Process for Academic Misconduct

  1. Professor suspects academic misconduct.
    1. Professor contacts Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs/Student Conduct Officer (AVPSA/SCO), michael.stewart@mga.edu, within 15 College business days of the alleged infraction.
    2. Professor collects all documentation, including student's original assignment/paper/test, any source documents (including but not limited to any online sources and the Turnitin.com similarity report).
  2. AVPSA/SCO determines if student has any prior history of academic misconduct and advises professor of appropriate next step.
    1. If incident is the student's first offense, the professor will meet with the student in person or communicate by email to discuss the alleged infraction and appropriate sanction:
      1. Student is allowed to rewrite paper for a lesser grade.
      2. Student receives a reduced grade on the assignment.
      3. Student receives a reduced grade for the course.
      4. Student is required to take the standardized test on academic misconduct and the Code of Conduct in the Testing Center
      5. Go to Step 3.
    2. The spirit of the faculty resolution is the conversation, providing the student a better understanding of the offense, and develop ways to prevent it from occurring again. Faculty resolutions are not appropriate when the sanction is “F” in the course.
    3. If incident is a repeat offense, professor refers the student to the AVPSA/SCO for a preliminary conference and provides all documentation to the AVPSA/SCO as soon as possible (Please avoid using intercampus mail due to the time sensitivity of the process).
      1. Go to Step 4.
  3. During preliminary conference/email with professor (i.e. faculty resolution):
    1. Student will have opportunity:
      1. to review the complaint/charge and the sanction
      2. to be directed to the Student Code of Conduct
      3. to choose from adjudication options.
    2. If student accepts responsibility and sanction, both parties sign the infraction form indicating acceptance and waiving hearing and appeal rights.
    3. Professor forwards all documentation to AVPSA/SCO.
      1. Until this is done, no official record of the infraction or sanction exists.
      2. AVPSA/SCO notifies professor of receipt of documentation.
      3. AVPSA/SCO enters file into Student Conduct Database.
      4. Process is complete.
    4. If student denies responsibility, professor refers student to AVPSA/SCO for preliminary conference and forwards all documentation to AVPSA/SCO (Please avoid using intercampus mail due to the time sensitivity of the process).
  4. Preliminary Conference with AVPSA/SCO
    1. Student will have an opportunity:
      1. to review the complaint/charge and the sanction;
      2. to be directed to the Student Code of Conduct
      3. to choose from adjudication options within one (1) College business day.
    2. If student accepts responsibility and sanction, the student and the AVPSA/SCO sign the infraction form indicating acceptance and waiving hearing and appeal rights.
      1. AVPSA/SCO notifies professor and dean/chair of resolution.
      2. AVPSA/SCO enters file into Student Conduct Database.
    3. If student denies responsibility, he/she may request a hearing on the matter.
  5. Upon request of hearing, AVPSA/SCO determines appropriate type of hearing.
    1. An Administrative hearing with the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) will be held when:
      1. The case involves the recommendation of suspension/expulsion in excess of two (2) semesters.
      2. Or in cases when the accused student does not respond in a timely manner to the AVPSA/SCO.
    2. A Student Conduct Board hearing panel will be convened for all other cases.
    3. Either hearing will occur within ten (10) College business days from the preliminary conference with the AVPSA/SCO.
  6. In the hearing:
    1. The VPSA or the Conduct Board hearing panel will:
      1. review all documents related to the allegation.
      2. hear verbal statements from the complainant, the accused student, and witnesses (if any).
      3. The VPSA or Conduct Board hearing panel will deliberate privately.
      4. The VPSA or Conduct Board hearing panel will render a decision as to whether the student is not responsible or is responsible.
  7. If student is found not responsible
    1. The original assignment is referred back to the school dean or department chair to be re-evaluated and a grade assigned.
    2. No record of the case is kept or entered into the Student Conduct Database.
  8. If the student is found responsible
    1. VPSA or Student Conduct hearing panel determines appropriate sanction.
    2. AVPSA/SCO communicates the sanction to the student at the hearing and in writing within two (2) College business days.
  9. Upon receipt of written sanction
    1. The student may appeal in writing within two (2) College business days to the AVPSA/SCO.
    2. Student may appeal on the following grounds:
      1. Violation of due process.
      2. Evidence of prejudicial treatment by the original hearing body.
      3. Evidence becomes available during the review process that was not previously available during the original hearing.
      4. Mercy appeal for review of an imposed sanction considered too harsh/lenient.
  10. Upon receipt of written request for appeal hearing:
    1. The request may be denied and the student is notified in writing of denial.
    2. Request is granted.
      1. Within five (5) College business days, the AVPSA will convene an Appeal Panel to review the original record of the case
  11. The Appeals Panel
    1. Reviews the original record of the case and chooses to:
      1. Affirm the original decision and deny the appeal.
      2. Affirm the finding of responsibility and modify the decision. The Appeals Panel may, at its discretion, change, increase, or reduce the sanction imposed. If the sanction is modified, the Appeals Panel must state in writing the justification for such modification.
      3. Find evidence of prejudice on the part of the original hearing body and refer the case for rehearing before another hearing body.
      4. Refer the case to the original hearing body for reconsideration of specific points deemed important by the Appeals Panel.
      5. Reverse the finding of responsibility and affirm the appeal.
    2. AVPSA/SCO will communicate the decision of the Appeals panel to the student in writing within two (2) College business days.
  12. If appeal is denied at the institutional level
    1. The student may appeal in writing to the Board of Regents.
    2. Students may visit the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia at http://www.usg.edu/regents/bylaws/#VIII.