What should you do if you suspect a violation of the academic honesty policy?


  1. Review the language in your syllabus, on the particular assignment, and the University’s Academic Honesty policy.  Print out copies of each and underline or highlight the specific actions you believe have been violated.
  2. Gather evidence.  Print out a copy of the student’s work, and any relevant related information (i.e. the Turnitin report highlighting copied or AI-generated text, the identical submission by a classmate, prior examples of the student’s written work).
  3. Consider getting a colleague’s opinion.  Share a redacted version of the issue with a colleague you trust and get their opinion.  Do they also view this as a violation of the policy?  Does the violation seem clear or murky to them?
  4. Prepare to meet with the student.  Depending on the nature of the situation, you may choose whether to meet in person or online and whether to inform the student ahead of time of the purpose of the meeting.  You may wish to meet with your Chair, a colleague, or a member of the Academic Integrity Board to discuss this step.
  5. Meet with the student.  Again, there are many approaches you can take when notifying the student and meeting with them.  Consider approaching the situation with curiosity, not accusation.  Even if you have a strong belief that a student has acted dishonestly, and perhaps even believe you know the motivation for doing so, be open to what the student may share to explain discrepancies/similarities.
  6. Document your meeting.  First, you should send the student an email.  To avoid he said/she said situations later on, it’s helpful to have a written account of what was discussed and decided and stated during the interactions on this topic.  
  7. Repeat #5 and 6 as necessary until you reach a determination.  
  8. Notify the student of your determination (there was or was not a violation, what the consequence is).  Put that notification in writing.
  9. Notify your Chair.  Summarize the issue, your determination of whether a violation occurred, and the consequence for the violation.  Be sure to include dates of communications and copies of all relevant materials to document what the issue was and how you reached your determination.  Use a neutral tone – just stick to the facts.  Keep the originals for yourself, including your cover letter, and submit the copies to your Chair.
  10. Record the incident on Banner.  This summary is much shorter than the documentation needed for the Chair.  No attachments are required – simply describe the nature of the violation and the consequence.  This information helps Advising flag whether a student is permitted to make changes affecting that course (generally they cannot when an Academic Integrity issue is pending).

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