Saint Louis University

Defining the procedural requirements for adjudicating violations within a department in the College of Arts and Sciences


Consistent and fair adjudication of academic violations shall be paramount within the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty, staff and students.  This section will address the Adjudication process and then more specifically the responsibility of the course instructor and the Department Chair in this process.  

4.1  Expectations of the Adjudication Process

  • Rules of procedure and evidence applied in civil or criminal court actions shall not apply in the investigation, review, or complaints of academic dishonesty.   
  • The instructor will carefully review Sections 2 and 3 in this policy to decide if the violation warrants the classification of Class A or Class B.  
  • Unless and until a formal finding of a violation has been reached, all instructors and members of the college faculty, staff, and administration involved with a complaint shall take appropriate precautions to maintain confidentiality concerning the name of the accused, the nature of the complaint, and its supporting evidence except insofar as such information must be divulged in order to investigate the allegations or to conduct a hearing.  
  • If no violation is found, all record of the complaint shall be destroyed.  The nature of the evidence and the proceedings shall remain confidential.
  • If a violation is found, adjudication, retention of the record and disclosure shall be limited to that initiated by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education as specified in Section 6 below.  
  • Faculty and Instructors involved in academic honesty cases are indemnified by the University according to policies set forth in The Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University, particularly the section pertaining to legal representation and indemnification. 

 

Students accused of academic dishonesty, instructors and/or Department Chairs bringing accusations have the following rights:

  • To participate in a meeting within the Department or academic unit in which the alleged act of dishonesty occurred and/or a formal hearing before the College Committee on Academic Honesty.
  • To receive, at least one week in advance of any hearing, written notice of the following:
  • The charge, including the date and circumstances of the purported act of dishonesty.
  • The date, time, and location of the meeting.
  • To present evidence at any hearing.
  • To call witnesses to support their case.
  • Instructors and Department Chairs may question witnesses.
  • Students and instructors may bring a personal advisor to any hearing upon notification to the Adjudicator. Such an advisor may not act as legal representation and may only speak at the discretion of the person conducting the proceedings.

4.2   Adjudication of Class A Violations

All Class A violations start as Class A violation without an informal Department hearing. The adjudication process for a Class A violation is classified as: 1) without an informal Department hearing, or 2) with an informal Department hearing. The course instructor is charged with the responsibility to conduct a meeting as outlined in Section 4.2.1.  If at the conclusion of this meeting the student chooses to appeal the Class A violation, this case will become a Class A violation with an informal Department hearing.  In addition to the hearing outlined in Section 4.2.1 the Department Chair/Facilitator will conduct an informal Department hearing as outlined in Section 4.2.2.    

4.2.1. Procedural outline for Class A violation without a Departmental hearing

If a purported act of dishonesty is classified as a Class A violation, the instructor in charge of the course shall proceed with the investigation, adjudication and reporting as outlined below.

4.2.1.1 Investigation 

The instructor shall investigate the allegations thoroughly.

  • If the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding of a violation all collected evidence shall be destroyed and the case is closed.  Confidentiality shall be maintained to protect the student.
  • If the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of a violation, the instructor shall notify the Chair of the Department that an act of academic dishonesty is purported and the process of adjudication has been initiated.  

The current version of the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report can be found online.

4.2.1.2 Sanctions may include:

  • A lowered or failing grade on the examination or assignment in question.  
  • A lowered course grade.  If the course grade is lowered to an F, the student shall have the right to continue in the course without prejudice or other penalty pending the results of an appeal.

 

4.2.1.3 Adjudication

The instructor shall

  • Complete the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report (Section I and II only).  Include any supporting evidence either original or photocopied as deemed needed for documentation for adjudication.
  • Promptly call a meeting with the student.  Herein the instructor will discuss the alleged violation and the collected evidence as it relates to this course, the imposed sanctions, and classification of the violation.
  • Indicate, by placing a check mark on the line in Section III.5.a or III.5.b on the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Dishonesty Report, that the student was notified in person or in writing.  The student must sign and date the form indicating that they have been notified of the sanctions imposed.  
  • It is important to note to students that their signature here is not an indication that they agree with the sanction just that they have been notified of the sanctions.
  • Inform the student that they have the right to appeal the sanctions at an informal Departmental hearing, procedure outlined in Section 4.2.2 of this document.  
  • Their decision to waive their right to appeal or appeal the decision is made on the Academic Dishonesty Report Section III.6.
  • A student deciding to waive their right to appeal should place a check mark beside Section III.6.a.
  • The instructor will forward the Academic Dishonesty Report and all supporting documents to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Office.
  • A student deciding to appeal the sanctions should place a check mark beside Section III.6.b.
  • The instructor will forward the Academic Dishonesty Report and all supporting documents to their Department Chair and the case proceeds as a Class A violation with an informal Department hearing, Section 4.2.2 of this document.
  • Students shall be made aware that they can choose to forego the decision, as to whether to appeal or not, by leaving these sections blank.  The student may take up to one week from the notification of sanctions to make a decision and notify their instructor in written format.  

It is important to stress that all evidence shall be retained by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.  Once the adjudication process has been completed the instructor and/or Department Chair shall not retain copies of any of the collected evidence or forms.    

4.2.2.  Procedural outline Class A violation with Departmental hearing

It is the understanding that the instructor of the course will follow the procedural outline as presented in Section 4.2.1. and upon the request of the student for a informal hearing of the case, all collected evidence will be turned over to the Department Chair. The Department Chair shall act as a Facilitator during the hearing or appoint another member of the Department to act in that capacity.  In the instance that the Department Chair is also the instructor, the Department Chair must appoint an impartial member of the Department to facilitate the meeting.

 

4.2.2.1  Investigation 

The Department Chair/Facilitator shall carry out a prompt and thorough investigation. 

  • This investigation shall include an informal hearing, announced at least a week in advance to the student, instructor and such witness as either party may choose to call.  All parties shall have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence.
  • Witnesses from within the University community are obliged to attend and may be sanctioned by the Dean's Office if they fail to appear.
  • Witnesses against the student shall not have to appear at the same informal hearing as the accused student.  
  •  After the conclusion of the informal hearing, the Department Chair/Facilitator must decide if the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of guilt or not. This should occur within a week of this hearing.
  •  If no violation has been found, records of the case shall be destroyed and confidentiality maintained.

4.2.2.2  Sanctions

The Department Chair/Facilitator may reaffirm the sanctions imposed by the instructor or impose other sanctions listed in Section 4.2.1.2.

4.2.2.3  Adjudication

If the evidence supports a finding of guilt, the Department Chair/Facilitator will

  • Provide the student with written notice of the outcome within a week after the hearing.  
  • Notify the student that they have the right to appeal to the Academic Honesty Committee according to the procedure outlined in Section 5.  Such appeal must be initiated in writing by the student, contacting the Department Chair/Facilitator within one week of the date on which the student was notified of the outcome.
  • Fill out Section IV of the Academic Dishonesty Report as appropriate for the case and complete the signature section of the Report found below Section V.
  • Write a brief letter addressed to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. This letter shall summarize the violation, the nature of the evidence, and the outcome of the hearing along with all physical evidence.

 

4.3  Adjudication of Class B Violation  

If the evidence supports a finding of guilt, the Instructor will

  • Conduct a meeting with the student(s), as outlined in Section 4.2.1 of this document.
  • The instructor may decline to impose sanctions, leaving the decision to the Chair or the College Committee on Academic Honesty. Following the outcome of the College Committee, subsequent adjudication by the instructor is prohibited.
  • Indicate this is a Class B violation by the placement of a check mark beside Section III.6.c of the Academic Dishonesty Report.  
  • Notify the student during the meeting that a Class B violation automatically initiates an informal Departmental hearing as well as a formal hearing with the Academic Honesty Committee.  
  • Send the Academic Dishonesty Report and all evidence to the Department Chair within one week of the instructor/student meeting.  

 

The Department Chair/Facilitator will

  • Conduct an informal hearing as outlined in Section 4.2.2 of this document.   
  • Decide if the preponderance of evidence supports a finding of guilt or not after the conclusion of the hearing.
    • If no violation has been found, records of the case shall be destroyed and confidentiality maintained.
    • If the evidence supports a finding of guilt the Department Chair /Facilitator shall impose or reaffirm sanctions listed in Section 4.2.1.2.

The Instructor and/or Department Chair/Facilitator may decline to impose sanctions, leaving the decision to the College Committee on Academic Honesty.  Following the outcome of the College Committee, subsequent adjudication by the instructor is prohibited.

  • The student shall be provided with written notice of the outcome within one week of the hearing.  The student shall be notified that a Class B violation is automatically referred to be heard by the Academic Honesty Committee as outlined in Section 5 of this document. 

    • The Department Chair/Facilitator shall fill out Section IV and V of the Academic Dishonesty Report and complete the signature section of the Report found below Section V.
    • The Department Chair/Facilitator shall write a brief letter addressed to the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.  This letter shall summarize the violation, the nature of the evidence, and the outcome of the hearing along with all physical evidence. All documents are to be submitted within one week of the informal hearing.

All evidence shall be retained by Dean of Undergraduate Education.  Once the adjudication process has been completed the instructor and/or Department Chair shall not retain copies of any of the collected evidence or forms.

 



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