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Resources for Students

Frequently Asked Questions (by LSA Students)

1. I have been notified by the Office of the Assistant Dean that I may have violated the LSA Community Standards for Academic Integrity and that I am to call to schedule a meeting. What does this mean?

It means that one or more of your instructors has reported a complaint of academic misconduct to the Office of the Assistant Dean. The Assistant Dean’s Office will contact you and any other student named in the complaint. Students meet individually with the Assistant Dean or designee to discuss both the adjudication process and the complaint so that the Assistant Dean can reach a decision about your responsibility for the alleged academic misconduct or continue with further investigation before reaching a decision. You should expect to answer questions from the Assistant Dean about your knowledge of the complaint. The meeting between you and the Assistant Dean usually will include a representative of the LSA Student Honor Council.

2. Is the process for handling complaints of academic misconduct a confidential one?

Yes. The Office of the Assistant Dean is committed to maintaining the confidentiality of all judicial processes in LSA.

3. What are my rights if I have been accused of academic misconduct?

Most fundamentally, each student is presumed innocent of an alleged violation of the LSA Community Standards of Academic Integrity unless the student has accepted responsibility for the alleged misconduct or until the student has been found responsible by the Assistant Dean after a complaint has been reported to the Assistant Dean’s Office and the case has been adjudicated. Presumption of innocence means a fair and judicious process for determining responsibility.

You have a right to know the nature of the charge and a right to a copy of any evidence used in alleging a violation of the LSA Community Standards of Academic Integrity. You also have a right to have the case adjudicated by the Office of the Assistant Dean and a right to submit an appeal of the Assistant Dean’s decision to the LSA Academic Judiciary Committee.

4. What if I had no intention of violating the LSA Community Standards of Academic Integrity?

An unintentional as well as an intentional action can constitute a violation and be judged an instance of academic misconduct. Incidents of academic misconduct may result not only from willfully violating the LSA Community Standards of Academic Integrity, but from such things, for example, as academic carelessness or sloppiness, including “accidents” and “mistakes”; ignorance of LSA or class policies, rules, or regulations; or experience with a different educational system. If a reasonable person in your situation should have been aware that the action was a violation of academic integrity, then you will be found responsible for the alleged academic misconduct.

5. How likely is it that if I am found responsible for a first offense of academic misconduct I will be sanctioned with suspension from the College?

It CAN happen, but it usually does not. In finding a student responsible for a first offense of academic misconduct, the Assistant Dean usually imposes a lesser sanction or sanctions. A student might be sanctioned, for example, with a specified period of disciplinary probation with a notation to that effect on the student’s transcript and a specified number of hours of approved community service. (The notation of disciplinary probation is expunged from the transcript at the end of the probation period.) The entire judicial process is always intended to be educational and the sanction the Assistant Dean imposes is intended to be appropriate to the seriousness of the violation.

6. Should I expect automatically to fail the course if I have admitted to or been found responsible for academic misconduct?

No, but the decision about a particular assignment and/or course grade is completely within the discretion of the course instructor. Most instructors whose policy is automatically to fail the student on both the assignment and in the course will have a written statement to that effect on their course syllabus.