Policy 150.30

Procedures for Reports of Academic Misconduct

Owner:  Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

  1. Applicability

    These Procedures apply to Reports of Academic Misconduct and will be used to implement Policy 150.25 Academic Integrity.

  2. Definitions

    All capitalized terms in these Procedures shall have the meanings provided in Policy 150.25 Academic Integrity.

  3. Report

    1. If any individual, other than a faculty member, receives information, has knowledge of, or suspects that a Student has engaged in Academic Misconduct, the individual may submit a Report that includes a brief narrative of the allegations, to OAIA by emailing integrityreview@umgc.edu.

    2. If a faculty member receives information, has knowledge of, or suspects that a Student has engaged in Academic Misconduct, the faculty member may submit a Report that includes a brief narrative of the allegations, to OAIA using an electronic intake form available on the University's website.

  4. Step Up Authentication

    1. If the University's computing resources detect suspicious activities, irregularities or anomalies, Students may be required to verify their credentials using Step Up Authentication in order to regain access to University computing resources.

    2. The Student will be permitted to regain access to University computing resources if the Student is able to provide verifying information.

    3. If the Student is unable to regain access to University computing resources, the Student may contact OAIA at integrityreview@umgc.edu for assistance.

    4. Whether or not the Student is able to regain access to University computing resources, OAIA may monitor the information and determine whether to submit a Report.

  5. Preliminary Inquiry

    1. The Case Manager shall conduct a Preliminary Inquiry as follows:

      1. Determining Whether an Investigation Is Warranted

        1. To determine whether an Investigation is warranted, the Case Manager will review the Report and, at the discretion of the Case Manager, may contact individuals who may have relevant information, including but not limited to, the faculty member for the course(s) in which the alleged Academic Misconduct occurred, the Reporter, and/or other University employees.

        2. The Case Manager will consider the nature and extent of the allegations; the nature of the Academic Assessment; the level of the course; the Student's experience in higher education; the information, training and instruction received by the Student; the syllabus and Academic Assessment instructions; the degree to which the Student demonstrated an effort to learn in the course or the Academic Assessment; and/or any other information, in the discretion of the Case Manager, that may be relevant to determining whether an investigation is warranted.

      2. If the allegations rise to the level of potentially breaking a law, OAIA may consult with the Office of Legal Affairs and/or contact the appropriate authorities to make a report.

    2. Violations of Another University Policy

      1. During the Preliminary Inquiry, if the Case Manager determines that the Report contains allegations that may constitute a violation(s) of another University policy, other than this Academic Integrity Policy, the Case Manager will consult with the office(s) responsible for investigating under other policies.

      2. In consultation with the other office(s) responsible for investigating allegations under other policies, the Case Manager will determine whether the allegations should be investigated concurrently or consecutively under the policies that may have been violated.

        1. If the allegations will be investigated concurrently, the Case Manager will provide any relevant information received from the Report or Preliminary Inquiry to the office(s) responsible for investigating the allegations.

        2. If the allegations will be investigated consecutively, the Case Manager will work with the office responsible for investigating the allegations to determine which allegations will be investigated first and what the process will be at the conclusion of the first investigation. If the other office(s) will investigate before the allegations of Academic Misconduct are investigated, the Case Manager will provide any relevant information received from the Report or Preliminary Inquiry to the office(s) responsible for investigating the allegations.

        3. The Case Manager may coordinate the collection of evidence with the other office(s) to the extent possible to avoid duplication of effort by the University.

    3. Interim Measures

      1. During the Preliminary Inquiry, the Case Manager will consider whether Interim Measures should be imposed, in accordance with the Policy.

      2. The Case Manager will make reasonable efforts to ensure that any Interim Measures are implemented in a way that has the least adverse impact on the Student during the Investigation and the determination of the case, including working with faculty member(s) and the Student to make arrangements for the Student to submit Academic Assessments through alternative means or changing an Academic Assessment(s), as needed, to permit the Student to receive a grade in the course(s) should the Student be found not responsible.

      3. Opportunity to Be Heard regarding Interim Measures

        1. After the Student receives Notice of the Report and the Interim Measures, a Student may appeal the issuance of Interim Measures by submitting an objection to the Interim Measures in writing to the Associate Vice President of Academic Administration ("AVPAA") or designee. The appeal must be submitted within five (5) Business Days of the date that the notice of the Interim Measures is sent to the Student and must state the reasons the Student objects to the Interim Measures.

        2. Upon receipt of an objection, the AVPAA or designee will give the Student an opportunity to meet or communicate in writing, by telephone or through electronic means ("Conference") with the AVPAA or designee with reasonable promptness but no more than three (3) Business Days from the submission of the objection, unless there is a valid reason for extension of this Deadline, as determined by the AVPAA or designee.

        3. If a telephone call or videoconference is scheduled, the Student may have another individual present for support and advice; however, that individual may not speak on behalf of the Student. During the call or videoconference, the Student may request to confer in private with the individual present for support and advice.

        4. During the Conference, the Student and the AVPAA or designee may discuss whether the conduct and surrounding circumstances reasonably indicate that the continued presence of the Student on the Premises or having access to UMGC classrooms or computing resources poses a substantial threat to the Student, to others, or to the stability and continuance of normal UMGC or USM operations.

        5. The AVPAA or designee will consider the information provided by the Student and decide whether to uphold, modify or reverse the issuance of Interim Measures as soon as practicable. This decision is final and cannot be appealed or grieved.

  6. Notice to the Student

    1. Prior to a Notice being sent to a Student regarding an Investigation of Academic Misconduct allegations, the University will assign a temporary placeholder of a "G" in lieu of a grade for the course(s) in which Academic Misconduct is alleged to have occurred; this placeholder cannot be removed until the Report is resolved.

    2. After the Notice is received by the Student, if the Student has questions regarding the Policy, these Procedures, or the Investigation process, the Student may contact their assigned Case Manager or OAIA at integrityreview@umgc.edu.

    3. If, during the course of an Investigation, additional allegations emerge, the Case Manager will conduct another Preliminary Inquiry and if further investigation is warranted, the Notice will be amended if the allegations arise out of the same facts and circumstances or a new Notice will be issued if the new allegations are not related to the original allegations.

    4. Objection to the Case Manager

      1. An objection to the Case Manager must be submitted in writing to AVP-OAIA or designee who will review the objection and determine whether there is sufficient information to show bias or that the Case Manager may not be able to be impartial in considering the allegations.

      2. If the AVP-OAIA or designee finds sufficient information to show bias or that the Case Manager may not be able to be impartial in considering the allegations in the Notice, the AVP-OAIA or designee will appoint a new Case Manager.

      3. If an objection to the Case Manager is not received in writing prior to the completion of the adjudication process, the Student will be considered to have waived any objection to the Case Manager.

  7. Investigation

    1. The Case Manager, in the Case Manager's sole discretion, may request information from any individual, including the Student and/or individuals identified by the Student or other individuals, whom the Case Manager believes may have relevant information or evidence. The Case Manager may request information in writing, by telephone, by videoconference, or by other electronics means, as the Case Manager deems appropriate.

      1. The Case Manager may set a reasonable Deadline for the individual's response to a request for information.

      2. If an individual responds to a request for information after the Deadline but before the Investigation closes, the Case Manager may consider the response, in the Case Manager's sole discretion.

      3. If a telephone call or videoconference is scheduled to request information from the Student, the Student may have another individual present for support and advice; however, that individual may not speak on behalf of the Student. During the call or videoconference, the Student may request to confer in private with the individual present for support and advice.

    2. If the Student fails to respond to the Notice in writing or to a request for information from the Case Manager in the form requested by the Case Manager by the Deadline, the Investigation will continue without the Student's participation unless the Student can show a valid reason for failing to respond, as determined by the Case Manager.

    3. Summary of Evidence

      1. The Summary of Evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following information:

        1. A summary of the relevant facts gathered throughout the Investigation;

        2. A list of the individuals to whom the Case Manager submitted a request for information and a summary of the relevant information provided by each individual, if any;

        3. A list of the relevant documents gathered with copies attached;

        4. A list of the relevant physical Evidence gathered with images of the Evidence; and

        5. A summary of data, if any, from University computing resources that is relevant to the allegations.

      2. The Summary of Evidence will not include findings of fact, conclusions as to responsibility, or Sanctions.

      3. In the Case Manager's sole discretion, the Case Manager may redact any information contained in the documents gathered that is irrelevant to the allegations in the Notice.

      4. The Case Manager will submit a copy of the Summary of Evidence to OAIA's case management system.

  8. Opportunity to Be Heard

    1. The Student may respond to the Summary of Evidence within ten (10) Business Days of the date the Case Manager sent a copy to the Student.

    2. A Response to the Summary of Evidence should:

      1. Clearly explain the Student's position regarding the allegations and the information gathered in the Summary of Evidence; and

      2. Provide any additional information, not contained in the Summary of Evidence, such as:

        1. Copies of documents or Evidence and an explanation of why such documents or Evidence are relevant; and/or

        2. Names and contact information for individuals and a statement of the relevant facts known to those individuals.

    3. If the Case Manager conducts any additional Investigations, the Case Manager shall revise the Summary of Evidence and provide a copy of the Revised Summary of Evidence to the Student.

      1. The Student may respond to the Revised Summary of Evidence in writing ("Revised Response") within five (5) Business Days of the date the Case Manager sent a copy to the Student.

      2. The Revised Response must follow the same requirements indicated in the Procedures above for the Response and may respond only to the new or revised information provided in the Revised Summary of Evidence.

  9. Decision and Sanctions

    1. The Case Manager will review all of the Evidence for the case and make a Decision regarding the student's responsibility for the allegations indicated in the Notice to the Student. If the student is found responsible for those allegations, the Case Manager will determine the appropriate Sanction(s) in accordance with the Policy.

    2. The Case Manager will notify the Student of the Decision in writing.

    3. The Case Manager shall submit a copy of the Decision to OAIA's case management system.

    4. The faculty member(s) for the course(s) in which the Academic Misconduct was alleged shall be notified if the Student was found responsible and if so, the Sanctions that were issued. The faculty member will not be notified if the faculty member was not the Reporter and the Student was found not responsible.

    5. If sanctioned, all offices involved in the sanctioning process will confirm in writing to the Case Manager when each Sanction has been imposed, and the Case Manager shall input the confirmation into OAIA's case management system.

    6. When required by the Academic Integrity Policy, the Case Manager shall notify Academic Operations to make the appropriate transcript notations for Disciplinary Sanctions.

    7. Academic Operations shall confirm in writing to the Case Manager when the transcript notation is complete, and the Case Manager shall input the confirmation into OAIA's case management system.

  10. Appeal

    1. The Student may appeal the Decision by submitting a written Appeal to the Case Manager within five (5) Business Days of the date the Decision was sent to the Student.

    2. The Appeal must include a concise and complete written statement outlining the ground(s) for Appeal, all relevant information and reasons for the Appeal, and the Student's desired outcome.

      1. A Response to an Appeal shall include a concise and complete written statement including the University's position with regard to the Student's argument, all relevant information and reasons for the Response, and the University's desired outcome.

      2. A Reply to a Response shall include a concise and complete written statement outlining the reasons that the Appeal should be granted or why information in the Response is inaccurate.

    3. Deadlines

      1. Within one (1) Business Day of receipt of an Appeal, the Case Manager will send a copy of the Appeal to the University's representative who is responsible for responding to the Appeal.

      2. Response from the University

        1. The Response must be submitted to the Case Manager within five (5) Business Days of the date the Appeal was sent to the University's representative who is responsible for responding to the Appeal.

        2. Within one (1) Business Day of receipt of a Response, the Case Manager shall send a copy of the Response to the Student.

      3. Reply from the Student

        1. The Reply must be submitted to the Case Manager within five (5) Business Days of the date the Response was sent to the Student.

        2. Within one (1) Business Day of receipt of a Reply, the Case Manager shall send a copy of the Reply to the University's representative who is responsible for responding to the Appeal.

    4. Format

      1. The Appeal must not exceed five (5) double-spaced pages and should be prepared using 12-point font and one (1) inch margins, except for any exhibits.

      2. The Reply must not exceed three (3) double-spaced pages and should be prepared using 12-point font and one (1) inch margins, except for any exhibits.

      3. The Student may attach copies of any information that was presented to the Case Manager during the Investigation as exhibits or may refer to any exhibits that were attached to the Decision.

      4. If the Student has appealed on the ground of Discovery of New Evidence, the Student must attach copies of any new or significant information for consideration and state the reasons why such information was not available to the Student during the Investigation.

    5. Appeal Officer

      1. Within one (1) Business Day of receipt of an Appeal, the Case Manager shall notify the Deputy Chief Academic Officer ("Deputy") in writing that an appeal has been filed and report the name of the Student who has appealed.

      2. If the Deputy wishes to appoint a designee as the Appeal Officer, the Deputy may designate a University employee or may, in the Deputy's sole discretion, designate an external Appeal Officer.

      3. The Deputy shall confirm that the Deputy will serve as the Appeal Officer or shall designate an Appeal Officer within three (3) Business Days of notice of the Appeal from the Case Manager.

      4. The Case Manager shall send written notice to the Student with the name of the Appeal Officer.

      5. Objection to the Appeal Officer

        1. The objection to the Appeal Officer must be submitted in writing to the Chief Academic Officer ("CAO") or designee at cao-office@umgc.edu who will review the objection and determine whether there is sufficient information to show bias or that the Appeal Officer may not be able to be impartial in considering the allegations.

        2. If the CAO or designee finds there is sufficient information to show bias or that the Appeal Officer may not be able to be impartial in considering the Appeal, the CAO or designee will appoint a new Appeal Officer.

        3. If an objection to the Appeal Officer is not received in writing prior to the completion of the Appeal process, the Student will be considered to have waived any objection to the Appeal Officer.

    6. Preliminary Review by Appeal Officer

      1. After receipt of the Appeal, Response, and Reply or the expiration of the time for Reply, whichever is earlier, the Case Manager will forward a copy of the Summary of Evidence or Revised Summary of Evidence, Decision, and Appeal, Response, and Reply to the Appeal Officer and the date on which the Appeal, Response, and Reply was received.

      2. If an Appeal, Response, or Reply is submitted after the Deadline, the Student or the University's representative who is responsible for responding to the appeal must provide a written justification to the Appeal Officer for failing to comply with the Deadline.

      3. If a Student or the University's representative who is responsible for responding to the appeal is granted additional time to submit an Appeal or Response, the other party must be provided the same amount of additional time to submit the Response or Reply.

      4. If the Response or Reply exceeds the page limits, the Appeal Officer will not consider any information beyond the page limit.

    7. Appeal Decision

      1. If reversed, the Appeal Officer may return the Report to the Case Manager to correct the error or consider new Evidence and reconsider the case.

      2. In rare cases, the Appeal Officer may require a new Investigation or may require the appointment of a new Case Manager when returned for a new decision.

      3. If any additional investigation or consideration of new Evidence is ordered by the Appeal Officer, the investigation or consideration of new Evidence should be completed by the Case Manager and a new Decision made as promptly as possible.

      4. The Deadline to submit the Appeal Decision may be extended by the Appeal Officer in the Appeal Officer's sole discretion, as necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the appeal process.

      5. If additional time is needed to complete the appeal process, the CAO shall notify the Student in writing.

      6. The Case Manager shall store and maintain the Appeal Decision in the OAIA's case management system.

  11. Records and Expungement Information

    Records

    1. OAIA will retain all Reports, regardless of how the Report was resolved, the Notice, the Summary of Evidence, Revised Summary of Evidence, the Decision, the Appeal, the Response, the Reply, the Appeal Decision, all correspondence between the Student and any representative of the University related to the Notice and any other records related to the Notice in accordance with the University's Record Retention Schedule.

    2. Allegations resolved by means of Preliminary Inquiry are not part of a Student's disciplinary file or academic record.

    3. If the Student is found responsible for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, the Case Manager shall submit a copy of the Decision and Sanctions, if any, to the appropriate University employee to be placed in the student's disciplinary record. Such records shall be used in reviewing any further conduct or issuing sanctions and shall remain a part of a Student's disciplinary record.

    4. Expungement

      1. To request an Expungement, the Student must submit a Petition for Expungement ("Petition") to integrityreview@umgc.edu and complete each question in the Petition.

        1. If the Student is seeking to expunge a Sanction of a Suspension, the Student must also submit two (2) letters of support from individuals who know the Student in a current or recent academic or professional capacity and a transcript from all institutions of higher education that the Student has attended or is attending.

        2. If the Student is seeking to expunge a Sanction lower than a Suspension, the Student may submit two (2) letters of support from individuals who know the Student in a current or recent academic or professional capacity and a transcript from all institutions of higher education that the Student has attended or is attending.

      2. The AVP-OAIA will schedule an interview of the Student by the Panel, as defined in the Policy, by telephone or electronic means as soon as practicable.

      3. The Panel will provide a written response to the Student's Petition within ten (10) Business Days of the date of the interview.

      4. The decision of the Panel regarding Expungement is final and cannot be appealed or formally grieved.

   
Original Policy Approval Date 08/19/20
Substantive Revision Dates  
Technical Amendment Dates