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Academic Misconduct

What is academic misconduct?

The receipt or transmission of unauthorized aid on assignments or examinations, plagiarism, unauthorized use of examination materials, cheating or other forms of dishonesty in academic matters. The term “cheating” includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations or on academic assignments;
  • Use of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems or carrying out other assignments;
  • Acquisition, without permission, of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the university faculty or staff;
  • Engagement in any behavior specifically prohibited by a faculty member in the course syllabus or class discussion;

The academic misconduct process explained

According to the Student Code of Conduct, faculty members retain original jurisdiction over cases of academic misconduct. Eventually, all cases of academic misconduct must be reported to the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct. You may always contact any of our office staff members at 815-753-1571 if you have any questions about the academic misconduct process.

Academic misconduct process steps

  1. Take note of the time and circumstances of the academic misconduct. When possible, get a second opinion; if a second opinion is not possible, it is best to go with your first instinct. Faculty must meet with a student about an academic misconduct incident. If possible, faculty should attempt to resolve the matter at the meeting between the student and faculty member.
  2. Contact the student* (preferably in writing) to arrange a time to meet with the student about the alleged academic misconduct incident. Faculty must complete an Academic Misconduct Incident Report. Make certain to include copies of the original exam or assignment. Faculty can upload these files into the incident report as the document is completed. (If you plan to recommend suspension or expulsion as a sanction, please complete the incident report and submit it Student Conduct prior to meeting with the student.)
  3. At the meeting with the student, make certain to complete the following tasks:
        • Explain your concerns and present the evidence and information to the student which you believe supports your allegation that the student committed academic misconduct;
        • Allow the student an opportunity to explain himself or herself;
          If the student brings another person to the meeting with you, have the student complete a FERPA waiver, available online from Office of Registration & Records.
  4. If the student accepts responsibility for the academic misconduct allegation and accepts the sanction(s) recommended by the faculty member, provide the student a copy of the completed Academic Misconduct Incident Report, making certain to complete the appropriate “Additional Questions” section. Submit copies of all documentation and correspondence to Student Conduct.
  5. If the student does not agree with the allegation of academic misconduct, provide the student a copy of the completed Academic Misconduct Incident Report, and inform the student the matter will be referred to the Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct, and that the student will receive further correspondence from a CSSC staff member.**

*Faculty members are expected to make a good faith effort to inform the student of and hold a meeting attempting to resolve the alleged academic misconduct incident. It is the responsibility of the student to attend the meeting with the faculty member in order to attempt to resolve the incident. When the faculty member has made at least two (2) attempts to schedule a meeting with the student and either receives no reply, or the student fails to attend the meeting, the faculty member should attach the appropriate documentation supporting the meeting schedule attempt and forward all information to Student Conduct.

**Student Conduct is responsible for resolving incidents in which the student does not accept responsibility for the allegation of academic misconduct. Student Conduct or the Academic Misconduct Hearing Board will not recommend or issue grades. Any faculty member who refers a case to Student Conduct must be willing to abide by the determination of the Academic Misconduct Hearing Board, and assign an appropriate grade based on the decision. Any grade appeals must be completed according to the Academic Policy and Procedure Manual.

Contact Info

Student Conduct
Campus Life Building, Room 280
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1571
Fax: (815) 753-9289
Email: judicial@niu.edu

NIU Student Conduct Blog