Faculty Step-by-step Guide to Adjudicating Academic Misconduct…Including Disruptive Classroom Behavior
When an incident of alleged academic misconduct occurs, the faculty member should do the following:
1. Ensure the strength of the information.
a. If unsure about the strength of the information (evidence) supporting the alleged violation, the faculty member is encouraged to consult with The Office of Community Standards . The Standard of proof used in the Clayton State Conduct Process is preponderance (more likely than not).
2. Check for prior violations.
a. Contact the Office of Community Standards to determine if this is a first violation of the Clayton State Academic Misconduct policy for the student. If this is a repeat offense, the Conduct Officer will assist you in forwarding the required information to the Office of Community Standards. Since it is likely that a repeat offense of academic misconduct will result in suspension or expulsion, the designated Conduct Officer rather than the faculty member processes such cases.
3. Contact the student.
a. If it is determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that academic misconduct occurred, faculty may contact the student (in cases of first offense) or may refer the incident directly to the Office of Community Standards without contacting the student. This is at the discretion of the referring faculty member at this point based on timing, comfort, etc.
4. Meet with the student.
a. If the faculty member chooses to contact the student regarding an alleged violation, certain documentation is essential to protect the faculty member from any question of deviation from the legal requirements of due process. These procedures and forms must be followed and used if the student is formally accused and a sanction is possible.
a. The Specification of Charges Form ensures the student’s due process by providing an overview of the conduct process and informing the student of his/her rights and responsibilities in the process. The faculty member should review with the accused student the Conduct Process Flow Chart and the Student Rights and Responsibilities sheet. The Specification of Charges Form also allows the accused student to formally “Accept” or “Deny” responsibility of the violation. If the student accepts responsibility, then the faculty member may continue adjudicating the violation. However, if the student denies responsibility, the faculty member should forward all information to the Office of Community Standards for a hearing to be scheduled.
b. This form informs the student that by accepting responsibility and allowing the instructor to adjudicate, s/he is waiving his/her right to a formal hearing. The student is also informed of the sanction to be imposed for the violation. Typically the sanction for a first offense is the minimum sanction specified on the instructor’s syllabus and two (2) semesters of Disciplinary Probation( see below). In the absence of a specified sanction from the instructor’s syllabus, the student will receive a grade of zero for the assignment in addition to disciplinary probation.
Disciplinary Probation(not to be confused with Academic Probation)means that if a student is found in violation of additional Clayton State University Conduct violations. they may face increased sanctions. Disciplinary probation is NOT reflected on the University Transcript, but does create a confidential Student Conduct record that is kept in the Vice President for Student Affairs office for 5 years per Georgia Records Laws. Student Conduct Records are considered education records and are governed by FERPA regulations.
7. Forward Materials to Office of Community Standards
Once the adjudication process is complete, the instructor should forward all materials (The Specification of Charges form, Instructor Adjudication Form and all supporting information) to the Office of Community Standards to be placed in the student’s conduct file.
The Office of Community Standards will send a final sanction letter to the student on behalf of the instructor.