"Student Handbook: Conduct Process: Academic Violations," Earlham College
The Conduct Policy for Academic Violations is based on Earlham’s academic expectations of its students as outlined in the College’s policies. Please refer to the Academic Policy listing on the College website.
A. College Authorities for Academic Violations
- An Associate Academic Dean or their designee is responsible for advising the faculty member and the student(s) about the conduct process, oversight of the process, and reporting results of non-hearing cases.
- A past Dean from Academic Conduct Council will convene a hearing when one is required. An Associate Academic Dean or their designee can designate a convener if necessary.
- The Conduct Council (CC) Faculty Pool is a minimum of three faculty approved by the Faculty Nominating Committee for three-year overlapping terms with the option of renewal after the term has ended. Nominations for this pool can come from Faculty Nominating Committee in consultation with Student Development. Members of this pool function as faculty representation on Academic and Social Conduct Councils and all Appeals Boards. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class, and national diversity.
- The Conduct Council (CC) Student Pool is a minimum of four students approved by the Earlham Student Government Executive Council. Nominations for this pool can come from Earlham Student Government in consultation with Student Development. Students must have completed a minimum of two semesters at the College, be in and maintain good academic standing, and not subject to any conduct sanction(s) in the semester for which they are nominated or during their tenure. Students may serve up to three one-year terms. Members of this pool function as student representation on Academic and Social Conduct Councils as well as all Appeals Boards. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class, and national diversity.
- An Associate Academic Dean or designee coordinates Academic Conduct Council (ACC). The ACC can include past Associate Academic Deans, one faculty member assigned from the CC Faculty Pool, and two students from the CC Student Pool selected by the Academic Dean or designee who will serve as Convener. ACC hears cases of alleged academic infractions assigned to them by the Associate Academic Dean, and all members participate in reaching consensus. In instances where there may be a conflict of interest, a Council Member may remove themselves, at which time the Convener will designate another member.
- The Faculty Member (or another designated faculty member) bringing the charge is responsible for gathering the information to support the charge.
- Two Support People, one for the respondent and one for the complainant, may accompany each party to any meeting related to the conduct process and the hearing. A Support Person may be any faculty or staff member of the College community. The role of the Support Person is to provide support, advice, or assistance to the person requesting their presence. The Support person is to advise the student or faculty member they are accompanying in preparing for the hearing, understand the conduct processes and potential outcomes, and offer consultation during the hearing. During a hearing, the Support Person functions solely as an adviser to the student or faculty member requesting their presence and may not address the Council unless the Council invites. The Support Person is not permitted to serve as a witness, examine parties or witnesses or provide statements to the Council.
- The Academic Conduct Council Appeals Board (ACC-A) considers the merit of an appeal and is convened by the Academic Dean or designee if warranted. The ACC-A comprises a Dean’s office designee, one faculty member, and one student. They are assigned from their respective pools and did not participate in the original ACC hearing. All ACC-A members participate in consensus, and all decisions of the ACC-A are final.
B. Conduct Procedures for Academic Violations
- Filing the Complaint: Any faculty member may bring a charge against a student(s). A student may report themselves for committing an academic infraction. Any student may also bring suspected acts of academic infraction to the faculty member’s attention.
- Disposition of Academic Infraction Charge: If a teaching faculty member suspects that an academic infraction has occurred, the faculty member will typically first notify the student and an Associate Academic Dean.
- A First Violation: The Associate Academic Dean will determine if this alleged infraction would be the first recorded infraction by the student. The faculty member and student will meet if this is the First Infraction.
- The matter ends if the student and faculty member agree that no infraction occurred.
- Suppose they agree that an infraction has occurred. In that case, the faculty member will assess an appropriate sanction and decide whether this will be considered an Infraction or a Warning (see Sanctions for when a Warning is appropriate).
- If the student and faculty member agree on the sanction, the faculty member will report the infraction and sanction to an Associate Academic Dean. The latterwill see that the sanction is appropriately recorded in the student’s permanent College file as an Infraction or the Dean’s Warning File. The Associate Academic Dean will communicate the severe consequences of any subsequent academic infractions to the student.
- If a student receives a Warning and has no further academic infractions, that student’s name will be removed from the Dean’s Warning File upon graduation or withdrawal from the College.
- Suppose the student and faculty member do not agree that an infraction has occurred or do not agree concerning the sanction. In that case, the faculty member will report this to the Academic Dean.
- If the student has no history of Infractions or Warnings, the student may choose either a Dean’s Hearing or an ACC Hearing.
- The Dean’s Hearing or the ACC Hearing will determine whether or not an infraction has occurred, what the appropriate sanction is, and whether it will be designated as a Warning or a First Infraction.
- The Dean’s Hearing would involve only the designated Dean from Academic Conduct Council, the student, the faculty member, any appropriate witnesses, and if requested, a support person on behalf of the faculty member and/or student.
- In all other cases, an Associate Academic Dean or designee will arrange for an ACC Hearing.
- A Second or Third Infraction or an Infraction following a Warning: Suppose the student’s or the Dean’s Warning File contains a record of one or more prior academic Infraction(s) or Warning(s). In that case, the Associate Academic Dean or designee will notify the faculty member to determine if they are ready to proceed with the charge of an Infraction. If so, an ACC Hearing will be arranged.
- The matter ends if the student and faculty member agree that no infraction occurred.
- If proceeding with a charge of an Infraction, the faculty member will report to an Associate Academic Dean or designee in writing the formal charge and include the result of their communication with the student.
- The Associate Academic Dean or designee will advise the student about procedures and options and present written notification of the charge to the student.
C. The ACC Hearing Procedure for Academic Violations
- After receiving a charge and in advance of the hearing, a Dean’s designee from the Conduct Council will contact involved parties concerning the hearing and the process to be followed.
- An Associate Academic Dean or designee will schedule an ACC Hearing, typically occurring no sooner than 24 hours but no longer than ten business days after the student is sent written notification of the charges.
- Persons who must be available at the time of an ACC Hearing include the members of the Council: two students and one faculty member; the Associate Academic Dean’s designee; the respondent; and the faculty member(s) unless the right to be present is waived in writing before the scheduled hearing. An optional Support Person for either party to the case may also be present. All members of the ACC Hearing will participate in the consensus in responding to the charges. The hearing will not be open to the community.
- An ACC Hearing is not a court of law and does not adhere to rules of procedure or evidence followed in a state or federal courtroom. An ACC Hearing determination shall be based on the preponderance of the evidence: whether it is more likely than not that the respondent violated the academic policy.
- The Dean’s designee from Academic Conduct Council convenes and conducts the hearing and has the authority to decide on procedural issues and questions and to dismiss disruptive persons from the proceedings.
- After introductions of persons present, the hearing begins with the designated convener of the ACC reading the charges. The convener, the faculty member, and the respondent may make brief opening statements. The respondent may choose not to speak at any point during the hearing.
- Witnesses and evidence may be presented, first by the faculty member and then by the respondent. If the faculty member has waived their right to attend, another Dean’s designee from the Conduct Council will present the evidence. Any member of the Council may ask questions, as may the faculty member or respondent. All relevant evidence will be admissible as determined by the designated convener, who will resolve any questions related to admissibility.
- The faculty member or Dean’s designee from the Conduct Council presenting the complaint and the respondent may make final personal statements.
- The ACC will then deliberate privately to consider whether the respondent is responsible for a violation. If the respondent is found responsible, the ACC then deliberates to determine what sanction(s) is appropriate.
- The Dean or designee will explain what sanctions usually apply to an infraction to encourage the application of similar sanctions for similar infractions.
- A student’s academic conduct history will be considered during the sanction phase of a hearing.
- ACC may choose one or several among all available sanctions and may also design a specific sanction for a particular infraction.
- Immediately after ACC reaches a decision, the convener will notify the student and faculty member of the results in the presence of the ACC. Parties to the case will receive a written and/or electronic statement of the decision, including information about the appeals process, within three business days of the decision. Students will be directed to pick up the final letter and sign for it at the Office of the Provost.
D. Appeals Process for Academic Violations
- The only acceptable grounds for appeal are a lapse of the process that might have made a difference in the outcome, persuasive new evidence, or an inappropriate sanction. The petition for an appeal must address one or more of these three grounds in detail.
- The complainant or respondent can submit a written petition for an appeal to the Associate Academic Dean. The appeal should be received within five business days from the day the ACC decision was sent or within a calendar week should the decision occur at the end of a semester or before an academic break. The Dean will determine if there are acceptable grounds for an appeal to go forward to an Appeals Council. Should the Dean determine there are no acceptable grounds, the matter ends with the decision of the Dean.
- Should the Associate Academic Dean determine that an appeal is warranted, an Appeals Board will be convened to review the petition.
- The Hearing Chair for Appeals is an alternate member of the Academic Conduct Council who did not participate in the original ACC Hearing.
- The Appeals Board includes one faculty member and one student who did not participate in the original ACC process.
- All decisions of the Appeals Board are final. The Appeals Board will issue its results at the close of the meeting and forward a rationale summary to those involved.
E. Sanctions for Academic Violations
- Sanctions resulting from an Academic Violation include, but are not limited to:
- A First Infraction or a Warning will usually result in a 0 or F on a specific work or for the course.
- The first time a student is accused of a breach of academic integrity, the student and faculty member, or the ACC, may decide that this was an educational experience for the student and elect to take no further action.
- Some infractions are intentional and egregious, such as buying a paper from an online source, stealing a paper from a classmate, or using a cell phone to cheat on a test. Infractions the faculty member, the Dean’s designee from Academic Conduct Council, or ACC deems egregious and intentional will be called a First Infraction.
- Some infractions are clearly opposed to academic integrity as stated in our policy but are less clearly the result of dishonesty on the student’s part; the student may not fully understand the rules of citation or what constitutes producing independent work. Since plagiarism does not rely solely on intention, students may need to learn how to avoid plagiarism actively. In these cases, the student will receive a Warning rather than a First Infraction.
- Because the student is expected to learn from this experience, if a student commits additional infractions, that Warning will be treated as if it were a First Infraction.
- For a Second Infraction or an Infraction following a Warning, a student will typically be suspended for the remainder of the semester and the following semester.
- Students suspended as a consequence of academic dishonesty will not be able to transfer College credits toward an Earlham degree from courses taken elsewhere while on suspension.
- A student may return to Earlham after a period of suspension on the condition that they provide a written statement affirming commitment to Earlham’s standard of academic integrity. The statement should be sent to the Academic Dean, who will include it in Academic Conduct Council files. A copy of the statement will be placed in the student’s permanent academic file.
- For a Third Infraction, including a Second Infraction following a Warning, a student will typically be expelled from the College.