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Addressing Academic Misconduct with a Student

If an incident of academic misconduct occurs

Respond to suspected academic misconduct, following Boise State policy, including filing a report with The Office of the Dean of Students. Keep in mind the following,

  • Consistent reporting and appropriate sanctioning removes the reward for cheating and has been shown to reduce academic misconduct (Passow et al., 2006).
  • When an incident of academic misconduct goes unreported, it increases the likelihood of future academic misconduct for the individual student and their peers (McCabe, Treviño & Butterfield, 2001).
  • Instructors determine which – if any – of their syllabus-supported grade sanctions might reflect their ability to assess (or be unable to assess) a student’s mastery over learning outcomes. Instructors are best able to make an accurate assessment of the student’s learning progress. Instructors are not required to apply any grade sanctions in order to utilize the academic misconduct process.
  • If a student unintentionally engages in academic misconduct faculty may file a report of “academic negligence” with no instructor-assigned grade sanctions. Typically these reports result in the student being permitted to redo the assignment or conclude with a warning from the faculty member.  However, The Office of the Dean of Students then has the opportunity to educate the student regarding all forms of academic misconduct to discourage any future incidents of academic misconduct, in any category. To see or request what they might learn about, please visit our Educational Sanctions tab.

Suggestions for speaking to a student about an incident of suspected academic misconduct

Conversations may vary depending on the type of academic misconduct suspected and your relationship with the student. For example, did a Testing Center camera record your student cheating an on exam? Or did your student paraphrase a source without a citation, which may or may not have been intentional?

  • If at all possible, meet with the student in person to discuss your concerns. If you are teaching an online course with students at a distance, a phone call or Google Hangout appointment may be useful.
  • Share your concerns with the student. Use open-ended questions to support the student’s ability to connect academic integrity with their future goals and personal values.
  • Allow space for open dialogue. If the student engaged in academic misconduct, often there are underlying reasons for the behavior. You may be in a position to hold the student responsible for their choices and also provide resources to help them succeed in your class and throughout their time at Boise State. Many campus resources can be found within the Caring For You resource or on The Office of the Dean of Students homepage.
  • Allow the student to respond and share their perspective on the incident.
  • Be prepared to share the documented evidence you have found.
  • You need not make a decision regarding whether or not there is an act of misconduct or negligence during that meeting. Take time to reflect on the situation and to consult with your department chair and/or the Office of the Dean of Students if necessary.
  • The student will need to be notified of the outcome of your decision. Please follow the step-by-step instructions located on this webpage.
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