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Procedures for Resolving Matters of Alleged Academic Dishonesty

 

The instructor shall permit the student to complete all required academic work and shall evaluate and grade all work except the assignment(s) involved in the accusation of dishonesty. That instructor may, however, take any action reasonably necessary to collect and preserve evidence of the alleged violation and to maintain or restore the integrity of exam or laboratory conditions. Requests for a course withdrawal or delete will not be approved unless it is determined that no violation occurred.

When an instructor believes that an incident of academic dishonesty occurred, s/he should contact the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction will notify the student of the report. A meeting will be scheduled and a Facilitator will be provided for a fair and focused discussion about what may have occurred. The instructor(s) who reported the matter, the student(s) believed to have violated the policy, and the Facilitator are the only participants in a Facilitated Discussion. These Discussions may not be recorded.

The instructor and student may reach an agreement about the matter and, if dishonesty is involved, may determine the appropriate consequence(s). If no resolution is agreed upon, the matter will be forwarded to a Continued Discussion with an Academic Honesty Panel that will determine the outcome of the allegation. A plea of no-contest (i.e., a plea which does not admit guilt but which accepts a particular consequence) is not permitted under this policy.

The meeting with the Academic Honesty Panel is a continuation of the Facilitated Discussion conducted by a Facilitator. The resolution, including consequences when appropriate, is determined by the Panel.

When a Continued Discussion is scheduled, a written notice including a brief description of the alleged dishonesty, shall be delivered to the student, the instructor, and the Facilitator assigned by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. The notice shall state the date, time and place of the meeting.

The notice shall be signed by a person designated by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. The statement shall be delivered by certified U.S. mail to the student and by campus or regular U.S. mail to the instructor and the Facilitator. The notice shall be deemed delivered when mailed, even if the student fails or refuses to sign the return receipt for that notice.

The student(s) and the instructor(s) who reported the matter have the right and responsibility to be present and to speak truthfully at the Continued Discussion. If either the student or the instructor has been notified of the meeting as required by this policy and fails to attend, the Panel may proceed to determine if a violation occurred and if so, establish a consequence.

The instructor(s) who reported the matter, the student(s) believed to have violated the policy, the Facilitator, and the Academic Honesty Panel are the only participants allowed to make statements and ask questions in a Continued Discussion unless the Facilitator determines that the student and/or instructor need assistance due to a disability or language barrier.

The student and instructor may each have one advisor present at the meeting. The advisors may not address the panel or other parties in attendance. In addition, a Continued Discussion will not be scheduled or postponed based on an advisor’s schedule.

A Facilitator assigned by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction shall moderate the Continued Discussion. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction is charged to create “General Guidelines for Academic Honesty Continued Discussions” outlining procedures that ensure fundamental fairness in the process of the meeting and supplement A Culture of Honesty. These procedures will be available by request.

During a Continued Discussion, the instructor who made the accusation has the responsibility to demonstrate to the Academic Honesty Panel that it is more likely than not that the student violated this policy. The Continued Discussion shall be tape recorded by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. The tape recording and other documents presented during the Academic Honesty Panel meeting shall remain the property of the university.

Following the meeting with the instructor and the student, the panelists shall meet in private and render a written decision, including the consequences when the student has been found in violation of the policy. Except for that written decision, no record of these deliberations shall be maintained. If a majority of panelists believe that the instructor has not demonstrated that it is more likely than not that a violation occurred, the student must be found not to have violated this policy. A consequence may be imposed by the Panel only when the majority of the panelists find the instructor has met this responsibility.

Within five (5) days following the completion of the Continued Discussion, a copy of the decision shall be delivered by separate letters to the student, the instructor who reported the accusation, the instructor under whose supervision the academic work in question was performed, and the Facilitator. The decision of the Academic Honesty panel shall be mailed by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction to the student by certified U.S. mail and to the instructor(s) and Facilitator by campus or regular mail. That notice shall be deemed delivered when mailed even if the student fails or refuses to sign the return receipt for that notice.

If it is determined that no violation occurred, the instructor shall enter a final grade for that student determined without consideration of the alleged violation. That grade shall be entered on or before the later of: (a) the date on which grades for that class are required by university policy to be submitted to the Registrar; or (b) 10 days following delivery to that instructor of a notice of that student's final determination of innocence. For this purpose, “final determination” means that agreement is reached between the instructor and student during a Facilitated Discussion that dishonesty did not occur; or that an Academic Honesty Panel concludes that the student did not violate this policy. On final determination, the Office of the Vice President for Instruction shall notify the instructor in order that the appropriate grade may be entered. If on appeal, the student is found not in violation of this policy, notification to the instructor will be sent from the Office of the President.

If an Academic Honesty Panel determines that a subsequent violation occurred or a student acknowledges the subsequent violation during a Facilitated Discussion, the Multiple Violations Review Board will be convened to meet with the student and the Coordinator for Academic Honesty or his/her designee to determine additional consequences for the multiple violations.

When a meeting of the Multiple Violations Review Board is scheduled, a written notice including a brief description of the alleged dishonesty shall be delivered to the student. The notice shall state the date, time and place of the meeting.

The notice shall be signed by a person designated by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. The statement shall be delivered by certified U.S. mail to the student and shall be deemed delivered when mailed even if the student fails or refuses to sign the return receipt for that notice.

The student has the right and responsibility to be present and to speak truthfully at the meeting with the Multiple Violations Review Board. If the student has been notified of the meeting as required by this policy and fails to attend, the Board may proceed to determine the consequence.

The Office of the Vice President for Instruction is charged to create “General Guidelines for Multiple Violations Review Boards” outlining procedures that ensure fundamental fairness in the process of the meeting and supplement A Culture of Honesty. These procedures will be available by request.

The student who violated the policy more than once, the Coordinator for Academic Honesty, and the Multiple Violations Review Board members are the only participants allowed to make statements and ask questions during the meeting unless it is determined that the student needs assistance due to a disability or language barrier.

The student may have one advisor present at the meeting. The advisor may not address the Board. In addition, a Multiple Violations Review Board Meeting will not be scheduled or postponed based on an advisor’s schedule.

The meeting shall be tape recorded by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. The tape recording and other documents presented during the meeting shall remain the property of the university.

Following the meeting with the student, the Board shall meet in private and determine the consequences for the multiple violations. Except for that written decision, no record of these deliberations shall be maintained.

Within five (5) days following the meeting with the Multiple Violations Review Board, a copy of the decision shall be delivered by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction to the student by certified U.S. mail. That notice shall be deemed delivered when mailed even if the student fails or refuses to sign the return receipt for that notice.

The instructor may not appeal any decision of an Academic Honesty Panel or the Multiple Violations Review Board. A student who has been suspended or expelled from the university or whose degree has been revoked may appeal the decision and consequence to the President of the university (or his/her designee). These appeals are a matter of right as provided in Board of Regents Policy. A student who receives a lesser consequence may petition the Office of the President for a review of the matter. A review by the President in such cases is not a matter of right, but is within the discretion of the President. Board of Regents policy requires a final decision of the President on discretionary appeals prior to any petition to the Board. A student who is found to have violated this policy may only appeal the finding based on one or more of the following grounds: 1) a reasonable Academic Honesty Panel could not have found that the instructor met the responsibility to demonstrate a violation occurred based on what appears in the record; 2) the consequences imposed were unreasonably harsh; 3) the student was denied a right under this policy and the denial materially affected the decision; or 4) new or additional evidence has been found since the Continued Discussion or the Multiple Violations Review Board meeting. The appeal or petition for review to the president must be written by and signed by the student and must state the grounds and argument of the appeal. It must be delivered to the Office of the President of the university within five (5) days following the date of delivery to the student of the final decision by the Academic Honesty Panel or the Multiple Violations Review Board. The decision of the president of the university shall be rendered in accordance with Board of Regents policies and mailed to both the student and the instructor who reported the violation. That decision must be written and include the reason for the decision. Any final decision of the university president may be appealed only in the manner provided by the policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Flowchart

Facilitated Discussion Model Flow Chart