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Academic Integrity FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions of the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities and the Office of Academic Integrity in relation to the academic student misconduct process:

What happens if I admit to or am found in violation of the “Code of Academic Integrity” by an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel?

If one admits to a violation of the “Code of Academic Integrity” or is found in violation of the “Code of Academic Integrity” by an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel, it means:

  • A hardcopy file is created that contains a copy of the charge form, related documents and emails and any evidence submitted.  Both the professor and the student have equal access to the file and additional documentation from either side may be added upon request.
  • You have a permanent record of academic dishonesty maintained by the Office of Academic Integrity.  This is a permanent record and will not be expunged.

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Can a professor sanction me for academic dishonesty without making a formal charge?

No, this would not be appropriate and would circumvent the procedures outlined in the “Code of Academic Integrity”.  Along with responsibilities, students also have certain rights afforded to them of protection and due process.

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Is it possible to be suspended or expelled for a single violation of the “Code of Academic Integrity?”

Yes, it is possible in particularly egregious cases or repeat offenses.  Only an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel can impose sanctions of suspension or expulsion.

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Does the “Code of Academic Integrity” address all students?

Yes, the “Code of Academic Integrity” is applicable to all GW students, graduate, undergraduate, certificate and non-degree.  The only exceptions to this are the GW Law School students or students enrolled in the M.D. program.  They have their own codes of conduct related to academic dishonesty.

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If charged, is there any scenario where I am required to have a hearing?

You are required to have an Academic Integrity Council Hearing if you request one, or if you have had a prior violation of the “Code of Academic Integrity” or if the proposed sanction includes suspension or expulsion from the university.

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Am I required to attend my hearing?

No, you are not required to attend your hearing- in such a case the Academic Integrity Council would identify you as being “in absentia” and read into the record your plea and any statement.  The hearing otherwise follow its normal case procedures.

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What is the standard of evidence that an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel uses to determine whether or not a violation has occurred?

The Complainant that charges a student with a “Code of Academic Integrity” violation has the burden of proof.  A Hearing Panel must feel a “preponderance of evidence” points to the greater likelihood that a violation has taken place.

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Can a student charge a fellow student with a “Code of Academic Integrity” violation? 

Yes, a student may charge another student or bring the possible violation to the attention of the professor.  Professors are required to investigate such matters and come to a determination or whether or not to formalize a charge.

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Who constitutes an Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel?

Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panels are composed of five individuals selected from the Academic Integrity Council.  A complete panel consists of three students - one of which is the Presiding Officer, and two faculty members.  The Presiding Officer directs the hearing but has no vote as to the finding of responsibility or sanction recommendation, if applicable.  The remaining panelists - two students and two faculty vote to determine whether a violation has taken place.  It takes at least 3 votes for a finding of “in violation” and for determining an appropriate sanction.  Please note that a unanimous vote of the Hearing Panel must be obtained in order to sanction a student with Expulsion.

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Does a record of my academic integrity violation last forever or can it be expunged at some future date?

A record of academic integrity violation is permanent and is not expunged.  Information related to this record is not released to third parties without the written permission of the student.

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