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Overview for Complainants
This overview has been designed to provide you with information you need to prepare for an academic integrity hearing; it is not meant to be all-inclusive. For a complete description of the Academic Integrity Council's Hearing Panel procedures, please consult the “Code of Academic Integrity.”
You can obtain a copy of the “Code of Academic Integrity” on this website or from the Office of Academic Integrity. Should the “Code of Academic Integrity” ever conflict the "Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities" the latter will govern.
- Allegations and Sanction
Take time to think through the allegations you have made and the sanction you have proposed. When you address the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel, you will need to be specific as you present your version of the facts of the case. Be prepared to offer a rationale for what you think the appropriate sanction should be.
- Hearing Date/Time
The Office of Academic Integrity will make every effort to accommodate your schedule when setting a date for a hearing. Once a hearing date is established however, requests to change the date may not be considered.
If you would like to call any witnesses to support your case, please prepare a list, along with telephone numbers and email addresses, these should be submitted to the Office of Academic Integrity at least three business days before the hearing. Witness requests within this time frame may be considered by the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer will review the list and issue appearance requests to those witnesses determined to have material knowledge of the case. While the Presiding Officer may issue appearance requests, the Academic Integrity Council cannot compel the presence of any individual.
You may be accompanied to the hearing by an advisor of your choice. The role of an advisor is limited to consultation during the hearing. The advisor may not address the Hearing Panel or question the respondent or any witnesses. Advisors who do not confine their activities to the role describe in the “Code of Academic Integrity,” may be excluded or dismissed from the hearing.
Please arrive on time for the hearing. Remember that since the burden of proof in an Academic Integrity Council hearing rests with the Complainant, there will be no grounds to find the Respondent "in violation" if you are not present. We will wait no longer than 15 minutes from the stated time of the beginning of the hearing.
- This is an Administrative Hearing
Academic Integrity Council disciplinary proceedings are not analogous to a criminal trial. In academic integrity hearings, panel members play an active role in questioning all parties and eliciting relevant evidence. Complainants and respondents are entitled to call appropriate witnesses and present relevant evidence, under the direction of the Presiding Officer of the hearing.
- Burden of Proof
The complainant bears the burden of proof. After you present evidence, the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel and respondent will have an opportunity to ask questions. The respondent will then have an opportunity to present evidence. When the respondent is done, you will have an opportunity to ask questions. While you may direct appropriate inquiries to the presiding officer, you should refrain from interrupting the respondent’s presentation. You, as well as members of the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel, will have the opportunity to question the respondent and any witnesses called to support the respondent’s case.
- Role of the Presiding Officer
The Presiding Officer of the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel shall exercise control over the proceedings to avoid needless consumption of time and to achieve an orderly completion of the hearing. Any person who disrupts the hearing may be excluded by the Presiding Officer.
- Recording of Hearing
Hearings will be conducted in private and are audio recorded. In the event that an appeal is filed, the audio recording will serve as a record of the proceedings. You may make arrangements with the Office of Academic Integrity for access.
- Panel Deliberation
When there are no more questions, the Presiding Officer will ask for closing statements and ask the complainant and respondent (and any advisors) to leave. The Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel’s deliberation is not recorded and is completed in private.
- A finding of "in violation"
A finding of "in violation" requires at least a three-fourths vote of the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel. The Panel will forward a recommendation of sanction to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. A recommendation of a sanction other than expulsion requires at least a three-fourths vote of the Panel, and a recommendation of a sanction of expulsion requires a unanimous vote of the Panel.
- A finding of "not in violation"
A finding of "not in violation" is made by the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel when the minimum threshold of responsibility is not met. Therefore, no sanction is recommended to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- Notification of the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel’s Outcome
Respondents, faculty and staff complainants will receive notification of the Panel’s decision on the respondent’s responsibility and the Provost’s decision on the sanction, if applicable, normally within one week of the hearing date. Due to federal privacy restrictions, student complainants will not receive notification of the Panel’s decision.
Appeals of the decision of the Academic Integrity Council Hearing Panel or of the sanction imposed by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs shall only be based on new evidence or evidence of bias. In accordance with the "Code of Academic Integrity," appeal requests for any other reason will not be accepted. After a decision has been confirmed by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, either party may file, within three working days, an intention to appeal with the Office of Academic Integrity. A petition of appeal must be filed within five working days of the declaration of intention. Appeals will be reviewed by the President of the University or a designee. The President or a designee will then make a final decision on the appeal, based on the petition and the reports of the Hearing Panel and the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.
If you have questions regarding a disciplinary proceeding that is not addressed on this website, please contact the Office of Academic Integrity at (202) 994-6757 or via e-mail at email@example.com.