Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the policies, procedures and definitions regarding issues of academic honesty?

The policies, procedures and definitions related to academic honesty are located in the WMU Undergraduate Catalog, the WMU Graduate Catalog, and the Western Michigan University Student Code.

What happens if an instructor thinks a student may have violated any of the academic honesty policies?

The instructor completes an Academic Dishonesty Charge form and forwards it to the Office of Student Conduct with supporting documents.

What happens after the instructor has forwarded the information to Office of Student Conduct?

A staff member in OSC will contact the student to schedule a meeting with the student. OSC will institute a "conduct hold" preventing the student from dropping, adding, or registering in classes until the case is resolved.

What will happen during my initial appointment with the staff member in OSC? Who will be present at this meeting?

The OSC staff member and the student against whom charges are being brought will be in attendance at the initial appointment. The purpose of this appointment is to provide the student with the opportunity to review the charge form, and any accompanying documentation and complete an Academic Dishonesty Process Form. This informal meeting is designed to provide students with information about the process, give them an opportunity to indicate responsibility or lack thereof and ask any pertinent questions.

What happens if the student admits responsibility during the initial appointment with OSC?

The OSC staff member will contact the instructor to inform her/him that the student has admitted responsibility. The OSC staff member will facilitate communication between the instructor and the student, unless the instructor chooses not to meet with the student.

What if the student does not accept responsibility for the charge at the initial appointment?

The case proceeds to a hearing. The OSC staff member will consult with the instructor to determine the type of hearing. These include, either a hearing between the instructor and the student or a hearing with the student, the instructor and an Academic Integrity Hearing Panel (AIHP). The AIHP consists of three faculty members and two students, selected by the Professional Concerns Committee of the Faculty Senate.

What does a hearing entail?

The hearing is an opportunity for a student to share her/his perspective with the hearing body and for the hearing body to ask any questions and clarify the information provided.

What outcomes could occur if a student is found responsible?

An instructor can give a reduced or failing grade for the assignment as well as impose an academic penalty up to failure for the course in which the student is enrolled. Separate sanctions may be applied by OSC as well. These include warning, reprimand, behavior contract, discretionary sanctions, restitution, and loss of privileges, probation, suspension, and expulsion.

What if the student wants to appeal the finding of responsibility by the instructor?

A student may appeal a finding of responsibility by the instructor to the AIHP. The student must do so within five university business days. The decision of the AIHP at the appeal or initial hearing level is final. There is no appeal of the decision of the AIHP at either level.

What if the hearing body makes a finding of not responsible?

If a finding of not responsible has been made, the charge is dismissed and no penalties are imposed.

Is it advisable to hire an attorney to represent me at the hearing?

If the case goes to a hearing a student is afforded the opportunity to be assisted by a support person of his or her own choosing and at their own expense. Please be advised: The support person is not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a hearing body. All communications related to the case (before, during and after a hearing) shall be directed to the accused student and not to any advisor.

What if the student wants to appeal the grade penalty?

A decision by the instructor regarding a grade penalty cannot be appealed by the student once found responsible and has exhausted or waived all appeals. If the instructor determines to fail the student in the course, the student is not permitted to continue attending class.

What happens while a case is pending?

While a case is pending, the student has the right to attend and participate in the class.

What happens if a case is pending at the end of the semester or session?

If a case is pending at the end of the semester or session, the instructor must assign an Incomplete (I) grade and then submit a change of grade once the process is completed.