Undergraduate Academic Misconduct

Responding to Undergraduate Misconduct

All students in CLAS are expected to abide by the CLAS Code of Academic Honesty, available on the Undergraduate Student section of the CLAS website.

Please share this Code with your students and talk with them about your expectations concerning their work. Students appreciate knowing that all members in a class are respected and treated equally and that none are given the opportunity to have an unfair advantage over others. Best practices concerning exams and papers should be followed to help create this sense of fairness. Many instructors find it helpful to discuss these issues during class and before major due dates.

Please use this form to report academic misconduct: online reporting form. CLAS uses these reports to apply a collegiate sanction in addition to the reduced grade for the assignment by the instructor (see below). 

If you have questions about academic misconduct or would like to consult on a specific case, please contact Amy Korthank at amy-korthank@uiowa.edu.

Reporting Misconduct

Each UI undergraduate college tracks offenses on a shared data base, with academic misconduct reports thus shared across UI undergraduate colleges and with sterner consequences for repeat offenders.

For example, if a CLAS student commits academic misconduct in a College of Business course, CLAS is notified and thus is able to apply a collegiate-level sanction, regardless of the administrative home of the course.

In order for the College to contact and educate students within CLAS and at other UI undergraduate colleges, instructors must consistently report these incidents. Unreported incidents lead to repeat offenses, with the integrity of the classroom questioned by students.

Procedures for Reporting Academic Misconduct to the College

  1. Inform the student of the concern in an email at the uiowa.edu account, asking the student to discuss the situation. Here are optional guidelines for the email.
  2. If the student does not respond to this email query or does not choose to meet with the instructor, the instructor should proceed with reporting the incident. (Note: TA's should report academic misconduct to the course supervisor who will take further action. Adjunct instructors working with a course supervisor may submit the report themselves, but generally first consult with a supervisor. Each department and program may have slightly different procedures depending on the course type, size, experience of the instructor, and other matters.)
  3. Whenever possible, discuss the situation with the student in person, educating the student on the harm misconduct does to the integrity of the classroom, to fellow students, and to the student him or herself. It can also be helpful to explain how academic misconduct violates the trust an instructor has in students and the shared responsibilities inherent in the educational process.
  4. Please submit the academic misconduct report via the online reporting form describing the academic misconduct and the action taken; attach documentation to support the claim. If an additional person involved in the course, such as the course supervisor, should be copied on correspondences about the incident, please state this in the report since it is sometimes difficult to know who should be copied unless this information is included. The College also carefully considers an instructor's recommendations about a collegiate sanction since the instructor is often aware of circumstances or details not always apparent in the report. At the same time, the College must make sure students are treated consistently. We are also happy to consult so please give us a call (335-2633).

Grading Sanctions Assigned by the Instructor

  1. In the case of academic fraud, an instructor may fail the assignment showing evidence of academic misconduct or may assign a lower grade than otherwise would have been given. The instructor may also decide to request a revision of the work in question and may accept the revision for a grade, as warranted. 
  2. Generally, instructors may not fail the student for an entire class because of academic misconduct since in most cases, the student will earn a low grade for the course based on the overall quality of work. However, if special circumstances exist and an instructor believes that a student should be failed for the entire course because of academic misconduct, the instructor should consult on the matter with the College.
  3. Reporting the student to the College is also considered a sanction assigned by the instructor.

Sanctions Applied by the College

After the College has reviewed the report and the evidence submitted and finds that misconduct has occurred, the following sanctions are applied by the College.

CLAS will report this action taken to the student and to the instructor. However, since academic misconduct is related to a student's privacy, we are careful not to include those on the letter who are not directly involved. It is up to the student, for example, to inform the academic advisor about the situation. Instructors receiving copies of related letters about academic misconduct should share the information only with those who have a need to know, such as a course supervisor.

Note: Academic misconduct can involve many gray areas and borderline situations. In these cases, the College might combine or change the sanctions listed below so that they better fit the situation. For example, a student may be suspended or expelled for an egregious first offense. Likewise, a student may at times be given a warning or found not responsible for academic misconduct depending on the evidence given or the evidence available from other sources that the instructor is not aware of. The College also takes into account the instructor's recommendations about reducing or strengthening a collegiate sanction since the instructor is aware of circumstances or details not always apparent in the report. Please let us know if concerns or questions arise.

For a first offense

The student will be required to enroll in a non-credit academic integrity seminar. The seminar includes close readings and requires short essays answers, asking students to consider the role of integrity as essential to learning and to the role of a university's research and creative mission. The seminar encourages students to reflect on the deeper worth of their own learning and its importance to a civil society. Many students find this reflection inspirational, helping to recenter their goals and values. The seminar takes around 18-20 hours to complete. The student is charged $100 for the course and the student's ability to register for the next semester or session is held until the course is completed. The fee is not included in UI tuition and is paid separately online. A notation concerning academic misconduct does not appear on the transcript for a first offense since this is seen as a learning experience. 

For a second offense

For a second offense, a student is placed on disciplinary probation and is suspended. The student is not be allowed to register at the University of Iowa and the offense is noted on the student record during the time of suspension, with the notation reading, Not permitted to Register: Academic Misconduct. 

Suspensions generally last for two regular academic semesters and over the summer and winter sessions. At the end of the suspension, the student may return to the University of Iowa and the notation is removed from the transcript. Students often return from a suspension and are very successful. Many express gratitude, noting that they have had an opportunity to reconsider their reasons for being at UI.

For a third offense

For a third offense, a student is expelled. Once expulsion occurs, the offense is recorded on the student's permanent record/transcript as follows: Not permitted to Register: Academic Misconduct. If expelled, the student may not return to the University of Iowa.

Student Appeals

Every student has the right to appeal. A student is invited to meet with the College at any point in the process below.

  • If a student believes that the finding of academic misconduct is in error, the student should first arrange a meeting with the instructor (or the supervisor) and then the head of the department or program to discuss the matter.
  • If the student is dissatisfied with the result of these meetings, the student should make an appointment to discuss the matter with the College. The student may call (319) 335-2633 and schedule an appointment.
  • If not satisfied with the outcome of the above meeting, the student may appeal the decision formally in writing to the CLAS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. This formal appeal must be received within fourteen business days from the date of the original decision made by College.
  • If the student is not satisfied with these results, he or she may request in writing a review of the situation by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education.

For more information, please see the For Student web page  Code of Academic Honesty.