Academic Integrity

The Disciplinary Process

Procedures 

In cases of suspected academic misconduct, any member of the community may seek advice about appropriate options from the Chair of the Honor Council, report the violation to the appropriate instructor, or initiate an honor case with the Student Judicial Board. The severity of disciplinary action depends on the circumstances specific to each case. For example, if an offense is a first time event and relatively minor in nature, sanction may not result in a permanent addition to the student transcript. However, is a major or repeated offense occurs stronger sanctions will apply, including the possibility of permanent expulsion. 

The Academic Misconduct policy may seem abstract for those who have never experienced how it plays out in the community. The Honor Council summarizes some cases from previous years in which a student’s academic behavior was found to be in violation of the Honor Principle: Case Summaries.

Instructors who have reason to suspect a student has committed academic dishonesty are required, in all cases, to pursue possible disciplinary action through the procedures described below. For a full account of the process, see the Honor Principle Flow Chart.

Determination of Facts

If a faculty member believes that academic misconduct has occurred two options are available in order to determine the factual basis of each claim. The instructor can seek to discuss their concerns with the student(s), or choose the Judicial Board by filling out an Academic Misconduct Report describing the suspected incident and forwarding it to the Judicial Board. 

Communication with the Student(s)

An instructor who chooses to determine further action through communication will seek contact with the student(s) and discuss the grounds for their concerns. In instances were an infraction is clearly demonstrated, the instructor fills outs an Academic Misconduct Report describing the incident. Then, both the instructor and student(s) sign the report and the Instructor forwards it to the Office of Student Services. If the Instructor and student(s) do not agree on the facts, they may seek formal mediation through the Honor Council. 

If the evidence in the case is ambiguous and adjudication is necessary to determine the student’s guilt or innocence, the case will be referred to the Student Judicial Board.

Disposition of Cases

a) Agreement on Facts: Minor Misconduct and First-time Offences

In cases where the student and instructor agree that academic misconduct has occurred, and if the misconduct is a first offence and relatively minor in nature, the faculty member has the option to recommend that no disciplinary action sanction result. The instructor does this by filling out an Academic Misconduct Report that indicates that he or she believes that in this case the offence was minor and that disciplinary action by the Student Judicial Board is not recommended. Both the instructor and student(s) sign the form, and it is forwarded to the Office of Student Services.

The Dean of Student services then examines the file to determine that this is indeed a first-time offense and relatively minor in nature. If it is a first offence, the report is reviewed by a panel of three individuals: the Dean of Student Services, a faculty member of the Administration Committee and a member of the Student Judicial Board. During this stage the anonymity of the student is preserved, and generally the Dean of Student Services is the only member with access to the name of the student(s). If the panel agrees that it is a first-time offense and relatively minor in nature, no further action is taken and the record of the proceedings will not go on the students transcript. It will be held by the Dean's Office, but only consulted if another accusation of academic misconduct occurs.

If the panel decides that the action is comparatively serious, the matter is referred to the Student Judicial Board who then recommends disciplinary action to the President. Within this process, the student has the option to appeal at several intervals. 

b) Agreement on Facts: More Serious and Repeat Offenses 

In cases where the student and instructor agree that academic misconduct has occurred, and if the misconduct is not a first offense or not minor, the instructor fills out an Academic Misconduct Report (signed by both instructor and students(s)) and forwards it to the Student Judicial Board. The Student Judicial Board will then recommend disciplinary sanctions to the President. Unless the student(s) request a hearing or unless the Judicial Board solicits additional information from the parties, the recommendation will be based on the Academic Misconduct Report.

c) Determination of Disciplinary Action

In cases where the student and instructor do not agree that an alleged misconduct has occurred, the instructor fills out an Academic Misconduct report. The student(s) may choose to sign the report and may also include a separate statement about relevant facts. The case is then heard by the Student Judicial Board to determine the facts and recommend disciplinary action to the President. The Student Judicial Board may request testimony from faculty witnesses from the relevant field(s) in which the incident occurred about what constitutes academic misconduct in that discipline. A summary report of the Judicial Board's determinations if filed with the Office of Student Services and provided to the faculty member(s) and accused students(s) involved in the case.

Determination of Disciplinary Action

a) Disciplinary Action Recommendation by Student Judicial Board

If it is determined, either by agreement or as a result of hearing an Honor Case, that a violation of the Academic Conduct Policy has occurred, the Student Judicial Board will determine the appropriate disciplinary action if any, except in cases where the review panel has determined that the misconduct does not warrant disciplinary sanction.

In deciding upon a suitable action, the Student Judicial Board will consider both the severity of the offense and any information in the student's disciplinary file that pertains to academic misconduct. If the Student Judicial Board determines that the misconduct is a first offense and is comparatively minor in nature, they will forward a brief report to the Dean of Student Services to be placed in a confidential record and no further action shall be taken. If the Student Judicial Board determines that the misconduct is a repeat offense or is comparatively serious in nature, they will recommend disciplinary action to the President of the College subject to appeal to the Administration Committee. 

b. Appeal and Review Process

1) Any person(s) lodging a complaint, or against whom a complaint has been made, has the right to appeal any final decision of the Student Judicial Board to the Administration Committee of the Faculty in accordance with the Faculty Code and the Reed College Community Constitution. Any appeal must be made in writing within ten working days of the notification of the Student Judicial Board's decision, and shall contain a statement of the grounds of appeal. The Committee may re-hear such portions of the evidence and testimony as it deems fit or call for new evidence and testimony.

2) After the appeal period has expired, all non-appealed recommendations of disciplinary action proposed by the Student Judicial Board in cases involving violations of the Academic Conduct Policy shall be reviewed by the faculty members of the Administration Committee who, after consultation with the Chair of the Student Judicial Board, may amend the judgments and recommended disciplinary action proposed by the Student Judicial Board.

3) One final appeal may be made to the President of the College no later than ten working days after the decision on a previous appeal made to another body.

When the College is not in Session

When a case of academic misconduct requires adjudication or a recommendation of sanctions when the college is not in session and no member of the Student Judicial Board is available, the panel described in IV.B.2 will be comprised of the Dean of Student Services and two faculty members of the administration committee. If the case would normally proceed to the Student Judicial Board but a Judicial Board cannot be formed, the faculty members of the Administration Committee will hear the case, determine the facts, and if it is determined that a violation of the Academic Conduct Policy has occurred, recommend any disciplinary action to the President.

Recordkeeping

The Office of Student Services shall keep records of academic misconduct cases in a confidential disciplinary file separate from all other records pertaining to an accused party. The Dean of Student Services shall keep, maintain and protect such records.

In cases where the review panel or the judicial board believe that the appropriate remedy for the misconduct is education, and that the misconduct does not warrant disciplinary action, the record will not be released externally and will be retained only until the student leaves the College.

Records for cases that result in disciplinary action shall be maintained for the duration of the student's enrollment at the College, or longer if legally required, and shall be destroyed at the end of that period.

Conclusion

We created this tutorial to provide a brief overview of the College's policy of academic integrity. If you need clarification about the Academic Misconduct Policy, please direct your questions to the Registrar’s Office and we will gladly assist you. If extra information would be helpful to you, check out these Resources.

Or, proceed to the Academic Integrity Quiz

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