Guide to the Academic Integrity Process

If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact the Academic Integrity staff, at 513-529-0027 or

Why are students reported for suspected academic dishonesty?

When an instructor suspects academic dishonesty, they are required to submit a report and evidence to the academic integrity staff. The report and evidence submitted by an instructor outlines why the instructor suspects a student committed academic dishonesty. The instructor's report and evidence is provided to a student when they are notified of the academic dishonesty charge.

The Academic Integrity Policy, course syllabi, and/or assignment guidelines outline what could be considered academic dishonesty.

What happens if a student is reported for suspected academic dishonesty?

If a student is reported for suspected academic dishonesty, they will be notified via their university email address of the situation, and a Procedural Review meeting will be scheduled with an academic integrity staff member as the first step in the process.

What is the Procedural Review meeting?

During the Procedural Review, the student will meet with one of the academic integrity staff members to discuss the report from the instructor, the academic integrity process, options for resolving the situation, and to advise the student regarding the proposed sanctions for the alleged violation(s). During the Procedural Review, students will be able to ask questions, view all of the evidence, and potentially resolve the situation based on the response to the allegations. The instructor will not be present at the Procedural Review.

After the Procedural Review is concluded, students will have two days to decide how they would like to move forward with the case. Based on that decision, the appropriate paperwork and notification of the resolution or next part of the process will be sent to the student via email.

What happens if a student does not attend the Procedural Review?

If a student does not attend the Procedural Review, which is scheduled based on the student's class schedule, without prior notice, the case will be referred to the department in which it occurred for a formal hearing. In some cases, a second procedural review will be scheduled.

If students have a conflict during the time of the Procedural Review, they should contact the academic integrity staff to reschedule the appointment.

Should/will the instructor who reported the academic dishonesty case talk to a student before or after the procedural review or the hearing?

Some instructors will talk with students before reporting a suspected case of academic dishonesty, and some will choose not to talk to the student. Instructors do not have to talk with the student before submitting the report.

Typically, once the process has begun with the Procedural Review notification, pending the final decision from the hearing officer, the instructor likely will not talk to the student about the status of the case or grade. Students should direct questions to the academic integrity staff. Students are welcome to communicate with the instructor about other aspects of the course.

How long does the academic integrity process take? What if the situation occurs at the end of the semester?

How long the process takes depends on multiple factors. The academic integrity staff do their best to notify students in a timely manner, once they receive a report. However, instructors may need time to grade the work and review potential evidence in academic dishonesty cases, and finding a time for a meeting may take a few weeks. If an instructor has notified a student that a suspected case of academic dishonesty is being reported and they do not receive a notice for a Procedural Review, the student should feel free to ask the instructor if a report was submitted or contact the academic integrity staff to request official notification.

Procedural Reviews are scheduled as quickly as they can be in accordance with the required notification period outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy. A student may request to move the meeting sooner if time allows. If the student resolves the case within the Procedural Review, the case may be resolved fairly quickly. However, if the student chooses to have the case resolved through a formal hearing, then the process will take additional time. Scheduling a hearing in which all parties involved can meet may take a few weeks or more to organize.

If a situation occurs at the end of the semester, a Procedural Review and/or hearing can be held during a break, if all parties are available. Students can come back to campus for the meeting or request that the meeting be held via phone or video chat (Google Hangout, Skype, or the like).

If all parties are not available, the Procedural Review or hearing will be held at the beginning of the next semester. Graduating seniors should arrange to have their Procedural Review or hearing held as soon as possible, as students are not eligible to graduate with an unresolved academic dishonesty case or with incomplete sanctions.

How will a grade be affected during this process?

The assignment(s) on which academic dishonesty is suspected may be graded or ungraded during this process. If the instructor assigns a grade prior to the resolution of the case, that grade will be changed after the case is resolved to reflect the outcome of the case if applicable.

If the situation occurs at the end of the semester, the instructor will assign a grade of N (No Grade) until the case is fully resolved. Again, the final course grade will be changed to reflect the outcome of the case once it is fully resolved. Cases are not fully resolved until the final finding and sanction decision letter has been sent and any appeal is decided upon or the appeal deadline has passed.

If a student has a formal hearing scheduled, do they have to attend it? What happens if they don't attend the hearing?

Students are strongly encouraged to attend both the Procedural Review and the academic dishonesty hearing, if one is scheduled. Attending the hearing is the only way that students can share their evidence and perspective on the suspected case of academic dishonesty with the hearing officer. If a student does not attend a scheduled hearing, the hearing will be held without them, and a decision will be made about the case.

Graduate students who do not attend their scheduled hearings and are found responsible for committing academic dishonesty forfeit their right to appeal the finding and/or sanction recommendation.

What should students do to prepare for the hearing?

Prior to the hearing, students should review the information about the process, the academic integrity policy, and the report and evidence submitted by the instructor.

Students also are encouraged to write a response to the situation and think about any information they want to present at the hearing or questions they want to ask. Students should gather any evidence or information they would like to present or provide to the hearing officer to be considered in the decision.

Students also should contact any witnesses they may want to bring to the hearing and talk to an advisor who can accompany they to the hearing.

Who can serve as an Advisor at a hearing?

An advisor can be any person a student thinks would be helpful to them in the hearing. The advisor can be a member of the residence hall staff, an instructor, an academic advisor, or other trusted community member. An advisor cannot speak for or represent a student in the hearing, but the advisor can offer advice and support to a student during the hearing.

Can a friend or parents attend a hearing?

Yes; in addition to an advisor, students can bring up to two additional people to the hearing to support them, including parents or friends. Just as with the advisor, parent(s) or friends cannot speak on students' behalf or represent them. A parent is welcome to ask questions at the end of the hearing.

Academic integrity records are maintained confidentially in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If a parent wants to discuss the case or hearing, students will need to sign a FERPA release in order for the record to be disclosed to another person. Students should contact the academic integrity staff to obtain a FERPA release and make an appointment for conversation involving their parent.

Can students bring witnesses to the hearing?

Yes; students can bring witnesses to the hearing. Any witnesses must be able to speak about their direct knowledge of the incident in question. Witnesses will not sit through the entire hearing; they will be called into the hearing to give their testimony and then be asked to leave the hearing.

What happens in the hearing?

The hearing is a meeting with the student, instructor, and the hearing officer (typically the department chair or program director of the course instructor).

The purpose of the hearing is for the hearing officer to gather information about the situation in question in order to make a decision about whether a student committed academic dishonesty, and if applicable, determine what sanctions are appropriate. To do this, the hearing officer will ask both the instructor and student to share their information and perspective on the situation and present any evidence that they have. The student and instructor can ask questions of one another and any witnesses, and the hearing officer also will ask questions. In the hearing, the hearing officer may also have a discussion with the student about academic integrity in general.

Most hearings last less than an hour, depending on the complexity of the situation.

If a student is found responsible or disagrees with the sanction, can they appeal?

If a student is found responsible for committing academic dishonesty through a hearing, there is an appeal process outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy. There are specific criteria on which an appeal must be based. Students may submit an appeal if there is new evidence sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome the hearing or if there was a procedural defect sufficiently substantial to have affected the outcome of the hearing. Students also can appeal the imposed sanction(s).

The appeal process is outlined in the Academic Integrity policy, and instructions will be provided to students when found responsible.

Please note that if students accept responsibility for committing academic dishonesty as well as accepts the proposed sanction through the Procedural Review Process, the decision is final and not subject to appeal.

If a student accepts responsibility or is found responsible, what are the possible sanctions?

All students who accept responsibility or are found responsible for committing academic dishonesty will receive a grade-related sanction. The grade-related sanction is based on the nature of the case, and a discussion about why a particular sanction is proposed will occur at the Procedural Review. Possible grade-related sanctions include receiving a zero (0) or F grade on the assignment(s) in question, a reduced grade in the course, a grade of F for the course or an ADF/ADY grade for the course. An ADF/ADY grade means that a student would fail or receive no credit for the course and have a notation on the transcript that indicates that the failure/no credit is due to academic dishonesty.

For cases that are particularly egregious, suspension may be the sanction for a first offense. Additionally, students who previously have been found responsible for committing a dishonesty offense at Miami in or out of the classroom automatically will be suspended from the University for a period of at least one semester. Dishonesty offenses include violations of the Academic Integrity Policy as well as violations of the Code of Student Conduct Section 102 (Dishonesty).

Many students also are required to complete an online seminar about integrity and ethics, for which a fee is charged. Some students will be required to complete an educational seminar with the academic integrity staff or other staff member specific to the offense committed.

Sanctions for graduate students are outlined in the Academic and Research/Creative Integrity Policy in the Handbook for Graduate Students and Faculty.

If a student drops or withdraws from a course in which they have an academic integrity case, what will happen?

Many students erroneously think that if they drop or withdraw from the course in which dishonesty is suspected that it will make the case "go away" or that they cannot receive a sanction. However, even if a student drops or withdraws from a course, the process will still occur, and a student can be found responsible.

Additionally, if a student drops or withdraws from the course and is found responsible AND the recommended sanction is an F/Y or ADF/ADY for the course, the student will be reenrolled in the course, and given the grade of ADF/ADY with the notation of "Academic Dishonesty Class" on the transcript.

What does and ADF/ADY mean?

If a student receives the sanction of an ADF or ADY, it counts as an F (0 points) or Y (no credit) in the GPA and will have the notation "Academic Dishonesty Class" as a permanent notation on the transcript. Students who receive an ADF or ADY are not eligible to retake the course under the Course Repeat Policy for "grade forgiveness."

What happens after a hearing?

After a hearing is over, the hearing officer will review all of the evidence and information related to the case and come to a decision regarding responsibility for committing academic dishonesty.

If the hearing officer finds that a student is not responsible for committing academic dishonesty and not in need of education, the student will be notified of this decision via email. The case will be closed, and the file will be maintained in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy.

If the hearing officer finds that a student is not responsible for committing academic dishonesty but that education would be beneficial, the student may be required to complete an educational seminar with an academic integrity or other staff member.

If a student is found responsible for committing academic dishonesty, a decision letter will be sent, via email, indicating the finding of responsible for committing academic dishonesty. The decision letter also will include the imposed sanctions and instructions for completing those sanctions as well as the appeal deadline and appeal instructions.

Once the finding and sanction decision letter has been sent, students will have five class days to submit an appeal, if they choose to do so. If no appeal is submitted by the stated deadline, a final resolution letter will be sent to all parties via email. If an appeal is submitted by the stated deadline, the case information and appeal documents will be sent to the dean or associate dean of the division in which the infraction took place for review and decision. The appeal documents also will be sent to the instructor and the original hearing officer with an opportunity for the hearing officer to submit a response to the dean or associate dean making the appeal decision. The dean or associate dean will review all of the relevant materials and send a decision letter, via email.

How long does it take to find out the result of the hearing?

Students typically receive their finding and sanction decision letter within a week or so of the hearing. For some cases, particularly those that involve more than one student, the hearing officer may take longer to review all of the evidence or hold multiple hearings, and it could take a bit longer to receive the decision letter.

Students with pending academic integrity cases should check their Miami email regularly so that they do not miss a time-sensitive email regarding the academic integrity case.