What if I Am Accused of Academic Dishonesty?
The WPI faculty and administration have developed a set of procedures designed to ensure uniform (and fair) treatment of undergraduate or graduate students suspected of academic dishonesty.
- When a faculty member suspects that a student has committed an act of academic dishonesty, he/she will investigate the situation and consult with his/her department chair. The chair or instructor will check with the dean or associate dean of students to determine if the student has any record of prior offenses involving academic dishonesty.
- The faculty member will consult with the student involved regarding the alleged act of academic dishonesty. If after discussing the situation with the student, the faculty member feels that there is not sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegation, the case will be dropped and not pursued any further.
- If the student admits responsibility for the act of academic dishonesty and it is the first violation of that nature, the complaint may be resolved within the department. As part of this resolution, there will be a penalty assigned by the instructor or department chair. The maximum penalty that can be applied at the department level is dismissal from a course or a project without credit. In order to resolve the case at the department level, the student must sign a document that indicates that he/she accepts responsibility for the charge as well as the sanction assigned by the faculty member. The faculty member also signs the document which is sent to the Student Life Office and to the student's Academic Advisor. Students are not required to resolve the case at the department level, and should not feel intimidated or pressured to do so.
- Students and/or faculty may request that a case be heard by the Campus Hearing Board in lieu of a departmental agreement. This option may be used when a student does not accept responsibility for the charge or does accept responsibility but feels that the sanction offered by the faculty member is too severe. In cases involving repeat violations of the academic honesty policy, the case is automatically forwarded to the Campus Hearing Board for resolution.
- The Campus Hearing Board will hear the allegations following standard procedures for disciplinary hearings established by WPI. The Board may impose normal disciplinary sanctions and may recommend loss of any credit or grade for the course or project. If a student is found not responsible on a complaint of academic dishonesty, he/she may not be failed or penalized by the instructor on the grounds of dishonesty. The instructor must assign a grade based on his/her assessment of the student's mastery of the material being evaluated. Faculty must allow the student to continue in the course without prejudice, pending resolution of the case.
- Disciplinary records for any act of academic dishonesty are retained in the Student Life Office for two years from the date of graduation or withdrawal from WPI, except when the sanction includes suspension or expulsion. In cases resulting in suspension or expulsion from WPI, disciplinary records are kept in perpetuity. Records for cases that are pending completion of the hearing and/or the sanction are kept in perpetuity.
- Judicial records are kept separate from a student's academic records. A student's judicial record may be shared internally as appropriate to determine if a past record exists. Records shall be available to prospective employers and other authorized individuals in accordance with federal regulations that require written permission from the student involved.