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Academic Violations

Frequently Asked Questions by Faculty and Staff

What is the process for responding to possible academic integrity violations?

In 2007, the process for responding to academic integrity violations was changed to give more faculty members more knowledge and involvement. See the Academic Integrity Policy for a full description of the process for responding to an academic integrity violation. If you become aware of a potential academic integrity violation in your class, you are the first responder. You should meet with the student as soon as possible to discuss your concerns and listen to his or her perspective. If the student agrees that there was an academic integrity violation, you should complete the Academic Integrity Incident Form. Only after a student accepts responsibility for a violation should you indicate the class-related consequences. If the student does not agree with that there was a violation, you should refer the case to Dr. Paul Miller, associate provost for communications and operations. Dr. Miller  will convene the Elon Honor Board to hear the case.

The student agreed that he/she violated an academic integrity policy, what are the consequences?

Based on the severity of the specific violation, the faculty member determines the appropriate class-related sanctions. Instructors may elect to fail the student for the assignment, for a related unit in the course, or for the entire course. For very serious cases, you may decide to assign an “Integrity F” for the course. This would be indicated on a student’s academic transcript. View more information on course-related sanctions.

Once the Academic Integrity Incident Form is completed and forwarded to Academic Affairs, the associate provost for communications and operations will review previous case history to determine if the student has previous academic integrity violations. For first-time violations categorized as a low-level of seriousness, the student will be sanctioned to an Academic Censure. For second-time violations and/or first-time violations categorized as a high-level of seriousness, a student may be suspended or permanently separated from the university. View the Elon policy regarding maintenance and release of disciplinary records.

Can the student appeal the course-related sanction that I assign?

No. If the student accepts responsibility for an academic integrity violation or is found responsible by the Elon Honor Board, he or she may not appeal the course-related consequences.

The student did not accept responsibility for a violation and the case will be heard by the Elon Honor Board, what is my role in the student conduct process?

The honor board hearing will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for your schedule. Prior to the hearing, you will be contacted in order to discuss the hearing process and answer any of your questions. The student has an opportunity to meet with a university administrator who will explain the hearing process to him/her. If you have any physical evidence, you may provide a single copy to the associate vice president for academic affairs at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. You may also choose to bring 10 copies to the board hearing.

How much evidence do I need?

The Elon student conduct process requires a preponderance of evidence for a finding of responsible. Unlike the criminal system, which requires evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the university system is based on the “greater weight of the evidence.” In other words, the university requires that the information show it is “more likely than not” that a violation occurred.

Formal rules of evidence used in a court of law are not applicable to the university conduct process. All information or statements with probable value, such as hearsay or anonymous reports, may be considered in the body of evidence. The responding student has the right to hear and respond to all information that may be utilized for a decision. If you have questions about the evidence you have, please contact Dr. Paul Miller, associate provost for communications and operationsr.

Can I just refer an academic integrity violation to the Office of Student Conduct or my department chair rather than responding to it myself?

There are many resources for support and guidance if you have questions or concerns about the judicial process. We are here to ensure you feel knowledgeable and comfortable during your conversation with the student. Your face-to-face discussion with a student can be a valuable opportunity for him or her to better understand the Elon expectations and policies as well as professional ethics.

Can I just fail the student and not file an Honor Code violation?

The Honor Code process ensures fairness and consistency for all Elon students. The reporting process has been developed to ensure there is not an unrecognized pattern of academic integrity violations (by a single student or as a larger trend). By following the appropriate documentation and reporting process, you help ensure that the Honor Code values are upheld.

How much time does this process require?

The initial conversation with the student may be as long or as short as you feel appropriate. Preparation for an Honor Board hearing may take some time to gather documents. The hearing itself may take 1-3 hours. More than 80 percent of students accept responsibility during the initial meeting.

Will I be informed of the outcome for an academic policy charge?

Yes. Since you are responsible for assigning class-related sanctions, you will know the decision of the Honor Board for cases involving academic integrity violation charges.