Article 1. Part 4: Academic Integrity
Faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign occasionally confront issues of academic integrity with respect to undergraduate students. Quite specific procedures govern the conduct of student, instructor, department, and college in such cases; see Article 1: Part 4 of the Student Code.
Index of Critical Steps to Take
Faculty are charged with the responsibility "of maintaining an environment that supports academic integrity" and of enforcing these standards; they are also enjoined to provide students with a clear statement of their expectations concerning academic integrity, such as on their syllabi. Students must avoid both the fact and the appearance of academic dishonesty.
Covers definitions and descriptions of academic integrity infractions.
Identifies the central role played by faculty in cases of infractions: the faculty member has "the dual role of fact-finder and determiner of penalty." Directs instructors regarding the important distinction to be made between fact of academic dishonesty and determination of knowledge or intent to be academically dishonest; the latter may properly figure into the penalty but is not properly part of the process by which the fact of plagiarism, cheating, etc. is determined. This section also lists the sanctioned penalties (§1-403.c).
Take note that more extensive reporting, monitoring, and appeal procedures pertain to cases in which a student will be penalized by failure in a class, denial of all credit for a proficiency exam, or recommendations of suspension or expulsion. When cases of academic integrity arise, consult Art. 1, Part 4, and bring any questions about procedure to the department head and/or to the Associate Dean at LAS Student Academic Affairs. Please report to the Associate Dean that a case is underway. Another helpful preliminary step is to prepare documentation for the case. In the case of written material (e.g., plagiarism, copying of another student's examination paper), we recommend that you keep the original copies of the papers or examinations. If the infraction involved observed behavior (e.g., such as cheating by looking at another student's paper), you should describe carefully what you observed and, if other proctors observed the action, have supporting documentation prepared by those proctors. Note: If two or more students are involved, each case must be handled individually (§1-404e).
- (b) The instructor's initial allegations must be in writing and must inform students of their rights to respond. If the instructor decides to meet with the student, LAS strongly recommends the presence of a third party (faculty or administrator), though such is not required by the Code. A face-to-face meeting does not substitute for the written allegation, and ideally would not be held prior to written notification. The Code clearly provides that the student has eight working days to respond to an allegation. Since the Code also governs cases when a student may drop the course in question, the date of written allegation may be central to proper monitoring of the case. A penalty is not to be promulgated until after the student has had a chance to respond to the charge. Furthermore, "the faculty member should feel certain that an infraction has been committed by the student."
- (c) A student held to be "not guilty" by the instructor after the student's response must be informed in writing within eight working days. No penalty may be imposed for the mere fact of a charge of academic dishonesty. The student may be reinstated, may choose to drop the course, or may change sections (if possible). All parties must be informed of the determination of innocence.
- (d) Alternatively, if an instructor is unconvinced by the student's response or if the student does not respond to charges within the indicated time, additional steps must be taken. The instructor decides upon an appropriate penalty, then written notification of the determination and of the penalty must be sent to the student within eight working days. In this letter, the student must be informed of his or her right to appeal. Copies of all correspondence between instructor and student, plus supporting material, must be sent to the department head or delegated departmental representative.
- (f) The student may appeal a finding and/or penalty by contacting the department head in writing within 15 days of receiving the second letter from the instructor. If a student fails to appeal, the matter is closed; if a failing grade in the course is the penalty, the department head informs the Associate Dean of LAS Student Academic Affairs of the need to submit an "F" for the student. If the case has not been resolved before grades are due, the department or instructor should contact the college to request that an "Incomplete" grade be authorized.
- (g/h) Appeal procedures occur along two different tracks, depending upon the penalty being recommended. Penalties of less than a failing grade for the course are generally appealed to departmental bodies. Consult your department head for custom and procedures; general guidelines are in §1-404.g. 1-3. Appeals concerning penalties of failure in the class are heard by the Committee on Academic Standards of the College of LAS (§1-405); cases of possible suspension/dismissal have their own rules.
§1-406. Final Disposition
Records of all cases of infraction of academic integrity are to be reported to the Associate Dean of LAS Student Academic Affairs and the Senate Committee on Student Discipline by the department head. These steps ensure that the college and University can monitor repeated infractions by a given student.
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