The universityís Academic Standards policy states:
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 oneís own; or assisting in the act of plagiarism by allowing oneís 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 oneís place; (4) altering or changing test answers after submittal for grading, grades after grades have been awarded, or other academic records once these are official.
Sanctions for violations of university academic standards may include the following: (1) filing a final grade of ďFĒ; (2) reducing the studentís final course grade one or two full grade points; (3) awarding a failing mark on the test or paper in question; (4) requiring the student to retake the test or resubmit the paper.
Procedures for Filing Academic Dishonesty Charges
The general policy in Core Humanities is to file a final grade of F for students who engage in academic dishonesty. All incidents of academic dishonesty are reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
An instructor who finds that a student cheated or plagiarized must notify the student of the charge and proposed sanction, in writing, no later than 15 calendar days after discovering the action or 15 days after the last day of instruction, whichever comes first. An instructor who misses the deadline forfeits the right to impose an academic sanction, but may still refer the matter to the Office of Student Conduct for disciplinary action.
The Core Humanities program has a standard template letter (available from the CH office) that may be used and modified to fit particular circumstances. Instructors should attach evidence to support the academic dishonesty charge as applicable. In plagiarism cases, this means a copy of the studentís paper and a copy of source that was plagiarized, with clear indications of the similarities between the two (e.g., underlined and numbered sections of the studentís paper that are matched to underlined and numbered sections on the original source.)
The letter must be hand delivered or sent by certified mail, with copies provided to the Director of Core Humanities and the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct. The CH office can take care of certified mailing.
Once a charge of academic dishonesty is made, only the instructor or an Academic Integrity hearing can overturn it. The student may request a meeting with the CH director to discuss the charge, but the director can only advise the student and cannot overturn the charge or change the sanction. An instructor may withdraw the charge by writing to the CH director and the Office of Student Conduct and informing the student of the change.
If the student accepts the charge and does not file an appeal, the instructor may impose the sanction proposed in the letter. If the student accepts the sanction, no further action is needed.
A student who intends to appeal the charge or the sanction should remain in the class and continue to complete all assigned work until the matter is resolved. The instructor must allow the student to remain in the class and grade all completed work in the usual manner and according to the same standards that apply to other students in the class.
Appealing the Charge
A student who denies the charge of academic dishonesty may file an appeal by writing to the CH director within 10 calendar days of being notified. Within 5 calendar days of receiving the appeal, the CH director informs the instructor and refers the incident to the Assistant Dean of Student Conduct to arrange a hearing by an Academic Integrity Board. The Board is made up of two undergraduate students appointed from the Student Conduct Board, two faculty members appointed by the Faculty Senate, and a faculty chair appointed by the Executive Vice President and Provost. After hearing evidence presented by the faculty member and student, the Board determines whether academic dishonesty occurred. The Board bases its determination on whether the incident meets the definition of academic dishonesty set out above. It does not consider the studentís intent, previous academic record, scholarship standing, career plans, or other factors not related to the incident itself. If the Academic Integrity Board upholds the charge, the instructor may impose the sanction. If the charge is overturned, the instructor may not impose the sanction and the case is closed.
Appealing the Sanction
A student who accepts the charge or fails to convince the Academic Integrity Board to overturn it may appeal the sanction imposed for the offense, as it affects the final grade, through the Grade Appeal Process. (Students may only appeal final grades, not grades on individual assignments.) The process is the same as for a regular grade appeal, which means the student must demonstrate that one of the following criteria applies:
- There was a clerical/administrative error in the calculation and/or assignment of the grade;
- The grade assignment was based on factors other than the studentís performance in the course and/or completion of course requirements; or
- The grade assignment meant that the student was held to more demanding standards than other students in the same section of the course.
In an academic dishonesty case, based on the criteria above, the sanction can only be appealed if the student received a harsher penalty than other students who were charged with academic dishonesty in the same section of the course. The first step in the grade appeal process is to discuss the grade with the instructor. If the instructor is not persuaded to change the grade, and the student still believes the situation meets one of the three criteria above, the student may submit an appeal using the Academic Complaint System on the UNR Concierge Service webpage. The appeal must be filed within 10 working days of the start of the next fall or spring semester after the grade is assigned. The Concierge Service forwards the appeal to the CH director within 2 working days. Within 30 days of receiving an appeal, the CH director requests a written response from the instructor and meets with the student or with the student and instructor to facilitate a resolution. If this is unsuccessful, the director appoints a Grade Appeal Review Committee consisting of one student, two faculty members, and a faculty chair. If the Committee upholds the sanction, the final grade remains unaltered. If the Committee votes to change the sanction, the CH director files a Change of Grade form to alter the final grade.