Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

Examine what is said, not the person who speaks.
Native American proverb

The questions on this page are specifically designed to meet the needs of faculty members who have questions about academic integrity procedures. If these questions do not meet your needs, please refer to one of the following links: Academic Integrity:Questions from Students or for more general questions related to Student Conduct issues, please see Common Questions. If you have questions that are not addressed in any of these locations or you need clarification, please contact the Office of Student Conduct.

  1. Do I have to report a cheating violation to the Office of Student Conduct?
  2. How much time will it take to resolve a case of academic misconduct?  
  3. What do I need to know to get started?
  4. Where can I Report an Academic Integrity Violation?
  5. Do I need to have a witness in the meeting with the student?
  6. What are my sanction options if the student signs the form?
  7. What if the student refuses to sign the form?
  8. How should I respond if the student's parents contact me?
  9. Are there any risks for faculty that use the student judicial process?
  10. Who do I refer a student to if they have questions?
  11. What do I need to know about confidentiality in these types of cases?
  12. What do I do if I am not certain that academic misconduct has occurred?
  13. What grade do I submit if grades are due but the case isn't resolved?

 


 

 

Do I have to report a cheating violation to the Office of Student Conduct?

Faculty are not required to report academic misconduct to this office although they are STRONGLY encouraged to do so. Faculty may not impose a grade penalty based merely on their belief that the student has committed academic misconduct, unless the student has taken full responsible by signing the Report of an Academic Integrity Violation Form, or being found responsible through a hearing process.

In addition, reporting these incidents to the Office of Student Conduct gives us the opportunity to work with the student to change their behavior for the future and to protect the integrity of your class and the University. Sometimes faculty are reluctant to submit the incident to the Office of Student Conduct based on their belief that the report of this incident will result in lifelong consequences for the student. This is an exageration. In fact, should a separation from the University occur, there is even a process where a student can eventually petition to have a suspension notation lifted from their transcript. Again, the goal is to change behaviors.  Back


How much time will it take to resolve a case of academic misconduct?

Each case is different. It is much easier to gather all the information in the case if the TA for the class or the faculty saw the student looking at note cards, and then took the cards, than it is to track down a passage in literature that might be plagiarized. In addition, students who are truthful and cooperative will likely take less time to walk through the process than students who are defensive and evasive.

Cases that are resolved by the faculty when the student signs the report form often take an hour or less. Preparation time for a hearing usually takes an hour in simple cases, and hearings usually last between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. Our experience is that the entire process, resulting in a hearing, will likely take at least 3 hours.   Back



What do I need to know to get started?


Start by reading the section on Confronting Academic Integrity Violations.  Then, we recommend reading additional information related to the Policies and Procedures governing student conduct.  Finally, you should feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns. 


Where can I Report an Academic Integrity Violation ?

Please see our section on Confronting Academic Integrity Violations.  There, you will find the Report of an Academic Integrity Form and information on how to confront students suspected of cheating or plagiarism. Back


Do I need to have a witness in the meeting with the student?

Generally, you do not need a witness when meeting with the student. Some faculty have been concerned about the discussion being misrepresented at a later date for some reason. Our best advice is to familiarize yourself with the procedures by reviewing this site, then meet with the student. Approaching the discussion as a facilitator usually results in a reasonable and calm discussion. If at any time you or the student feels uncomfortable, it is a good idea to call a halt to the meeting and get further advice.  Back


What are my sanction options if the student signs the form?

If the student signs the Report of an Academic Integrity Violation Form, you can assess a sanction up to, and including, the assignment of a failing grade for the course. There are a wide range of options that include the following: having the student retake a similar exam, reducing the exam grade for that exam including the possibility of no credit for the exam, completion of the Academic Integrity Program, a failing grade for the course, and a request for a Hearing to explore the possibility of suspension or expulsion. Other options may be available depending upon the specific case. Please contact the Office of Student Conduct if you have questions in this area.

As a side-note, we strongly recommend that all students who sign the form be required to complete the Academic Integrity Program.  We have found this to be an integral program in educating students about their behaviors and the dangers of academic misconduct.  Back


What if the student refuses to sign the form?

It is the student's right not to sign the form if they think they are not responsible, or if they would prefer to have their case resolved through the hearing process. In this case, complete as much of the form as possible, copy the relevant materials, and send the whole packet to the Office of Student Conduct. We will then contact you to schedule a hearing before a neutral third party who will determine whether the student is responsible for the allegation and what the appropriate sanction, if any, should be.  Back


How should I respond if the student's parents contact me?

You are not obligated to discuss your concerns with a student's parent. In fact, the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits this type of contact without first securing a release from the student.

You may, after having the student sign an appropriate release, engage the parents in the discussion. If you do not want to participate in this type of discussion you are encouraged to refer the parents to this office for information about the process and instruction about releases and confidentiality. You can also contact us for copies of a release to use. This is not available on the web because some cases require specific language in the release. We can help sort through these issues.  Back


Are there any risks for faculty that use the student judicial process?

Since 1990, when this University adopted the current version of the Code of Student ConductThis link will open in a new window, there have been no cases of students bringing suit against a faculty for using the student disciplinary process. In addition, there have been no reported incidents of students making threats against faculty for engaging in this process. In all likelihood there are greater risks when a faculty penalizes a student without going through the student diciplinary process.  Back


Who do I refer a student to if they have questions?

Students with questions should be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. The telephone number is 919-515-2963. It is always better to delay a decision for a day or two while a student gets the information that they need to respond to the charges in their case.  Back


What do I need to know about confidentiality in these types of cases?

Confidentiality in student conduct cases is guided by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and its various amendments. As a general rule it is a good practice to keep this information confidential during the review process with the exception of your department head and the staff in the Office of Student Conduct.

Once a case is concluded the confidentiality guidelines stay in place. It would be a violation of the Federal law to share that information with other faculty who have that student in class, to use it as an object lesson for the class, or to discuss information specific enough to identify the student in a forum such as a departmental meeting.  Back


What do I do if I am not certain that academic misconduct has occurred?

Call the Office of Student Conduct to consult with one of the staff. You can describe what you believe has occurred and we can help to interpret the Code of Student Conduct or give you other ideas for further investigation.  Back


What grade do I submit if grades are due but the case isn't resolved?

There is often an increase in reports of academic misconduct during final exams. If grades are due before the case can be resolved we suggest you submit an Incomplete. A late grade submission carries an expectation for a quick turn around time on the final grade change. An Incomplete submission provides additional time if necessary to fully explore the issues of the case. Back