Academic Misconduct Guidelines for Faculty

Definition of Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct includes traditional textual plagiarism and its manifestations, including self-plagiarism (submitting work to meet a requirement in one class that was submitted to meet a requirement in another class without the explicit authorization of the class’s instructor), falsifying work or academic records, cheating, substitution of work or the work of another, actively participating in or condoning these activities with others, appropriating creative works of art in whole or part(images, sounds, lighting designs, audio tracks, scripts, etc). Please refer to the Student Handbook, Rules and Regulations section, and the Emerson College Policy on Plagiarism.

Procedure for Faculty

The following procedure is intended to provide guidance to faculty members in reporting suspected plagiarism and other acts of academic misconduct and ensure a fair and due process. Faculty members should speak with a student suspected of committing an act of academic misconduct immediately and report it to their department Chair without delay. Resolution of cases of academic misconduct will be dealt with as swiftly as possible.

  1. If a faculty member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, the faculty member is encouraged to speak with the student to gather further information.
  2. If the faculty member believes that there is sufficient evidence that an act of academic dishonesty has taken place, intentionally or inadvertently, the faculty member will notify her/his department Chair immediately regarding her/his findings.
  3. If the Chair concurs that the incident may be an act of academic dishonesty, the Chair will immediately contact the Office of the Dean of Students for review, documentation, and adjudication.
  4. The faculty member will notify the student of the allegation, informing her/him that the matter is being forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Students for review and adjudication.
  5. The faculty member is to complete an Academic Misconduct Complainant Form prior to contacting the Office of the Dean of Students about an allegation of plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct. The form can be found on the Forms section of the Academic Affairs website.
  6. The faculty member and department Chair will have an opportunity to provide testimony and recommend a sanction.

Hearing Options for Student

  1. If the student has no previous record of academic dishonesty, the matter will be forwarded to a designated Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will contact the student and arrange for a meeting to discuss the instructor’s allegation. This meeting will provide the student an opportunity to learn about the procedures of adjudication. The student will be provided the option to have the matter heard by the Hearing Officer or a Conduct Board as defined by the Student Handbook. The Hearing Officer or the Conduct Board will follow protocols according to College policy, take into consideration all information presented and recommend an appropriate sanction.
  2. If the student was previously found responsible for an act of academic dishonesty, the matter will be automatically referred to a Conduct Board for review and adjudication. The Conduct Board will follow protocols according to College policy, take into consideration all information presented and recommend an appropriate sanction

The Dean of Students and the appropriate school Dean reserve the right to review sanctions to ensure their appropriateness prior to implementation.

If the student wishes to appeal the finding of a hearing, s/he can file an appeal to the Dean of Students as defined in the Student Handbook.


Sanction Options

The following sanction options, to be recommended by the faculty member, Chair, Hearing Officer and Conduct Board should allow for consideration of the severity, type, and circumstances of plagiarism and other acts of academic misconduct in order to impose a sanction that is appropriately matched with the specific act of misconduct.

In determining an appropriate sanction the following factors will be assessed and considered:

  • Was the academic misconduct deliberate or unintentional?
  • Was the act of academic misconduct isolated or pervasive?
  • Was the act of academic misconduct minor or gross in nature?

1st violation (minimum sanction shall include academic disciplinary probation, an educational assignment, and one or more of the following):

  1. Repeat the assignment/project/exam for a lower grade*
  2. Receive a failing grade for the assignment/project/exam*
  3. Receive a failing grade for the course
  4. Suspended from the College
  5. Dismissed from the College

*Reserved for acts of misconduct that is determined to be unintentional, isolated and minor in nature.

2nd violation (minimum sanction shall include academic disciplinary probation, an educational assignment, and one or more of the following):

  1. Receive a failing grade for the course*
  2. Suspended from the College
  3. Dismissed from the College

*Reserved for a 2nd act of misconduct that is determined to be unintentional, isolated and minor in nature.

3rd violation (minimum sanction shall include a failing grade for the course and one of the following):

  1. Suspended from the College
  2. Dismissed from the College