190.6 The Academic Discipline Committee Operating Procedures

Created by: Stephanie Ferguson on 11/4/2005
Category: 1 - Academic Affairs; 90 - Miscellaneous
Originator: Associate Academic Dean and the Academic Policies Committee
Current File: 190.6
Adoption Date: 10/29/2005
Reviewed for Currency: 10/29/2005
Replaces File: 190.6
Date of Origin: 10/29/2005
Classification: Faculty
In Archive? No

190.6 The Academic Discipline Committee Operating Procedures


A.  Background


The Academic Discipline Committee (ADC) is a standing faculty committee responsible for 1) adjudicating possible violations of the academic integrity policy (File 121.5, "Academic Integrity") that cannot be resolved between the faculty member and student 2) recommending an academic penalty to the faculty member when penalty disputes arise; and 3) when it deems appropriate, imposing sanctions beyond the academic penalties imposed by the instructor when it is determined that a student is responsible for academic misconduct.



B.   Policy


When disputes involving academic misconduct arise, the Associate Academic Dean shall refer them to the Academic Discipline Committee. The ADC shall have the responsibility of determining whether academic misconduct has occurred in the instance under review and communicating the decision to all parties involved as soon as is reasonably possible.  When it is determined that a student has engaged in academic misconduct, either by his/her own admission or by the decision of the ADC, the ADC may, at its discretion, recommend an academic penalty to the faculty member and/or add to any penalties imposed by the instructor.  The faculty member shall have final authority over any grades assessed as penalties within the course.


C.  Guidelines


1.  The ADC shall consist of five full-time faculty members and two students. [Note: If the incident under review involves a graduate student, the chair of the ADC will appoint two graduate students to serve in place of the undergraduate student committee members. If the incident involves a student in the Evening program, the chair of the ADC will appoint two evening students to serve in place of the undergraduate student committee members.] Three faculty and two student alternates will also be named; one faculty member will serve as the committee chair.  Faculty will typically serve a three-year term; students will typically serve a two-year term.  The Associate Academic Dean shall serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.


2.   Regular orientation sessions coordinated by the Chair of the ADC and the Associate Academic Dean shall be held for new members of the committee.


3.   When a faculty member suspects that academic misconduct has occurred, the following steps or stages may ensue.


a.   The faculty member should consider evidence related to the incident and may choose to consult with the department chair, or another appropriate faculty colleague and/or the Associate Academic Dean. Faculty are required to begin investigating an incident of possible academic misconduct as soon it is suspected, even if suspicions come to light after the course has concluded or the student has graduated.


b.   If the faculty member has reason to believe that it is more likely than not that academic misconduct has occurred, he or she shall schedule a private meeting with the student as soon as possible to present the relevant evidence and to specify the penalty which he or she (or the department) considers appropriate. Both the student and the faculty member may invite the department chair, another faculty member, or an academic administrator to be present. Alternatively, the faculty member may forward information about the matter directly to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Dean will meet with the student to address the incident. If necessary, the Associate Dean will refer the matter to the ADC along with the faculty member's recommended penalty.


c.   If, after meeting with the student, the faculty member concludes that no academic misconduct took place, the faculty member will dismiss the case and the issue will be considered resolved. The faculty member should also inform the department chair or the Associate Academic Dean, if they were notified officially of the alleged misconduct.


d.   If the student accepts responsibility for the incident and the penalty specified (which shall be limited to academic penalties within the course), the faculty member should submit the evidence and the designated form to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Dean will forward the case to the ADC to consider other sanctions in addition to the penalties assessed by the instructor. Final authority for assigning the grade penalty in the course, however, shall rest with the faculty member.


e.   If the student denies responsibility and/or refuses to accept the penalty assessed, the faculty member will submit the designated form and the evidence to the Associate Academic Dean. The Associate Dean will request a meeting with the student. After discussing the matter with the student, the Associate Dean will forward the case to the ADC for review.


f.    If the student fails to respond to the instructor's request for a meeting within five (5) class days, the faculty member will forward the designated form and relevant evidence to the Associate Academic Dean, who will request a meeting with the student. After discussing the matter with the student, the Associate Dean will forward the case to the ADC for review.


g.   When a review by the ADC is required or requested, the Associate Academic Dean will notify the chair of the ADC, who will arrange to convene the committee as soon as possible (see File 121.5). The chair will notify the student and faculty member in writing of the date, time, and place of the academic inquiry at least five (5) days prior to its scheduled date. The chair will also provide the accused student and the faculty member with a written description of the hearing procedure, and will make every effort to inform them of their rights concerning the hearing. 


h.   The Associate Academic Dean will forward to the ADC the form filed by the faculty member and all relevant supporting evidence. A copy of this form will be provided to the accused student. The student is encouraged to provide a written statement to the ADC in advance of the hearing.


4.   The conduct, course, and conclusions of the hearing may be affected by the following factors.


a.   Committee members may decline to participate only if they believe they may have difficulty in being impartial in the matter.  In that instance, an alternate designated by the Chair of the committee shall serve.


b.   All committee members shall maintain the strictest confidentiality regarding all matters that are brought to the attention of the ADC.


c.   The accused student may appear before the committee alone, or may select one other individual from the student body, faculty, or staff of the University to accompany them as an observer of the proceeding.  Legal counsel is prohibited from attending the hearing.


d.   With the exception of deliberations in executive session, all proceedings of the hearing shall be recorded.


e.   In the event that an accused student chooses not to appear before the ADC, the hearing shall proceed in the student's absence.


f.    If an academic misconduct inquiry is required at a time when the members of the ADC are not available, the Chair of the faculty shall appoint an ad hoc committee comprising students and faculty to assume temporarily the responsibilities of the ADC.


g.   The standard for deciding whether a student has engaged in academic misconduct shall be the greater weight of the evidence (more likely than not).


h.   All decisions of the ADC shall be determined by a simple majority.  The Associate Academic Dean shall be present throughout the hearing, but not during the committee's final deliberations in executive session.  Although the Associate Dean may not vote, the committee may choose to consult with him or her to determine appropriate sanctions.


i.    The Committee may recommend a grade penalty to the faculty member, and may assess sanctions in addition to the grade penalty. These sanctions include but are not limited to letters of reprimand, compulsory participation in ethics tutorials, suspension, and expulsion. The ADC will notify all parties as quickly as possible; sanctions shall take effect as prescribed in writing.


5.   The student has the right to appeal decisions of the ADC in the following circumstances.


a.   A student may appeal to the Provost a penalty of suspension or expulsion assessed by the ADC. Other penalties may not be appealed. Likewise, with compelling evidence of a procedural violation, the student may appeal the ADC's decision to the Provost.


b.   With compelling new evidence, a student found responsible of academic misconduct may appeal this decision to the Associate Academic Dean, who will refer it to the ADC for further consideration.


c.   In all cases, appeals must be filed in writing with the appropriate individual no later than ten (10) days from the date of the receipt of the decision.


6.   If at the end of a term an academic misconduct case is still under investigation or appeal, the instructor should submit a grade of "E" to Academic Records pending resolution of the matter.


7.   All documentation related to incidents of academic misconduct or alleged academic misconduct will remain on file for five (5) years after the student ceases to be associated with Furman. At that time, such documentation will be destroyed.



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