Student Conduct: Academic Dishonesty
Learn how to personally manage incidents of academic dishonesty or refer cases to the Student Conduct Office for further disciplinary action. All Minnesota State University constituents are expected to adhere to the highest academic standards of integrity.
Tips for Discouraging Academic Dishonesty
- Create syllabi with thorough instructions and expectations, a statement regarding academic integrity, and rubrics for assignments.
- Refer students to academic support services.
- Review proper citations with your class.
- Indicate what assignments can be worked on collaboratively and what ones cannot be. Explicitly state expectations for group projects.
- Encourage good time management.
- Space out due dates for assignments to provide a proper amount of time to complete assignments.
- Explicitly state rules on extensions and late assignments.
- Create open communication with students.
- Review academic honesty policies during midterms and finals.
- Change assignment and test answers frequently to discourage student use of answer sharing websites.
- Utilize anti-plagiarism websites like Turnitin.com.
- Visit the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for tips on improving student outcomes and engagement.
Academic Dishonesty Procedures with Possible Referral to Student Conduct
- Allegations of academic dishonesty, e.g. cheating and plagiarism, are first addressed by the instructor. Academic sanctions, such as a failing grade or dismissal from the program, will be determined by the instructor and academic program. Academic sanctions may be appealed in accordance with the University's Grade Appeal process.
- After attempting to talk with the student and consulting with the department chair, the instructor may choose to refer the matter to the Office of Student Conduct for consideration of disciplinary action above and beyond the academic sanctions imposed. The Office of Student Conduct may elect to defer a decision on disciplinary consequences until grade appeal issues are resolved, if a case is being contested.
- Complete, accurate documentation is essential. You may be asked to appear as a witness in a University Conduct Board hearing. Students who are suspended or expelled at public universities in Minnesota have the right to request a Chapter 14 contested case hearing before an administrative law judge, in addition to an appeal to the college president.
- Before assigning an academic sanction or referring a student to the Office of Student Conduct, instructors must make a good faith effort to give the student an opportunity to question the evidence and tell his/her side of the story before imposing consequences. As a guiding principle, think about how you would want to be treated if you were the subject of an allegation.
- Students should be afforded the following due process considerations:
- Oral or written notice of the allegations.
- An explanation of the evidence supporting the complaint.
- An opportunity to present their side of the story.
- A written notice of the decision and any applicable sanctions.
- An opportunity to appeal the decision and sanction(s).
Academic Dishonesty Report
Other forms to include (see "Supporting Documentation")
- A copy of your course syllabus if it outlines behavioral expectations and/or academic integrity expectations and possible consequences, e.g. failing grade for the course.
- Copies of suspected plagiarism along with plagiarized sources. Also include prior writing samples if the suspicious assignment is markedly different from the students typical writing style.
- E-mails or other communication you have received from the student related to the allegations.
- Brief description of any lectures to the class about expected classroom behavior or definition of cheating.