Academic Misconduct for Undergraduate Students

Approved by: Academic Affairs

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For Questions Contact: Office of Academic Affairs | 414.382.6121


Definitions Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct refers to any act(s) in which: a) a student seeks to claim credit for work conducted or authored by another individual as their own without approval or appropriate citation; b) a student fabricates or falsifies data or information or academic records of any kind; c) a student falsely represents their performance on academic work; and/or d) assists other students with any of these acts. Alverno College, through its courses and policies, will work to help students understand academic misconduct and the potential implications for engaging in any such acts. However, it is the responsibility of the student to know and understand these definitions and potential consequences as it pertains to academic misconduct in all of their courses.

Academic Misconduct Process

The Academic Misconduct process at Alverno is structured as an educational process, building in wherever possible elements of restorative justice (focusing on a repair of harm) so as to align the disciplinary process with the Mission and Values of the institution. A faculty member who believes a student has committed academic misconduct should consider ways in which a student can be educated and informed about the harm committed, and ought to consider ways wherever appropriate in which the student can be involved in creating a restorative approach to harm done through the misconduct. This restorative, educational approach may also carry additional sanctions as determined appropriate. These sanctions may include: a) verbal and/or written reprimand; b) failure of an assignment; and/or c) failure of a course. In extreme or repeated cases, sanctions may result in a student being removed from a program of study and/or dismissed from the College.

If a faculty member believes a student may have engaged in academic misconduct, the faculty member must first discuss the matter with the student. The faculty member should provide the student with a copy of the academic misconduct and appeals process as part of this discussion. After the alleged misconduct has been discussed with the student, if the instructor concludes that misconduct occurred, the instructor may impose an appropriate sanction that might include: a letter of reprimand that will be copied to the student’s academic file; a repeat or replacement assignment; and/or an unsatisfactory designation for, and removal from, the course. The faculty member must inform the student in writing of the decision and sanction, reminding the student of their rights and the appeal process. Any or all sanctions applied can be appealed by the student. Students can initiate the appeal process by contacting the Office of Academic Affairs. Sanctions must be appealed in writing to the Office of Academic Affairs within ten (10) working days of the student’s notification, after which time the sanction will become final.

If, after discussing the incident with the student, the instructor considers the academic misconduct particularly egregious, or if the offense constitutes the second time in which the student has engaged in academic misconduct, additional sanction(s) may be sought that include removal from the student’s program of study and/or dismissal from the College. In such cases, the faculty member will inform the Dean of the School in which the program of study resides, and the Dean will appoint an Investigative Officer (IO) from the faculty. The IO is responsible for reviewing all relevant information pertaining to the allegation, and meeting with the student to discuss the findings and recommended sanction. If, after that meeting, a student accepts responsibility for the misconduct and the sanction imposed, the IO will impose appropriate sanction(s). The student will be notified of the sanctions in writing within ten (10) working days of the final determination. The written notification will also be sent to the faculty member who discovered the misconduct, the chair of the program of study in which the student is enrolled, the Dean of Students, the Dean of the School in which the student’s program is housed, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the student does not accept responsibility for the misconduct, or does not accept the proposed sanction, the student may appeal the decision in writing to the Office of Academic Affairs. Please see “Academic Misconduct Appeal Process.”

If a student is found to be in violation of a third act of academic misconduct during their academic career at Alverno College, it will result in automatic dismissal from the College.

All records of disciplinary actions are maintained as part of a student’s academic record by the Dean of Students, or by an appropriately designated Student Affairs Officer.

Academic Misconduct Appeal Process

A student who believes s/he has been wrongfully charged with academic misconduct, or believes that an imposed sanction has been misapplied, has the right to appeal academic misconduct decisions. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisors regarding any questions about the process, or with the Dean of Students or an appropriately designated Student Affairs Officer to discuss the appeal process.

  • Student submits in writing an appeal letter to the Vice President of Academic Affairs within ten (10) working days of receiving the decision of the Faculty Member or Investigating Officer. After receiving the appeal letter, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will work with the Dean of the School in which the student’s program of study resides to establish a hearing committee made up of three (3) faculty members. A formal hearing will take place, conducted by the appointed committee and chaired by the Dean of the School. At the hearing, the faculty member or Investigating Officer will present the findings upon which their conclusions were based to the Committee along with any supporting documentation.
    • The student will have the right, but shall not be compelled, to appear before the Committee to present their case and respond to any questions from the Committee. The request to appear before the committee should be clearly indicated in the letter of appeal so that the Committee can schedule an appropriate meeting.
    • The student has the right to bring a support person (faculty or staff member, family member, or friend) to their appeal meeting, but that individual may not intervene or serve as an advocate within the process.
    • Upon the conclusion of the full hearing process, the Committee will take no more than three (3) business days to deliberate and inform the student of their decision.
    • The Dean chairing the Committee will also communicate the decision of the Committee to the faculty member who discovered the misconduct, the chair of the program of study in which the student is enrolled, the Dean of Students, the Dean of the School in which the student’s program is housed, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Second appeal: If, following the decision of the appointed Committee, the student is not satisfied that due process has been fully or properly applied, she may submit an appeal letter to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) within ten (10) working days of receiving decision from second appeal.
    • The second appeal is not intended to reconsider the substance of the case. Instead, this appeal is designed to ensure that fairness and due process has been properly applied, and that the established process has been properly followed. The appeal letter from the student to the VPAA should directly and explicitly address where the student believes there has been a violation of due process or where there has been an act of either an arbitrary or capricious nature that has resulted in a wrongful decision. The VPAA may follow-up with the student, the Dean/Committee Chair, Investigating Officer, or faculty member as appropriate.
    • If the VPAA determines that the appeal lacks sufficient warrant or justification based on the available evidence, the VPAA will notify the student in writing of the decision. The VPAA is also responsible for notifying the faculty member who discovered the misconduct, the chair of the program of study in which the student is enrolled, the Dean of Students, and the Dean of the School in which the student’s program is housed of the determination.
    • If the VPAA determines that due process has not been properly afforded to a student for any reason, the applied sanction may be lessened or removed as appropriate to the decision. Prior to overturning any decision made by the appointed Committee, the VPAA must consult with the Dean/Chair of the Committee and, if needed, the Committee-as-a-whole to discuss where there is a perceived problem and the appropriate recourse to remedy the issue.
    • All decisions made by the VPAA are final.

Reapplication Following Academic Suspension or Dismissal

If a student is dismissed from the College and/or a program of study, the student may apply for readmission into the College and/or program of study after a one year suspension. Reapplication does not guarantee readmission. Reapplication decisions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the appropriateness of readmission, and should focus on, among any other relevant consideration, whether a student has demonstrated necessary learning about their actions and has a plan of action to avoid future academic misconduct.