Academic Misconduct Policies and Procedures


Academic Misconduct

The following policy defines a uniform approach to acts of academic misconduct involving students in courses offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Academic integrity requires the honest performance of academic responsibilities by students. Academic responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the preparation of assignments, reports and term papers, the taking of examinations, and a sincere and conscientious effort by students to abide by the policies set forth by instructors.

Any subversion or compromise of academic integrity thus constitutes academic misconduct. Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting; giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports or other assignments; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results; plagiarizing of another's work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for the treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research.

When an instructor determines that a student has violated academic integrity as described above, the instructor may charge the student with academic misconduct (Instructor Processing Details, page 4). In addition to informing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the KU Office of Research Integrity will be informed of all charges filed alleging dishonesty in research. KU Human Resources will be informed of all charges filed alleging sexual harassment.

The possible sanctions for academic misconduct are detailed below and are within the provisions of Article II, Section 6, of the University Senate Rules and Regulations. When a student wishes to appeal a sanction or dispute a misconduct charge, hearings may be held at two possible levels within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences depending primarily on the recommended sanction(s) for the misconduct in question.

Department/unit level hearings will routinely review cases in which recommended sanctions are:

  • Censure - A written reprimand (warning) for actions which constitute academic misconduct.
  • Reduction of Grade for Specific Work - Treating as unsatisfactory any work that is a product of academic misconduct. Reduction of grade may include the assignment of an "F" for that specific work. The student may be permitted to withdraw from the course within the approved withdrawal period.
  • Reduction of Grade for the Course - Reduction of grade may include the awarding of an "F" for the course. The student will not be allowed to withdraw from the course. The student will not be allowed to apply the Course Repeat Policy to remove the assigned grade from his/her grade point average calculation.

After a charge of misconduct is filed, department/unit hearings will be scheduled ONLY if the student wishes to deny the charge and/or appeal the recommended sanction. If the student admits to the charge and does not wish to appeal, the sanction may be imposed immediately.

The initial hearing of academic misconduct can be deferred to the College level only under certain circumstances:

  1. if the unit is too small to hold the hearing; or
  2. if there is a conflict of interest at the unit level. The student or the instructor can request an initial hearing before the College or the Judicial Board should a party believe that there is an issue of fairness of the hearing being held at the usual unit level.

College level hearings will review all cases in which recommended sanctions are:

  • Transcript Citation for Academic Misconduct: The student’s transcript will state that the student has been cited for academic misconduct. This sanction will include a determination of the final grade in the course. This grade may be an “F.” The statement will be permanent unless the student applies to the University Provost for removal of the statement and the application is granted.
  • Suspension from a Specific Course - An instructor may suspend a student from the instructor's section of a course for academic misconduct. In cases involving physical violence or disruptive behavior, the suspension should occur immediately. In cases where a physical threat is made, the suspension should be reported to the KU Police Department. During suspension, a student is not permitted to withdraw, pending decision by the hearing committee. A suspended student may complete work for the course only if reinstated. Conditions for reinstatement to the course shall be stated by the instructor at the time of the suspension. These initial conditions are subject to review by the hearing committee. When suspending a student, the instructor shall, before the next meeting of the course, inform the chairperson of the department in which this course is offered. The department chairperson shall notify the student in person or by certified mail (postmarked on or before the day of the next class meeting) of the opportunity to be heard on the suspension. The department chairperson shall also inform the Office of Student Success and other appropriate offices according to guidelines of the academic unit involved. The student’s appeal will be heard through academic misconduct proceedings. The hearing panel will consist of one faculty member within the division, one associate dean, and the director of the Student Academic Services Office or his/her representative. The suspension will remain in effect pending review. Because this sanction places an immediate burden upon the suspended student, the College is obligated to act promptly. Options in such review include: reassignment of the student to another section of the course; reinstatement of the student into the course; upholding the suspension. In case of suspension through the end of the semester, a grade will be assigned by the instructor, subject to review by the hearing committee.
  • Suspension - Immediate exclusion from all courses and other specified privileges or activities for a definite period not to exceed two years, subject to review by the hearing committee. The student’s transcript will state that the student is suspended for academic misconduct.
  • Expulsion - Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the order of expulsion. The student’s transcript will state that the student is expelled for academic misconduct.

All transcript statements will be permanent unless the student applies to the University Provost for removal of the statement and the application is granted. College level sanctions imposed by the hearing panel may include all sanctions above including those typically addressed at the department/unit level. More than one sanction may be imposed for the same offense.

Hearing Panel and Appeals

For sanctions that require a hearing at the College level, or if a student wishes to, the Dean will appoint a hearing panel consisting of a minimum of three faculty members to conduct a hearing for all parties involved. This hearing shall be scheduled during one of five sessions during the academic year (August, October, December, February, and May).

Attending the hearing are the charged student, the charging instructor(s) and his/her department chairperson, the hearing panel, and the director of the College Student Academic Services. The hearing will be held even if the charged student fails to appear for the hearing.

Individuals attending the hearing will be kept to a minimum to insure the confidentiality of the proceedings. The charged student and/or charging instructor may request that an observer/advisor or witness(es) attend the hearing. The College scheduling officer must be notified in writing 10 calendar days prior to the hearing of any observer/advisor and/or witness(es) that will be attending the hearing. An observer (a supportive family member, advisor, or friend) may not directly participate in the hearing. Witnesses may be present only during their testimony to respond to questions from the panel, charged student, or charging instructor(s).

Typically, students do not bring legal counsel. However, if the student has an attorney, University General Counsel will be contacted and asked to attend the hearing also. The hearing may be delayed until such time as all parties, including legal representatives from both sides, can attend.

The hearing panel, having heard the charges and the student’s response, will determine the validity of the charge of academic misconduct. If the charge is found to be valid, the panel will determine which of the above sanctions are to be imposed, based on the severity of the offense and any record of previous academic misconduct. The panel will notify the Dean and the Provost of its decision.

If either party to a charge of academic misconduct or to a grade appeal involving a charge of academic misconduct is dissatisfied with the resolution of the charge, he or she may seek review by the Judicial Board. All appeals must be made within 30 calendar days of the initial decision.

Per USRR 2.6.2, the College may establish procedures to address, process, and file academic misconduct charges occurring in conjunction with courses delivered by the College. The College reserves the right to review cases in which these procedures have not been appropriately applied by individual College departments.

Maintenance of Records

Written records of the charge will be maintained in the Office of the Provost using the Charge of Academic Misconduct form provided by the College. All hearings must be audio recorded. Audio recordings of misconduct hearings will be kept by the unit conducting the hearing for sixty days following the decision of the hearing panel unless the decision is appealed in which case the recordings will be retained until the student’s final appeal is completed.

To download the full policy click here.  To download the form to charge academic misconduct click here.

If you have further questions, please email Lanis Atwood, latwood@ku.edu.