The University makes a distinction between acts of academic irresponsibility and other conduct which may subject an individual to disciplinary action. To avoid confrontation between a student and professor, encourage consistency of recommended penalties, and protect the rights of individuals, charges of academic irresponsibility are handled by the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility.
The Board of Review on Academic Responsibility is made of six students and ten faculty members and is served by the Registrar as a permanent non-voting secretary. The six student members of the Board are selected from the students already serving on the Community Judicial Board; students will be chosen in consultation with the Associate Dean of Students. The names of the ten faculty members are prepared by the Academic Dean's Offices (Arts and Sciences and Engineering) and submitted to the University Council for approval; members of the BSG who serve on the University Council should represent the interests of the BSG in the approval process; the faculty members serve staggered three year terms.
Each case of alleged academic irresponsibility is heard by a five-member panel (three faculty members, two students) of the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility; every effort is made to secure gender representation on each Board panel. Upon receiving a case, the Associate Dean will ask the Registrar to schedule a meeting of a Board panel.
Procedures to be followed in all suspected cases of academic irresponsibility:
- An Associate Dean in each college has been designated to handle all matters relating to academic irresponsibility. Members of the faculty are expected to report possible acts of academic irresponsibility to the Associate Dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. However, before doing so the faculty member should gather all necessary information and evidence regarding this situation. The faculty member may speak directly with the student involved to resolve any questions or discrepancies but may not decide that the student is guilty and impose a penalty. The Associate Dean is available to discuss the matter with the faculty member before the official charge is made.
- Students who witness possible acts of academic irresponsibility by another student(s) are expected to report this to the faculty member who will then investigate. In some circumstances, it may be more appropriate for the student to report to the chair of the department.
- When all the necessary information has been obtained, the faculty member will provide the Associate Dean with a written statement of possible charges and all appropriate evidence. (To Report a Case of Suspected Misconduct)
- The Associate Dean will meet with the student charged and explain the allegation, the evidence, and the procedures that will be followed. At all times the student charged may be accompanied to meetings or hearings by a friend or adviser from the University community, but the adviser may not address the Board or question witnesses during proceedings. The faculty member charging the student may also attend the hearing; the chair of the panel will ask the faculty member for questions or comments at an appropriate time.
- Following the meeting, the student will write a short statement indicating the sequence of events that occurred before, during and after the alleged act of irresponsibility. The Associate Dean will write a summary of the meeting with the student and will deliver a packet containing that summary, the student's statement, the faculty statement and all evidence to the Registrar. The Registrar will call a meeting of a panel of the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility.
- Other than the temporary assignment of an administrative incomplete in a course, the official status of the student in the University will remain unchanged pending disposition of the charges. However, in the case of a graduating senior where the matter cannot be resolved in time, graduation might, of necessity, be deferred.
- The Board panel will meet with the Associate Dean and the student and on the basis of evidence and any other information it may wish to solicit (see Note below) ,determine whether a violation has occurred. The Board panel will transmit its decision and recommendation for penalty to the Associate Dean who will initiate action on behalf of the University. In the event that a Board panel cannot meet between semesters and the case needs to be heard (e.g. if the student is graduating or going abraod), the case may be heard by the Chair of the Board or another Board member designated by the Chair.
- The student may appeal the decision to the Dean of the College. To do so the student should present a written statement explaining the reason for the appeal and any evidence not available at the time of the hearing. An appeal must be made within a month of the decision.
Materials related to the case are kept in confidential files separate from the student's academic record in the Registrar's Office. It should be noted that conversations between the Associate Dean and the faculty member, the Associate Dean and the student, and all meetings with the panel of the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility shall be considered confidential. Once a case is decided, all parties are charged not to reveal the name of the student, or associate the student with a specific case, or the outcome. A general summary of offenses and penalties may be published in the student newspaper or on the web. For educational purposes, case studies (without names) may be used.
Note: On occasion, for clarification or questions pertaining to the material submitted, the chair of the Board of Review may find it necessary to speak with the faculty member bringing the charge and request additional written material
Range of Penalties
The panel of the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility, in reviewing the case, may select from the following list or recommend the penalty which it believes appropriate to the particular case under consideration. It is generally assumed that repeated offenses will incur increasingly severe penalties.
- The grade of "F" on the assignment
- A grade of one or more levels below the actual grade earned in the course. Academic Responsibility (continued)
- A grade of "F" for the course
- Disciplinary dismissal from the University for at least one semester at the end of the semester in which the offense has occurred
- The immediate disciplinary dismissal from the University for the remainder of the current and following semester
- Permanent dismissal from the University.
It should be noted that penalty grades, or the result of penalties, determined by the panel of the Board of Review will be reflected on the student's academic record and may not be changed by requests to drop the course or to withdraw from the semester or the University.