Academic Affairs

Academic Dishonesty Guidelines

 

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY GUIDELINES
University of Missouri St. Louis (Updated 4/27/2010)

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Note: Action under the procedures described below precludes the concurrent use of any other University grievance or appeals procedure for the same incident. That is, grade appeals or discrimination grievances related to the incident may not be filed until after final resolution of the academic dishonesty case.

Students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis are expected to exhibit the highest standards of academic integrity. An act of academic dishonesty is an offense against the university. For that reason, university rules prescribe disciplinary consequences for academic dishonesty administered by the Office of Academic Affairs, as well as academic consequences assessed by the faculty member.

An academic unit such as a program, department, division, school, or college may also make an academic assessment in the case of academic dishonesty provided there is a standing review procedure that describes an academic relation between academic dishonesty and progress in the program that the appropriate dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs has approved. Students must be notified of additional unit expectations and procedures through advising and in written program materials, including class syllabi. When making a unit-level decision, the head of the unit is expected to communicate with the Office of Academic Affairs so that the decision can be considered in disciplinary hearings. The Student Planner provides guidelines for appropriate academic conduct.

Faculty members at the University of Missouri-St. Louis are required to take an active role in creating a climate of academic honesty. Should academic dishonesty be suspected, faculty members must follow the steps below. At any time, a faculty member may contact the Office of Academic Affairs for advice on how to proceed on a specific case.

The following procedures guide the campus in upholding the University of Missouri Collected Rules for Student Academic Conduct.
Academic Dishonesty is defined by Collected Rule 200.010 Standard Of Conduct includes cheating, plagiarism, or sabotage.

Procedural Guidelines for Faculty Identifying Cases of Academic Dishonesty

Step 1.
A faculty member who suspects academic dishonesty has two obligations:

  1. Making an academic assessment of the work in question and assigning an appropriate grade for the exercise in question. Examples include a failing grade for the exercise, remedial instruction, or a parallel exercise.
  1. Submitting relevant information to the Office of Academic Affairs which is charged with determining the disciplinary action to be sanctioned for the infraction. The faculty member should send to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) a written statement of the incident with supporting evidence. A report of the faculty members academic assessment of the exercise must also be included in the statement. The department chair and dean may also be notified of the incident. In cases of repeated misconduct, these administrators shall inform the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs so that repeated dishonesty is considered in the investigation.

Step 2. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) shall conduct an informal disciplinary hearing. Discipline for academic dishonesty follows Collected Rule 200.020 Rules of Procedures in Student Conduct Matters

The Vice Chancellor (or designee) contacts the student by certified mail, asking him or her to make an appointment with the Vice Chancellor (or designee) within five days. At the appointment, the student is informed of his or her rights and options and is informed of the charge and evidence from the faculty member. The Vice Chancellor (or designee) shall encourage the student to provide a full explanation of the situation to assure his or her due process.

The Vice Chancellor (or designee) has the authority to make a determination and impose appropriate sanctions. After reviewing the faculty members materials and the students explanation, the Vice Chancellor (or designee) considers the seriousness of the case. Some factors that may be considered are the academic exercise and experiences of the student (e.g. freshman quiz v. doctoral dissertation), previous charges of academic dishonesty, and individual or programmatic characteristics.

The Vice Chancellor (or designee) notifies the student of the disciplinary action using the Form for Student Disciplinary Action A. Acceptance Of Discipline On Informal Disposition By Primary Administrative Officer/Designee  

This form explains the charge and findings. It also gives the student two options:

  1. Accept the discipline, or
  2. Ask for a hearing before the Student Conduct Committee.

The letter also fixes a time within which the student may accept or reject a proposed informal disposition. If the student fails to either accept or reject within the time fixed, then the University may deem such silence to be an acceptance of the determination.
If the student accepts the discipline, then the Vice Chancellor (or designee) informs the faculty member of the outcome of the case. Others who may learn of the outcome are the chairperson/coordinator/director, the dean of the college in which the incident occurred, and those determined by the Registrar as having an Academic Need to Know, as governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Step 3. If the student seeks to appeal the result of the informal disciplinary hearing, then the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) shall convene a hearing before the Student Conduct Committee within 15 calendar days of receipt of the students request for such a hearing. The hearing will be conducted according to procedures established in Section F: Subsections 1-6 of the Rules of Procedure in Student Conduct Matters

The Vice Chancellor (or designee) will provide all appropriate materials to the committee at the time of the hearing. No member of the committee may have been involved in the investigation of or filing of charges in the case. The report of the committees findings and determination of discipline (Section F 3.a-b) shall be sent to the student, the faculty member, the department chair/coordinator/director, and the dean of the college in which the incident occurred, and others with an Academic Need to Know (per FERPA), and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. If the disposition involves probation, suspension, or expulsion, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs must advise the Director of Admissions and the Registrar in writing to place a hold on the students re-enrollment.

Step 4. Should the student or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) wish to appeal the Student Conduct Committees decision, the Chancellor shall serve as the appeals officer. The appeal follows different procedures, depending on the severity of the sanction.

  1. Right to Petition for Review. In cases where the sanction is other than University expulsion, dismissal, or suspension, the student or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) shall follow Collected Rules, Section F: Subsection 4 of Rules of Procedure in Student Conduct Matters. 

Within five calendar days of receiving notification of the Committees decision, the student or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) may submit a written request to the Chancellor for a review of the case. A copy of the Petition for Review must also be sent to the nonappealing party within such time. The Petition for Review states the grounds for review, and the nonappealing party may answer the petition within five calendar days.

The Chancellor (or designee) may grant or refuse the right of review. Should the Chancellor refuse the Petition for Review, the action of the Student Conduct Committee shall be final. If the Chancellor reviews the decision, then the action of the Chancellor is final unless it requires further proceedings.

  1. Right of Appeal. For cases in which the discipline involves university expulsion, dismissal, or suspension, the student or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) may file an Appeal. Collected Rules, Section F: Subsections 5, 6, and 7 of Rules of Procedure in Student Conduct Matters govern the conduct of the appeal.
To appeal expulsion, dismissal, or suspension from the University, the student or the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (or designee) may file a written notice of appeal with the Chancellor within 10 calendar days after notification of the Student Conduct Committees decision. The person making the appeal will send a copy of the Notice of Appeal to the nonappealing party. The appealing party may file a written memorandum for consideration by the Chancellor with the Notice of Appeal, and the Chancellor may request a reply to such memorandum by the appropriate party.

When a student files a valid Notice of Appeal that meets all deadlines, he or she may also petition the Chancellor in writing for permission to attend classes pending final determination of the appeal. The Chancellor may permit a student to continue tin school under such conditions as may be designated pending completion of appellate procedures. In such cases, however, any final sanctions imposed will be effective from the date of the Student Conduct Committees action

After reviewing the case and appeal documents, the Chancellor (or designee) may affirm, reverse, or remand the case for further proceedings and will notify each party in writing of the decision on the appeal. The action of the Chancellor is final unless it is to remand the matter for further proceedings.

Copies of all correspondence and decisions regarding the case shall be directed to the student, the faculty member, the chair/coordinator/director, and the dean of the college in which the infraction occurred, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Director of Admissions, the Registrar, and other with an Academic Need to Know.