Resolving Academic Honesty Issues Process & Consequences
An instructor has the responsibilty to report possible violations of the Academic Honesty Policy to the Office of Academic Honesty. Once a report has been filed that a student may have violated the academic honesty policy, procedures under the academic honesty policy are used to determine whether a violation has occurred.
Requests for course withdrawal or deletion will not be approved until it is determined no violation occurred. If a violation is found to have occurred, course withdrawal or deletion requires the permission of the instructor.
The instructor must let the student complete all required assignments and grade all other work except the assignment(s) involved in alleged academic dishonesty. The instructor may take reasonable steps to collect and preserve evidence of the suspected violation, and to maintain or restore course integrity.
The student should continue attending class and turning in all other assignments. Student(s) and instructor(s) should not discuss the assignment(s) involved in the alleged violation without the presence of a facilitator.
The bottom line:
- Instructors aren’t allowed to talk to you about this outside of the Office of Academic Honesty
- Withdrawing from the course will not make this “go away”
- Students should plan to continue attending class and turning in all assignments
Process for a Facilitated Discussion When an instructor believes an incident of academic dishonesty has occurred, the instructor should report the allegation to the Office of Academic Honesty, and the accused student will be notified. A meeting will be scheduled with a Facilitator to provide an educational, fair, and focused discussion of what may have occurred. The only parties present are the instructor(s), student(s), and Facilitator. The discussion may not be recorded.
If the instructor and student agree that academic dishonesty occurred, they can work together to determine consequences. If they cannot agree, the next step is a Continued Discussion with an Academic Honesty Panel to determine an outcome.
The bottom line: This is a mediated discussion with your instructor about what happened on the assignment in question.
Possible Consequences after a Facilitated Discussion If a student agrees that a violation occurred, the parties can discuss and agree upon appropriate consequences or sanctions. The sanctions should be educational for the student that violated the policy, but fair to the students that completed the work honestly.
Students that agree to acknowledge a violation may be eligible for the university’s remediation program. Students are only eligible for the remediation program if they are enrolled undergraduate students, have no prior violations, and they acknowledge a violation during in the Facilitated Discussion.
Students who acknowledge a violation may lose the right to withdraw from the course. At the instructor’s discretion, a student may be required to remain in the course. If the student later attempts withdrawal, the withdrawal will be revoked by the Office of Academic Honesty. Any instructor who agrees to allow a student to retain their withdrawal eligibility must expressly state so in the Facilitated Discussion agreement.
The bottom line: Consequences can vary widely based on the type and severity of the violation. You may want to check here to see what previous consequences have been agreed to.
The Student’s Right to Rescind A student has the right to withdraw from any agreement reached in the Facilitated Discussion for up to five (5) days after the agreement is reached. If the student rescinds the agreement, an Academic Honesty Panel will meet to determine if a violation took place and assign sanctions in cases where a violation has occurred.
The bottom line: Students have 5 days to decide whether or not to keep any agreement. If the student changes their mind, the case will move to a Continued Discussion.
Process for a Continued Discussion The meeting with the Academic Honesty Panel is a continuation of the Facilitated Discussion where the outcome of the alleged violation and potential consequences are decided by the panel.
When a Continued Discussion is scheduled, a notice with the date, time and place of the meeting is sent to the student, instructor, and Facilitator assigned by the Office of Academic Honesty through university e-mail and U.S. Mail. The notice shall be deemed delivered five (5) days after the date of the notice, even if the student fails to respond. If either the student or instructor fails to attend the discussion, the Panel may still determine whether there was a violation, and if so, establish an appropriate consequence.
A Facilitator will moderate the Continued Discussion. The Office of Academic Honesty is responsible for creating “General Guidelines for Academic Honesty Continued Discussions.” These guidelines will outline procedures that guarantee fundamental fairness in the process of the meeting and supplement A Culture of Honesty; they are available by request.
The only people allowed to make statements and ask questions in the discussion are the student(s), instructor(s), Facilitator and Panel. An exception may only be made if the Facilitator determines there is a need for assistance due to a disability or language barrier and a request has been made at least 2 days prior to the scheduled meeting. The student(s) and instructor(s) may each have one advisor at the Continued Discussion. The advisor cannot address the Panel. Meetings will not be rescheduled based on the advisor’s schedule or conflicts.
The Continued Discussion is audio recorded. The recording and any other documents presented to the Academic Honesty Panel remain property of the university.
The instructor must show the Panel that it is more likely than not the student violated the policy. After meeting with the instructor(s) and student(s), the Panel meets privately to discuss the evidence, decide whether a violation occurred, and render a formal decision. Except for the decision, no record of deliberations shall be kept. The Panel may impose a consequence only if the majority of panelists agree it is more likely than not that a violation occurred.
The decision will be mailed and e-mailed to the UGA e-mail address of the student, instructor, and Facilitator within five (5) days of the Continued Discussion. That notice shall be deemed delivered five (5) days after the date of the notice, even if the student fails to respond.
The bottom line: This is a continuation of mediated discussion with your instructor about what happened on the work in question. The panelists will determine whether or not the policy was violated and assign consequences if they find the student in violation. Guidelines for a Continued Discussion can be found here.
Possible Consequences after a Continued Discussion If a student is found in violation of the policy by the Academic Honesty Panel, they must receive the lowest possible grade for that assignment based on the grading scale for that course, plus at least one of the following:
- Final course grade of F.
- A transcript notation which reads “Academic Honesty Violation as Determined by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction.” The notation will remain until the student is no longer enrolled at university and two years after the Panel decision.
These are the minimum consequences, and the Panel may assign more if necessary. The Panel may impose consequences less than the minimums listed above only in extraordinary circumstances. If the Panel assigns more or less than the minimum above, they will provide a written rationale for their decision.
Students may petition the Office of Academic Honesty to remove the dishonesty transcript notation at the appropriate time. The petition will only be granted if the student has no new violations of the honesty policy and if the student has no unresolved allegations at this or any other university.
Action on Determination of No Violation If no violation is found, the instructor must enter the grade for the student without considering the alleged violation. That grade shall be entered on or before the later of the date on which grades for that class are required by university policy to be submitted to the Registrar or 10 days following delivery to that instructor of a notice of the final determination.
Process for the Multiple Violations Review Board If a student violates the Honesty policy more than once, either by admitting the violation in a Facilitated Discussion or after being found in violation in a Continued Discussion, the Multiple Violations Review Board (MVRB) will meet with the student to assign any additional consequence(s) for the violations.
The student will receive written notice of the date, place, and time of the MVRB meeting, through university e-mail and the U.S. mail. The notice is considered delivered five (5) days after the date of the notice, even if the student fails to respond. 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(s).
The Office of Academic Honesty is charged to create “General Guidelines for the Multiple Violations Review Board.” These guidelines outline procedures that ensure fundamental fairness in the process of the meeting and supplement A Culture of Honesty; they are available by request.
The only parties allowed to make statements and ask questions during the meeting are the student, the Facilitator, and the Board. An exception may only be made if the Facilitator determines there is a need for assistance due to a disability or language barrier and a request has been made at least 2 days prior to the scheduled meeting. The student may have one advisor, but the advisor cannot address the Board. The meeting will not be rescheduled based on the advisor’s schedule or conflicts.
The meeting will be audio recorded. The recording and other documents presented are property of the University.
Following the meeting, the Board will privately determine the consequence(s) for the multiple violations, and within five (5) days the Office of Academic Honesty will send the decision to the student by university e-mail and U.S. mail. That notice shall be deemed delivered five (5) days after the date of the notice, even if the student fails to respond.
The bottom line: The process is designed to be educational, and students should not violate the policy more than once. Students that do violate the policy more than once must meet with the Multiple Violations Review Board to be assigned additional sanctions. More information on the guidelines can be found here.
Possible consequences after the Multiple Violations Review Board A second violation of the Honesty policy may result in a more severe punishment, meaning the student will receive a permanent dishonesty transcript notation and one of the following:
The Board may impose consequence(s) less than the minimums listed above only in extraordinary circumstances. They must provide a written rationale if they impose less than the minimum.
An instructor may not appeal any decision of an Academic Honesty Panel or the Multiple Violations Review Board. A student may appeal the decision of an Academic Honesty Panel or the Multiple Violations Review Board to the President of the university (or their designee). Decisions of the President or designee may be reviewed as provided in Board of Regents policy.
There are four grounds a student may use to appeal the finding of a violation or the consequences assigned by an Academic Honesty Panel or the Multiple Violations Review Board:
- The instructor did not demonstrate to the Academic Honesty Panel that it is “more likely than not” a violation occurred.
- The consequences imposed are unreasonably harsh.
- The student was denied a right in the process, and this affected the decision.
- New evidence has been found since the Continued Discussion or MVRB meeting.
An appeal must be written and signed by the student, must state the grounds and argument of the appeal, and must be delivered to the Office of the President or their designee within five (5) days of the delivery of the decision by the Academic Honesty Panel or the Multiple Violations Review Board.
Decisions regarding separation from the university made prior to the withdrawal deadline for the semester will result in an administrative withdrawal for the student from their current courses. If the decision is issued after the withdrawal deadline, the student will be allowed to complete the term before the suspension, dismissal, or expulsion goes into effect.
If a student fails or refuses to comply with the consequences for a violation, the Office of Academic Honesty may convene an Academic Honesty Panel solely to review whether the student failed to comply, and, if so, the panel may impose additional consequences as appropriate. The Office of Academic Honesty may also place a hold on the student’s record in accordance with university policy.