Missouri State University

Academic Integrity Procedures Summary

1.  Instructor / Student Discussion:  Ideally in the first step, the instructor and student meet face-to-face as soon as possible to discuss the apparent violation of the AI policy. In this, the instructor presents the student with allegation of academic dishonesty and any evidence supporting that allegation, and informs the student of intended sanction(s), consistent with those specified in the course syllabus. The student presents evidence of his/her innocence. [GO TO #2]

*Special Case: Student Not Associated With Enrollment in a Course:  Any incident of alleged academic dishonesty by a student not enrolled in a particular course should be reported directly to the Academic Integrity Council (AIC) Chair.  [GO TO #4]

2A. No AI Violation Occurred:  If, after this meeting, the instructor believes that no violation had occurred, the allegation(s) will be dropped. The case ends here.  [STOP]

OR

2B. Violation of the AI Policy has Occurred:  If the instructor still believes that the AI policy has been violated by the student, he/she must complete the violation-reporting form (available at http://www.missouristate.edu/academicintegrity/) which provides the student with a written summary of the alleged incident and the intended sanction(s). Copies are sent to the instructor’s Department Head, the AIC Chair, and the Office of the Provost to be maintained as part of AIC records.

The student has one week from the receipt of this letter (form) in which to notify the Department Head if he/she plans to appeal the instructor’s accusation/sanction.

When a report of academic dishonesty is filed with the AIC, the student will receive another letter, copied to the instructor and the Department Head. This letter will verify that a report has been received from the instructor and indicate how it will be used, affirm the confidentiality of the report, reiterate the student’s right to appeal, and recommend that the student review the university’s AI policy. [GO TO #3]

3A. No appeal to the Department Head:  Records are maintained, and the sanction(s) indicated by the instructor is(are) enforced. [STOP]

OR

3B.  Appeal to Department Head:  Upon receipt of the student’s written appeal, the Department Head will meet separately with the student and the instructor. The Department Head must notify the instructor and the student in writing of his/her decision, and must inform the instructor and the student that either may appeal the Department Head’s decision (in writing) to the AIC Chair within fifteen (15) academic days (days when classes are in session) from the date of the Department Head’s letter. The Department Head must send a detailed report of his/her decision along with pertinent documents to the AIC Chair and the Office of the Provost. [GO TO #4]

4A. No appeal to the Academic Integrity Council:  Records are maintained, and the sanction(s) indicated by the instructor is(are) enforced. [STOP]

OR

4B. Appeal to the Academic Integrity Council:  The Chair of the AIC will assemble a five-member panel of faculty and student members of the Council to hear the appeal, and will notify the student, the instructor, and the Department Head in writing fifteen (15) academic days prior to the proceeding (whenever possible). An Academic Integrity Proceeding is an academic process unique to a community of scholars and is not modeled on criminal or civil legal proceedings; however, a student against whom an allegation has been lodged may be accompanied by an advisor (with prior approval from the AIC Chair). The advisor may be an attorney, but does not address the panel. [STOP]

Important note

No grade-related sanction may be imposed until a student admits misconduct and/or forgoes appeal rights, or is found in violation after a formal proceeding. The student must be allowed to continue attending the class in which dishonesty has been alleged until the right of appeal has been exhausted. If an academic integrity matter is pending at the end of a semester, the instructor must assign an Incomplete (I) in the course until the matter is resolved.  A student cannot avoid a failing grade by dropping the course. The instructor can impose a sanction of “F” or “XF” even if the student drops the class, including drops that occur prior to the no-penalty drop deadline. (See below for further information on this process.)

Reporting academic dishonesty

Anyone who has witnessed an apparent act of student academic dishonesty, or has information that reasonably leads to the conclusion that such an act has occurred or has been attempted, is strongly encouraged to report said act. Acts of apparent academic dishonesty that occur in the classroom may be reported directly to the course instructor, the instructor’s Department Head, and/or the instructor’s College Dean. Incidences of apparent academic dishonesty may also be reported directly to the Academic Integrity Council by contacting the Chair of the Council at 836-5169. Anonymous reports will not be accepted, but the identity of any person reporting a suspected instance of academic dishonesty will be held in strict confidence.

Academic Integrity records

Academic Integrity records are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and our Policy Regarding Personally Identifiable student Records. Academic Integrity records are maintained in the Office of the Provost.

Sanctions

Possible sanctions available to instructors include (but are not limited to):

  • Denying credit on the assignment/exam
  • Requiring additional assignments/exams
  • Lowering  the student’s course grade
  • Issuing a failing course grade of “F”
  • Issuing a failing course grade of “XF,” indicating failure due to academic dishonesty
  • Completing the AI Policy On-line Tutorial

Course policy statement

The syllabus/course policy statement is very important in determining sanctions that can be imposed. Syllabi may reflect the instructor’s personal views and class policies, but syllabi must also be consistent with the university’s student Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures.

Following is suggested syllabus wording. This recommended wording allows an instructor to impose all sanctions available under the university policy, including the grade of “XF.”

“Missouri State University is a community of scholars committed to developing educated persons who accept the responsibility to practice personal and academic integrity.

Students are responsible for knowing and following the University's Student Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures, available at http://www.missouristate.edu/academicintegrity/policies.htm

The complete document is available at the Reserves Desk in Meyer Library. Any student participating in any form of academic dishonesty will be subject to sanctions as described in this policy.

Assigning the “XF” grade

A grade of “XF” cannot be assigned via the on-line grade submission process. To assign a grade of “XF,” the instructor must send a memo stating the intention to assign an “XF” grade to the AIC Chair, and the Office of the Provost with a copy to the Department Head. A memo must also be sent if the instructor wishes to assign an “F” grade to a student who dropped the class before the no-penalty deadline.  The Office of the Provost will then notify the Records Office.

Note:  After a time period of at least 12 months, a student may petition to the AIC to have the “XF” removed from the transcript and replaced with a grade of “F.”  The decision to remove the grade of “XF” and replace it with an “F” shall rest in the discretion and judgment of a majority of the entire AIC, which will undertake a review of the records in the case, and may include additional requirements before granting the petition.

Revoking a grade/degree

If an instructor discovers academic dishonesty after final grades have been assigned and wishes to retroactively impose an “F” or “XF” grade for the course as a sanction, the instructor must send written notification to the AIC, and the Office of the Provost, with a copy to the instructor’s Department Head and Dean; and in the case of a Graduate student, with a copy to the Dean of the Graduate College. This written notice must be received by the AIC within five (5) calendar years. However, alleged academic dishonesty may be reported to the AIC regardless of how much time has passed since the alleged act. If retroactively failing a class due to academic dishonesty means that a graduated student no longer has met the requirements of the degree, the University may revoke said degree. Refer to the student Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures for further information.