University College Student Academic Integrity Policies

All University College students are governed by the University Student Conduct Code to “foster an environment conducive to learning and inquiry.” Among the forms of misconduct covered in the University Student Conduct Code is academic misconduct, “including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, fabrication of data or records, unpermitted collaboration on assignments, misrepresentation of student status, resume falsification, or otherwise violating the Academic Integrity Policy. Knowingly making false allegations of academic misconduct against any student will itself be considered a form of academic misconduct.” In addition to the University Student Conduct Code, all University College students are expected to follow principles and practices of academic integrity as defined by the applicable Academic and Professional Integrity Policy, which is based upon your student status and is further described below.

All University College undergraduate students (part-time, full-time, degree-seeking, and non-degree) are governed by the Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy and the University College Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy listed below. If a student subject to the Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy is alleged to have committed a violation of academic integrity, the case will generally be reviewed by the school or college in which the class is listed and taught, not the school in which the student is enrolled—though all violations and sanctions will also be reported to the student's college of enrollment. All allegations of violations of academic integrity concerning visiting students in University College, whether during the summer or academic year, should be referred to the Academic Integrity Officer in University College.

All University College graduate students are subject to the Graduate School Academic and Professional Integrity Policy for Graduate Students and the University College Graduate Student Academic and Professional Integrity Policy listed below. If a student enrolled in a graduate program administered through University College takes a course through University College and is accused of an academic integrity violation in that course, the student will be subject to the University College Graduate Student Academic and Professional Integrity Policy. Note that those students enrolled in another graduate or professional school at Washington University will be subject to the academic and professional integrity policies and procedures applicable to their respective school. For example, if a student enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also takes a course through University College and is accused of an academic integrity violation in that course, the student will be subject to the Graduate School Academic and Professional Integrity Policy for Graduate Students.

University College Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy

All University College undergraduate students--part-time, full-time, degree-seeking, and non-degree--are governed by the Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy at Washington University and the procedures set forth therein. As noted in that policy:

  • Effective learning, teaching, and research all depend upon the ability of members of the academic community to trust one another and to trust the integrity of work that is submitted in classes for academic credit or conducted in the wider arena of scholarly research. When such an atmosphere of mutual trust exists, the free exchange of ideas is fostered, and all members of the community are able to work to achieve their highest potential. In all academic work, it is important that the ideas and contributions of others be appropriately acknowledged, and that work that is presented as original is in fact original. Ensuring the honesty and fairness of the intellectual environment at Washington University is a responsibility that is shared by faculty, students, and administrative staff.

Violations of the Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy include plagiarism, cheating on an examination, copying or collaborating on assignments without permission, fabrication or falsification of data or records, and other forms of deceit, dishonesty, or inappropriate conduct. Please see the detailed Undergraduate Student Academic Integrity Policy for definitions and examples of each of these categories.

Procedures for Alleged Academic Integrity Violations in University College Undergraduate Classes

Any member of the university community may file an academic integrity complaint. Students who observe an act of academic dishonesty are strongly advised to make the violation known to the course instructor or seek guidance from the Academic Integrity Officer (AIO) of the school in which the incident occurred. Teaching assistants who suspect academic dishonesty has occurred should report the incident to the supervising instructor. 

Instructors should immediately report incidents of suspected student academic misconduct, including plagiarism and other violations of the academic integrity policy, to the University College Academic Integrity Officer—the associate dean for academics during fall and spring semesters; the associate dean and director of summer school during summer sessions. Violations of academic integrity in day or “L” classes during the summer may be referred to the AIO in the College of Arts & Sciences. Instructors should forward all relevant course information, including the course syllabus, specific assignment in question, the student’s work, and source material, to the AIO. The AIO will determine whether the case is governed by University College or another unit.

In cases governed by University College, the academic integrity officer, in consultation with the instructor, will determine if the case warrants additional review. Instructors should neither impose a penalty for a suspected academic integrity violation nor should they notify a student of a suspected violation, without first consulting with University College or the Summer School.

If the evidence supports the complaint, the AIO will notify the student by email and ask the student to meet to review the complaint and available supporting materials. At this time, the student may ask the AIO questions about the academic integrity policy, hearing procedure, and the implications of sanctions (both immediate and long-term) if the student is found in violation. Arrangements to speak over the phone can be made if the student is unable to meet with the AIO in person.

If the student wishes to acknowledge responsibility and waive their right to a hearing, they may do so. The AIO will record the decision, impose sanctions, notify the Office of Student Conduct, and inform the instructor of the outcome.

Hearing

If all parties cannot agree that a violation has occurred, then the case is referred to the University College Committee on Academic Integrity (CAI) for review and, if warranted, a determination of an appropriate penalty. The CAI evaluates academic integrity complaints and renders decisions as to whether it is more likely than not that a student has violated the academic integrity policy. The members of the committee are drawn from a pool of students, faculty, and deans. The AIO for University College coordinates the committee, works with the instructor and student throughout the process, chairs the hearing, makes determinations regarding the admissibility of evidence, and informs the parties of the decision. The AIO does not have a vote.

If the student wishes to have a hearing and an opportunity to respond to charges against them, the AIO will notify the instructor, schedule the hearing, and assemble the committee. The student must provide the AIO with a written statement and any supporting evidence or list of witnesses at least 5 business days prior to the hearing date (e.g. if the hearing is scheduled for a Friday, the materials must be received by 5 pm on the Friday prior). The AIO will provide the student’s materials, as well as the complaint materials, to the committee members hearing the case. The AIO will also provide the instructor and the student with these materials. If the student or instructor does not provide those materials in a timely fashion, then the AIO may decide not to share that material with the committee members. The committee will not consider any argument the student or instructor makes based on materials not shared with the committee in a timely fashion. The AIO retains discretion to exclude any materials the AIO deems irrelevant or duplicative (e.g. polygraph examinations are not admissible).

Prior to the beginning of a hearing, the AIO will meet with the committee members to ask if there are any questions. Once questions are resolved, the AIO will bring the instructor and student into the hearing room together. Both the instructor and student are allowed to have a supporter at the hearing (e.g. academic advisor, another student, relative, faculty or staff member). The supporter may not participate in the hearing.

After introductions are made, the AIO will describe the procedure, outlined below.

  • The instructor will summarize the complaint and their evidence in support of it. The committee will ask the instructor questions. The student may ask the instructor questions.
  • The student will summarize their prepared response and their evidence in response. The committee will ask the student questions. The instructor may ask the student questions.
  • Witnesses, if called, will be brought into the hearing for questioning by the committee and parties at the appropriate time, and asked to leave once the committee determines that the witnesses have made their contribution to the hearing.
  • Once the committee determines that it has no more questions, the AIO will inform the instructor and student that their part in the hearing is concluded. The committee will deliberate after the instructor and student leave the hearing room. If the committee decides that the evidence more likely than not supports a finding that the student violated the academic integrity policy, the committee will then be asked to determine which penalties should be imposed.
  • If they find that the student has not violated the academic integrity policy, the hearing is concluded, and the AIO will notify the instructor and the student of the outcome.

Cases involving repeated violations of the academic integrity policy, or those that are serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion, may be referred to the Washington University Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for adjudication. 

Sanctions
The AIO (in cases in which the hearing is waived) or CAI (in cases in which there is a hearing) may impose sanctions including but not limited to the following:  

  • Issue a formal written reprimand.
  • Recommend to the instructor that the student fail the assignment. (A grade is ultimately the prerogative of the instructor.)
  • Recommend to the instructor that the student fail the course.
  • Recommend to the instructor that the student receive a course grade penalty less severe than failure of the course.
  • Place the student on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time, to be noted on the student’s transcript and internal record while it is in force.

A penalty may not be imposed if the student is not found in violation. Withdrawing from a course will not prevent a penalty from being issued.

Appeals
If either the instructor or student wishes to appeal the committee’s decision, they may submit their appeal to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards in writing within 14 days of the date of the decision. The appeal is limited to determining whether no fair hearing was provided or whether the sanction imposed was insufficient or excessive. The chair of Student Conduct Board will review the appeal and may 1) send the matter back to the AIC for re-hearing, 2) amend the penalty, or 3) convene the Student Conduct Board to hear the matter and make a determination. Appeals are governed by the University Student Conduct Code.  

University College Graduate Student Academic and Professional Integrity Policy

The University College Graduate Student Academic and Professional Integrity Policy adheres to the definitions of academic and professional integrity, and to the descriptions of offenses which constitute violations of academic and professional integrity, as noted in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Academic and Professional Integrity Policy for Graduate Students.

Violations of the Graduate Student Academic and Professional Integrity Policy include: plagiarism and other misappropriation of the work of another, cheating, copying or collaborating on assignments without permission, fabrication or falsification of data or records, research misconduct, obstruction of the academic activities of another, abuse of confidentiality, and other forms of deceit, dishonesty, or inappropriate conduct. Professional integrity violations consist of behavior that is inconsistent with ethical standards in the professional roles for which the student is being trained that are not covered by policies governing academic integrity. Please see the detailed Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Academic and Professional Integrity Policy for Graduate Students for definitions and examples of each of these categories.

Procedures for Alleged Academic Integrity Violations in University College Graduate Classes

Any member of the university community may file an academic integrity complaint. Students who observe an act of academic dishonesty are strongly advised to make the violation known to the course instructor or seek guidance from the Academic Integrity Officer (AIO) of the school in which the incident occurred. Teaching assistants who suspect academic dishonesty has occurred should report the incident to the supervising instructor.

Instructors should immediately report incidents of suspected student academic misconduct, including plagiarism and other violations of the academic integrity policy, to the University College AIO—the associate dean for academics during fall and spring semesters; the associate dean and director of summer school during summer sessions. Instructors should forward all relevant course information, including the course syllabus, specific assignment in question, the student’s work, and source material, to the academic integrity officer. The AIO will determine whether the case is governed by University College or another unit.

In cases governed by University College, the AIO, in consultation with the instructor, will determine if the case warrants additional review. Instructors should neither impose a penalty for a suspected academic integrity violation nor should they notify a student of a suspected violation, without first consulting with University College or the Summer School.

If the evidence supports the complaint, the AIO will notify the student by email and ask the student to meet to review the complaint and available supporting materials. At this time, the student may ask the AIO questions about the academic integrity policy, hearing procedure, and the implications of sanctions (both immediate and long-term) if the student is found in violation. Arrangements to speak over the phone can be made if the student is unable to meet with the AIO in person.

If the student wishes to acknowledge responsibility and waive their right to a hearing, they may do so. The AIO will record the decision, impose sanctions, notify the Office of Student Conduct, and inform the instructor of the outcome.

The academic integrity officer may impose sanctions, including but not limited to the following:  

  • Issue a formal written reprimand.
  • Recommend to the instructor that the student fail the assignment. (A grade is ultimately the prerogative of the instructor.)
  • Recommend to the instructor that the student fail the course.
  • Recommend to the instructor that the student receive a course grade penalty less severe than failure of the course.
  • Place the student on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time, to be noted on the student’s transcript and internal record while it is in force.

A penalty may not be imposed if the student is not found in violation. Withdrawing from a course will not prevent a penalty from being issued.

If all parties cannot agree that a violation has occurred, then the case is referred to the University College Committee on Academic Integrity for review and, if warranted, a determination of an appropriate penalty, including a recommendation to the Dean of University College for suspension or expulsion.

In cases in which the student is found not responsible, or the student is found guilty and the penalty imposed is less than suspension or expulsion, the committee’s decision can be appealed to the Dean of University College. The instructor or student may submit their appeal to the Dean in writing within 14 days of the date of the decision. The appeal is limited to determining whether no fair hearing was provided or whether the sanction imposed was insufficient or excessive. The decision of the Dean is final.

Students found guilty of an integrity breach which results in suspension or expulsion by the Dean have fourteen days from issuance of the letter notifying the student of the outcome and sanctions to file a written appeal with the Provost / Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The appeal is limited to determining whether no fair hearing was provided or whether the sanction imposed was excessive. Such written appeal must clearly state the grounds for the appeal and must include all supporting information which the student desires to be considered as part of the appeal. Upon appeal, the decision of Provost / Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is final.

Cases involving repeated violations of the academic integrity policy, or those that are serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion, may, at the sole discretion of the University, be referred to the Washington University Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards for adjudication in lieu of proceeding before the University College Committee on Academic Integrity. If violations of professional integrity are alleged by a faculty member, department, or student, the AIO may consult with the accused student’s department, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the University Student Conduct Administrator, and/or other appropriate University officials to determine whether such allegations will be handled by University College, the University Student Conduct Administrator, and/or other University officials.  

When the alleged violation of academic integrity occurs during the conduct of research, the Washington University Research Integrity Policy may take precedence. The AIO, Research Integrity Officer, and the Vice Chancellor for Research, or their designees, will confer to determine the appropriate jurisdiction for handling this violation. Copies of this policy may be obtained from the Research Office and online at http://www.wustl.edu/policies/research.html.  

Last revised February 2019.