The reputation of Saint Mary's College and its programs depends on a collective commitment to academic integrity. Faculty, students and staff members of our community pride themselves in valuing honesty and respecting the individual work of others.
The undergraduate Academic Honor Code (AHC) asks students, faculty, and staff members to pledge to uphold the College's standards of integrity. Faculty are required to report violations of the code:
Centralized reporting is necessary for fair and impartial administration of the code.
To facilitate proper record-keeping to ensure that repeat offenses will not be overlooked.
What do I do if I suspect academic dishonesty?
If you suspect academic dishonesty, obtain a copy of the Student Contract Agreement and then investigate the matter and discuss it with the student(s) involved.
- If the student denies responsibility and you are persuaded that there was no academic misconduct, then the matter ends.
- If the student admits the violation, then you may agree to no-contest resolution that results in the standard sanction (the "XF" grade). Both parties must agree that a violation occurred and that the "XF" is an appropriate sanction. Contact the Coordinator of the Academic Honor Council (AHC) in the Office of Academic Affairs. The Coordinator will meet with the student(s) to witness the agreement and to assist you in discussing the importance of the academic honor code.
- If the student denies the misconduct but you retain your suspicion, or if both parties do not agree to the "XF" sanction, then you should refer the matter to the AHC using the attached forms, including a signed copy of the Student Contrac Agreement. Attach a brief written narrative of what led you to make this report and enclose the originals or copies of any relevant documents (i.e., exams, papers or the course syllabus). Retain either the originals or copies of documents sent to the AHC in a secure location.
Where do I find the AHC or the coordinator?
The Academic Honor Council Coordinator can be found in FAH 250, the Graduate and Professional Studies Office:
Monica Mendenhall, firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-631-4080
What happens in the Academic Honor Review Process?
- The reported and reporting party(s) meet with the coordinator individually and are assigned AHC Student Adviosrs to assist them as they navigate through the reporting process. All conversations with the coordinator are confidential.
- If the reported party(s) request a fair and unbaised review board to review the report, the coordinator schedules an Academic Honor Council Review Board meeting.
- The Academic Honor Council Review Board (consisting of 4 students and 1 faculty for undergraduate hearings and 3 students and 2 faculty for graduate and professional boards) will review the facts of the matter in the presence of the parties involved.
- After the parties leave the room, the review board engages in a thorough deliberation to decide 1) whether or not a violation more than likely occured, and 2) if so, what the sanctioning will be.
What will the penalty be?
- The standard sanction for a violaiton of the academic honor code is an "XF" grade for the course involved. The "XF" grade indicates a failure of the course, and an "X" signifies a violation of the Academic Honor Code. An "X" disqualifies a student from representing the College as the leader of an approved extracurricular activity, or as a member of an athletic or scholarly team that is sponsored by the College. Students with "XF" grades will be eliminated from consideration for departmental or College awards and honors.
- Students may later petition for a removal of the "X" (leaving the "F") contingent upon successful completion of the AHC Integrity Seminar, which is a private 8 week, 90 minute, peer-to-peer seminar (there is no tuition or fee required).
- Alternative sanctions may be imposed by the AHC depending upon the nature and circumstances of the violation.
- Although students generally are not removed from the College for first-time violations, the standard sanction for a second violation is suspension from the College, and the standard sanction for a third violation is expulsion.
- When referring a case to the AHC, the reporting party(s) may recommend that a harsher or more lenient sanction be imposed; the final decision, however, rests with the AHC.
For more detailed descriptions of the procedures, please consult the Student Handbook.
What do I do about the student's grade?
- Until the matter is decided by the AHC, it is not appropriate to assign a grade.
- If it is necessary to submit grades before the process is completed, then you should submit an "I" (Incomplete) until the matter is resolved.
Adapted from materials available through the UC Davis Student Judicial Affairs Office