Policy 150.25

Academic Integrity

Owner:  Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer

  1. Purpose

    1. The mission of University of Maryland Global Campus ("University") is to improve the lives of all learners by developing the needed skills, competencies, and capabilities of its students to realize their professional aspirations. The University is committed to fostering and sustaining a culture of integrity in which the entire University community - students, faculty, and staff - are accountable to the highest standards of ethicality, treat one another respectfully, and promote authentic education. The University is committed to fairness, equity, and due process in circumstances where students have lapses in academic integrity.

    2. This Policy promotes a culture of integrity aligned to the University's Code of Civility and the Philosophy of Academic Integrity. This Policy also defines misconduct that undermines integrity and is prohibited at the University.

  2. Scope and Applicability

    1. This Policy replaces and supersedes prior UMGC Policy 150.25 – Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. All allegations of violations of this Policy reported on or after the start date of the Fall 2020 term, as noted in the chart at the end of this Policy, will be investigated and decided in accordance with this Policy and the accompanying Procedures for Reports of Academic Misconduct.

    2. The University will apply the definitions of prohibited misconduct from the previous version of this Policy if the Academic Misconduct was alleged to have occurred prior to the Fall 2020 term; however, this Policy and Procedures will be used to investigate and decide all allegations.

    3. This Policy applies to all current and former students and aligns with the University System of Maryland ("USM") Policy III-1.00 Policy on Faculty, Student and Institutional Rights and Responsibility for Academic Integrity, approved on November 30, 1989.

    4. This Policy does not apply to allegations of non-academic misconduct, which are governed by UMGC Policy 151.00 - Code of Student Conduct or student complaints or grievances against the University or its faculty or staff, which can be filed under UMGC Policy 130.70 - Student Grievance Procedures or UMGC Policy 130.80 - Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading, or any other University Policy or Procedures. Allegations of discrimination or harassment will be processed in accordance with UMGC Policy 040.30 – Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, UMGC Policy 041.00 – Sexual Misconduct, and UMGC Global Human Resources Policies.

    5. The University may use software tools and other technologies to identify, track, and deter misconduct and support authentic education.

    6. This Policy is accompanied by the University's Procedures for Reports of Academic Misconduct ("Procedures") to ensure that alleged violations are investigated in a fair, equitable, and timely manner and that students are given notice and an opportunity to be heard.

  3. Definitions for Policy and Procedures

    Throughout this Policy, and in the accompanying Procedures, the capitalized terms listed below are defined and used as follows:

    1. "Academic Assessment" – any submitted assignment, paper, assessment, evaluation, examination, discussion post, answer, lab work, or other coursework that will be used to determine credit, a grade, or academic performance.

    2. "Academic Misconduct" – any action or attempted action, including but not limited to the prohibited acts specified in this Policy, that may result in an unfair academic advantage for oneself or any other member(s) of the University community.

    3. "Aggravating Factors" – circumstances that may be considered to increase a Sanction after a Student has been found responsible for Academic Misconduct.

    4. "Business Day" – Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time excluding weekends, University holidays or University planned and unplanned closures.

    5. "Case Manager" – an employee of the University's Office of Academic Integrity and Accountability ("OAIA") trained to investigate Reports and determine responsibility. When appropriate, another employee of the University, or, in rare circumstances, an individual who is not employed by the University may be appointed as a Case Manager, as determined by the Chief Academic Officer.

    6. "Deadline" – the date by which the Student or another individual must respond to a communication in writing; the time period required for a response begins on the next Business Day after the communication is sent. Any response that is due by a Deadline and is sent by postal mail must be postmarked by that Deadline.

    7. "Educational Remediation" – a non-disciplinary Sanction that may be used by the University to assist Students with gaps in knowledge, skills, or abilities, as determined by a Case Manager, and to move forward in their education with enhanced understanding of practices that promote integrity.

    8. "Evidence" – information used to determine whether a violation of University policy occurred; Evidence may take various forms, such as oral or written statements, video or audio recordings, documents, physical objects, or data.

    9. "Expungement" – the removal of a Decision and Sanctions from a Student's transcript.

    10. "Interim Measures" – any action taken by the University in response to allegations of Academic Misconduct to prevent possible further acts of Academic Misconduct or other misconduct, harassment, harm, injury or retaliation. Interim Measures are intended to be used only until an Investigation can be conducted and a final determination is made.

    11. "Investigation" – a process used by the University, following a Report, to gather information regarding what happened with respect to an allegation of Academic Misconduct and to determine whether the Student is responsible for Academic Misconduct.

    12. "Mitigating Factors" – circumstances that may be considered to reduce the level of a Sanction after a Student has been found responsible for Academic Misconduct.

    13. "Notice" – the document that specifies the allegations of Academic Misconduct and the section(s) of this Policy that is/are alleged to have been violated.

    14. "OAIA" – the University's Office of Academic Integrity and Accountability.

    15. "Panel" – the two (2) University employees appointed to consider a Petition for Expungement and conduct an interview of the Student for that process.

    16. "Preliminary Inquiry" – the determination of whether the allegations outlined in a Report should proceed to an Investigation, whether Interim Measures should be issued and whether the alleged misconduct potentially violates another University policy, and if so, how the process for investigation and determination of responsibility will occur.

    17. "Premises" – University or USM buildings and grounds.

    18. "Preponderance of the Evidence" – the totality of the evidence presented makes it more likely than not that the Student is responsible for violation(s) of University policy.

    19. "Report" – any allegation(s) of Academic Misconduct that is/are made to the University.

    20. "Reporter" – the individual(s) or source of the allegations in the Report.

    21. "Retaliation" – intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, causing physical harm, or otherwise discriminating against an individual because the individual submits a Report or participates in the investigation of or decision about a Report.

    22. "Sanction" – any action that is taken by the University in response to a Student being found responsible for Academic Misconduct, including Educational Remediation and Disciplinary Sanctions.

    23. "Step Up Authentication" – blocking a Student's access to the online classroom(s) or other University computing resources, as defined in the University's Acceptable Use Policy, until the Student is able to verify that the Student is, in fact, the Student by providing or changing login credentials, answering security questions or other reasonable means of verifying the Student's identity.

    24. "Student" – any person who is eligible to enroll in courses, is enrolled in courses, or was previously enrolled in courses at the University and has been alleged to have committed Academic Misconduct at the University or in a University course.

    25. "Written" or "in writing" – in the form of a letter, document, email or electronic communication or transmission; To the extent that a communication is sent by the University to a Student via email, it may be sent to the Student's University-issued email address as well as preferred email as recorded in the University's systems, if any.

  4. Guidelines for Academic Integrity

    1. Academic Integrity begins with choosing to engage in behaviors that result in authentic learning. In its ideal form, authentic learning is an active process of acquiring new knowledge and skills rather than simply completing an assignment, earning a grade, or meeting the minimum requirements for a credential. Although the University recognizes that these activities are a necessary part of the educational process, it is authentic learning that results in demonstrable and sustainable growth for individuals in school, work, and life. This Policy prioritizes student learning and promotes fairness in the University's approach to situations in which students have engaged in prohibited actions.

    2. As a member of the International Center for Academic Integrity ("ICAI"), the University subscribes to the following definition of integrity: "a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage." At UMGC, these values are demonstrated by:

      1. Expressing the truth, without deception, duplicity, cheating, or fraud;

      2. Fulfilling commitments and meeting expectations in authentic ways;

      3. Treating students, faculty, and staff according to the University's standards and policies;

      4. Fostering an environment that enables honest and open communication with respect and appreciation for alternative points of view and the diversity of our academic community;

      5. Making authentic contributions that, ideally, prioritize the development of demonstrable knowledge, skills, and abilities;

      6. Using source materials appropriately in academic work; and

      7. Using the University's computing resources responsibly as described in Policy 270.00 Acceptable Use.

    3. Behaviors that lead to authentic learning are described in detail in the University's learning resources.

  5. Prohibited Academic Misconduct

    1. The following conduct is prohibited as Academic Misconduct:

      1. "Alteration of University Records" – using access to University computing resources or other types of University digital or physical materials to alter academic documents or records or forge a signature on an academic document or record;

      2. "Breach of the Online Classroom" – sharing credentials or otherwise allowing another unauthorized individual to access the online classroom, which is a violation of the University's Acceptable Use Policy;

      3. "Bribery" – offering money, goods, services or anything of value by a Student or on behalf of a Student in exchange for an academic advantage (e.g. passing grade(s), transcript(s), diploma(s));

      4. "Cheating" – using deceit or fraud in an Academic Assessment, or using or attempting to use materials, or assisting others in using materials that are prohibited or inappropriate in the context of the Academic Assessment in question, including but not limited to:

        1. Copying or attempting to copy from others on any Academic Assessment;

        2. Allowing others to copy from a Student on any Academic Assessment;

        3. Communicating answers, collaborating, or otherwise obtaining or giving aid to others during any Academic Assessment without prior approval from the faculty member, when it is contrary to the stated rules of the course, including but not limited to, course syllabus, course policy, instructions from the faculty member, or assessment guidelines;

        4. Using any unauthorized materials such as prepared answers, textbooks, written notes, formulas, or concealed information during an exam or Academic Assessment;

        5. Allowing others to complete an Academic Assessment or portion of an Academic Assessment for a Student;

        6. Purchasing or attempting to purchase any materials for the purpose of submitting such materials or a portion of such materials as one's own work on any Academic Assessment;

        7. Obtaining unauthorized assistance in the preparation, research, or completion of any Academic Assessment;

        8. Submitting a substantial portion of a previously submitted Academic Assessment for another Academic Assessment without prior written approval from the current faculty member; or

        9. Obtaining or having unauthorized prior knowledge of an Academic Assessment or distributing an Academic Assessment in any form or medium – electronically or physically – before it is administered.

      5. "Fraud" – engaging in any willful or deliberate act, expression, omission, or concealment in order to obtain an unauthorized benefit by deception or other unethical means in an Academic Assessment;

      6. "Improper Use of Course Materials" – selling, distributing, displaying, posting, uploading, publishing, downloading or obtaining course lecture notes, handouts, electronic or printed reading materials, recordings, written assignments, papers, assessments, examinations, discussion posts, answers, lab work, required coursework or other information provided by the University or a faculty member that is owned by the University or the faculty member or using such materials outside of typical classroom usage without the express written permission of the faculty member or the University;

      7. "Misrepresentation" – any act or omission that is intended to deceive a faculty member or other University employee for academic advantage, including but not limited to, providing false information to a faculty member or other University employee in an attempt to change a grade or when confronted with allegations of Academic Misconduct;

      8. "Plagiarism" – using intellectual material produced by another person or presenting another person's idea(s) or work as one's own in any Academic Assessment without providing proper citation or attribution, including but not limited to:

        1. Verbatim copying of all or part of another's written work, including but not limited to passages, writings, phrases, charts, computer code, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions in any Academic Assessment without indicating the verbatim nature of text from others' work by using quotation marks or other discipline-specific methods to denote others' work and/or citing sources in the text of the Academic Assessment and on a reference list, unless Academic Assessment guidelines expressly permit another form of citation or attribution;

        2. Not properly citing the source in any Academic Assessment according to the guidelines for the Academic Assessment when using or paraphrasing ideas, views, opinions, insights, conclusions and/or research of another;

        3. Not properly citing the source in any Academic Assessment according to Academic Assessment guidelines when using all or part of a literary plot, poem, film, musical score, source code or other artistic product, including printed material or digital content;

        4. Falsifying or inventing citations and/or other information or data in an Academic Assessment.

  6. Report

    1. If a Student, faculty member, staff member, or third party receives information, has knowledge of or suspects that a Student has engaged in Academic Misconduct, the individual may submit a Report to OAIA as provided in the Procedures.

    2. Any individual may consult with OAIA regarding whether to submit a Report by emailing integrityreview@umgc.edu.

    3. Allegations can also be triggered by University computing resources, including but not limited to devices, networks, and systems, that are used to monitor data for anomalies, irregularities, or suspicious activities.

    4. To protect the integrity and security of University's computing resources, as well as student and employee data and the University's intellectual property, the University may use Step Up Authentication in accordance with the Procedures.

    5. Upon receipt of a Report, a Case Manager will be assigned to conduct a Preliminary Inquiry.

  7. Preliminary Inquiry

    1. In accordance with the Procedures, upon receipt of a Report, the Case Manager may consult with the Reporter and will conduct a Preliminary Inquiry to determine whether the information contained in the Report could lead a person to reasonably conclude that a violation of this Policy may have occurred and an Investigation is warranted.

      1. If the Report is anonymous, the Case Manager will take all reasonable steps to conduct a Preliminary Inquiry. When a Report is made anonymously, the Preliminary Inquiry may be limited, and therefore, the University may not be able to investigate or take any action regarding the Report.

      2. If the Case Manager determines that an Investigation is not warranted, the Case Manager may close the Report and may refer the faculty member to teaching, coaching or other resources. If the Report is closed, the Case Manager will remove any identifying information regarding the Student from the University's case management system.

      3. If the Case Manager determines that an Investigation is warranted, the Case Manager will prepare a Notice.

      4. In accordance with the Procedures, 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 other policies to determine whether the allegations should be investigated concurrently or consecutively under the policies that may have been violated.

    2. Interim Measures

      1. During the Preliminary Inquiry, the Case Manager will consider whether Interim Measures should be imposed to ensure the safety of any person, the broader University community, University computing resources, or the integrity of the investigative process.

      2. Interim Measures may include, but are not limited to:

        1. Suspending a Student on an interim basis (see definition of Suspension below in the Disciplinary Sanctions section);

        2. Prohibiting access, in person or electronically, to the classroom(s) or University computing resources;

        3. Issuing mutual no contact orders, including but not limited to restrictions that may prevent in-person, telephonic, electronic and/or third-party communications or contact.

      3. If the Case Manager determines that Interim Measures are appropriate during the Preliminary Inquiry or at any time during the Investigation, in the Case Manager's sole discretion, the Case Manager will issue Interim Measures and notify the Student in writing.

      4. If the Case Manager issues Interim Measures to a Student, the Case Manager will notify the Assistant Vice President of OAIA (AVP-OAIA) or designee in writing within one (1) Business Day of issuing the Interim Measures.

      5. Opportunity to Be Heard Regarding Interim Measures

        1. In accordance with the Procedures, the Student will be given an opportunity to be heard regarding the issuance of any Interim Measures by submitting an appeal within five (5) Business Days of the date that the notice of Interim Measures is sent to the Student.

        2. The decision to uphold, modify, or reverse the issuance of Interim Measures is final and cannot be appealed or grieved.

    3. No Appeal of the Preliminary Inquiry

      1. The Case Manager will have the full power and authority to determine whether the Report warrants further investigation and, in consultation with the appropriate offices at UMGC, to determine whether to pursue allegations of violation of more than one policy concurrently or consecutively.

      2. The Student or the Reporter may not appeal or grieve the determination at the Preliminary Inquiry stage.

  8. Notice to the Student

    1. If the Case Manager determines that an Investigation should occur, the Case Manager will send a Notice to the Student in writing that includes:

      1. Information regarding the allegations being investigated;

      2. The policy section(s) alleged to have been violated;

      3. A link or copy of the relevant policies and procedures that include possible Sanctions;

      4. The name and contact information for the Case Manager;

      5. Notice of Interim Measures, if any;

      6. Notice that an objection to the Case Manager and/or an appeal of the decision is permitted;

      7. A statement prohibiting Retaliation; and

      8. The Deadline for the Student's written response.

    2. The Student may respond to the Notice. If the Student wishes to do so, the response to the Notice is due within five (5) Business Days of the Notice being sent to the Student.

    3. The Student's Response may include any documents the Student believes are relevant to the allegation(s) and a list of any individuals the Student believes has information that may be relevant to allegations along with a description of the information those individuals may have to share in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

    4. Objection to the Case Manager

      1. Upon receipt of the Notice, the Student may submit an objection regarding the assigned Case Manager based on a perception of bias against the Student. The objection should indicate the reason(s) for the Student's objection.

      2. The Student may submit an objection in writing from the date the Notice was sent to the Student through the completion of the adjudication process in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

      3. Knowledge of the allegations or the facts or a prior allegation of misconduct is not a sufficient basis to establish bias of a Case Manager.

      4. A Case Manager may not investigate a Report or determine responsibility if the Case Manager is a faculty member for a class in which the Student is currently enrolled.

      5. The objection will be evaluated by the AVP-OAIA or designee.

      6. The AVP-OAIA or designee's decision is final and cannot be appealed or grieved.

      7. Case managers, in their sole discretion, may recuse themselves from a case if appropriate to do so.

    5. The Student will not be permitted to drop or withdraw from any course(s) once a Report has been referred for Investigation. If the Student attempts to drop or withdraw from a course while an Investigation is pending, the Student will be placed back into the course.

  9. Investigation

    1. Once the Notice has been sent to the Student, the Case Manager, in the Case Manager's sole discretion, will conduct an Investigation by:

      1. Gathering Evidence, including but not limited to: documents, data, information generated by computing resources, education records, communications (e.g. emails, text messages, letters, etc.), policies and procedures, and physical Evidence (e.g. photographs, screen shots, etc.); and

      2. Gathering information from individuals who may have relevant information regarding the alleged Academic Misconduct, which may include but is not limited to the Reporter, the faculty member for the course(s) in which Academic Misconduct was alleged to have occurred, authors of relevant documents, and person(s) identified by others.

    2. Summary of Evidence

      1. At the conclusion of the Investigation, the Case Manager will prepare a Summary of Evidence in accordance with the Procedures.

      2. The Case Manager will send a copy of the Summary of Evidence to the Student in writing.

  10. Opportunity to Be Heard

    1. The Student shall have an opportunity to review and respond to the Summary of Evidence and provide any additional information or Evidence to refute the allegations before a final decision is made as noted below.

    2. The Deadline for the Student to respond to the Summary of Evidence in writing ("Response") is ten (10) Business Days from the date the Case Manager sent a copy of the Summary of Evidence to the Student in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

    3. A Response that simply denies the allegations without providing the Student's position or supporting information will not be considered.

    4. If the Student does not submit the Response within the Deadline, the Case Manager shall make a decision without the Student's participation unless the Student can show a valid reason for failing to respond, as determined by the Case Manager.

    5. If the Case Manager, in the Case Manager's sole discretion, believes that the Response warrants additional fact-gathering, the Case Manager may reopen the Investigation in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

  11. Decision and Sanctions

    1. The Case Manager shall consider the Summary of Evidence, any Response, and any revisions and determine whether the Student is responsible for the allegations indicated in the Notice to the Student. The University bears the burden of proof by a Preponderance of the Evidence.

    2. If the Case Manager finds the Student responsible for Academic Misconduct, the Case Manager shall review the Student's academic and disciplinary records to assess whether any Mitigating or Aggravatifng Factors may be considered in determining Sanctions.

      1. Mitigating Factors, include but are not limited to, the following:

        1. The circumstances under which the Academic Misconduct occurred;

        2. Absence of past disciplinary record;

        3. Length of time since last Sanction, if any;

        4. Post-secondary educational experience;

        5. Provocation by others;

        6. Whether the Student has acknowledged responsibility or remorse for the Academic Misconduct;

        7. Sincere insight into the nature of the harm caused and a willingness to reduce or repair the effect of the harm; and/or

        8. Any steps the Student has taken to address the behavior.

      2. Aggravating Factors, include but are not limited to, the following:

        1. The circumstances under which the Academic Misconduct occurred;

        2. Past disciplinary record, including Sanctions issued against the Student for similar Academic Misconduct;

        3. Prior Educational Remediation;

        4. Harm to other students' learning;

        5. Length of time since last Sanction, if any;

        6. Extent of adverse or negative impact to an individual or the University community;

        7. Post-secondary educational experience; and/or

        8. The nature and importance of the Academic Assessment.

    3. Educational Remediation

      1. Educational Remediation is a form of Sanction that is meant to help the Student improve knowledge, skills, and abilities relating to academic performance, authentic education and academic integrity in response to the Student's Academic Misconduct. Educational Remediation is a non-disciplinary Sanction. Educational Remediation is appropriate when the Student is found responsible for Academic Misconduct that indicates a lack of skill, expertise, or knowledge of academic practices; gaps in information literacy; or a need for skills development.

      2. Educational Remediation may include one or more of the following, or other similarly appropriate activities:

        1. Requiring the Student to write a reflection paper or apology letter;

        2. Having a conversation about academic integrity between the faculty member and/or administrator and the Student;

        3. Requiring the Student to complete additional training about academic integrity;

        4. Providing a written warning to the Student;

        5. Requiring the Student to repeat an Academic Assessment or submit an alternative Academic Assessment to be graded on its merits in lieu of or in addition to the original Academic Assessment; or

        6. Issuing a lower or failing grade to the Student on an Academic Assessment.

      3. When appropriate, the written Notice that Educational Remediation has been issued shall include a Deadline for completion of the Educational Remediation.

      4. If the Student does not submit or complete the Educational Remediation imposed within the Deadline or according to the instructions provided by the Case Manager, the Case Manager may modify the Educational Remediation or impose a Disciplinary Sanction.

      5. The Case Manager may issue both Educational Remediation and a Disciplinary Sanction, in the Case Manager's discretion.

    4. Disciplinary Sanctions

      1. Disciplinary Sanctions include, but are not limited to, the following:

        1. Failure in the Course – a grade of F in the course in which the Academic Misconduct occurred.

        2. Disciplinary Probation – a status for a specified length of time ("Probationary Period") during which the Student must comply with all conditions specified in the Sanction notification in order to remain enrolled in the University.

          1. If the Student is found to violate any University Policy or Procedure during the Probationary Period, the Student may receive a more severe Sanction(s) for the violation committed while on Probation, as determined by the Case Manager.

          2. The Probationary Period shall not exceed three (3) consecutive academic terms.

        3. Suspension – separation of the Student from the University for a specified length of time ("Suspension Period"), after which the Student is eligible to return if the Student complies with all conditions specified in the Sanction notification.

          1. A Student who has been suspended is ineligible to register for or attend classes at the University or another USM institution during the entire Suspension Period.

          2. During the Suspension Period, the Student is banned from the Premises and attending Sponsored Activities.

          3. If suspended during enrollment in a course(s), the Student will not receive a grade or a refund for any course(s) that was/were already in progress.

          4. The Suspension Period shall not exceed two (2) consecutive years.

          5. At the discretion of the Case Manager, a Suspension may be delayed to permit the Student to complete courses in which there has been no finding of Academic Misconduct and to receive grades for those courses.

        4. Expulsion – the permanent termination of Student status at the University with resultant loss of all Student rights and privileges;

        5. Invalidation of Credit – the removal of academic credit from the Student's transcript for the course(s) in which Academic Misconduct was found to have occurred; and/or

        6. Revocation of Credential – the invalidation of an academic credential(s), including a degree, certificate or any other credential offered by the University.

      2. All Disciplinary Sanctions will be noted on the Student's transcript.

      3. The Case Manager may issue more than one (1) Sanction, in the Case Manager's discretion.

      4. A Student who receives a Sanction will not receive a refund for any course impacted by the Sanction.

    5. If a Student is issued an interim suspension and is subsequently found responsible for Academic Misconduct and is issued a Sanction of a Suspension or Expulsion, the Student will not receive a grade or a refund for the course that was in progress when the interim suspension was issued.

    6. The Case Manager shall send a decision ("Decision") in writing to the Student and to the Department Chair for the academic department in which the Academic Misconduct was alleged to have occurred. The Decision shall include, but is not limited to:

      1. A statement of facts that the Case Manager found to have occurred in relation to the allegations of Academic Misconduct and an explanation of the Evidence relied on to determine the facts;

      2. A determination of whether or not the Student is responsible for a violation of this Policy as set forth in the Notice and an explanation of the Evidence relied upon to make this determination;

      3. The Sanctions issued, if any;

      4. A notification of the Student's right to appeal and a copy or link to the appeal procedures;

      5. A link to this policy, including a reference to the expungement section; and,

      6. The Deadline for the Student to submit an appeal.

    7. If Sanctions are issued, the Case Manager will notify all offices ("Sanctioning Office") involved in the implementation of each Sanction to proceed with imposing the Sanction.

  12. Appeal

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

    2. Grounds for Appeal

      1. Dissatisfaction with the Decision and/or Sanctions, if any, is not a valid basis for appeal.

      2. The grounds for appeal are limited to the following:

        1. New or significant information that was not reasonably available at the time of the original Investigation that would have resulted in a different Decision and/or Sanctions ("Discovery of New Evidence"); and/or

        2. Specified deviations from the University's Policy and/or Procedures used to investigate and decide the Report that would have resulted in a different Decision and/or Sanctions ("Procedural Error").

    3. The University may submit a written response ("Response") to the Student within seven (7) Business Days in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

    4. If a Response is filed, the Student may submit a written reply ("Reply") in writing within five (5) Business Days of the date the Response was sent to the Student in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

    5. Appeal Officer

      1. The Deputy Chief Academic Officer ("Deputy") or designee shall serve as the Appeal Officer.

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

      3. Objection to the Appeal Officer

        1. Upon receipt of the notice through the completion of the Appeal process, the Student may submit an objection in writing regarding the assigned Appeal Officer to the Chief Academic Officer ("CAO") or designee due to bias against the Student. The Student must include the reasons for the objection in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

        2. The decision of the CAO or designee is final and cannot be appealed or grieved.

    6. Preliminary Review by Appeal Officer

      1. Upon receipt of the appeal materials provided by the Case Manager in accordance with the Procedures, the Appeal Officer shall first consider whether the Appeal is filed in a timely manner, whether the Appeal is based on one or more of the permitted grounds and whether the Appeal meets the format specified in the Procedures.

      2. If the Student submitted an Appeal after the Deadline, the Appeal will be dismissed without consideration unless the Student can show a valid reason for failing to respond, as determined by the Appeal Officer.

      3. If the Appeal Officer determines that the Appeal is not timely, is not based on one of the permitted grounds, or does not meet the format specified in the Procedures, the Appeal Officer may dismiss the Appeal without further consideration and shall notify the Student of the dismissal in writing.

    7. Appeal Decision

      1. The burden of proof lies with the Student.

      2. The Appeal is an "on-the-record" appeal, which means that the Appeal Officer may only consider the written materials provided during the Investigation and if appealed on the ground of Discovery of New Evidence, any new Evidence submitted by the Student.

      3. Upon consideration of the Appeal, Response, and Reply, the Appeal Officer shall issue a written decision on the Appeal ("Appeal Decision"), affirming, modifying, or reversing the original Decision and/or Sanctions, if any.

      4. The Appeal Officer shall send the Appeal Decision to the Case Manager within fifteen (15) Business Days from the date that the Case Manager submitted the Decision, Appeal, any Response and any Reply to the Appeal Officer.

      5. As soon as is practicable, the Case Manager will send a copy of the Appeal Decision in writing to the Student and to the University's representative who is responsible for responding to the Appeal.

      6. An Appeal Decision is final, unless the Report is returned to the Case Manager for further investigation or consideration in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

        1. If the Report is returned to the Case Manager, the Student may appeal only the portions of the Decision or Sanctions that are changed.

        2. Reversed or modified Sanctions cannot be appealed.

        3. The process set forth in this Policy and the accompanying Procedures is the sole right to appeal and the Decision and Appeal Decision may not be appealed under UMGC Policy 130.80 - Procedures for Review of Alleged Arbitrary and Capricious Grading, UMGC Policy 130.70 - Student Grievance Procedures, or any other University Policy or Procedures.

  13. Records and Expungement Information

    Records

    1. These Policies and Procedures are entirely administrative in nature and are not considered legal proceedings.

    2. Parties may not make audio or video recordings of interviews, meetings, or any part of the proceedings.

    3. OAIA will retain records relating to Academic Integrity in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

    4. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), 20 U.S.C. § 1232g et seq., is a federal privacy law that prohibits disclosure of student education records, including but not limited to student disciplinary records and records related to the Investigation and Decision of Reports, absent a student's consent or other legal basis for disclosure.

    5. University business practices and certain privacy laws, including but not limited to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the Higher Education Act of 1965, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), the Maryland Public Information Act and the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, prohibit disclosure of certain student records, which may include student disciplinary records, absent a student's consent or other legal basis for disclosure.

    6. Expungement

      1. Providing a mechanism for expungement reflects the philosophy that Students can and do learn from their interactions with the Integrity process and that self-reflection and accepting responsibility for one's actions may warrant restorative justice and an opportunity to expunge a Student's academic record.

      2. Expungements are discretionary and will not be automatically granted.

      3. Expungement is only available for Sanctions up to and including Suspension and is not available for Expulsion, Invalidation of Credit, or Revocation of a Credential.

      4. A Student may not request Expungement until two (2) years have passed since the date the Sanctions were completed.

      5. To request an Expungement, the Student must submit a Petition for Expungement ("Petition") to integrityreview@umgc.edu in accordance with the accompanying Procedures.

      6. A Petition is not an opportunity to contest the Decision or Sanctions.

      7. Once the Petition is received, the AVP-OAIA or designee will review the Petition and appoint a Panel to conduct an interview of the Student and consider the Petition.

      8. The Panel may consider the following factors:

        1. The nature of the violations;

        2. The number of violations;

        3. Whether the Student completed all Sanctions issued by the deadline imposed;

        4. The Student's acceptance of responsibility for the underlying allegations;

        5. The Student's behavior after the violation(s);

        6. The Student's reasons for requesting the Expungement;

        7. The Student's explanation of how the Student changed behaviors to avoid academic misconduct and integrated the principles of integrity into the Student's education, job, and/or volunteer experience after receiving the Sanctions; and

        8. Any other factors believed to be reasonable and appropriate.

      9. The Panel will determine, in its sole discretion, whether the Petition will be granted or denied.

      10. No appeal is permitted, and the Student may not grieve the determination of the Petition.

      11. If an Expungement is granted, the disciplinary record will be maintained but not reported as a disciplinary violation on the Student's transcript. If a Student is found responsible for another violation of this Policy after a record is expunged, then the expunged record may be reported as a disciplinary violation again on the Student's transcript.

     

   
Original Policy Approval Date 9/05/06
Substantive Revision Dates 7/11/19
8/19/20
Technical Amendment Dates 4/17/20