Academic Integrity Hearing Panel Guidelines

A student who chooses to enroll at Western Michigan University assumes the obligation for conduct that is compatible with the University’s mission as an educational institution. While students have the privilege to enroll at the institution of their choice, choosing to enroll at Western Michigan University requires a student to become aware of and abide by the behavior standards of the University.  Ignorance of acceptable boundaries of student behavior, as contained in the Student Code, is not a basis for excusing inappropriate behavior.

Western Michigan University prohibits discrimination or harassment which violates the law or which constitutes inappropriate or unprofessional limitation of employment opportunity, University facility access, or participation in University activities, on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, protected disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, height, weight, or marital status.

The University conduct process is not analogous to, is not equivalent to, and does not conform to criminal law processes. The hearing today is designed to determine responsibility, or lack thereof, for academic integrity violations only. The academic conduct process shall be informal in nature so as to provide substantial justice, and it shall not be bound by legal jargon, court-like proceedings, or legal definitions.

The Academic Honesty Policy is created and defined by members of the academic community, recommended by the Faculty Senate and adopted by the Board of Trustees.  The Professional Concerns Committee within the Faculty Senate functions as the oversight committee for reviewing and monitoring all University policies and procedures dealing with academic conduct, including academic integrity. The process necessary to support these policies is managed and facilitated by the Office of Student Conduct.

There may be a single verbatim record, such as a digital recording, of hearings before a conduct body. This record shall be the property of the University. Only technology used to access the hearing is permitted. Other devices, eg. Cell phones, etc. must be turned off.

The charging party and the student(s) being charged may each be assisted by a support person of their own choosing and at their own expense. This is the only person permitted to be in the room with either party during a distance hearing. Support persons are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing. All communications related to the case shall be directed to the faculty member or student and not to any support person.

Coming into this hearing, a student is considered to be not responsible for the alleged violation(s). A student is only considered to be responsible at the point which it is determined by the academic integrity hearing panel that the facts assembled and what occurred rises to the level of a violation. The decision is made on the basis of whether a reasonable person would conclude that it is more likely than not that the academic integrity policy has been violated.

Please note that furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member or office is a violation of University policy.

Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information before a conduct body is also a violation of University policy.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the academic integrity hearing panel shall deliberate and render a decision concerning whether the student is responsible for academic integrity violation(s) within a reasonable time following the completion of the hearing.  A decision requires a majority vote of the panel.  The written decision shall be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. A representative from the Office of Student Conduct will contact the instructor and student(s) with the outcome.

Academic integrity hearings are closed to the public. Please be advised that any information discussed or shared during the hearing is confidential. In addition, any hearing materials provided to you for your use during the hearing and any notes or written communication(s) generated during the hearing are for the sole purpose of the hearing and must be destroyed upon completion of the hearing.

Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the Chair of the panel.

Please direct all questions to the Chair of the panel. It is inappropriate for the charging party or charged party to directly question each other.

There is no appeal of the decision of this panel.  All decisions are final.