Faculty Policy on Academic Dishonesty

Evaluation of student performances is the exclusive province of the faculty. The faculty have the responsibility to make reasonable efforts to guarantee that work is done by the student who is to receive credit for its completion. More specifically, examinations should be appropriately proctored or monitored to prevent students from copying or exchanging information; examinations and answers to examination questions should be secured in a way that students cannot have prior access to them; the authenticity of quotations and references should be reviewed to assure the faculty member that proper credit is given for ideas and information taken from other sources, etc. Having carried out these responsibilities--if, in the faculty member's opinion, there is evidence of academic dishonesty on the part of the student, it is the faculty member's responsibility to take action against the student as described in the options below.

Even if a faculty member does not request disciplinary action against a student, he/she must report acts of academic dishonesty to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs because a student may engage in such behavior in other classes, departments, or colleges. If reports of alleged academic dishonesty do not reach one central office, repeated acts may go undetected and recidivism will be difficult or impossible to monitor. Communication with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs may also assist the faculty member in determining which option or combination of options to exercise.

NOTE: CSU Executive Order 969, Student Activities, provides the following: Academic dishonesty cases that occur in the classroom shall be handled by faculty members. However, after action has been taken by the faculty member, the faculty member shall complete a form that identifies the student who was found responsible, the general nature of the offense, the action taken, and a recommendation as to whether or not additional action should be considered by the campus judicial_ affairs office. At CSU, Northridge the Student Misconduct Complaint Form is used to report all acts of academic dishonesty. The form is available through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or online at Student Misconduct Complaint Form.

Depending upon the severity of the offense and the student's disciplinary history as it relates to acts of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may elect to exercise the following options:

  1. Assign a lower or failing grade to an assignment, examination, or the entire course. In cases in which the faculty member elects to exercise the grade penalty option, the faculty member must inform the student in a timely manner that academic dishonesty was a factor in the evaluation. In cases where the sanction for an act of academic dishonesty has been the assignment of a grade penalty without a simultaneous request for formal disciplinary action and in which the student wishes to challenge the grade penalty assigned, the student may file an appeal with the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board. Forms are available in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or online at the Student Affairs Forms webpage.
  2. Request that the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs notify the student that information related to the student's alleged act of academic dishonesty within that particular class has been received. Such notifications are in the form of an admonitory letter and serve to inform the student that the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs is aware of the alleged incident and that formal disciplinary action will not be taken. The admonitory letter also apprises the student of the Student Conduct Code and of sanctions that would be levied for violations of that code, and affords the student an opportunity to meet with the Student Conduct Coordinator to discuss the matter. The admonitory letter shall not be released for any purpose and shall not become part of the student's permanent record.
  3. Request disciplinary action against the student. Student discipline is exclusively the province of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. In such cases, the faculty member through the department chair and college dean should submit a formal written report of the incident to the Student Conduct Coordinator and request formal disciplinary action. The Student Conduct Coordinator is empowered to investigate all instances of academic dishonesty. The cases are resolved either through an appropriate action accepted by the student or through a disciplinary hearing. The faculty member, department chair, and college dean will be notified of the final disposition of the case. In cases where the faculty member chooses both to impose a grade penalty and requests formal student disciplinary action against the student and the student wishes to challenge the grade penalty, the student may file an appeal with the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board only after the student disciplinary case has been fully adjudicated by the Student Conduct Coordinator.
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