University of Washington School of Public Health

Procedures for Suspected Academic Misconduct

  1. Generally, issues of suspected plagiarism should be handled by the instructor in whose course the suspected plagiarism has occurred. The instructor needs to confront the student, discuss concerns, and hear explanations. If the instructor and the student agree about the facts, the instructor then determines the appropriate remedy. The instructor can
    1. Provide a warning
    2. Ask the student to repeat the assignment/test
    3. Dock the student's grade for the assignment
    4. Give the student a zero for the assignment, which could result in the student failing the course
  2. If the instructor and the student cannot work out an appropriate remedy themselves, the instructor
    1. Notifies student of his/her concerns
    2. Withholds a grade for the course (uses a grade of 'X') and
    3. Informs the student that the matter will be referred to the Dean's representative for an impartial third-party hearing, which the student can appeal.
  3. The Dean's representative is appointed by the Dean to review cases of student misconduct whenever the matter cannot be resolved between the instructor and the student or whenever either the instructor or the student wants the problem dealt with by an uninvolved third-party.
  4. The Dean's representative
    1. Requests a description of the issue and gathers all evidence from the instructor
    2. Invites the student to meet to conduct a review of the problem, where the student has the opportunity to respond to the concerns
    3. Determines whether or not a breech of conduct occurred
    4. Specifies the sanction
      1. Warning or
      2. Academic Probation
    5. Writes a letter to the student summarizing the concerns, findings, and sanctions (cc'd to the instructor)
    6. Provides the opportunity for the student to appeal the decision to an Appeals Committee (SPH can use UW appeals committee).
  5. The Student
    1. May appeal the decision of the Dean's Representative if he/she feels it is unwarranted or unjust
    2. If the student agrees with the findings of the Dean's Representative, the student is asked to meet again with instructor and to present the instructor with a letter of apology
    3. If appropriate, the student may be asked to use a 2 hour academic integrity teaching tool at the office of the Vice Provost/Special Assistant to the President for Student Relations
  6. The University Appeals Committee
    1. Reviews all contested decisions, at the request of the student
    2. Receives a copy of the letter to the student for informational purposes.
  7. After the case has been decided (including appeals), the instructor can determine how the student's grade will be affected. The instructor can
    1. Provide a warning
    2. Ask the student to repeat the assignment/test
    3. Dock the student's grade for the assignment
    4. Give the student a zero for the assignment, which could result in the student failing the course
    5. Other
  8. A second episode of academic misconduct generally results in a one-year suspension from the University.
  9. Confidentiality and Recordkeeping.
    1. No record of this process is to be kept in either the student's file or in the registrar's database (including any record of suspension).
    2. The Dean's Representative keeps a copy of the letter sent to the student in a confidential file (which is destroyed at the time of the student's graduation) to provide documentation if there is a repeat episode of academic misconduct.