Odds are most faculty members will have to interact with a student who has committed an academically dishonest act at some point during their career. The information offered here was designed to provide answers for Radford University faculty members and guide them through the process of resolving the matter.
What to do if you suspect academic dishonesty
1. If you feel that a student may have done something dishonest the first step is talking with the student. Often times students will be honest and up front with you. The student may present an explanation that you feel is acceptable and no further attention is needed. Several guidelines have been developed to help start and manage the conversation and may be accessed by clicking here.
2. If the students actions warrant further attention then you have three options:
- Verbal warning - this is used when an incident is considered to be extremely minor. A verbal warning may result in an education task (i.e., attend honor code seminar, repeat assignment) but may not result in a grade penalty.
- Written warning - this warning is used in incidences that are considered quite minor. A written warning may result in an educational task (i.e., attend honor code seminar, repeat assignment) but may not result in a grade penalty.
- Filing judicial charges - the filing of judicial charges is used when the incident warrants a substantial response from the university.
If you plan on using any of the options above to resolve the matter you must contact either your Academic Integrity Case Consultant or the Dean of Students Office. The Case Consultant or the Dean of Students Office will check to see if the student has a prior record that is severe enough that another action may result in suspension. If so, then you will be asked to forward the information to the Dean of Students Office for resolution. You will be consulted and kept informed by the Dean of Students Office throughout the progress of the case.
3. If the students suspected action would not lead toward suspension then you will receive a Conduct Charge form and Case Resolution form from either your Case Consultant or the Dean of Students Office.
4. After completing the charge form you will need to schedule a meeting to discuss the matter further with the student. Guidelines are available to help start and manage this conversation.
5. You will give the pink copy of the Conduct Charge form to the student.
6. The student may request up to 48 hours to decide if they would like to accept responsibility for the action or not accept responsibility. If a student does not accept responsibility for the charge then a Conduct Hearing will occur to determine the outcome of the case.
7. If the student accepts responsibility then the faculty member will assign sanctions for the violation. The sanction may include:
- A period of disciplinary probation- disciplinary probation is intended to serve as a period of reflection that encourages the student to be more mindful of the way they interact in our community, and also serves as an official warning that further action will lead to more severe sanctions. The term for disciplinary probation may not exceed 32 weeks of enrollment. The Dean of Students Office suggests that a reasonable amount of time is between 16 and 24 weeks.
- Attendance of the Honor Code Seminar- the honor code seminar is a three hour class that informs students about the honor code and it's importance and also encourages students to be reflective and prudent in their decision making. Attendance of the Honor Code Seminar is mandatory for all honor code violations.
- Grade Penalty- the Dean of Students Office encourages you to consider giving any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty an "F" in the course. However, you may feel that an "F" is not warranted and instead chose to lower a students grade or give them no grade penalty.
- Educational Task- educational tasks can include any number of items from writing a reflective paper on ethics to community service.
After assigning sanctions and discussing the sanctions with the student, provide them with the pink copy of the form. Forward the Notice of Conduct Charge, the Case Resolution, and any supporting documentation to the Dean of Students Office for retention.
8. If the student accepts responsibility for a charge(s) but does not agree with the sanctions assigned by the faculty member, the student may request that a member of the Dean of Students Office review the sanctions for appropriateness. The student must make this request in writing within 48 hours of being notified of their sanctions.
9. If the student does not accept responsibility for the charges then please forward the Notice of Conduct Charge, the Case Resolution, and all supporting documentation to the Dean of Students Office. You will be contacted by the Dean of Students Office concerning the scheduling of a Conduct Hearing.
If at any point you need assistance please feel free to contact the Dean of Students Office at 540-831-5321.