Guidelines for faculty

Step 1: Gathering information  

  • collect any information that supports your suspicion of academic misconduct
  • inform the student of your concerns via e-mail and provide the student with a fair opportunity to meet or respond (normally within five calendar days). If the allegation involves more than one student, each student should be notified separately and interviewed individually during the initial investigation.
  • meet with the student (in person if possible) to discuss the allegation
  • based on your discussion(s) and a review of all relevant evidence, determine whether you think academic misconduct has occurred

Step 2: Decision-making

  • if  there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the allegation, NO report is filed and the matter is dropped; educative action may be recommended (e.g. tutorial with librarian)
  • if  there is sufficient evidence to proceed with the allegation, inform the student in writing via e-mail that you will be submitting a Report of Academic Misconduct form; recommended educative action and/or academic penalty (see section 4 of the Academic Integrity Policy); inform student that they have the right to appeal

Step 3: Reporting an allegation of academic misconduct

  • complete the Report of Academic Misconduct form and forward it, along with all other information specified on the form, via e-mail attachment  to the academic dean (AIO), copied to the student, the department head (UG students) or supervisor (MSC students), and registrar. Note: if an allegation involves more than one student, a separate report must be filed for each student.
  • the registrar will confirm if there are any previous reports of academic misconduct on file
  • the academic dean (AIO) will review cases when:
    • there is a previous record on file
    • the student wishes to contest the allegation
    • the student wishes to contest the educative action and/or academic penalty
  • the academic dean (AIO) may or may not require a meeting to discuss the matter with both parties and possibly in consultation with the Academic Integrity Committee (notice of meeting is normally five calendar days)
  • the academic dean (AIO) informs all parties of the decision and maintains all records pertaining to the report; either party has the right to appeal the decision to the Academic Appeals Committee (normally within five calendar days of the decision)

Additional information

  • Templates for e-mail communications will be available as Appendix E under Policy 5500
  • If you experience difficulty reaching the student or receiving a response to e-mail within the specified timeline, you may proceed without the student’s information.  
  • Do not return the relevant test, assignment, essay, etc. to the student. Original material and related paperwork is a critical part of an allegation of academic misconduct. Scanned copies of the relevant material should be included with the Report of Academic Misconduct, which is copied to the student.
  • If you are uncomfortable meeting with the student alone, you may have another person attend the meeting (for instance, department head, TA). The student should be notified of this in advance and informed that they too have the right to bring a support person (such as a MASU representative, chaplain, or a staff member from Counselling Services, the Meighen Centre, and the Student Life Office. (However, set some guidelines: you will be addressing your concerns to the student, who will be expected to respond to them. The support person may advise the student, but may not speak for the student. )
  • Consider timing and the nature of the case. Because the consequences of academic misconduct may result in serious sanctions for the student, each case must be treated seriously and given the requisite time to properly process it. Sometimes, this takes place within a relatively short period of time, but sometimes it takes much longer.
  • Questions? Consult with the department head, academic dean, or registrar.