A student may be found to have engaged in academic misconduct, if they engage in any act of academic dishonesty which may include, but is not limited to the following:
- Making use of or providing unauthorized assistance or materials in the preparation or taking of an examination or other academic coursework;
- Acting as a substitute for another person in any academic evaluation or assignment;
- Utilizing another person as a substitute for him/herself in any academic evaluation or assignment;
- Committing plagiarism by presenting as one’s own work, for academic evaluation or assignment, the ideas, representations, or works of another person or persons or oneself without customary and proper acknowledgment of sources;
- Knowingly submitting one’s work for multiple assignments or classes unless explicitly authorized by the instructor;
- Committing an act that materially prevents, impedes, and/or impairs others from completing an academic evaluation or assignment; and/or
- Attempting to influence or change one’s academic evaluation or record, through dishonesty, coercion, threat, and/or intimidation.
1. Preparation & Information Gathering
- Start by reviewing the Academic Misconduct Flowchart and Academic Misconduct Resolution & Report Form. Contact our Office if you have any questions about the process.
- Gather the information relevant to your concern. This might include, but is not limited to: the academic exercise at issue; instructions/directions for the academic exercise; course syllabus; relevant communications to the student about the academic exercise; courseware access logs; turnitin reports; original sources; etc.
- Analyze the information. Does the information tend to show by preponderance of the evidence that a violation of our Academic Misconduct rule (above) occurred? If so, continue with the process.
2. Initial Notice to Student
- Send notice to the student's University of Memphis email informing them that you think they may have violated the Academic Misconduct rule. Please use this template as a starting point.
- Allow the student a reasonable opportunity to setup a meeting and/or respond. Usually 5 business days is sufficient, but you may wish to extend a deadline in consideration of University closing days, holidays, and/or break periods. Meetings may occur in person, via phone, or video conference.
3. Initial Meeting with Student
- When you meet with the student, remember that this is an educational, developmental opportunity for the student. Approach the meeting with the goals of understand the student's perspective, gathering additional information that is relevant to the allegation, and helping the student learn from the situation. Try to be as open to hearing the student and transparent as possible.
- The following outline may be useful:
- Introduce yourself and allow the student to introduce themselves.
- Ask the student about their experience at the University and in your course. If the student indicates general, personal, or academic issues or concerns, refer them to the appropriate office or offer to follow-up.
- Explain what you're going to be talking about in the meeting:
- You believe that there may be a violation.
- You want to be transparent about the information you have gathered and that you'll share the information with the student.
- You want to hear from the student about what happened from their perspective.
- You want to help the student understand your expectations for academic integrity.
- You and the student may be able to come to a resolution about the outcome.
- Walk the student through the information that indicates that there may be a violation. (screen-sharing may be appropriate if not meeting in person)
- Ask the student to share their perspective:
- Tell me what happened? (ask follow up questions as needed)
- Do they think there was an issue or violation?
- Why or Why Not?
- Explain to the student your perspective after taking into consideration their perspective.
- If you believe there was a violation or not?
- Why you believe there was a violation or not.
- If there is insufficient information to show by preponderance that there was a violation, close the meeting out.
- Ask the student how they would like to resolve the issue:
- resolve the violation with you informally
- resolve the violation through an investigation from OSA and possible hearing with a Student Conduct Board
- Informal resolution
- Contact OSA for previous academic misconduct status (to determine sanctioning only)
- Complete the Resolution and Report Form with the student, have the student sign and date, faculty sign and date and return to OSA. If the student needs additional time to consider or respond, set a deadline for their response.
- The form can also be sent through DocuSign (please contact our Office if you require assistance)
- Formal resolution
- If you and the student are unable to agree as to the: findings (facts of what occurred); conclusions (which policies were violated); and outcomes (sanctions issued), then the issue will be referred to the Office of Student Accountability for investigation. If the Conduct Educator (investigator) assigned to the case concludes that a violation occurred, the matter will be referred to a Student Conduct Board who will decide the final outcomes.
- Summarize your meeting.
- Ask if they have anything else they'd like to share.
- Thank them for their participation.
- Make a note to follow up on any outstanding issues.
- Advise them they will receive additional communication from OSA.
4.A. Informal Resolution
Once you have met with the student and they have agreed to the informal resolution, please send the completed Academic Misconduct Resolution & Report Form (with the Resolution by Agreement section completed) and supporting materials to email@example.com.
You may issue the academic penalty that was mutually agreed upon and documented in the form.
4.B. Referral to OSA
If the student failed to respond to you or if they did not agree to the informal resolution, please send the completed Academic Misconduct Resolution & Report Form (with the Resolution by Investigation section completed) and supporting materials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may not issue any grade penalty until the conclusion of the process. This may result in a grade of "I" incomplete being recorded until the matter is resolved.
- Academic Strategies Webinar & Resources
- University of Memphis Library Plagiarism and Academic Integrity Guide
Curated Resources, News, and Research
- January 24, 2022 - Learning, Teaching and Leadership Blog by Sarah Elaine Eaton "An Introduction to Integrity Sciences"
- November 23, 2021 - Inside Higher Ed "How Students See Cheating, and How Colleges Can Contain It"
- October 21 & 22, 2021 - Association of American Colleges & Universities "Renewing the Legitimacy of Learning: A Symposium on Academic Integrity"
- September 22, 2021 - Inside Higher Ed "Is Cheating a Problem at Your Institution? Spoiler Alert: It Is"
- August 23, 2021 - Orr, J.E., Orr, K. Restoring Honor and Integrity Through Integrating Restorative Practices in Academic Integrity with Student Leaders. Journal of Academic Ethics (2021).
- March 18, 2021 - The Chronicle's free on-demand webinar "Academic Integrity Online"
- March 17, 2021 - The Chronicle "Good Grades, Stressed Students"
- February 16, 2021 - Inside Higher Ed's podcast "The Key Episode 38: Combating Cheating in the COVID Era"
- February 16, 2021 - The Reinvention Collaborative's free on-demand Town Hall webinar "Academic Honor & Integrity: Challenges & Opportunities"
- February 11, 2021 - International Center for Academic Integrity "The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity"
- October 21, 2020 - International Center for Academic Integrity "Statement Against Contract Cheating"
- September 1, 2020 - Jessica Bernards and Wendy Fresh's (Portland Community College) video for students "Academic Integrity in Remote, Online, or In-Person Classes"
- August 20, 2020 - The Chronicle's Teaching Newsletter "Assessment in a Continuing Pandemic"
- July 22, 2020 - Inside Higher Ed "Best Way to Stop Cheating in Online Courses?"
- April 20, 2017 - Tricia Bertarm Gallant's "Academic Integrity as a Teaching & Learning Issue: From Theory to Practice" in Theory Into Practice