Academic Integrity Procedures

Academic Integrity Procedures

Under the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska [Sections 2.9 and 4.1(i)], the respective colleges of the University have jurisdiction over procedural matters concerning academic dishonesty. Just as the task of inculcating values of academic honesty resides with the faculty, the faculty is entrusted with the discretionary authority to decide how incidents of academic dishonesty are to be resolved.

In cases where a faculty member finds that a student has committed any form of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may, in the exercise of his or her professional judgment, impose an academic sanction as severe as giving the student a failing grade in the course. In cases involving an academic sanction, the faculty member shall initiate the following procedures, starting at Step 1 and continuing only as necessary to Steps 2 or 3.

Step 1: Determination and Reporting of Offense and Sanctions

The faculty member shall discuss the matter with the student either in person or through e-mail, and shall:

  1. Explain to the student the basis for the suspicion of academic dishonesty; and
  2. Give the student a reasonable opportunity to explain the matter.

If the student offers an unsatisfactory explanation, does not respond within seven school days after first being notified (in person or through e-mail) of the suspected academic dishonesty, or if the faculty member otherwise concludes that the student has violated the academic integrity policy, the faculty member shall notify the student of any sanction for the offense through a letter or e-mail. The faculty member shall explain to the student his or her rights to mediation, as described in step 2, and appeal, as described in step 3.

Any sanction imposed by the faculty member, such as retaking a test or rewriting a paper, or failure in the entire course, shall be limited to the course. If the student does not respond or make a request for mediation or appeal within ten school days after the date of first being notified in writing of any sanction for academic dishonesty, then the student is considered to have accepted the sanction, and the faculty member shall make a written report of the facts of the case, including any pertinent materials related to the academic dishonesty. This report shall be retained by the faculty member for one year following the last day of the semester of the course in which the sanction for academic dishonesty was imposed, in keeping with the records policy of the NU Board of Regents referenced below.

Whenever an academic sanction is imposed that directly results in a grade of ‘F’ in the entire course, the faculty member’s report shall be conveyed to the department chair and dean of the college in which the course is offered, and to the UNO Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, and the faculty member shall inform the student in writing that a report has been made. Student conduct proceedings shall be initiated, and students may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion under the UNO Student Code of Conduct. Students shall be informed of their right to appeal, in accordance with the procedures established by the UNO Student Code of Conduct. In keeping with Board of Regents policy, records of cases resulting in expulsion or suspension shall be retained indefinitely, and records of other cases shall be retained for six years. Upon graduation or after two years of separation from the university, students may request that records of any cases not resulting in expulsion or suspension be expunged.

Cases involving lesser sanctions that do not result in a grade of ‘F’ in the entire course, such as retaking a quiz or rewriting a paper, may be reported at the discretion of the faculty member. However, if a faculty member reports any sanction imposed for academic dishonesty to the department chair or dean of the college in which the course is offered, or to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, then the faculty member shall inform the student in writing that a report has been made.

The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards shall maintain a record of students who are reported to have violated the policy on Academic Integrity. Student conduct proceedings shall be initiated whenever a student is reported for violating the policy on Academic Integrity in more than one course. If a student is found not responsible for violating the academic integrity policy after mediation (Step 2) or appeal (Step 3), any records related to the incident shall be destroyed.

When academic dishonesty occurs in courses that are taught for a learning community, such as the Honors Program or a scholarship-based learning community, the faculty member may convey the report of any sanction to that learning community’s director or academic adviser, and if so, the faculty member shall inform the student in writing that a report has been made.

Step 2: Mediation

If the faculty member and student cannot reach agreement as to the matter of an alleged incident of academic dishonesty, then either party may request the departmental chair to serve as a confidential mediator, exploring the student's intentions, the gravity of the suspected offense, and the appropriateness of the sanction. This request must be made within ten school days after the date of the first notification, either in person or via e-mail, of any form of sanction imposed for academic dishonesty. If the matter is satisfactorily resolved among these three parties, then a written record of the resolution shall be prepared by the mediator, communicated to both the faculty member and student, and retained by the faculty member for one year following the end of the course, in keeping with the Board of Regents policy on records retention. Any form of sanction agreed to in mediation that directly results in a grade of ‘F’ in the entire course shall be reported to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards as described in Step 1, and the mediator shall inform the student in writing that a report has been made. Lesser sanctions shall not be reported further.

Step 3: Appeal within the College

If the matter of an alleged incident of academic dishonesty cannot be resolved satisfactorily through mediation (Step 2), or if either the faculty member or the student do not wish the departmental chair to mediate, then either party may request the dean of the college to convene an appropriate college standing committee with student representation or impanel a committee with student representation to consider the matter of the alleged academic dishonesty. The request for appeal shall be made within ten school days after the date of the first notification of any form of sanction for academic dishonesty or, if Step 2 is pursued, within ten school days after the date of any unsuccessful attempt to resolve the issue through mediation. The membership of the college committee shall be drawn from the college in which the course is taught. The college committee shall function in accordance with the procedural guarantees provided in Section 5.4 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.

If the committee finds the student did not violate the UNO academic integrity policy, the faculty member shall award a grade for the student's work and course without prejudice, and all records related to the incident, apart from those normally retained for grading purposes, shall be destroyed. This includes any report of the incident which had been conveyed (see Step 1) to the department chair, dean of the college in which the course is offered, Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, or learning community for which the course is offered.

If the committee finds that the student has violated the policy, it shall uphold the faculty member's sanction. The dean shall convey a report of the incident, including the sanction and the committee’s decision that the student has violated the policy, to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, the student, and the faculty member. The dean shall retain the evidence and records of the committee’s proceedings in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regents and UNO on the retention of disciplinary records.

Withdrawals

The procedures described above still apply if a student who is suspected of violating the UNO academic integrity policy withdraws from the course at any point.

Repeat Offenses

The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards shall maintain a record of students who have violated the UNO academic integrity policy. Students who are reported for violating the policy on Academic Integrity in more than one course are subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion under the UNO Student Code of Conduct. Students shall be informed of their right to appeal such disciplinary action, in accordance with the procedures established by the UNO Student Code of Conduct. The disposition of such cases shall be communicated to any faculty members who communicated a report to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards concerning that student’s violation of the academic integrity policy, and to the dean of the student’s College. When students graduate or are separated from the University, any record of sanctions for academic integrity violations retained by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards shall be destroyed.

Annual Report

Each year near the beginning of the Fall semester, the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards shall convey an anonymized report to the UNO Faculty Senate including the total number of academic integrity cases reported during the preceding academic year, the number that involved failure in the entire course, as well as the number and final disposition of any academic integrity cases adjudicated under the UNO Student Code of Conduct.

Records Retention and Communication

Records shall be retained when the student is found in violation of this policy in accordance with applicable Board of Regents policy. Records may be communicated outside the immediately concerned parties (Department, Dean’s Office, Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards, Learning Community, etc.) only if the student has been found to violate the academic integrity policy and no further mediation or appeal may be made under the procedures described above.

Syllabus Language

“UNO has an academic integrity policy and procedures available at https://www.unomaha.edu/student-life/student-conduct-and-community-standards/policies/academic-integrity.php”, in addition to any other comments on academic integrity that may be included in the syllabus.

(UNO Faculty Senate policy as of 5/2017)