Policy Number: III-1.00(A)
University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity
(Approved by President Amended Amended Technical Amendments June 2012,Amended Amended effective Amended effective )
The University is an academic community. Its fundamental purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Like all other communities, the University can function properly only if its members adhere to clearly established goals and values. Essential to the fundamental purpose of the University is the commitment to the principles of truth and academic honesty. Accordingly, the Code of Academic Integrity is designed to ensure that the principle of academic honesty is upheld. While all members of the University share this responsibility, the Code of Academic Integrity is designed so that special responsibility for upholding the principle of academic honesty lies with the students.
All work submitted for assessment is held to the standards in this Code. In cases where an allegation of academic dishonesty could also be a violation of the University’s policy on scholarly misconduct, the Director of Student Conduct and the University’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO) will determine whether this Code or the relevant University policy will apply. When a scholarly misconduct process results in a finding of responsibility for a current or former student, the RIO will refer the case to the Office of Student Conduct for review under this Code in order to determine responsibility and an appropriate sanction.
The Code of Academic Integrity is administered by the Office of Student Conduct and its Director. References in this Code to the Director of Student Conduct include the Director and designees.
1. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: any of the following acts, when committed by a student, constitute academic dishonesty:
- CHEATING: fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in any academic course or exercise in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage, and/or using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic course or exercise.
- FABRICATION: unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic course or exercise.
- FACILITATING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this Code.
- PLAGIARISM: representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in any academic course or exercise.
- SELF-PLAGIARISM: the reuse of substantial identical or nearly identical portions of one’s own work in multiple courses without prior permission from the current instructor or from each of the instructors if the work is being submitted for multiple courses in the same semester.
2. When used in the context of this Code, the terms below mean the following:
- “University” means the University of Maryland, College Park.
- “Student” means either a person enrolled in or auditing courses at the University on a full-time or part-time basis at the time the alleged violation occurred, or an individual who may not be enrolled for a particular term at the time the alleged violation occurred but has a continuing relationship with the University.
- “Respondent” refers to a student alleged to have committed a violation of this Code.
- “Complainant” includes individual(s) who have referred a student or incident to the Office of Student Conduct based on an alleged violation of the Code. A Complainant may be any member of the campus community, including the instructor of the course or a representative from the academic department.
- “Campus Advocate” refers to a registered, degree-seeking student designated by the Office of Student Conduct who is responsible for working with the Complainant in preparation for the Honor Review process. Their responsibilities include preparing a formal charge for alleged violations of the Code on behalf of the University community and drafting appeal responses when necessary.
- “Community Advocate” is a registered, degree-seeking student who is trained to assist or represent the Complainant and present disciplinary cases at Honor Reviews. Their responsibilities include providing brief opening and closing statements, presenting evidence, and other duties as requested by the Honor Board. The Community Advocate performs their responsibilities under the oversight of the Campus Advocate designated by the Office of Student Conduct.
- “Mitigating factors” may be considered in determining sanctions. Factors may include, but are not limited to, the conditions under which the incident occurred, the present demeanor of the Respondent, whether the Respondent has acknowledged responsibility for the alleged misconduct, and any steps the Respondent has taken to address their behavior.
- “Aggravating factors” may be considered in determining sanctions. Factors may include, but are not limited to, the present demeanor and past disciplinary record of the Respondent, the extent of dishonest or malicious intent, the degree of premeditation or planning, as well as the nature and importance of the academic exercise.
- “Knowingly” means consciously engaging in specific conduct, regardless of whether the individual understood the conduct was a violation of the Code.
STANDARD OF EVIDENCE
3. The focus of disciplinary proceedings is to resolve allegations of academic dishonesty. Students have the right to be notified of the allegations and specific charges against them, to have access to the information underlying the charges, and to have an opportunity to respond. The clear and convincing standard of evidence will be used to determine responsibility for Code violations. Clear and convincing evidence gives a reasonable certainty of the truth, and means that based on the totality of the evidence, it is highly and substantially more probable than not that the violation occurred. Sanctions are imposed according to the nature and severity of the violation.
RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
4. Academic dishonesty is a corrosive force in the academic life of a university. It jeopardizes the quality of education and depreciates the genuine achievements of others. It is, without reservation, a responsibility of all members of the campus community to actively deter it. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of academic dishonesty is not a neutral act. Histories of institutions demonstrate that indifference will reinforce, perpetuate, and enlarge the scope of such misconduct. Institutional reputations for academic dishonesty are regrettable aspects of modern education. These reputations become self-fulfilling and grow, unless vigorously challenged by students and faculty alike.
All members of the University community - students, faculty, and staff - share the responsibility and authority to challenge and make known acts of apparent academic dishonesty.
5. New and incoming graduate and undergraduate students should be informed about the role of the Honor Pledge and the Student Honor Council, as well as the obligation of all members of the University of Maryland, College Park community to promote and practice the highest standards of academic integrity.
6. The Honor Pledge is a reminder that at the University of Maryland students carry primary responsibility for academic integrity because the meaningfulness of their degrees depends on it. Instructors are urged to emphasize the importance of academic honesty and of the pledge as its symbol. Instructors are encouraged to reference both the pledge and this Code on syllabi, including links to additional materials online.
7. On all work submitted for assessment that is not specifically exempted by the instructor, students are encouraged to write and sign the following pledge:
I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assessment.
Failure to sign the pledge is not a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, but neither is it a defense in case of violation of this Code. Signing or non-signing of the pledge will not be considered in grading or in student conduct procedures.
8. On examinations, no assistance is authorized unless given by or expressly allowed by the instructor. On other assignments, the pledge means that the assignment has been done without academic dishonesty, as defined above. Instructors should define clearly in writing what type of material or information is authorized. Students are expected to seek clarity if there is confusion as to whether specific materials are authorized.
9. Students who commit acts of academic dishonesty may demonstrate their renewed commitment to academic integrity by reporting themselves in writing to the Office of Student Conduct. Students who elect to self-refer for academic integrity violations are encouraged to utilize the Office of Student Conduct electronic referral form on the Office of Student Conduct website to detail the incident. Students may not exercise the self-referral option more than once during their enrollment at the University.
10. If an investigation by the Director of Student Conduct reveals that no member of the University had a suspicion of a self-referring student’s act of academic dishonesty, then the student will not be charged with academic dishonesty or left with a disciplinary record. Instead, the Director of Student Conduct will notify the instructor of the course in which the incident occurred to consult on the matter. The Director of Student Conduct will then convene a meeting with the student. The purpose of the meeting will be to ensure that the self-referral provisions of this Code are followed, not to levy a sanction or to create a disciplinary record. The Director of Student Conduct will notify the instructor of the course in which the incident occurred of the meeting’s outcome.
11. In all cases where a student self-referral is accepted, the student will be required to successfully complete an educational sanction. In addition, at the discretion of the course instructor, the student may have the grade for the academic exercise in question reduced to a zero, by one letter grade, or to an “F.”
12. If the Director of Student Conduct determines that academic dishonesty was suspected at the time of the student’s self-referral and admission, the matter will be resolved in accordance with the procedures specified in this Code for resolving academic dishonesty allegations. The student’s self-referral and admission may be considered a mitigating circumstance for purposes of sanctioning.
REPORTING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
13. Any member of the University community who has witnessed an apparent act of academic dishonesty, or who has information that reasonably leads to the conclusion that such an act has occurred or has been attempted, has the responsibility to promptly inform the Office of Student Conduct.
14. If the Director of Student Conduct determines that a report of academic dishonesty is supported by reasonable cause, the Office of Student Conduct will notify the student. University email is the primary means by which the Office of Student Conduct communicates with students. Students are responsible for reading all official communications delivered to the University email address and are advised to check their email regularly for University communications, including those from the Office of Student Conduct.
15. The Office of Student Conduct will offer the student an opportunity for a preliminary interview to review the allegations and any supporting evidence that was provided to the Office of Student Conduct. The instructor of the course in which the incident occurred may be included in the meeting. The Office of Student Conduct will also provide the Respondent with a copy of this Code and a statement of procedural rights, which will include information about the right to be assisted by an Advocate, in alignment with Part 21 of this Code.
THE STUDENT HONOR COUNCIL
16. The Student Honor Council is a branch of the University Student Judiciary composed of qualified graduate and undergraduate students in good academic standing.
17. The Student Honor Council has the following responsibilities and authority:
- To increase awareness throughout the campus of the importance of academic integrity.
- To designate from its members students to serve as members of Honor Boards, as specified in this Code.
- To advise and consult with faculty and administrative officers on matters pertaining to academic integrity at the University.
18. All Student Honor Council members will participate in orientation and training sessions held by the Office of Student Conduct.
19. Members of the Student Honor Council who are charged with any violation of this Code, the Code of Student Conduct, another University policy, or with a criminal offense may be suspended from their positions by the Director of Student Conduct while the charges against them are pending. Students found responsible for any such violation or offense may be disqualified from any further participation in the University Student Judiciary by the Director of Student Conduct. Additional grounds and procedures for removal may also be set forth in the bylaws of the University Student Judiciary.
20. The administration will provide an appropriate facility for the primary use of the Honor Council suitable for conducting Honor Reviews. Clerical and secretarial assistance will also be provided.
ROLE OF ADVOCATE, ADVISOR, AND SUPPORT PERSON
21. The Respondent may be assisted by an Advocate, who must be a registered, degreeseeking student at the University. The role of an Advocate is limited to:
- Making brief opening and closing statements.
- Suggesting relevant questions, which may be directed to witnesses.
- Providing confidential advice to the Respondent.
- Following a determination of responsibility, the Advocate may make recommendations regarding sanctions, if appropriate.
22. The Respondent may also choose to be assisted by an Advisor of their choice, who may be an attorney, at their own initiation and expense. The Advisor is present to provide advice and consultation to the Respondent. If necessary, the Respondent may request a recess in order to speak privately with an Advisor. The Advisor shall not be an active participant in the hearing. The Advisor may not speak for the Respondent, advise the Advocate, serve as a witness, provide evidence in the case, delay, or otherwise interfere with the University’s disciplinary process.
23. Respondents may choose to be supported by a Support Person of their choice to provide emotional and logistical support. A Support Person shall not be an active participant in the process.
24. As a general practice, disciplinary proceedings will not be delayed due to the unavailability of an Advocate, Advisor, or Support Person.
ROLE OF WITNESSES IN ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT PROCEEDINGS
25. It is the responsibility of the party requesting the presence of a witness to ensure that the witness appears. Because experience has demonstrated that the appearance of a witness is of greater value than a written statement, the latter is discouraged and should not be used unless the witness cannot or reasonably should not be expected to appear. Any written statement must be dated and signed, and witnessed by a staff member in the Office of Student Conduct or a person designated by the Director of Student Conduct. The resolution process will not generally be delayed due to the unavailability of a witness.
26. University students and employees are expected to comply with requests to serve as a witness, unless compliance would result in significant and unavoidable personal hardship or substantial interference with normal University activities. Notifications of a witness’ inability to appear must be submitted in writing to the Director of Student Conduct.
27. During an Honor Review, the Presiding Officer may direct witnesses to appear upon the motion of any Honor Board member, or at the request of either party. If the Director of Student Conduct determines that a fair Honor Review cannot be held without the testimony of a particular witness, and if after good faith attempts are made to notify the witness, the witness either fails to or refuses to appear, the Honor Review will be postponed until the witness agrees to appear or the charges will be dismissed.
PROCEDURES: RESOLUTION BY INFORMAL AGREEMENT
28. If the Respondent acknowledges responsibility for academic dishonesty, they may choose to resolve the matter informally without participating in a formal disciplinary process.
29. In consultation with the instructor of the course in which the incident occurred, the Director of Student Conduct and the Respondent may reach an agreement concerning how a case should be resolved. With informal agreement, the Respondent waives the right to an appeal of the agreement and the sanction.
PROCEDURES: RESOLUTION BY A DISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE
30. Respondents may choose to resolve the matter in a Disciplinary Conference if the alleged act of academic dishonesty would not normally result in suspension or expulsion, as defined by the Code of Academic Integrity. The Director of Student Conduct reserves the right to refer complex or contested cases to an Honor Review for adjudication.
31. Disciplinary Conferences will be conducted by the Director of Student Conduct. The Respondent will be notified in writing of the conference outcome and sanctioning determination. Respondents who choose to resolve the matter in a Disciplinary Conference waive the right to an appeal of any decision made in a Disciplinary Conference.
32. Respondents participating in a Disciplinary Conference in the Office of Student Conduct are accorded the following procedural protections:
- Written notice of charges at least three (3) days prior to the scheduled conference.
- Reasonable access to the case file prior to and during the conference.
- An opportunity to respond to the evidence against them and to call appropriate witnesses on their behalf.
- The option to be accompanied and assisted by an Advisor, who may be an attorney, as well as an Advocate or Support Person. All Advisors, Advocates, and Support Persons are subject to the restrictions of Parts 21 through 24 of this Code.
33. A plea of not responsible will be entered for Respondents who fail to attend their scheduled Disciplinary Conference; the conference will proceed in their absence and the Respondent will be notified of the Disciplinary Conference outcome and sanctioning determination.
34. The Director of Student Conduct will determine that a student is responsible for academic dishonesty or an attempt thereof only after considering all of the information before them, and only if the Director believes that such a conclusion is supported by clear and convincing evidence. If the Director of Student Conduct finds that the Respondent is not responsible, the Director will dismiss the charge of academic dishonesty.
35. If the Director finds that the Respondent is responsible for academic dishonesty, the Director of Student Conduct may receive sanctioning recommendations from the Complainant, instructor, academic program, and the Respondent before determining an appropriate sanction.
PROCEDURES: RESOLUTION BY A DISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE BOARD
36. Respondents may request that the matter be resolved using a Disciplinary Conference Board if the alleged act of academic dishonesty would not normally result in suspension or expulsion, as defined by this Code. Disciplinary Conference Boards may be used to ensure the Respondent receives a review by their peers while also ensuring that the case can be resolved in an expedited or timely fashion. The discretion on whether to use a Disciplinary Conference Board to resolve the matter rests with the Director of Student Conduct. The Director of Student Conduct reserves the right to refer complex or contested cases to an Honor Review for adjudication.
37. Respondents who agree to resolve the matter through a Disciplinary Conference Board waive the right to an appeal of any decision made by the Board.
38. A Disciplinary Conference Board consists of two students from the University Student Judiciary and a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct.
39. Respondents who agree to a resolution by a Disciplinary Conference Board are accorded the same procedural protections as those who choose resolution by a Disciplinary Conference, as outlined in Part 32 above.
40. If the Disciplinary Conference Board finds that an attempt or act of academic dishonesty occurred, it will determine an appropriate sanction.
PROCEDURES: RESOLUTION BY AN HONOR REVIEW
41. Cases that are not appropriate for resolution through an Informal Agreement, a Disciplinary Conference, or a Disciplinary Conference Board will be resolved through an Honor Review. The Director of Student Conduct will select the date, time, and place for the Honor Review, and will notify all parties in writing a minimum of five (5) business days in advance.
42. Honor Reviews are conducted by an Honor Board convened by the Student Honor Council. Normally, an Honor Board consists of six members: five voting members and one non-voting Presiding Officer. Determinations of the Honor Board will be by a majority vote. In cases of a tie, the Presiding Officer will vote to break the tie. Honor Boards are selected as follows:
- Three (3) students will be selected by the Student Honor Council from among its members. If the Respondent is a graduate student, then at least two (2) of the student members will be graduate students.
- Two (2) faculty or staff members will be selected by the Office of Student Conduct. If the Respondent is a graduate student, then at least one (1) member will be a regular member of the graduate faculty.
- The Presiding Officer may be a University student, faculty, or staff member and will be selected by the Director of Student Conduct.
43. If the full Honor Board is unable to convene on the date of the scheduled Honor Review, a replacement Board member may be identified. The modified Board can convene if the Respondent signs a waiver agreeing to the modified makeup of the board.
44. Ad hoc Honor Boards may be convened if the Director of Student Conduct determines that the Student Honor Council or an Honor Board cannot be convened within a reasonable period of time after the allegation is reported. The Director of Student Conduct will convene an ad hoc Honor Board by selecting and appointing at minimum two students and one faculty or staff member. Whenever possible, student members of ad hoc Honor Boards will be members of the Student Honor Council. A Presiding Officer will be appointed by the Director of Student Conduct and will only vote in cases of a tie.
45. Honor Boards may be advised by a University staff member as designated by the Director of Student Conduct. A Board Advisor is a non-voting member of the Board and has all the privileges of Board members, including the ability to comment on questions of procedure and on the relevance of evidence, and will otherwise assist in the administration of the hearing.
46. The Campus Advocate will prepare a formal charge of academic dishonesty, and send it to the Respondent and the Honor Board with appropriate written notice. The Community Advocate will present the case at an Honor Review. The principal responsibilities of the Community Advocate are:
- To present the evidence and analysis upon which the charge is based to the Honor Board during the Honor Review; and
- To perform such other duties as may be requested by the Student Honor Council or the Honor Board.
47. The charge of academic dishonesty serves to give the Respondent a reasonable understanding of the act and circumstances to be considered by the Honor Board, in order to allow the Respondent to contribute in a meaningful way to the inquiry. It also serves to provide initial focus to that inquiry. The charge may be modified as the discussion in the Honor Review proceeds, as long as the Respondent is provided notice and accorded a reasonable opportunity to prepare a response. Recesses or postponements may be granted by the Presiding Officer as needed to allow the Respondent a chance to review a modified charge and prepare a response.
48. The purpose of an Honor Review is to explore and investigate the incident giving rise to the allegation of academic dishonesty, and to reach an informed conclusion as to whether or not academic dishonesty occurred. It is the responsibility of all persons at an Honor Review to assist in a thorough and honest exposition of all related facts.
An Honor Review is not a criminal or civil legal proceeding. It is not modeled on these adversarial systems, nor does it serve the same social functions. It is not a court or tribunal. Rather, it is an academic process unique to the community of scholars that comprise a university.
49. The role of the Presiding Officer is to exercise impartial control over the Honor Review in order to achieve an equitable, orderly, timely, and efficient process. The Presiding Officer is authorized to make all decisions and rulings as are necessary and proper to achieve that end, including decisions and rulings pertaining to scheduling and to the inclusion of information in the record. If in the judgment of the Presiding Officer there is reasonable cause to question the impartiality of a board member, the Presiding Officer will inform the Honor Council, which will reconstitute the Honor Board.
50. The Presiding Officer may modify procedural guidelines when necessary. Normally, the following procedures apply during an Honor Review:
- Both parties will be given an opportunity to share any relevant information or arguments. The Community Advocate will summarize the matter before the Honor Board first, followed by a summary presented by the Respondent.
- The Community Advocate will present and question witnesses, and offer documents or other materials relevant to the case. The Respondent will then present and question witnesses, and offer documents or other materials relevant to the case. The Community Advocate, the Respondent, and all members of the Honor Board may question any witness appearing before the Board.
- The members of the Honor Board may ask the Complainant, the Community Advocate, or the Respondent any relevant questions. The members may also request any additional material or the appearance of other witnesses, as appropriate.
- The Community Advocate may make a brief closing statement, followed by a brief closing statement by the Respondent.
- The Honor Board will meet privately to discuss the case, and must reach a finding by a majority vote.
- The Honor Board will not conclude that the Respondent has attempted or engaged in an act of academic dishonesty unless, after considering all the information before it, a majority of members believe that such a conclusion is supported by clear and convincing evidence. If this is not the case, the Honor Board will dismiss the charge of academic dishonesty.
- If the Honor Board finds the student has engaged in an act of academic dishonesty, both the Community Advocate and the Respondent or their Advocate may recommend an appropriate sanction. Pertinent documents or other material may be submitted for consideration. The Honor Board will then meet privately to reach a decision regarding the sanction by a majority vote.
- The Presiding Officer will provide the Community Advocate and the Respondent with a written report of the Honor Board’s determination.
51. An Honor Review is a confidential investigation. It requires a deliberative and candid atmosphere, free from distraction. As such, Honor Reviews are not open to the public or others interested in the case. The Presiding Officer has discretion to remove any person who disrupts or impedes the investigation, or who fails to adhere to the rulings of the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer may exclude witnesses from the Honor Review except during the time they are providing information to the Board. The Honor Board may conduct its private deliberations at such times and places as it deems appropriate.
52. The University’s academic integrity process differs from any legal proceedings. Formal rules of evidence are not applicable to Honor Review proceedings. The Presiding Officer will admit all matters into evidence which reasonable persons would accept as relevant, significant, and important to the issues being decided in the case. Unnecessarily repetitious, irrelevant, or prejudicial evidence may be excluded at the discretion of the Presiding Officer.
53. If the Honor Board finds that an attempt or act of academic dishonesty did occur, it will impose an appropriate sanction.
54. The normal sanction for undergraduate students found responsible for violating the Code of Academic Integrity is the grade of “XF.” The normal sanction for a graduate student is the grade of “XF” and dismissal (suspension or expulsion) from the University. The sanctions available for former students will need to be determined on a case by case basis, but in cases where a former student has been found responsible under the University’s scholarly misconduct policy, the normal sanction is degree revocation. The Director of Student Conduct and/or the Honor Board or Disciplinary Conference Board will consider sanction recommendations from the Complainant and Respondent in determining an appropriate sanction.
55. Attempts to commit acts prohibited by this Code may be sanctioned to the same extent as completed violations.
56. The Director of Student Conduct reserves the right to impose a lesser or more severe sanction depending on mitigating or aggravating factors as defined in Parts 2(g) and 2(h) above. The following sanctions for violations of this Code may be imposed:
- Degree revocation: rescinding a degree previously awarded by the University. A permanent notation will appear on the student’s transcript.
- Expulsion: permanent separation of the student from the University. A permanent notation will appear on the student’s transcript. The student will also be barred from University premises. (Expulsion requires administrative review and approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs and may be altered, deferred, or withheld.)
- Suspension: separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time. A permanent notation will appear on the student’s transcript. The student shall not participate in any University-sponsored activity and may be barred from University premises during the period of suspension. Suspended time will not count against any time limits required by the Graduate School for completion of a degree. (Suspension requires administrative review and approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs and may be altered, deferred, or withheld.)
- The grade of “XF”: the grade “XF” recorded on the student’s transcript includes the notation “failure due to academic dishonesty.” The grade of “XF” is treated in the same way as an “F” for the purposes of determining grade point average, course repeatability, and academic standing.
- No student with an “XF” on their transcript will be permitted to represent the University in any extracurricular activity (for example, intercollegiate athletics, sports clubs, traveling performance groups, etc.), or run for or hold office in any student or University organization which is allowed to use University facilities or which receives University funds.
- The normal duration of the placement of the “XF” is twelve months. If serious mitigating circumstances are presented, an abbreviated “XF” for six months may be considered. If serious aggravating circumstances are presented, the “XF” may be given as a permanent notation on the student’s transcript for the course in question.
- The grade of “F”: the grade “F” recorded on the student’s transcript for the course in which the academic misconduct occurred. The grade of “F” factors into the determination of the student’s grade point average, eligibility for course repeatability, and academic standing.
- Letter grade reduction: the student will be given no credit for any assignment(s) in which academic misconduct occurred, and the student’s final course grade will be reduced as determined by the course instructor.
- Zero on the assignment(s): the student will be given no credit for the assignment(s) in which academic misconduct occurred. The instructor will factor the zero into the student’s final grade in the course.
- Other sanctions: other sanctions may be imposed in addition to those specified in sections (a) through (f) above. Other sanctions may include educational or reflective experiences that encourage the student to prevent repeated acts of academic dishonesty, or help the student better understand how their academic dishonesty affects the academic and professional communities of which the student is a part.
57. The Respondent may appeal both the determination of responsibility and the sanction. The Complainant may only appeal the sanction. A party must provide notice to the Director of Student Conduct of their intent to file an appeal in writing within three (3) business days after the Presiding Officer’s report is sent.
58. A written argument supporting the appeal must be submitted in writing to the Director of Student Conduct within seven (7) business days of the notice of the intent to file an appeal. The opposing party will be provided seven (7) business days to submit a written response.
59. If the parties do not submit notice of their intent to file an appeal, the decision and sanction are final after three (3) business days from the date of the Presiding Officer’s report. Appeals submitted after three (3) business days will be denied.
60. Appeals of decisions resulting in suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation will be decided by the University Senate Student Conduct Committee Appellate Body, which is comprised of three members from the Student Conduct Committee including at least one student. Appeals of decisions resulting in sanctions other than suspension or expulsion will be decided by the Appellate Board, which is a branch of the University Student Judiciary and is comprised of students.
61. Grounds for an appeal will be limited to:
- Substantial Procedural Error: Procedural errors or errors in interpretation of University policy that were so substantial as to effectively deny a Respondent notice or a fair opportunity to be heard. Deviations from procedures that were not so substantial as to deny a Respondent notice or a fair opportunity to be heard will not be a basis for granting an appeal.
- Disproportionate Sanctioning: The sanction is substantially disproportionate to the offense, which means it is far in excess of what is reasonable given the facts or circumstances of the violation.
- Arbitrary and Capricious Decision: An arbitrary and capricious decision is a decision without a rational basis or unsupported by any evidence in the record.
- New Evidence: New and significant relevant information has become available which a reasonably diligent person could not have discovered before or during the original hearing. When the basis of the appeal is new evidence, the appellate body will determine whether the information is new and was unavailable at the time of the Honor Review. If the appellate body determines that the information is not new and was available at the time, the appeal will be denied. If the information is determined to be new and unavailable at the time of the Honor Review, the appellate body will consider whether the new information could have changed the outcome of the original Honor Review. If it is determined that the outcome could have been impacted by the new evidence, the case will be sent back to the original Honor Board for further review.
62. Appeals are not intended to allow for a second review of the facts of the case and determination of whether there was a violation. A review of the matter will be prompt and narrowly tailored to the stated grounds for appeal. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written record and the statements of the parties in support of or against the appeal. In all cases, deference shall be given to the determinations of the lower board.
63. The appellate body will consider the appeal and may:
- Affirm the Decision and the sanction imposed;
- Affirm the Decision and reduce, but not eliminate, the sanction;
- Remand the case to a new Honor Board, if there were procedural or interpretation errors;
- Remand the case to the original Honor Board in accordance with the procedures outlined under “New Evidence;” or
- Dismiss the case if the decision is determined to be arbitrary and capricious.
64. Decisions of the appellate bodies are not subject to further appeal. Decisions altering the determinations of Honor Boards will be accompanied by a brief report explaining the appellate body’s decision. Sanctions of suspension or expulsion require review and approval by the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President for Student Affairs may alter, defer, or withhold a sanction of dismissal.
“XF” REMOVAL PROCESS
65. The Respondent may file a written petition to the Appellate Board to have the grade of “XF” removed and permanently replaced with the grade of “F.” The Appellate Board has the sole discretion in the decision to remove the grade of “XF” and replace it with an “F” provided that:
- At the time the petition is received, at least twelve (12) months should have elapsed since the grade of “XF” was imposed, unless a different time period was specified at the time the “XF” was imposed;
- At the time the petition is received, the student has successfully completed a noncredit seminar on academic integrity, as administered by the Office of Student Conduct; or, for those no longer enrolled at the University, an equivalent activity as determined by the Office of Student Conduct; and,
- The Office of Student Conduct certifies that to the best of its knowledge the student has not been found responsible for any other act of academic dishonesty or similar disciplinary offense at the University of Maryland or another institution.
66. Prior to deciding a petition, the Appellate Board will review the record of the case and consult with the Director of Student Conduct. Generally, the grade of “XF” will not be removed if it was imposed for an act of academic dishonesty requiring significant premeditation.
67. If the “XF” grade is removed, records of the incident may be voided. If the Appellate Board denies the petition to remove the “XF” grade, the petition cannot be reconsidered for one year, unless the Appellate Board specifies an earlier date on which the petition may be reconsidered.
68. Decisions of the Appellate Board pertaining to the removal of the “XF” may be appealed to the Senate Student Conduct Committee Appellate Body. If the Senate Student Conduct Committee Appellate Body removes the grade of “XF” from the student’s transcript, the Senate Student Conduct Committee Appellate Body will provide a written rationale to the Student Honor Council.
69. Students found responsible for violations of the Code of Academic Integrity will have a disciplinary record. Disciplinary records are maintained by the Office of Student Conduct for a period of three (3) years from the date of the letter providing notice of final disciplinary action. Disciplinary records may be retained for longer periods of time or permanently, if specified in the sanction. Disciplinary records of students with a sanction of suspension or expulsion will be retained permanently unless otherwise specified.
70. Students may petition the Office of Student Conduct to void their disciplinary record early, for good cause. Factors to be considered in review of such petitions include:
- The present demeanor of the Respondent;
- The conduct of the Respondent subsequent to the violation; and
- The nature of the violation and the severity of any damage, injury, or harm resulting from it.
71. Disciplinary records retained for less than 90 days or designated as “permanent” should not be voided without unusual and compelling justification.
72. Denials of petitions to void disciplinary records can be appealed to the Senate Student Conduct Committee, which will consider the appeal using the grounds for appeal outlined in Part 61 above. Such an appeal must be submitted in writing within five (5) business days from the letter providing notice of the original decision.