Allegations of Misconduct in Courses
Allegations of Misconduct in Courses
Below are the steps for the investigation and review process.
Initiation of Cases
If a Faculty member suspects that an act of academic misconduct has occurred in a course, he or she must promptly communicate with the student regarding the alleged misconduct and the information upon which the allegation is based; the notification process must occur within 30 calendar days from the discovery of the alleged act. The Faculty member may make a request for an extension of time through the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs. If the discovery is made by a student, teaching assistant, reader, grader or tutor he or she should immediately communicate to the Faculty member in charge of the course, so that the Faculty member in charge can proceed with the investigation.
Whenever possible, communication with the student should take place through an in-person consultation and should be conducted in a manner that respects the student's privacy and maintains an environment that supports teaching and learning. When multiple students are involved, Faculty are encouraged to communicate with each student separately. The Faculty member or the student may request the presence at the consultation meeting of the Ombudsperson.
When an in-person meeting is not possible, the Faculty member may communicate with the student in writing. Written communication should be sent to the student's University e-mail address.
The student must be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation of misconduct. When communication is made in writing, students will be given 10 calendar days to respond.
After conferring with the student and/or considering the student's written response, the Faculty member may determine that there has been no misconduct, in which case the Faculty member may dismiss the allegation and take no further action.
If the Faculty member determines that it is more likely than not that the student committed an act of academic misconduct, regardless of the student's intent to engage in misconduct, the case moves to Stage 1 in the review process.
Faculty members who will not be available to participate fully in resolving allegations (e.g., Individuals holding part-time or temporary appointments, those on sabbatical or other leave, or those leaving University employment) must provide a copy of all documentation to the immediate supervising administrator: department chair, program director, center director, or dean of school, who will serve as a proxy for the Faculty member to conclude the case.
If grades are awarded while the case is in progress, the Faculty member should assign a temporary grade placeholder of Grade Delay "GD" pending the outcome of the review process.
Student Admits Responsibility
If the student admits responsibility for the alleged misconduct, the Faculty member may immediately impose an appropriate academic sanction. The faculty member must document the case and the sanction on the Graduate Academic Misconduct Referral form and send the form to the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs. Faculty members are advised to consult with the Graduate Advisor for the student's program and with the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs prior to imposing the academic sanction.
Student Does Not Admit Responsibility
If the student does not admit responsibility but the Faculty member makes a determination of misconduct, the Faculty member will refer the case to the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs using the Graduate Academic Misconduct Referral Form. The referral form must include the
student's name and student identification number, the name of the class in which the act took place, the date or time period in which the act occurred, a description of the academic misconduct, a summary of actions taken, all original documentation supporting the charge (including a copy of the course syllabus and other written communication that addresses academic integrity standards and expectations for the course) and the academic actions and disciplinary sanctions recommended by the Faculty member. Faculty members are advised to consult with the Graduate Advisor for the student's program and with the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs prior to recommending sanctions.
The Faculty member also will evaluate the disputed assignment or examination on its merits and note the grade to be assigned in the event that the student is not found responsible for violation of the
University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline or where insufficient evidence exists to hold the student responsible.
Upon receipt of the Academic Misconduct Referral Form, the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs will notify the student of the University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline that was allegedly violated, the factual basis for the charges, and the plan to conduct an Initial [Administrative] Review of the case. The student will be advised that the Initial [Administrative] Review is intended as a thorough exposition of all related facts and written materials associated with the alleged misconduct, and that it is not intended as an adversarial criminal or civil legal proceeding. The student will also be informed of his or her right to be assisted by an advisor of his or her choice. Such written notification will occur within 20 calendar days of the receipt of the referral by the Associate Dean and will be sent to the student's University e-mail address.
A student may not avoid the imposition of a sanction by withdrawing from a course. A student officially notified of alleged academic misconduct may not withdraw from the course until the determination of responsibility is made and any sanctions are imposed. A sanction for a violation of academic integrity that affects the course grade will be applied. If the student is found not responsible for academic misconduct, the student will be permitted to withdraw from the course in accordance with campus regulations.
Review Stage 1: Initial [Administrative] Review
The Initial [Administrative] Review, conducted by the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs, involves meetings with the student, the Faculty member, and others who may have relevant information. The student will have the opportunity to discuss any extenuating circumstances, causes, and motivations that may have contributed to the alleged misconduct. If the Associate Dean deems it necessary, a joint meeting will be scheduled at a time when both the Faculty member and the student can attend. If the Faculty member is unavailable for a timely Initial [Administrative] Review, the immediate supervising administrator will be asked to serve in place of the Faculty member.
Outcome of the Initial [Administrative] Review
If the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs determines that it is more likely than not that the student is responsible for academic misconduct, the academic actions recommended by the Faculty member, as well as any disciplinary sanctions imposed by the University, will be assigned.
The determination shall be forwarded by the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs in writing to the student within 20 calendar days of the Initial [Administrative] Review; notice will be sent to the student's University e-mail address and communicated to the Faculty member and to the dean of the college/school in accordance with legitimate educational interest criteria as articulated by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. In cases where the Faculty member has held a grade in abeyance pending the outcome of an Initial
[Administrative] Review, he or she shall submit a final grade to the Registrar that is consistent with the determination by the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs as to the question of misconduct. Either the student or faculty member can appeal the decision of the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs.
Cases involving a student with a record of previous academic misconduct or cases that are sufficiently complex to require additional consultation shall be referred directly by the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs for a Stage 2 review by the Graduate Academic Integrity Committee for a formal hearing.
Review Stage 2: Complex Cases and Appeals from Stage 1
Review Stage 2 is reserved for cases involving a student with a record of previous academic misconduct or cases that are sufficiently complex or egregious to require additional consultation by the Graduate Academic Integrity Committee [GAIC] for a formal hearing. Review Stage 2 also serves as the stage for appeals of decisions made at Review Stage 1. Appellate decisions at Review Stage 2 are final.
The Academic Senate's Committee on Committees will appoint faculty to the Graduate Academic Integrity Committee to serve three-year terms, effective September 1-August 31, and will appoint one faculty member from the GAIC to serve as chair. The GAIC will consist of at least one member from each school/college and should include faculty who are available to participate in hearing during the summer months. (Am 23 May 17)
In addition, the Graduate Division will solicit and review applications from interested graduate students and make recommendations to the Graduate Student Association of UCR regarding students to be appointed to serve on the GAIC for one-year terms, effective September 1-August 31. The final endorsement of student members will rest with the Committee on Committees. Students are not eligible to serve if they have been suspended or are on academic or disciplinary probation, have been evicted from University Housing for reasons related to conduct, or have a case pending before the Graduate Division, GAIC, or Graduate Council.
Faculty and student members should represent the disciplinary diversity within each college/school, whenever possible. Staff support to the committee will be provided by the Graduate Division.
For each Stage 2 case, the chair of the GAIC will schedule a hearing panel of three to five GAIC members. A quorum is required for a hearing to proceed and consists of three persons, including at least one faculty member and one student.
The Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs or designee will serve as a non-voting member of the hearing panel. The chair of the hearing panel shall rule on all questions of procedure and evidence, including but not limited to: the order of presentation of evidence, admissibility of evidence, applicability of regulations to a particular case, and relevance of testimony.
1. Preparation: Prior to the hearing, panel members will receive and review a copy of the notification of charges and documentary evidence provided by the Faculty member, the University, and the student.
2. Introductory comments: At the beginning of the hearing, the chair will ask any panel members to disqualify themselves from participation if they believe that they cannot render a just and fair decision, and will permit the student to request that a member be disqualified if the student believes for an appropriate reason that a panel member cannot render a just and fair decision. If a student or Faculty member of the hearing panel is disqualified, another member will be appointed to fill the same role, if needed for a quorum. The chair will read aloud the charges of academic misconduct, and the student will be asked to respond to the charges by (a) accepting responsibility, (b) accepting responsibility and noting that there are mitigating circumstances, or (c) denying responsibility for the alleged violation of the University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline.
3. Presentation of accounts: The Faculty member and the student will be given the opportunity to present their accounts of the incident and to present any witnesses or other individuals who may have relevant information about the alleged academic misconduct. Hearing panel members will be given an opportunity to ask questions of the Faculty member, the student, and witnesses. Each party will then be asked if there is additional information needed, or if any discrepancies or questions need to be presented or addressed.
4. Deliberation: The hearing panel will deliberate in private to decide, by a majority vote, if a preponderance of the evidence indicates that the student is responsible or not responsible for alleged violation of University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline.
5. Determination of sanctions: If the student is found to be responsible for violations of policies, the hearing panel shall be informed of the student's prior record of academic misconduct. Based on this information and the recommendation of the faculty member, the committee will determine the disciplinary sanctions to be assigned, how and for how long the record of the sanctions will be maintained on the student's permanent record, and the conditions that must be met for the record to be removed, if any.
6. Notification of decision: Once the hearing panel has reached a decision, the parties will reassemble, and the results of the deliberation will be presented. Within 20 calendar days, the Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs will send written notification to the student, the Faculty member, and the dean or his/her designated associate dean for student academic affairs of the college/school detailing the decision and the sanctions imposed by the hearing panel. The notification will also outline the appeal process.
7. Records: An audio recording of the hearing, but not the deliberations of the hearing panel, shall be made and retained by the Graduate Division as part of the record for as long as the disciplinary record is retained, or for seven years from the date of decision, whichever is shorter (see Section 6 below). The student may obtain a copy of the recording upon paying the expense of making such copy. Either party may arrange for a stenographer to make a full transcript of the proceedings at his/her own expense. If one party has the proceedings transcribed, arrangements shall be made before the hearing as to how to apportion the cost if both parties want copies. Other than for the purpose of the official record as provided above, mechanical or electronic devices for recording or broadcasting shall be excluded from the hearing.
Review Stage 3: Appeals from Stage 2 and Annual Assessment of Cases
Review Stage 3 is reserved for appeals of primary decisions made at Review Stage 2, and for annual assessment of cases adjudicated at Review Stages 1 and 2. For each Stage 3 case, the Chair of the Graduate Council or designee shall select a 3-5 member subcommittee of the Graduate Council to serve as an appeal panel. Each Stage 3 hearing will be conducted according to the Hearing Procedures described above in Section 4.3.2.
The Graduate Council additionally conducts annual assessments of cases adjudicated at Review Stages
1 and 2 for the purpose of providing oversight and ensuring that policies and procedures are appropriately and consistently applied.