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Faculty FAQs

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Is it acceptable for me to handle cases of academic misconduct personally and not follow the UPPS?

While a faculty member certainly enjoys the academic freedom to handle classroom situations as he/she sees fit, it is important to follow through on filing the appropriate paperwork for Honor Code violations. Files are kept on student academic misconduct and this process is the only system available to track "serial" cheating.

Does the Honor Code prescribe specific penalties for different levels of academic misconduct?

No, the Honor Code is not prescriptive as to specific penalties. It is expected that the faculty member will exercise prudent professional judgment in handling cases of academic misconduct. However, please note the Honor Code limits academic penalties to the following:

1) a reduction in the course grade

2) a reduction in the grade on that specific assignment

3) additional work in the course

Are findings of guilt of academic misconduct reflected on the student's transcript?

No, academic misconduct is not listed on transcripts at Texas State.

Am I expected to uphold the Honor Code if I'm a graduate teaching assistant, lecturer or part-time faculty member?

Yes, the Honor Code is a university-wide expectation of behavior and the academic rank/standing of the instructor has no bearing on its application.

Do I have to attend the Honor Code Council hearing if the student challenges my finding of guilt and/or the penalty assessed?

Yes, faculty are expected to attend the hearing and to provide testimony about the allegation(s).

How long does the typical Honor Code Council hearing take?

Depending on the circumstances, most hearings last 45-60 minutes, but the faculty member's time commitment is usually no more than 15-20 minutes.

Is it a good idea to have my department chair or another faculty member in the room when I meet with the student one-on-one about the charge of academic misconduct?

It really depends on your relationship with the student and the circumstances of the case. The university certainly doesn't want you to put yourself in an unsafe situation with a student, but you should also not create a threatening or intimidating situation for the student. As a general practice, most faculty members handle these situations without assistance from an administrator or other faculty members. That being said, it might be a good idea to have a witness present if the faculty member is a graduate teaching assistant, part-time faculty, and/or if there is concern as to how the student might react.

Much like all situations involving faculty and students, prudent professional judgment should rule the day.

Can the Honor Code Council overrule my finding of guilt and/or the penalty assessed?

No, the Honor Code Council has no authority to overrule any finding and/or penalty. The Honor Code Council recommends findings and penalties to the dean in whose college the violation occurred. The deans have the duty and responsibility to issue rulings on guilt/innocence and penalties.

Per the Honor Code UPPS 07.10.10, students or faculty members who disagree with the ruling by the dean can appeal to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs for a final ruling.

Can the student bring a witness/advocate/parent to the one-on-one meeting?

Technically, the faculty member cannot prohibit a student from bringing a witness/advocate/parent to the one-on-one meeting; however, it is discouraged. History has shown these meetings are conducted much more amicably when it is just the student and faculty member discussing the situation.

What happens if the student refuses to attend the one-on-one meeting?

Forward all the paperwork to the chair of the Honor Code Council and he will resolve the situation.

What happens if the student refuses to sign the Honor Code Review Form?

Forward all the paperwork to the chair of the Honor Code Council to resolve the situation.

I think academic misconduct occurred, but I am not convinced. Do I have to complete an Honor Code Review Form before I meet with the student?

No, the purpose of the one-on-one meeting is for you to determine if academic misconduct occurred and if what should happen next. If you are convinced there is insufficient evidence of academic misconduct, you are under no obligation to file any official paperwork with the university.

Again, prudent professional judgment should rule the day.

If the student agrees to the finding of guilt and the penalty and signs the Honor Code Review Form, what happens next?

That signed form is filed with the chair of the Honor Code Council and an academic misconduct file is opened in the student's name. This confidential file is kept in the VPAA's office for a maximum of five years and is then destroyed. The purpose of this file is to monitor patterns of cheating.

Once the student signs the form, no other action is necessary on the part of the student.