Responding to an Allegation
Know your rights and learn what happens if an instructor alleges your involvement in academic misconduct.
Your Rights as a Student
If your course instructor alleges your involvement in academic misconduct, you have the right to due process, which grants you two rights:
The Right to be Notified
You'll receive an official notification of the allegation from your instructor with a request to meet personally with the instructor. At this meeting the instructor will present you with the evidence supporting a charge of academic misconduct and a form ( Honor Code Review Form) to complete. This form will allow you to choose between accepting the instructor’s finding and penalty or to contest the finding and/or penalty. If you accept the finding of academic misconduct and the penalty, the Honor Code Council considers the matter closed and no hearing is required. Failure to attend this meeting and/or refusal to sign the form will result in a finding of guilt and the instructor’s penalty will be upheld.
The Right to be Heard
If you choose to challenge the finding of academic misconduct and/or the penalty, you have a right to a hearing before the Honor Code Council. The chair of the Honor Code Council will schedule a hearing at a time convenient for the instructor and student and based upon the availability of Honor Code Council members.
The Honor Code Council deliberates only on issues regarding academic penalties. Disciplinary penalties are determined by the Dean of Students Office and are the sole province of the dean of students. Depending on the severity of the Honor Code violation and/or history of the student regarding academic misconduct, individual cases may be referred for disciplinary action to the Dean of Students Office by the chair of the Honor Code Council.
The Honor Code Council has no authority to issue findings of guilt/innocence and penalties to students. The Honor Code Council recommends findings of guilt/innocence and penalties to the respective dean of the college where the violation occurred. The dean is then charged with issuing a ruling on each individual case.
As a result of the hearing, one of three actions may be taken:
1) The finding of academic misconduct and penalty of the instructor is recommended to be upheld
2) The finding of academic misconduct is recommended to be upheld, but a modified penalty is recommended
3) The finding of academic misconduct is not supported and is recommended to be dismissed
The student and/or instructor have the right to appeal the dean’s decision to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Grounds for appeal are limited to allegations that:
a. proper due process procedures were not followed. However, deviations from prescribed procedures will not necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding unless they caused significant prejudice to the student;
b. the penalties assessed are not commensurate with the code violation committed; or
c. the university has violated a right guaranteed to the student by the Constitution or laws of the United States or the State of Texas.
The provost and vice president for Academic Affairs will render a final decision on the appeal.