Academic Misconduct

All students suffer when academic misconduct takes place. Academic fraud disturbs the mutual respect that should exist between instructors and students and among students. Perhaps most seriously, those who commit academic fraud are robbed of the educational experiences that are the primary purpose of coursework. All instances of academic fraud are considered serious academic misconduct.

All forms of plagiarism and any other activities that result in a student presenting work that is not really his or her own are considered academic fraud. Academic fraud includes these and other misrepresentations:

  • Presentation of ideas from any sources you do not credit;
  • Use of direct quotations without quotation marks and/or without credit to the source;
  • Paraphrasing information and ideas from sources without credit to the source;
  • Failure to provide adequate citations for material obtained through electronic research;
  • Downloading and submitting work from electronic databases without citation;
  • Participation in a group project which presents plagiarized materials;
  • Taking credit as part of a group without participating as required in the work of the group;
  • Submitting material created/written by someone else as one's own, including purchased term/research papers.

Academic cheating includes all of the following and any other activities that give a student an unfair advantage in course work.

  • Copying from someone else's exam, homework, or laboratory work;
  • Allowing someone to copy or submit your work as his/her own;
  • Accepting credit for a group project without doing your share;
  • Submitting the same paper in more than one course without the knowledge and approval of the instructors involved;
  • Using notes, text messaging, cell phone calls, pre-programmed formulae in calculators, or other materials during a test or exam without authorization;
  • Not following the guidelines specified by the instructor for a "take home" or “online” test or exam.

Consequences of Academic Fraud Overview

Only an instructor and a department are in a position to define academic fraud and the scope of that fraud, and therefore must be the ones to choose specific, appropriate consequences at the departmental level for academic fraud. All instances of academic fraud should receive consequences appropriate to the scope of the fraud and to the perceived intention of the person committing the fraud. Academic fraud is reported in writing to the instructor’s DEO and to the student; the DEO will forward reports of academic fraud to University College. In the following, DEO is understood to mean departmental supervisor if there is no DEO.

Procedures and Policies

1. The instructor (or supervisor if the instructor is a teaching assistant) will begin the reporting process by informing the suspected student of the concern in an email at the uiowa.edu account, asking the student to discuss the situation.

2. In considering the appropriate consequence for academic fraud, the instructor will take into consideration the scope of the fraud, the student’s perceived intent, the nature of the course, the assignment, and the academic discipline.

3. The instructor will inform the DEO and the student in writing of the academic fraud committed and the action taken. The report will be sent through traditional mail. Documentation to support the claim will be included in the copy of the report to the DEO.

4. The DEO will review the report and take appropriate internal action.

5. The DEO will forward all adequately supported reports of academic fraud to University College.

6. The department will keep report of academic fraud on file from the date of the instructor’s report until the student graduates or for five years, whichever is sooner.

7. All reports will be reviewed and any patterns of fraud or other questions concerning the fraud will be discussed with the appropriate DEO and/or with the instructor.

8. If the Division of Continuing Education (DCE), as the administrative unit of the BAS and BLS degree programs for University College, finds that the academic fraud is minor in nature or questionably intentional, a student will receive a letter of disciplinary warning and the report will be filed until the student graduates or for five years, whichever is sooner. If a second or third report of minor fraud is placed in the student’s file, DCE will treat the fraud according to the guidelines for intentional academic fraud, below.

9. If the DCE, as the administrative unit of the BAS and BLS degree programs for University College, finds evidence of intentional academic fraud, DCE will enforce the following consequences:

  • For a first offense: The student will be placed on disciplinary probation until graduation or until a period of five years from the period of the probation. A notation will not appear on a student's permanent record/transcript for the first offense.
  • For a second offense: The student will be suspended for a calendar year or longer from the College and will not be allowed to register during that time at the University. The offense will be recorded on the student's permanent record/transcript during the period of suspension as follows: Not permitted to Register: Academic Misconduct.
  • For a third offense: The Dean of the College will recommend to the University president expulsion from The University of Iowa. Once expulsion occurs, the offense will be recorded on the student's permanent record/transcript as follows: Not permitted to Register: Academic Misconduct.

10. The DCE will report the action taken to the student, to the academic advisor, to the instructor finding the fraud, and to the appropriate DEO. If the student placed on disciplinary probation is planning to receive a degree from a UI college other than University College, that college will be notified of the action taken.

11. The DCE internal records concerning first and second offenses are destroyed when the student graduates or after five years. Reports for a third offense become part of the permanent student record kept in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Academic Fraud: Forgery

The Code of Student Life prohibits forgery of any University records, documents, or student identification cards.

Professional staff members at the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) interview students suspected of forgery and take disciplinary action based on the interview and verification provided by the advisor, instructor, or dean whose signature is in doubt.

The following occurs when an allegation of forgery is found to be true:

  • For a first offense: The student will be placed on disciplinary probation warning until graduation or for a period of five years starting from the initiation of the warning. When the forgery involves an instructor’s signature, the instructor has the option of requesting that the appropriate college administratively drop from the course the student who has forged the signature on an add form. The appropriate college may also re-add to the course a student who forged an instructor's name on a drop form.
  • For a second offense: The student will automatically be dropped or re-added to the course in question regardless of whose signature was forged. The College reserves the right to consider additional penalties such as suspension or notation of the violation on the student’s permanent record.

Committee to Resolve Student Grievances Concerning Fraud

If a student believes that the finding of academic fraud or cheating is in error or the penalty unjust, the student will be encouraged to arrange a meeting with the instructor and the departmental or program administration. If the student is dissatisfied with the result of this meeting, he or she may request a hearing by writing to the Associate Dean for Continuing Education (250 CEF), who may refer the matter to the College's Committee to Resolve Student Grievances.

If the student is not satisfied with the results of the hearing, he or she may request a review by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education. The College's Committee to Resolve Student Grievances is an ad hoc committee composed of faculty and student members. It is constituted when a student requests a hearing to reconsider a finding or penalty administered by a department in a case of plagiarism, cheating, or other academic misconduct, and when the Associate Dean of Continuing Education ascertains perceived bias on the part of the department.