The Conduct Policy for Academic Violations is based on Earlham’s academic expectations of its students as set forth in the College’s policies.
Please refer to the Academic Policy listing at the website and the explanation of Academic Integrity in the Academic Life section of the Student Handbook.
A. College Authorities for Academic Violations
1. The Academic Dean or his/her designee is responsible for advising the faculty member and the student(s) about the conduct process, for oversight of the process, and reporting results of non-hearing cases.
2. An Associate Dean from Academic Affairs will convene a hearing when one is required. If necessary, the Academic Dean can designate a convener other than an Associate Academic Dean.
3. The Conduct Council (CC) Faculty Pool consists of two teaching faculty, two administrative faculty, and two at-large faculty, all from outside Student Development. Members are 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 as well as all Appeals Boards. Two teaching/administrative representatives will be designated for Academic Conduct Councils and two for Social Conduct Councils, with at-large candidates available for either Council as needed. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class, and national diversity.
4. The Conduct Council (CC) Student Pool consists of a minimum of ten students approved by the Earlham Student Government Executive Committee. 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. Four student representatives will be designated for Academic Conduct Councils and four for Social Conduct Councils with two at-large representatives available for either Council as needed. The selection process should strive for gender, race, class, and national diversity.
5. Academic Conduct Council (ACC) is made up of an Associate Dean, one faculty member, assigned in rotation from the CC Faculty Pool, and two students from the CC Student Pool selected by the Associate Dean serving as Convener. ACC hears cases of alleged academic violations assigned to them by the Academic Dean and all members participate in reaching consensus. ACC members will not be apprised of the student’s name or charge until the hearing. An alternate faculty and student member will be on notice in the event that a conflict of interest emerges.
6. The Faculty Member (or another designated member of the Faculty) bringing the charge is responsible for gathering the information to support the charge.
7. Two Support People, one for the student and one for the faculty member, may be chosen to accompany each party to the hearing. A Support Person may be any member of the College community: staff or faculty, but may not be an attorney-at-law.
8. The Academic Conduct Council Appeals Board (ACC-A), which considers the merit of an appeal and is convened if warranted, is composed of one faculty member and one student member, both of whom are assigned from their respective pools, and both of whom did not participate in the original ACC process, and an Associate Dean. All ACC-A members participate in consensus and all decisions of the ACC-A are final.
B. Conduct Procedures for Academic Violations
1. Filing the Complaint: Any member of the College Teaching Faculty may bring a charge against a student(s). A student may report him/herself for committing an academic violation. Any student may also bring to the attention of the faculty member a suspected academic violation.
2. Disposition of Academic Infraction Charge: If a member of the teaching faculty suspects that an academic violation has occurred, the faculty member will normally first notify the student, then the Academic Dean.
a. A First Violation: The Academic Dean will determine if this alleged violation would be the first recorded violation by the student. If this would be the First Violation, the faculty member and student will meet.
i. If the student and faculty member agree that no violation occurred, the matter ends.
ii. If they agree that a violation has occurred, the faculty member will assess an appropriate sanction and will decide whether this will be considered an Infraction or a Warning (see Sanctions for when a Warning is appropriate).
iii. If the student and faculty member agree on the sanction, the faculty member will report the violation and sanction to the Academic Dean, who will 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 to the student concerning the serious consequences of any subsequent academic violations.
iv. If a student receives a Warning and has no further academic violations, that student’s name will be removed from the Dean’s Warning File upon graduation or withdrawal from the college.
b. If the student and faculty member do not agree that a violation has occurred or do not agree concerning the sanction, the faculty member will report this to the Associate Dean.
i. If the student has no history of Infractions or Warnings, the student may choose either a Dean’s Hearing or an ACC Hearing.
ii. The Dean’s Hearing or the ACC Hearing will determine whether or not a violation has occurred, what the appropriate sanction is, and whether it will be termed a Warning or a First Infraction.
iii. The Dean’s Hearing would involve only the designated Associate Dean, the student, the faculty member, any appropriate witnesses, and if requested, a support person on behalf of the faculty member and/or student.
iv. In all other cases, the Associate Dean will arrange for an ACC Hearing.
c. A Second or Third Infraction or an Infraction following a Warning: If the student’s or the Dean’s Warning File contains a record of one or more prior Academic Infraction(s) or Warning(s), the faculty member will be notified to determine if he/she is ready to proceed with the charge of an Infraction. If so, an ACC Hearing will be arranged.
i. If the student and faculty member agree that no violation occurred, the matter ends.
ii. If proceeding with a charge of a violation, the faculty member will report to the Academic Dean in writing the formal charge of an Academic Violation and the result of the conversation with the student.
iii. The Associate Academic Dean will advise the student about procedures and options and present written notification of the charges to the student.
iv. Both the faculty member and the Associate Academic Dean may at their discretion adjust the charge and the college’s response according to the overall circumstances and welfare of the student.
3. The ACC Hearing Procedure for Academic Violations
a. In response to receiving a charge and in advance of the hearing, the designated Associate Dean (or his/her designee) will contact the parties involved concerning the time of the hearing and process to be followed.
b. The designated Associate Dean (or his/her designee) will schedule a ACC Hearing, which will normally occur no sooner than 24 hours but no longer than 10 business days after the student is sent written notification of the charges.
c. 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 Dean; the accused student; and the faculty member(s) unless the right to be present is waived in writing prior to 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.
d. 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 made on the basis of a “preponderance of evidence”: whether it is “more likely than not” that the student violated the academic policy.
e. The Associate Dean convenes and conducts the hearing. He/she has the authority to decide on procedural issues and questions and to dismiss disruptive persons from the proceedings.
f. After introductions of persons present, the hearing begins with the Associate Dean reading the charges. The Associate Dean, the faculty member, and the accused student may make brief opening statements. The student may choose not to speak at any point during the hearing.
g. Witnesses and evidence may be presented, first by the faculty member and then by the student. Witness testimony and evidence should bear directly upon the incident that led to the hearing. The Associate Dean determines their relevancy of and will identify in the hearing any evidence that will be inadmissible. If the faculty member has waived his/her right to attend, another Associate Dean will present the evidence. Any member of the Council may ask questions, as may the faculty member or student. The Support Person may also ask questions if so led, but may not participate in deliberations.
h. The faculty member or designated Associate Dean and student may make closing statements.
i. The ACC will then deliberate privately to consider, first, whether the student is accountable. If the student is found to be accountable, the ACC then engages in deliberations to determine what sanction(s) is appropriate.
i. To encourage the application of similar sanctions for similar violations, the Associate Dean will explain what sanctions are usually applied to a violation.
ii. A student’s academic conduct history will be taken into consideration during the sanction phase of a hearing.
iii. ACC may choose one of, or several among, all available sanctions and may also design a specific sanction for a specific violation.
j. Immediately after ACC reaches a decision, the Associate Dean 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 Academic Dean.
C. Appeals Process for Academic Violations
1. The only acceptable grounds for appeal are: a lapse of 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.
2. A petition for an appeal, from either the faculty member or the student, must be given to the Academic Dean 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 period.
3. The Hearing Officer of the Appeals Board receives the petition and with the board members, considers the merit of the appeal. This may require a review of the file of the proceeding.
a. The Hearing Officer for Appeals is an alternate Associate Dean who did not participate in the original ACC Hearing process.
b. The Appeals Board includes one alternate faculty member and one alternate student who did not participate in the original ACC process.
c. All decisions of the Appeals Board are final.
d. The Appeals Board’s decision is rendered in writing to the Academic Dean and he/she sends it to the concerned parties within five business days of receipt of the appeal.
4. If the Appeals Board agrees that an appeal has merit, it refers the appeal to ACC for Appeals (ACC-A) which is made up of the Appeal Board’s Hearing Officer, one ACC alternate faculty member and one ACC alternate student member who have not yet been involved with the case. This group follows the procedure of an ACC as outlined in this document in Section IV.B.3.
5. A decision rendered by an ACC-A is final.
D. Sanctions for Academic Violations
Sanctions resulting from an Academic Violation include, but are not limited to:
1. A First Infraction or a Warning will usually result in a 0 or F on a specific work or for the course.
a. 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.
i. Some violations are clearly intentional and egregious, such as buying a paper from an on-line source, stealing a paper from a classmate, or using a cell phone to cheat on a test. Violations the faculty member, the Associate Dean, or ACC deems egregious and intentional will be called a First Infraction.
ii. Some violations 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.
iii. Since plagiarism does not rely solely on intention, students may need to learn how to actively avoid plagiarism. In these cases, the student will receive a Warning rather than a First Infraction.
b. Because the student is expected to learn from this experience, if a student commits additional violations, that Warning will be treated as if it were a First Infraction.
2. For a Second Infraction or an Infraction following a Warning, a student will normally be suspended for the remainder of the semester and for the following semester.
a. Students who are 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.
b. A student may return to Earlham after a period of suspension on the condition that he/she provides a written statement affirming commitment to Earlham’s standard of academic integrity.
c. The statement should be sent to the Academic Dean who will include it in Academic Conduct Council files.
d. The statement will be placed in the student’s permanent academic file.
3. For a Third Infraction, including a Second Infraction following a Warning, a student will usually be expelled from the College.
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