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6,502: Academic Standards

Revised: July 2015

Introduction:

Specific to the academic pursuits of students, the University of Nevada, Reno, believes the maintenance of academic standards is a joint responsibility of the students and faculty of the University. Freedoms to teach and to learn is dependent upon individual and collective conduct to permit the pursuit and exchange of knowledge and opinion. Faculty have the responsibility to create an atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere includes an orderly testing room and sufficient safeguards to inhibit dishonesty. Students have the responsibility to rely on their knowledge and resources in the evaluation process. The trust developed in the maintenance of academic standards is necessary to the fair evaluation of all students.

Academic Standards:

Class Conduct: A student may be dropped from class at any time for negligence, misconduct, or non-attendance upon recommendation of the instructor and with approval of the college dean.

Subsection A: Definitions

Academic dishonesty is against university as well as the system community standards. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Plagiarism: defined as submitting the language, ideas, thoughts or work of another as one's own; or assisting in the act of plagiarism by allowing one's work to be used in this fashion.

Cheating: defined as (1) obtaining or providing unauthorized information during an examination through verbal, visual or unauthorized use of books, notes, text and other materials; (2) obtaining or providing information concerning all or part of an examination prior to that examination; (3) taking an examination for another student, or arranging for another person to take an exam in one's place; and/or (4) altering or changing test answers after submittal for grading, grades after grades have been awarded, or other academic records once these are official.

Working days: For the purpose of this policy, "working days" are defined as B contract faculty days.

Subsection B: Sanctions for Violation of Academic Standards

A student found responsible for violating this policy may not withdraw from the course in question and may not utilize the "grade replacement or grade appeals policies" for that course.

Sanctions for violations of university academic standards may include academic and/or disciplinary sanctions. Academic sanctions for both undergraduate and graduate students may include: filing a final grade of "F"; reducing the student's final course grade one or two full grade points; awarding a failing mark on the test or paper in question; or requiring the student to retake the test or resubmit the paper.

A student may also be subject to discipline for academic dishonesty pursuant to the provisions of the University's Student Code of Conduct.

Disciplinary sanctions for both undergraduate and graduate students may include the following: warning, reprimand, restitution, probation, suspension, expulsion, or revocation of degree. 

Subsection C: Academic Dishonesty Procedures

Procedure for Undergraduate Students

A faculty member who suspects an undergraduate student of academic dishonesty must notify the student of the charge and proposed sanction, in writing, no later than fifteen (15) working days after knowledge of the alleged action or five (5) calendar days after the last day of instruction, whichever comes first.

Notification must be hand delivered or sent by certified mail. A copy of the notification to the student must be sent to the Office of Student Conduct (OSC). The student has ten (10) working days after receipt of the notification to appeal to the chair of the department that offered the course.

1.  If the student fails to appeal, the faculty member may impose an academic sanction. The student may request the academic sanction be reviewed by the department chair if the sanction is not in alignment with the sanctions          for academic dishonesty described in the course syllabus. The student has ten (10) working days from the receipt of notification to request this review in writing. The chair has five (5) working days to make the decision and          inform the student in writing.

The department chair's decision is final. In addition, the OSC may impose a disciplinary sanction.

a. If the student accepts the sanctions or fails to appeal, the matter is ended.

b. Students who wish to appeal a disciplinary sanction may do so through the OSC, in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section III of the Student Code, Student Disciplinary Procedures. If the alleged dishonesty occurs during the summer session and the student cannot be located, the appeals date will be extended to the last day of late registration in the next regular semester.

2.  If the student disputes the charge presented in the letter of notification from the faculty the student must appeal in writing to the chair of the department within the ten (10) working days noted above. Within the next five (5)      working days, the chair must inform the faculty member, then refer the matter to the OSC for a hearing by the Academic Integrity Board. The student should be allowed at least ten (10) working days to prepare for a hearing,        but this period may be waived by the student.

Undergraduate Academic Integrity Board

1.  The Academic Integrity Board shall consist of the following members with due consideration being given to possible conflict of interest:

a. Two undergraduate students appointed from the Student Conduct Hearing Board.
b. Two academic faculty members selected by the executive board of the Faculty Senate, and,
c. A third academic faculty member selected by the Executive Vice President & Provost, who will serve as chair of the board.

To ensure the impartiality of the hearing board, members must be appointed from departments other than those in which the case originated and in which the accused student is majoring.

2.  Empanelment Deadline - The board shall be empaneled by the OSC and set a hearing date within fifteen (15) working days after the matter has been referred to the OSC.

3. The hearing procedure is as follows:3. The hearing procedure is as follows:

a. The accused student will be called to appear before the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Board (AIB) by the OSC. If the student wishes to be accompanied by an advisor or an attorney, the OSC must be notified at least five (5) working days in advance. The faculty member shall also be present, and may be accompanied by an advisor, or by an attorney if the student chooses such counsel. Please see Section III for further information on advisors and attorneys.

b. In the hearing, the chair of the AIB will state the content of the report of alleged academic dishonesty and the specific charges made.

c. The faculty member will appear before the board to present information that supports the charge. The chair of the board may call other witnesses.

d. The student will appear before the board to present information that supports their dispute of the charge.

e. The board members will then meet in closed session to make a final decision. The chair of the AIB has five (5) working days to inform the OSC of its decision, in writing. The OSC must inform all concerned parties (the student, faculty, chair) of the board's decision within five (5) working days.

f. If the student is found to be responsible as charged:

i. The faculty member may impose the proposed academic sanction. The student may request the academic sanction be reviewed by the department chair if the sanction is not in alignment with the sanctions for academic dishonesty described in the course syllabus. The student has ten (10) working days from the receipt of the notification to request this review in writing. The chair has five (5) working days to make the decision and inform the student in writing. The department chair's decision is final.
ii. The hearing board shall consult with the OSC about any past record of academic misconduct, and may recommend disciplinary sanctions. The OSC implements disciplinary sanctions.

g. If the Undergraduate AIB finds the student not responsible, no sanctions are imposed, and the matter is closed.

Procedure for Graduate Students

A faculty member who suspects a graduate student of academic dishonesty must inform the student, in writing, of the accusation and proposed sanction within the following time frames:

1. For theses, dissertations, or professional papers, no later than twenty (20) working days after submission of work.

2. For all other course assignments including exams, presentations, papers, and reports no later than fifteen (15) working days after knowledge of the alleged action or submission/presentation of the assignment or five (5) working days after the end of instruction, whichever comes first.

Notification must be hand delivered or sent by certified mail. A copy of the notification to the student must be sent to the OSC, the director of the student's graduate program, the chair of the department in which the course is offered, and the Graduate School.

1. Within ten (10) working days of receipt of such notification the student may file a request with the chair of the department that offers the course for a review and possible mediation.

a.  If the student fails to request (within 10 working days) a review or mediation, the faculty member may impose the academic sanction. The student may request the academic sanction to be reviewed by the department          chair if the sanction is not in alignment with the sanctions for the academic honesty described in the course syllabus. The student has ten (10) working days from the receipt of the notification to request this review in            writing. The chair has five (5) working days to make the decision and inform the student in writing. The department chair's decision is final. Additionally, the OSC may impose disciplinary sanctions.

b.  If the student files a request for review or mediation, (within 10 working days), the chair will complete such review or mediation and notify the student, the OSC and the Graduate School in writing of the outcome and          proposed sanctions, within fifteen (15) working days from the receipt of the request. Mediation will include the student, the chair, the faculty, and the director of the student's graduate program.

i. If the student is found not responsible for academic dishonesty in review/mediation, any academic sanctions previously imposed are removed, the OSC and Graduate School are notified of the outcome, and the matter is ended.
ii. If the student is found responsible for an academic dishonesty in review/mediation, the OSC may impose disciplinary sanctions.

c. If the student does not appeal the outcome of the review/mediation, the academic and any disciplinary sanctions are implemented.

d. The student may appeal the review/mediation decision and the academic sanction to the Graduate School within ten (10) working days of the receipt of notification regarding the outcome of the review/mediation.

2. The Dean of the Graduate School may take any of the following actions: 

a.  Resolve the conflict through mediation
b.  Dismiss the charge
c.   Uphold the faculty member's or chair's decision in its entirety
d.  Impose a lesser sanction
e.  Impose a greater sanction.

If the Dean of the Graduate School finds the student responsible for academic dishonesty, the dean informs the OSC. The OSC may impose disciplinary sanctions.

3. The dean's action must be taken and the student notified within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal. The dean's notification to the student must be hand delivered or sent via certified mail.

4. A student may appeal the dean's decision to the Executive Vice President & Provost. This appeal must be made in writing within ten (10) working days after the student received the decision in writing from the dean. This appeal shall be referred by the Executive Vice President & Provost to the OSC which shall impanel a Graduate Academic Integrity Board (AIB). 

5. The Graduate AIB shall consist of the following members with due consideration being given to possible conflict of interest:

a. Two graduate students appointed by the Graduate Student Association.
b. Two faculty members selected by the executive board of the Faculty Senate.
c. A third faculty member selected by the Executive Vice President & Provost, who will serve as the chair of the board. To ensure impartiality of the hearing board, members must be appointed from departments other than those in which the case originated and in which the accused student is majoring. The board shall be empaneled and set a hearing date within fifteen (15) working days after the appeal is referred to the Executive Vice President & Provost.

6. The hearing procedures for graduate students are the same as for undergraduate students, as stated above. The AIB must forward its findings and recommendations to the OSC within five (5) working days of the hearing's conclusion. The OSC forwards the board's recommendations and any record of the student's previous academic misconduct to the Executive Vice President & Provost within two (2) working days of receiving notification from the board. The Executive Vice President & Provost will review the case including any records of previous academic misconduct provided by the OSC and inform the student and all other concerned parties of the final action taken within ten (10) calendar days of the hearing's conclusion.

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