Student Affairs Information Technology
USC Student Affairs

In cases involving alleged academic integrity violations, the appropriate action is initiated by the course instructor or appropriate university official.

If the instructor has reason to believe, based on observation or other evidence, that a student has violated the university academic integrity standards, he or she should make reasonable attempts to meet with the student and discuss the alleged violation and the evidence which supports the charge.

When necessary, such discussions may be conducted by telephone or electronic mail. In this meeting every effort should be made to preserve the basic teacher/student relationship. The student should be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint.

If the violation is discovered during the final exam period, the instructor should assign a mark of “MG” until he/she has had an opportunity for such a meeting. Likewise, if the instructor’s grade penalty is a grade of “F” for the course, a mark of “MG” should be assigned if the student does not admit responsibility for the violation and accept the grade penalty.

Also, because the student may contest the allegation, he or she must be allowed to attend all classes and complete all assignments until the complaint is resolved.

Unless the instructor dismisses the allegation, he or she will determine an appropriate sanction for the violation.

  • Sanctions include but are not limited to: grade sanctions (e.g., “F” in course, grade reduction for course, “F” or “O” on assignment or exam) and dismissal from the academic department. In addition, sanctions of suspension or expulsion from the university may be assessed through a review process when requested by the instructor, requested by the academic or administrative unit in which the violation occurred, or when indicated by university standards (such as the seriousness of the misconduct or the existence of previous academic violations by the student). Refer to Appendix A, Academic Dishonesty Sanction Guidelines , when determining which sanction is most appropriate for the violation.

  • Students may not withdraw from a course in which they have committed or have been accused of committing an Academic Integrity Violation. Students found to have withdrawn from a course in which an academic integrity violation is alleged or determined will be reenrolled in the course upon receipt of a violation report by the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards. In addition, students found responsible for an act of academic dishonesty in a course in which they have participated but have not enrolled, will be retroactively enrolled and assigned an appropriate sanction.

  • Graduate students who are found responsible for academic integrity violations may be sanctioned more severely than Appendix A suggests. Sanctions for second offenses by graduate or undergraduate students will be more severe and generally will include suspension or expulsion.

As soon as possible (preferably within 15 days but not later than one year from the date of discovery of the incident), the instructor will provide the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards with a completed Academic Integrity Violation Form. The instructor likewise will make a reasonable attempt to provide a copy of the report to the accused student.

Once a report of an Academic Integrity Violation has been submitted, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards will review the report, confirm whether or not the accused student has a previous disciplinary record at the university, and notify the student of the allegation in writing. A copy of the notification will be sent to the instructor submitting the report and to his/her academic dean.

  • If the incident does not require further review, the student will be notified in writing of the opportunity to meet with a staff member from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards. Subsequent to that meeting, the student has the opportunity to request a review of the matter. Such a request must be made in writing within 10 days of that meeting. If no meeting or further review is requested, the matter will be considered complete and sanctions initiated.

  • If the incident requires further review (such as when an instructor or academic unit has requested additional sanctions, when a student has previously been found responsible for an academic dishonesty violation or when university standards indicate expulsion, suspension, revocation of degree or revocation of admission), the student is notified in writing and must meet with a staff member from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards. If the student fails to respond to the written notice and to schedule an appointment with the designated member of the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, an administrative hold will be placed on the student’s record prohibiting the student from performing registration transactions until an appointment is scheduled and completed (see Section 10.10E ). In addition, a Summary Administrative Review may be conducted in absentia when a student fails to respond to initial notification (see Section 12.05 ).

  • As indicated, reviews may be requested by the accused student, by the instructor reporting the alleged violation, by the academic or administrative unit in which the alleged violation occurred or by the university in cases where the alleged behavior indicates expulsion, suspension, revocation of degree or revocation of admission. Appropriate review processes are Administrative Review or University Review (see Section 12.00 ).

Academic Integrity Tutorial
Green USC