The College of the Environment’s Academic Misconduct Process is consistent with the UW Student Conduct Code. The College works closely with the UW Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct to ensure that students have access to due process. The following flow chart outlines key steps in the Academic Misconduct Process.
The College’s Dean’s Representative for Academic Conduct is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, with support from the Director of Student and Academic Services. To refer a case of suspected academic misconduct to the Dean’s Office, contact:
- Julia Parrish, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, email@example.com
- Michelle Hall, Director of Student and Academic Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
A student falls within the jurisdiction of the Dean of the College of the Environment if the student is:
- a major within the College of the Environment, including pre-majors in Bioresource Science and Engineering. Note that this is true regardless of the college in which the course is taught.
- a non-matriculated student taking a course in the College of the Environment.
If the student is a major or pre-major in any other college, the College of the Environment will refer the case and supporting documentation to the student’s home college. If the student is a pre-major or major within Arts & Sciences, you can use the “Report it” website to upload the report of misconduct and supporting documents.
What to do if you suspect a student of academic misconduct
- If you are a student who suspects another student(s) of academic misconduct, report the incident to your instructor or TA immediately.
- If you are a TA, report the incident of suspected academic misconduct to your instructor immediately.
- If you are the instructor:
- Note that you may not simply assign a zero for suspected academic misconduct, because this action fails to preserve the rights of the student. Any grading sanction an instructor takes must follow from the Student Conduct Process, and specifically from a finding that the students is responsible for the alleged action.
- In some plagiarism cases (especially in lower-division undergraduate courses or in cases in which the suspected plagiarism seems unintentional or accidental), an instructor may decide to approach the situation as a teaching and learning moment, and allow a student to rewrite an assignment, subject to late submission grading policies stated on the syllabus. If you allow the student to re-do the assignment, you may wish to notify the Dean’s Office of the incident so that a record of the interaction and resolution exists.
- You may communicate with the student by email or in person to explain why you suspect the student has engaged in academic misconduct and to ask for an explanation. Explain to the student that she/he has the right to talk directly to the Dean’s Office if he/she does not want to interact directly with you about the allegation.
- If you discuss the matter with the student and decide that you still believe that the student engaged in academic misconduct, refer the matter to the College of the Environment’s Dean’s Office for review. After referral, the Dean’s Office will manage the process of determining if the student is responsible for academic misconduct.
- You may also simply refer the case directly to the College of the Environment’s Dean’s Office without contacting the student if you prefer not to deal directly with the student.
- If in doubt on any of these options, always contact the Dean’s Office for advice.
Instructors: How to refer a case of suspected academic misconduct to the Dean’s Office
- You may wish to explain to the student that you are referring the case to the Dean’s Office and that someone from that office will be contacting the student soon to schedule an Informal Hearing. An email is a good option, because this produces a record of the communication.
- If the student is a major in the College of the Environment, or a pre-major in Bioresource Science Engineering (BSE), send a Report of Academic Misconduct to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as soon as you are aware of the alleged misconduct. The Report will guide you through what specific information the Dean’s Office needs to proceed.
Instructors: Grading work in a case of suspected academic misconduct
- Do not assign a grade for the assignment or the course. If the quarter is ending, you must assign an “X” grade until after you have been notified by the Dean’s Office that the conduct process is complete.
- If the student is found responsible for academic misconduct, you will then calculate and submit the final grade. The Dean’s Office recommends that instructors assign a zero / no credit for any assignments involving academic misconduct. All other course assignments should be evaluated and graded according to the expectations and grading method stated in the course syllabus. Please make sure that your syllabus is clear on the consequences of academic misconduct in your course.
- If the Dean’s Office exonerates the student, the course instructor will reinstate the grade which the student would have received had the misconduct charge not been reported.
What to do if you are accused of academic misconduct
- Remember that the UW Student Conduct Code outlines standards to protect your rights as a student. You will have the right to appeal at every step of the conduct process. You may contact Michelle Hall, Director of Student and Academic Services at any point; she is your advocate in the process. You may also work with your department or school academic adviser.
- You may first hear about the allegation from your instructor. If you would prefer not to discuss the allegation with your instructor, you may request to proceed directly to an Informal Hearing with a Dean’s Office representative.
- Your instructor may refer the allegation directly to the Dean’s Office without contacting you first.
- In either case, you will be contacted to schedule an Informal Hearing, at which time you will be asked to share your view of what happened.
Students: Consequences of academic misconduct
- If you are found responsible for academic misconduct, you will suffer two consequences: a disciplinary sanction and an impact to your course grade.
- Disciplinary Sanction: Depending on the severity of the offense, a disciplinary sanction ranges from a Reprimand to Dismissal from the University of Washington.
- Grade Impact: Your grade for any work involving academic misconduct will be determined by the course instructor and may include a zero on the assignment, which may result in failing the course.
- If you have been previously found responsible for academic misconduct, the Dean’s Office will consider more serious disciplinary sanctions.
- If you are exonerated, you will receive the grade you would have received had the misconduct charge not been reported.
Informal Hearing Process
THE DEAN’S OFFICE NOTIFIES THE STUDENT OF THE INFORMAL HEARING
After reviewing the Report of Academic Misconduct from the instructor, the Dean’s Office will email and mail the student a letter requiring the student to schedule an Informal Hearing. The letter will also contain information about the Student Conduct Code and the appeal process. Students who fail to respond to schedule the Informal Hearing by the deadline specified in the letter (no more than five business days after receipt of letter) or fail to attend a scheduled hearing will waive any rights to an Informal Hearing and an opportunity to respond to the allegations of misconduct. However, even students who do not attend the Informal Hearing retain the right to appeal the outcome to the University Disciplinary Committee.
THE DEAN’S OFFICE CONSULTS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON OFFICE OF COMMUNITY STANDARDS AND STUDENT CONDUCT
The Dean’s Office will contact the UW Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct to confirm whether or not the student has previously been found responsible for misconduct. If the student has a misconduct record, the Dean’s Office may consider more serious sanctions if the student is found responsible for additional offenses.
THE DEAN’S OFFICE HOLDS THE INFORMAL HEARING WITH THE STUDENT
At the Informal Hearing, the student will meet with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Director of Student and Academic Services. The term “informal” refers to the fact that the UW Disciplinary Committee or Faculty Appeals Board has the final authority, and does not indicate that this meeting will be casual. The Informal Hearing allows the Dean’s Office to share with the student information received regarding the alleged academic misconduct and is an opportunity for the student to share her/his perspective on and information regarding the allegation.During the Informal Hearing, the student is provided with the following information:
THE DEAN’S OFFICE MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS – INFORMAL HEARING OUTCOMES
Based on the Informal Hearing, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will issue the student a letter within 10 days of the conclusion of the Informal Hearing taking one of the following actions:
- Exonerate or dismiss the action if no alleged misconduct is determined to have taken place.
- Impose a disciplinary sanction. Possible disciplinary sanctions are specified in the Student Conduct Code, including a disciplinary reprimand, disciplinary probation or suspension, or in certain severe cases or in cases where the student is found guilty of multiple infractions, dismissal from the University.
- Refer the matter to either the University Disciplinary Committee or the Faculty Appeals Board (See Formal Hearings). Note that disciplinary sanctions of suspension or dismissal are automatically referred.
THE DEAN’S OFFICE RECORDS THE INCIDENT OR EXPUNGES THE FILES
- If the student is exonerated, all files related to the case will be expunged.
- If the student is found responsible, the Dean’s Office will maintain files on all academic misconduct Informal Hearings, including the Report of Academic Misconduct submitted by the instructor and all associated materials, the letter notifying the student of the Informal Hearing, and the letter to the student stating the outcomes of the hearing and associated Outcome Report. These records will be kept on file for 7 years, after which they will be expunged.
- The Dean’s Office will send copies of the following to the Director of the UW Community Standards and Student Conduct: the letter notifying the student of the Informal Hearing, the letter to the student stating the outcomes of the Informal Hearing, and Outcome Report.