruling by the Department Chair the Accused Student still believes she or he has been unjustly accused, she or he may contact the Office of Student Conduct within seven (7) University calendar days to request a hearing of the Faculty Hearing Board.

      d. If, after hearings with both the Department Chair and the Faculty Hearing Board, the Accused Student believes that the Instructor’s academic sanction (e.g., reduced grade or failing grade) is unjust, she or he should follow the university’s Grade Appeals Process.

      e. A Student who has been notified that he or she has been accused of academic misconduct shall not be permitted to withdraw from the course in which the alleged misconduct has occurred without the approval of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.


    3. Complaint by Person other than Student's Instructor:
    Any member of the University Community may file a complaint against a Student alleging academic misconduct. A complaint made by a person other than the Student's instructor must be made in writing and submitted to the instructor as soon as possible after the occurrence of the alleged violation, but not later than ten (10) calendar days following the occurrence of the alleged violation. The Instructor would then follow procedures as outlined in this policy. Alleged violations also may be reported anonymously to the Office of Student Conduct, but must include enough evidence to warrant follow up by an Office of Student Conduct representative.


    4. Office of Student Conduct’s Role:

      a. The Office of Student Conduct will be responsible for retaining all records of reported cases of academic misconduct. Upon receipt of the Academic Misconduct Report, the Office of Student Conduct will review the case to determine if (a) the Student has any previously reported cases of academic misconduct, and/or (b) if the Instructor recommends any disciplinary sanction. The Office of Student Conduct will determine if the matter can be disposed of administratively by mutual consent of the Accused Student and the Instructor or if a Faculty Hearing Board shall be convened (per item 5a) and the Director or his/her representative will preside over such hearings.

      b. The Office of Student Conduct will notify students if they are required to attend an Academic Integrity Workshop and will keep records of their completion. The Office of Student Conduct will inform the Instructor if the Student has any prior incidents of academic misconduct wnad will notify the Instructor of any disciplinary action taken.


    5. Faculty Hearing Board’s Role and Responsibilities:

      a. The Faculty Hearing Board shall be responsible for determining whether the Instructor has provided sufficient evidence to support the allegation of academic misconduct against the Accused Student and/or to impose additional disciplinary sanctions. The Faculty Hearing Board shall be convened by the Director of the Office of Student Conduct in cases where (i) the student can demonstrate evidence that she or he has been unjustly accused of academic misconduct, (ii) the student has any prior cases of academic misconduct, and/or (iii) the Instructor recommends disciplinary sanctions.

      b. An Office of Student Conduct  representative shall act as convener of the board and will preside over the hearing, but will be a non-voting member.

      c. The Faculty Hearing Board shall be composed of three (3) tenured faculty members. One member of the Faculty Hearing Board will represent the department in which the alleged misconduct occurred. The faculty members will be selected by the Office of Student Conduct from a pool composed of designated appointees from each department. Each faculty member in the pool would serve a term of one year and would serve on no more than one hearing per year. If a department representative has already served on a hearing or cannot serve due to conflict of interest, an alternate may be designated by the department.

      d. The Accused Student may request that a substitute faculty member be appointed if the student can demonstrate that the appointed faculty member may be unable to render an objective judgment.


    6. Hearing Procedures:
    The hearing procedures governing allegations of academic misconduct shall be as follows:

      a. Notice of Hearing: Normally, a hearing will be conducted within fourteen (14) University calendar days of the receipt by the Office of Student Conduct of an Instructor's request that further disciplinary action be considered and/or an Accused Student’s request for a hearing. The notice of hearing shall advise the Accused Student of the specific allegation(s) of academic misconduct. The Accused Student shall be afforded a reasonable period of time to prepare for the hearing, which shall not be less than three (3) University calendar days.

      b. Hearing: Hearings shall be closed, but the Faculty Hearing Board may, at its discretion, admit any person into the hearing room. The hearing board shall have the authority to discharge or to remove any person whose presence is deemed unnecessary or obstructive to the proceedings. The Accused Student and the Instructor shall have the right to be present at all stages of the hearing process except during the private deliberations of the hearing board.

      c. Record of Hearing: The University shall make a recording of the hearing. The recording shall be the property of the University. No other recordings shall be made by any person during the hearing. Upon request, the Accused Student may review the recording in a designated University office in order to prepare for an appeal of the decision rendered by the Faculty Hearing Board. Further disclosure of the recording shall be governed by applicable state and federal law.

      d. Opportunity to Present Positions to the Board: Both the Instructor and the Accused Student shall have the opportunity to fully present their positions to the Faculty Hearing Board, including the opportunity to present the testimony of witnesses and documents in support of their positions.

      e. Support Persons: During the hearing, the Accused Student shall have the right to be accompanied by a support person who may observe but not participate in the hearing. A support person should be a person whose schedule allows attendance at the scheduled date and time for the hearing because delays will not normally be allowed due to the scheduling conflicts of a support person.

      f. Written Notice of Decision: Within ten (10) University Calendar Days of the hearing, the Accused Student and the Instructor shall receive written notice of the Faculty Hearing Board’s decision, which will indicate if the allegation of academic misconduct was deemed to be Substantiated or Not Substantiated. The notice shall also set forth any disciplinary sanctions imposed by the board. The decision of the Faculty Hearing Board, as well as the disciplinary sanction(s) imposed, if any, generally will not be released to third parties without the prior written consent of the Accused Student. However, certain information may be released if and to the extent authorized by state or federal law.


    7. Disciplinary Sanctions:

    Upon determination by the Office of Student Conduct that the Accused Student has no prior record of academic misconduct, the Student will be required to attend an Academic Integrity Workshop provided by the Learning Center. If the Accused Student has a prior record of academic misconduct or has engaged in a severe act of misconduct, she or he may face disciplinary sanctions as determined the Faculty Hearing Board. The Faculty Hearing Board may impose one or more of the following disciplinary sanctions: disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university.


    8. Appeal of the Faculty Hearing Board Ruling:

      a. The decision rendered by the Faculty Hearing Board may be appealed by the Accused Student to the Provost/ Vice President of Academic Affairs, who shall review the record of the hearing, including any and all documents presented to the Faculty Hearing Board. An appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs within seven (7) University calendar days of receipt of the Faculty Hearing Board’s written decision.

      b. An appeal may be brought on three grounds: (a) a claim that error in the hearing procedure substantially affected the decision; (b) a claim that new evidence or information material to the case was not known at the time of the hearing; and/ or (c) a claim that the disciplinary sanction is incommensurate with the severity of misconduct. The Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs shall have the right to deny an appeal not brought on proper grounds.

      c. The decision rendered by the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs shall be final and there shall be no further right of appeal.


    9. Annual Reporting:
    At the end of each year, the Office of Student Conduct shall notify the Academic Integrity Committee of the total number of academic misconduct cases reported for the year, including the number of appeals, and the number and type of disciplinary sanctions recommended by the Faculty Hearing Board. No individual case decisions or outcomes will be identified in this report. Where necessary, the report will aggregate data over several years in order to maintain confidentiality. The Academic Integrity Committee will include this information in its annual report to the Senate.