Composition of Hearing Committees
The Chair of Academic Integrity is appointed by the provost and is a Dean, Assistant Dean, or Associate Dean who is not currently teaching courses. The chair is a nonvoting member of the Academic Integrity Committee who presides over hearings and processes/mediates first offense cases that do not require a hearing.
The Academic Standards and Awards Committee (ASAC), a standing committee of the Faculty @ Large which meets on a regular basis, adjudicates all hearings and is responsible for forming an “Academic Integrity Committee” when a hearing is required. According to the Faculty By-Laws, the composition of the ASAC is: at least 2 faculty from Liberal Arts and Sciences, at least 2 faculty from School of the Arts, 1 student from Liberal Arts and Sciences, and 1 student from School of the Arts. A quorum of 2 faculty and one 1 student must be reached to hold an academic integrity hearing during the ASAC meeting time. The members of the ASAC are the voting members of the Academic Integrity Committee. The Chair of Academic Integrity presides over hearings and does not vote during adjudication.
[Note: The Chair of ASAC is different than the Chair of Academic Integrity; the ASAC chair presides over awards and other business of the ASAC and is elected by its members.]
The Academic Integrity Committee has original jurisdiction over the following types of academic integrity cases:
- requests for hearings by students disputing allegations or sanctions
- referrals by instructors/complainants recommending additional, non-academic disciplinary sanctions for an alleged violation (i.e. suspension or expulsion)
- all cases in which the alleged violation would constitute a second offense
- all first or second offense cases involving allegations which occurred outside a course/traditional classroom setting and/or were reported by someone other than an instructor of record
Preparation for a Hearing
- Instructors/complainants, as well as students, should submit all evidence in advance to the Academic Integrity Chair
- For “first offense” cases, an initial conference must occur, and a Resolution Form must be signed by both parties and submitted to the Academic Integrity Chair, before a hearing may take place. (“Second offense” cases may go directly to a hearing).
- If the student disputes the sanction, or if a hearing is required, the instructor should grade assignments/exams in their entirety prior to the hearing, on a preliminary basis, according to their normal standards or rubrics. This provides the student and the Academic Integrity Committee with a sense of the potential grade, absent the alleged plagiarism/cheating.
The Academic Integrity Committee follows the same procedures for conduct hearings specified under Hearing Procedures from the Office of Community Standards. The following clarifications apply specifically to academic integrity hearings:
1. Procedural Officer
The Chair of Academic Integrity serves as the “Procedural Officer” and presides over academic integrity hearings.
- Names of witnesses should be provided to the Chair of Academic Integrity in advance. (Rules for witnesses are the same as for conduct hearings.)
Two types of witnesses may be presented at a hearing: Incident Witnesses and Character Witnesses
- Incident witnesses have direct, first-hand knowledge about the alleged academic integrity violation and can provide additional understanding of the events to the hearing committee. Incident witnesses may deliver a statement and be questioned by all parties during a hearing. They should also submit a written statement to the Chair of Academic Integrity prior to the hearing. If needed, incident witnesses can provide their statement via phone, video conference, letter, etc.
- Character witnesses may only speak about the character of the accused student and must present their statements in writing. Character witnesses do not speak about the incident and may not attend the hearing. The accused student is responsible for submitting character witness statements to the Chair of Academic Integrity prior to the hearing.
If the Academic Integrity Committee concludes that it is more probable than not that a violation did not occur, the instructor is required to assign a grade for the assignment and course based on academic performance, disregarding the allegation of academic dishonesty.
If the Academic Integrity Committee concludes that it is more probable that a violation did occur, it affirms the sanction imposed by the instructor/complainant and/or may impose different or additional sanctions as authorized in Section A: Standards Relative to Academic Integrity, if the committee believes they are warranted.
The Academic Integrity Committee shall inform the student and the instructor/complainant, in writing, of its determination, within three business days following the hearing.
[Read the Office of Community Standards’ Hearing Procedures carefully for full details]
The rights of the accused student are the same as those listed by the Office of Community Standards under Hearing Rights, but with two exceptions:
Rather than an “advisor of choice,” the student may be accompanied by a “support person.” The support person may offer moral support and may speak privately to the student, but otherwise may not present information, question witnesses, or speak during the hearing to anyone other than the student. The name of the support person must be provided to the Chair of Academic Integrity in advance.
- The accused student may not ask to reschedule a hearing (exceptions may be granted only in truly extenuating circumstances). Academic integrity hearings are scheduled by the Academic Standards and Awards Committee and generally take place during regular monthly or semesterly meeting times during the “Wednesday meeting block,” when no classes are scheduled. Hearings cannot be rescheduled around the availability of incident witnesses or support persons. Witnesses who cannot be present may submit their statement in writing. Hearings may be rescheduled around the instructor/complainant’s availability, within reason, at the discretion of the Academic Standards and Awards Committee. If a student fails to appear at an academic integrity hearing, they waive their right to present their case, and the hearing will proceed without them.