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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 2 - Faculty and Academics
Publication Date: September 4, 2014
Responsible Executive: VP for Academic Affairs


2.37 Scholastic Dishonesty 


I. POLICY STATEMENT


The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and excellence. This commitment is embodied through UTSA’s Academic Honor Code and the Roadrunner Creed to foster the highest standards of academic and personal integrity by practicing and expecting fair and ethical conduct on the part of all students.


II. RATIONALE


In accordance with Series 50101 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System (UT System), this policy affords institutional compliance with administrative due process for students.


III. SCOPE


This policy applies to all UTSA faculty, staff, and students.


IV. WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY


http://www.utsa.edu/hop/chapter2/2-37.html


V. RELATED STATUTES, POLICIES, REQUIREMENTS OR STANDARDS


UTSA or UT System Policies or the Board of Regents Rules & Regulations        

  1. Board of Regents’ Rule 50101, Student Conduct and Discipline 
  2. UTSA Students' Rights and Responsibilities
  3. UTSA Student Code of Conduct

Other Policies & Standards

  1. Texas Education Code Chapter 37 – Student Code of Conduct
  2. Texas State Legislative, Chapter 51 Provisions Generally Applicable to Higher Education, Subchapter F Required and Elective Courses
    1. 51.301 – Government or Political Science
    2. 51.3062 – Success Initiative
  3. Southern Association of Colleges and School, Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement
    1. Philosophy Section, page 3
    2. Section 1 – The Principle of Integrity, page 11

VI. CONTACTS


If you have any questions about HOP policy 2.37, Scholastic Dishonesty, you may contact the following offices:

The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
210-458-4136

The Office of Student Life and Student Conduct and Community Standards
210-458-4720


VII. DEFINITIONS


No Report (NR) Form: Refers to the No Report form used by faculty to notify the registrar’s office of the non-punitive placeholder for the grade until the conduct process is completed.

Referral: A written statement of the essential facts constituting a violation of Regents’ Rules, University policies, and/or administrative rules (Faculty Disposition Form).

Scholastic dishonesty: Includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, submission for credit any work or materials attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, and any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.

Student: A person who is currently enrolled at the University; (a) is accepted for admission or readmission to the University; (b) has been enrolled at the University in a prior semester or summer session and is eligible to continue enrollment in the semester or summer session that immediately follows; (c) is attending an additional program sponsored by the University while that person is on campus; or (d) has engaged in prohibited conduct at a time when he or she met the criteria of (a), (b), (c) or (d).

Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) Office: The office designated by the Vice President of Student Affairs for matters pertaining to student misconduct.


VIII. RESPONSIBILITIES


  1. Faculty
    1. Investigates and addresses suspected scholastic dishonesty.
    2. Makes decision to dismiss or proceed with the scholastic dishonesty allegations. The faculty member completes the Faculty Disposition Form (Referral) if they are proceeding with the allegations.
    3. Provides the student an opportunity to respond to the allegations and allows student to choose not to dispute the alleged violation, to accept the academic sanction and sign the Referral form or to dispute the alleged violation and not sign the Referral form.
    4. Signs and submits the Referral with copies of all relevant documents and the syllabus to the Dean or their designee for review, signature and delivery to SCCS.
    5. Completes and submits the NR form to the Registrar when applicable.
    6. Submits final grade when notified by SCCS of the conclusion of the conduct process in coordination with the Dean/Chair.
  2. Dean or their designee
    1. Reviews the allegations of scholastic dishonesty and the proposed sanction(s) for fairness and consistency within the college.
    2. Signs and delivers the Referral and all documents to SCCS.
    3. Ensures the final grade is submitted to the registrar when notified by SCCS of the conclusion of the conduct process in coordination with the faculty member.
  3. SCCS
    1. Investigates and addresses Referrals of scholastic dishonesty.
    2. Dismisses unfounded charges or summons the student for a meeting.
    3. Provides the student with the options of (a) not disputing the charge, waiving the hearing and accepting the behavioral and academic sanctions or (b) requesting a hearing.
    4. Facilitates hearing procedures and appeals processes and communications.
    5. Provides notification to the faculty and Dean or their designee at the conclusion of the conduct process with the date after which the final grade is to be posted.

IX. PROCEDURES


In accordance with Series 50101of the Regents' Rules, the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) delegates to the Dean of Students, the Dean or Department Chair and to the individual members of the faculty the authority and responsibility to confront students for the purpose of investigating suspected dishonesty in academic assignments and to recommend appropriate sanctions. The time required of the instructor or faculty member varies with the details of the case, but every effort will be made to minimize the time commitment.

  1. Guidelines
    1. Accusations that a student has cheated should be made in private and the investigation of a cheating incident should be handled as a confidential matter.
    2. When there is reason to believe scholastic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member should gather all pertinent evidence (such as tests, reports, computer programs, and other academic assignments) and identify any possible witnesses. During an exam, the faculty member may ask a student suspected of cheating to move to another desk, but the student should be allowed to complete the exam in question.
    3. During the meeting to discuss the cheating incident, every effort should be made to preserve the basic teacher/student relationship. The student(s) should be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations but may not be forced to comment.
    4. The faculty member must inform the student of their right to have the allegations reviewed by the Dean and/or Department Chair. Since an accused student may appeal a sanction decision, the student must be allowed to attend all classes and complete all assignments until the due process procedures are complete. This is an essential step.
    5. Unless the faculty member dismisses the allegation, the student has two (2) options:
      1. The student may choose not to dispute the alleged violation, waive their right to a hearing before a University Hearing Officer, and accept the academic sanction.  The Referral form should be completed as a written waiver of the hearing procedures. The instructor may assess one or more of the following sanctions as listed on the form:
        1. written warning that further scholastic dishonesty may result in a more severe sanction;
        2. no credit, or reduced credit for the paper, assignment, or test in question;
        3. retake the exam or resubmission of assignment; or
        4. failing grade or reduced final grade for the course.

      These are the only sanctions an instructor may assess on a Faculty Disposition of a Scholastic Dishonesty Case form provided by SCCS, (210-458-4720) and are available on the SCCS web-site: http://utsa.edu/studentlife/conduct/.

      The faculty member may provide a copy of the completed Referral form to the student during their confidential meeting. Following the meeting with the student, the faculty member should provide the Referral form including the written summary of the charge, the evidence supporting the charge, the reason for the Referral, and recommendations, if any, concerning sanctions to their Dean or their designee. Relevant copies of documents such as crib notes, exams, material plagiarized, and the syllabus should be provided.  If the student is in possession of any relevant documents or materials, the faculty member may request these documents. If the student refuses to relinquish these documents or materials, the faculty member should note the request including the specific documents or materials requested, and the student's refusal on the Referral form.

      The Dean or or their designee is then to review the Referral and determine (1) if there appears to be scholastic dishonesty, and (2) if the proposed sanction is fair and consistent within the college. The Dean or their designee may review all written information and may choose to meet with the faculty member and/or the student to review the incident. The form must be signed by the faculty member as well as reviewed and signed by the Dean or their designee before it is delivered to SCCS.

      The SCCS delegates will then review each form and, if circumstances warrant, may impose additional behavioral sanctions. All information concerning scholastic dishonesty accusations and dispositions is strictly confidential.

      1. If a student does not accept responsibility for the alleged violations, they should not sign the form.  The completed form with attachments should be reviewed by the Dean or their designee and then delivered to SCCS.
    6. SCCS staff is responsible for contacting the student, investigating the charge, and determining (1) if the charge should be dismissed as unfounded or (2) summon the student for a meeting. The meeting provides an opportunity for SCCS and the student to discuss the issues. The student may choose not to dispute the alleged violation, waive the hearing and accept the behavioral and academic sanctions with SCCS or the student may request a hearing. 
    7. If a hearing is conducted, SCCS by an advisor of choice. If the student's advisor is an attorney, SCCS’s advisor may be an attorney from the Office of General Counsel of the UT System. An advisor may confer with and advise SCCS or the accused student, but shall not be permitted to question witnesses, introduce evidence, make objections, or present argument to the hearing officer. Hearing procedures can be found at: http://utsa.edu/infoguide/appendices/b.html#hr.
    8. Because an accused student has the option to choose a hearing and may appeal a sanction(s) that may be assessed as a result of a disciplinary hearing, the student must be allowed to attend all classes and complete all assignments until the process is complete unless interim discipline has been imposed as authorized by the Regents' Rules and Regulations , Series 50101.
    9. Posting of Grades
      1. Grades, including the grade for the assignment/examination being questioned, should not be posted until the conduct process is complete. If a scholastic dishonesty case occurs near due dates, the faculty member is responsible for notifying their Academic Dean when grades are submitted, noting that pending the outcome of a scholastic dishonesty case, an "NR" (No Report) should be posted for the student's grade. The Academic Dean's office should then notify the Registrar who records the NR.  The NR form is available at http://utsa.edu/studentlife/conduct/documents/pdfs/NRForm.pdf
      2. Faculty should use the NR form anytime final grades will be reported during the fourteen (14) day appeal window.  If the student does not exercise their right to appeal, their grade may be posted on the fifteenth (15th) day after they signed the scholastic dishonesty form. SCCS provides notification to the faculty and Dean/Chair at the conclusion of the conduct process with the date after which the final grade is to be posted. It is the responsibility of the Faculty member or the college to ensure the grade is posted in a timely manner.
  2. The Student's Discipline Record
    Records of scholastic dishonesty are retained with SCCS and are kept separate from the student's academic record (transcript). The primary purpose of maintaining the records is to alert SCCS of students who may be involved in repeated violations of scholastic dishonesty. Disciplinary records, including scholastic dishonesty, are treated as confidential and shall not be accessible to or used by anyone other than SCCS, the Dean of Students or University official with legitimate educational interests, except upon written authorization of the student or in accordance with applicable state or federal laws or court order or subpoena. Each component institution shall maintain a permanent, written, disciplinary record for every student assessed a sanction of suspension, expulsion, denial or revocation of degree, and/or withdrawal of diploma. A record of scholastic dishonesty shall be maintained for at least five (5) years unless the record is permanent in conjunction with the above stated sanctions.
  3. The Rights of the Student
    1. Due process for students in scholastic dishonesty cases is outlined above in 2.37 A., Guidelines for Faculty Members. Administrative due process rights provide that a student who disputes an allegation has the right to know what evidence supports the charge and the right to a hearing. If the student does not dispute the facts and signs a waiver, a formal hearing is not required. Under any circumstance, however, a student has the right to appeal a decision. A decision by the faculty member or SCCS regarding the sanction only, or the Hearing Officer decision, may be appealed in writing to the VPSA within fourteen (14) days after the date of the decision. The action of the VPSA shall be communicated in writing to the accused student and SCCS within thirty (30) days after the appeal and related documents have been received.
    2. Students may appeal the decision of the VPSA to the President within fourteen (14) days after the date of the decision. The action of the President shall be communicated in writing to the accused student and SCCS within thirty (30) days after the appeal and related documents have been received.
    3. Students are responsible for and encouraged to review the UTSA Student Code of Conduct. It can be found at http://www.utsa.edu/infoguide/appendices/b.html  and is also available from Student Conduct and Community Standards. 


X. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION


None


XI. FORMS AND TOOLS/ONLINE PROCESSES


Faculty Disposition of a Scholastic Dishonesty Form:http://utsa.edu/studentlife/conduct/documents/pdfs/Scholastic%20Dishonesty_frm_final_03_04_2013.pdf

NR form is available at http://utsa.edu/studentlife/conduct/documents/pdfs/NRForm.pdf

Student Conduct and Community Standards-http://utsa.edu/studentlife/conduct/

UTSA Student Code of Conduct-http://www.utsa.edu/infoguide/appendices/b.html


XII. APPENDIX


None