Procedures for a Report of Academic Misconduct  

7.1 — PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS

7.1.1 Consultation and resources  

a) Instructors are strongly encouraged to consult with their Department Heads regarding an allegation of academic misconduct, without divulging the identity of the accused student(s), in determining whether there is sufficient evidence of academic misconduct to proceed with a report, and/or appropriate educative action or academic penalty for the academic offence.

b) Students who receive notification alleging academic misconduct are strongly encouraged to consult with any of the following University resources for procedural clarification, personal assistance and support: a MASU representative, Director of Student Life, University Chaplain, Student Development Counsellor, Meighen Centre.

7.1.2 Conflict of interest

a) If it is deemed that there is a conflict of interest between parties involved in an allegation of academic misconduct, (e.g. the complainant is a member of the accused student’s immediate or extended family), the matter will be referred to the appropriate Dean to determine appropriate course of action.

7.2 — NOTIFICATION OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

7.2.1 Notification to the student

a) The Instructor shall inform the student of the allegation of academic misconduct in writing via the student’s university e-mail account. The notification will include the evidence against the student and an invitation to meet either in person or via email to discuss the allegation within five calendar days of being informed by the Instructor of the allegation.

b) The student should respond to the notification via return e-mail within five calendar days.

c) In certain circumstances, timelines and procedures may need to be adjusted. (e.g. if the allegation pertains to courses offered by correspondence; or cases that occur during the exam period.)

d) In situations where an allegation of academic misconduct involves more than one student (e.g. unauthorized collaboration; providing questions or answers in a test or exam; impersonating a student in a test or exam; providing an essay or lab report, etc. that is subsequently plagiarized and submitted by another student as his/her own work), the Instructor or complainant will treat each student as individual allegations of academic misconduct whereby each student is notified and interviewed individually during the initial investigation.

7.2.2 Notification to University officials

a) Undergraduate Students — If academic misconduct is confirmed as per 7.3.1 Instructors must notify concurrently via email the student, the Department Head, the Academic Dean (AIO), and the Registrar, using the Report of Academic Misconduct form.  

b) Graduate Students — If academic misconduct is confirmed as per 7.3.1 Instructors must notify concurrently via email the student, the student’s Supervisor, the Academic Dean (AIO), and the Registrar, using the Report of Academic Misconduct form.  

c) Any member of the University who has reason to believe that academic misconduct has occurred has a responsibility to report the matter promptly to the Instructor of the course, (e.g. a teaching assistant or exam invigilator shall report to the Instructor), who will then investigate and if it is determined that academic misconduct has occurred, the Instructor shall follow procedures as in 7.2.2 a) or b).

d) If the allegation does not involve a specific course or courses, the allegation will be reported to the Academic Dean (AIO).

7.3 — DETERMINING THAT AN OFFENCE HAS OCCURRED

7.3.1 Meeting with the student following notification   

a) The Instructor will meet either in person or through e-mail correspondence with the student to determine whether academic misconduct has occurred based on discussion and a review of all relevant material.

b) If the student does not arrange to meet with the Instructor or respond via e-mail within five calendar days of being informed by the Instructor of the allegation, the Instructor will proceed with the investigation and make a determination with the student ‘in absentia’, barring any circumstances to adjust timelines as in 7.2.1 c).

c) If the Instructor is unable to make a determination pending further investigation, the student shall be informed via e-mail that a decision will be delayed.

d) If the Instructor determines that there is not sufficient evidence to proceed with the allegation, the Instructor will so inform the student and will not file a Report of Academic Misconduct.  The Instructor may recommend appropriate educative action.

e) If the Instructor determines that academic misconduct has occurred, the Instructor will inform the student (in person or via e-mail) by filing a Report of Academic Misconduct indicating any appropriate educative action that is required or academic penalty to be imposed (see Academic Integrity Policy, Section 4 e). For undergraduate students, the report will be copied to the Department Head, the Academic Dean (AIO), and the Registrar. For graduate students, the report will be copied to the student’s Graduate Studies Supervisor, the Academic Dean (AIO), and the Registrar. The student will be informed of their right to contest the decision.

f) Immediately upon receipt of a Report of Academic Misconduct, if the Registrar determines that there is a record on file of previous reports, the student, the Instructor, the Department Head (undergraduate students) or Graduate Studies Supervisor (graduate students) and the Academic Dean (AIO) will be so notified and the matter will be referred automatically to the Academic Dean (AIO) for further action.

g) If there is no previous record but the student wishes to contest the allegation of academic misconduct, or the educative action, or the academic penalty, the student must submit a request for the case to be referred to the Academic Dean (AIO) within five calendar days of the Report of Academic Misconduct having been filed.

7.3.2 Referral to Academic Dean (AIO) — Contested allegation 

a) The Academic Dean (AIO) will co-ordinate a meeting with the student and the Instructor to review the allegation and the evidence of academic misconduct. 

b) The accused student and Instructor must be informed in writing of the date, time, and location for the meeting at least five calendar days prior to the meeting to allow adequate time for preparation and also be advised that a member of the university community acting as an advisor may attend the meeting. (refer to the definition of an ‘Advisor’ in section 2 of the Academic Integrity Policy).

c) If either party wishes to bring witnesses, they must inform the Academic Dean (AIO) at least three calendar days prior to the meeting. It is the responsibility of both parties to notify their own willing witnesses of the time and place of the meeting. The Academic Dean (AIO) may compel witnesses to attend.

d) It is the responsibility of the Instructor to provide evidence of academic misconduct committed by the student.

e) The accused student has the right to respond to the allegations.

f) If it is determined that academic misconduct has occurred, before deciding on a sanction, the Academic Dean (AIO) will confirm with the Registrar that there is no record of a previous report on file.

g) The Academic Dean (AIO) will inform the student, the Instructor, and the Registrar of their decision in writing and include a statement that the decision may be appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee, the grounds for appeal and timelines within which an appeal must be submitted.

7.3.3 Referral to Academic Dean (AIO) — Contested educative action or academic penalty

a) The Academic Dean (AIO) will review the allegation and the evidence in determining the appropriateness of the educative action or academic penalty, and inform the Instructor that the educative action/academic penalty has been contested.

b) It is the responsibility of the Instructor to provide evidence of the appropriateness of the educative action or penalty (e.g. consultation with Department Head (undergraduate students) or Graduate Studies Supervisor (graduate students).

c) Depending on circumstances, the Academic Dean (AIO) may or may not meet with the student or with the Instructor prior to rendering a decision. If such a meeting is deemed necessary, parties shall be informed in writing of the date, time, and location for the meeting at least five calendar days prior to the meeting to allow adequate time for preparation, and also shall be advised that a member of the University community acting as an advisor may attend the meeting (refer to the definition of an ‘Advisor’ in section 2 of the Academic Integrity Policy).

d) The Academic Dean (AIO) will inform the student, the Instructor, and the Registrar of his/her decision in writing within five calendar days of receipt of the request if adjudicated without a meeting, and include a statement that the decision may be appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee, the grounds for appeal, and timelines within which an appeal must be submitted.

e) If an educative action that has been contested involves another member of the University community (e.g. University Library resource person), that person shall also be so informed.

7.3.4 Referral to Academic Dean (AIO) for second or subsequent reports

a) If there is a record of a previous report of academic misconduct on file, the case will be referred to the Academic Dean (AIO).

b) If the student did not contest the allegation, a meeting may not be required for the Academic Dean (AIO) to render a decision on the appropriate sanction to be imposed, based on the evidence of academic misconduct provided by the Instructor, a review of the previous record, and a written statement by the student. If a decision could result in disciplinary suspension, dismissal, or expulsion, consultation with the Academic Integrity Committee is required.

c) The Academic Dean (AIO) will inform the student, the Instructor, and the Registrar of their decision in writing  and include a statement that the decision may be appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee, the grounds for appeal and timelines within which an appeal must be submitted.

d) If the student contests the allegation, the Academic Dean (AIO) will coordinate a meeting with the student and the Instructor to review the allegation and the evidence of academic misconduct. If a decision could result in disciplinary suspension, dismissal, or expulsion, consultation with the Academic Integrity Committee is required.

e) The accused student and Instructor must be informed in writing of the date, time, and location for the meeting at least five calendar days prior to the meeting to allow adequate time for preparation and also be advised that a member of the University community acting as an advisor may attend the meeting. (refer to the definition of an ‘Advisor’ in section 2 of the Academic Integrity Policy).

f) If either party wishes to bring witnesses, they must inform the Academic Dean (AIO) at least three calendar days prior to the meeting. It is the responsibility of both parties to notify their own willing witnesses of the time and place of the meeting. The Academic Dean (AIO) may compel witnesses to attend.

g) It is the responsibility of the Instructor to provide evidence of academic misconduct committed by the student.

h) The accused student has the right to respond to the allegations.

i) The Academic Dean (AIO) will inform the student, the Instructor, and the Registrar of their decision in writing and include a statement that the decision may be appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee, the grounds for appeal and timelines within which an appeal must be submitted.

7.3.5 Referral to Academic Dean (AIO) for allegation not involving specific course/courses

a) The Academic Dean (AIO) will coordinate a meeting with the accused student and the complainant to review the allegation and the evidence of academic misconduct.

b) The accused student and the complainant must be informed in writing of the date, time, and location for the meeting at least five calendar days prior to the meeting to allow adequate time for preparation and also be advised that a member of the University community acting as an advisor may attend the meeting. (refer to the definition of an ‘Advisor’ in section 2 of the Academic Integrity Policy).

c) If either party wishes to bring witnesses, they must inform the Academic Dean (AIO) at least three calendar days prior to the meeting. It is the responsibility of both parties to notify their own willing witnesses of the time and place of the meeting. The Academic Dean (AIO) may compel witnesses to attend.

d) It is the responsibility of the complainant to provide evidence of academic misconduct committed by the student.

e) The accused student has the right to respond to the allegations.

f) If it is determined that academic misconduct has occurred, before deciding on the sanction, the Academic Dean (AIO) will confirm with the Registrar that there is no record of a previous report on file. If there is a previous record, and if a decision could result in disciplinary suspension, dismissal, or expulsion, consultation with the Academic Integrity Committee is required before rendering a decision.

g) The Academic Dean (AIO) will inform the student, the complainant, and the Registrar of their decision in writing and include a statement that the decision may be appealed to the Academic Appeals Committee, the grounds for appeal and timelines within which an appeal must be submitted.

7.4 — RECORD OF PREVIOUS REPORTS OR MULTIPLE REPORTS

a) Immediately upon receipt of a Report of Academic Misconduct under 7.3.1 e), the Registrar will inform the student, the Instructor, the Department Head (undergraduate students), Graduate Studies Supervisor (graduate students), and the Academic Dean (AIO) if there is a record of a previous report. 

b) If the record shows that there is a previous report of academic misconduct, the matter will be referred immediately to the Academic Dean (AIO) for further action.

c) Reports submitted concurrently or in close succession pertaining to the same student involving more than one assignment or courses, will be referred to the Academic Dean (AIO).

8 — ACADEMIC APPEALS COMMITTEE — APPEALS PROCEDURES

8.1 — PREAMBLE

a) The Chair of the Academic Appeals Committee will be the sole determinant of the exact order of proceedings; what evidence shall be heard, and when; who shall be heard, and when; and, in general, the Chair will make alone or in consultation with other members of the Committee, any or all decisions regarding the procedure of the hearing.

b) The goal of the hearing is to be as fair and just as possible to all concerned within the limits of the Chair's own common knowledge and common sense.

c) Failure to follow these guidelines does not in itself affect the validity of any proceeding.

8.2 — PREPARATION FOR THE PROCEEDINGS

a) The Chair of the committee will review the grounds for appeal, and any and all applicable rules and regulations that might have any bearing on the case.

b) The Chair will then determine whether the grounds for appeal have been filed correctly, and whether correct notices of a hearing have been given to the student originating the appeal (appellant), responding initial authority (i.e. the Academic Dean (AIO)) (respondent).

c) The Chair will ensure that a convenient time and place for the hearing have been arranged and that arrangements have been made for proper recording of the proceedings.

8.3 — THE APPEAL HEARING

8.3.1 Preliminary Considerations 

a) In cases where there is a limited re-hearing by the Academic Appeals Committee, the Chair will see that all Committee members and all parties to the dispute, namely the student originating the appeal (hereafter referred to as appellant) and the Academic Dean (AIO) (hereafter referred to as respondent), and their advisors (if any) are available. Each side will have one advisor only.

b) If the appellant and/or their advisor does not appear at the hearing, the Committee will decide whether to proceed in their absence, whether to adjourn, or whether to dismiss the case.

c) If the respondent and/or their advisor has failed to appear without what the Committee feels is an adequate cause then the Chair will:

  • i. ask for proof that adequate notification of the time and place of the hearing has been given;
  • ii. decide whether to hear the case or decide to dispose of, or reschedule the case

d) The Chair will read the grounds for appeal and ask the parties if they are ready to proceed (the appellant first, then the respondent). If anyone requests a postponement of the hearing, the Committee will decide at this time whether or not to postpone the hearing for good cause only. Normally, this will be the last point during the hearing that either party will be able to affect the hearings’ proceedings based on:

  • i. lack of proper notice;
  • ii. the grounds for appeal were not clearly stated
  • iii. the time and/or place of the hearing is not fair;
  • iv. that the Committee hearing the case lacks jurisdiction to deal with it;
  • v. that a Committee member has a conflict of interest (the disqualification of one member does not normally invalidate a committee, as long as there is a quorum);
  • vi. that a fair hearing is impossible based on an apprehension of bias;
  • vii. or any other similar procedural complaints that could be raised at this time.

e) If any such request is made and accepted, the Committee shall decide upon the appropriate course of action. If no such request for postponement is made, or if it is made and denied, the hearing will proceed.

NOTE: It should be kept in mind at all times that the Chair, or other Committee members speaking through the Chair, may interrupt the proceedings at any time to ask questions of any person(s) about relevant matters, but should not do so in such a way, or to such an extent, as to show bias or disrupt orderly presentation by the appellant or respondent.

8.3.2 The appeal

a) The Chair shall read the grounds for appeal

b) the appellant will state the case in relation to the grounds for appeal;

c) the respondent will make a statement providing rationale for the original decision;

d) the Chair will ask committee members if there are any questions;

e) the Chair will ask the appellant and respondent if they have any questions;

f) the appellant will present a summary of their case;

g) the respondent will present a summary of their case.

NOTE: After, or during each presentation, the committee members may ask further questions regarding the case. The appellant or the respondent may ask questions after the Committee members ask their questions. All questions must be directed through the Chair.

8.3.3 The decision  

a) When the testimony and statements of the parties are concluded, the Committee Chair will excuse non-committee participants from the room to deliberate upon whether to uphold or deny the appeal.

b) Decision will be by simple majority vote of those present throughout the entire proceedings and will be based on any additional evidence presented during the hearing and on evidence from the original investigative process.

c) The finding will be limited to "denied" or "upheld" plus a very brief indication of any mitigating circumstances.

d) As soon as a decision is reached, the Chair will read the findings and sanctions, if any, in the presence of the parties (only if possible and practical at the time). The Chair shall also send a written statement of the findings and sanctions, if any, to the parties concerned within five calendar days of the appeal hearing.

e) Decisions taken by this committee are final and there is no further avenue for appeal.

8.3.4 Adjournment

a) The Chair, after the decision has been rendered, shall dismiss the hearing. The records should be turned over to the Registrar’s Office.

b) The discussion of the committee leading up to the decision and sanctions must be as confidential as possible. The Chair only shall speak on behalf of the committee and provide the reasons for the decision to the respective parties.