Procedures for Board of Review Hearings

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 students and faculty members and is served by the Registrar as a permanent non-voting secretary. The student members of the Board are selected from the students already serving on the Community Conduct Board; students will be chosen in consultation with the Associate Dean of Students. The faculty members are appointed by the Committee on Instruction; 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. Upon receiving a case, the Associate Dean will ask the Registrar to schedule a meeting of a Board panel.

For cases of alleged academic irresponsibility involving only one student, and where that student accepts responsibility and has not previously been found responsible for academic misconduct, a three-member panel (comprising two faculty members and one student) will hear the matter.

2018-19 Board of Review Members

Deborah Abowitz, sociology
Christine Buffinton, mechanical engineering
Bethany Collier, music
Richard Crago, civil & environmental engineering
JiaJia Dong, physics (on leave 2018-19)
Dabrina Dutcher, chemistry and chemical engineering (on leave spring 2019)
Martin Isleem, languages, cultures & linguistics - Arabic program (on leave 2018-19)
Nick Jones, Spanish
Allison Lockard, education (on leave fall 2018)
Erik Lofgren, East Asian studies
Aaron Mitchel, psychology (on leave fall 2018)
David Rovnyak, chemistry
Mala Sharma, mechanical engineering
Alia Stanciu, management
Matias Vernengo, economics (Co-chair)
Lea Wittie, computer science (Co-chair) (on leave spring 2019)

Procedures to be followed in all suspected cases of academic irresponsibility:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 abroad), the case may be heard by the Chair of the Board or another Board member designated by the Chair.
  8. Procedures for Board of Review Hearings:
    • In attendance: besides the members of the Board and the Secretary, the student charged with academic dishonesty, the associate dean of the student's College, and, if the student so desires, an adviser chosen by the student. (The advisor must be a member of the University community, may not be a practicing attorney, and is present solely to advise and assist the student. The advisor does not participate in the proceedings or address the board during the meeting, but may confer with the student if it does not disrupt the proceedings.) The faculty member charging the student may also be present.
    • Introductions by board members and statement of confidentiality by Secretary.
    • Reading and signing by the student of statement acknowledging receipt of the charges.
    • Meeting conducted by the Chair.
    • Chair asks student to recount the events that led up to the charges.
    • Questioning of student by Board. (The Chair may also permit the student to summarize his or her position on the charges after questioning is completed.)
    • Chair asks faculty member, if present, for comments.
    • Departure of faculty member, if present.
    • Departure of student, advisor and associate dean when questioning is finished.
    • Optional contact by chair of Board with the instructor (or other accuser) for purposes of clarification, if needed. If additional information that is material in the Chair’s judgment is obtained through this contact, the Chair shall also convey this information to the associate dean; the Chair and the associate dean will then convey it to the student and seek further clarification from student, if the Chair deems it appropriate. If the Chair believes this additional information would be helpful to the Board in its deliberations, the Chair will convey it either verbally or in writing to the other members of the Board.
    • Consideration of evidence in closed session.
    • Determination whether the University’s policy on academic responsibility has been violated.
    • Determination of penalty, if a violation is found.
    • The Secretary transmits the Board’s action to associate dean.
    • The associate dean notifies the student of the Board’s determination and action and transmits the action to the instructor.
    • Action taken by the Board is documented by the Board Secretary and signed by the Board Chair.
    • The Board may modify or adapt these guidelines as appropriate.
  9. 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
  10. 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.

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.

    1. The grade of "F" on the assignment
    2. A grade of one or more levels below the actual grade earned in the course. Academic Responsibility (continued)
    3. A grade of "F" for the course
    4. Disciplinary dismissal from the University for at least one semester at the end of the semester in which the offense has occurred
    5. The immediate disciplinary dismissal from the University for the remainder of the current and following semester
    6. 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.

A letter of reprimand may be issued for low level first-time academic conduct violations. This outcome indicates that the student's behavior was inappropriate and warrants a modification for the future, but no penalty is assessed. A letter of reprimand is not part of the student's permanent record and will not be reported to entities external to the University as a finding of responsibility or imposition of adverse disciplinary action. A letter of reprimand remains in a student's file until graduation, when it is removed. Reprimands are taken into account in determining penalties in the event of future violations of academic conduct regulations.