A full description of the procedure, appeal process, and consequences can be found in the Standards of Conduct for Students under WAC 504-26-404. The information provided below is a condensed narrative of the process and is provided only as an overview and not a substitute for reading the full description.
If you are accused of a violation your instructor will assemble the evidence and notify you of their finding either in person or by email or phone in the case of DDP students or if they are unable to connect with you in person. Your instructor will make a determination if you did or did not violate the academic integrity policy based on the evidence and circumstances surrounding the issue. If your instructor finds you responsible they will report the violation to our office through an online form and provide us with their syllabus, their written determination, and the evidence used to come to this determination. You have 21 days from the date of the decision letter to file an appeal. You will receive a letter from the Office of Student Conduct or the WSU Online Degree office if you are an online student that will contain information about the violation and the next steps in the process to complete any assigned sanctions. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us, that’s what we are here for!
What are the possible consequences?
When you receive an academic integrity violation you will likely receive an academic sanction from your instructor and a university sanction. The most common academic sanctions assigned by instructors are: a failing grade on the assignment or a failing grade in the class, extra assignments or quizzes. The syllabus will include information about the academic sanctions the instructor may impose. The University has a broad range of sanctions that may be imposed due to an academic integrity violation, the most common include: an educational assignment (for example an online plagiarism tutorial or a research paper), a hold on registration or transcripts, community service, suspension, and/or expulsion. For a full list of sanctions see the Standards of Conduct for Students WAC 504-26-405 Sanctions.
If the offense is your second academic integrity violation or if it is a particularly egregious first violation (as determined by the instructor or the Academic Integrity Appeal Board), ordinarily your case will be referred to the University Conduct Board with a recommendation for dismissal from the university.
Things to keep in mind…
- Unless you are expelled or your degree is revoked or withheld your sanctions do not link to your academic transcripts. Your disciplinary file is kept separate from your academic records. Even if you receive an F grade in a course because of a violation, it will not indicate why you received the F on your transcripts.
- You can always retake a class (if it is available) to replace the failing grade and correct your GPA.
- An instructor has the authority to override a drop in the case of an academic integrity violation. So even if you drop the course to avoid an F grade due to an academic integrity violation the instructor can at any point in the semester reinstate the F grade if they choose.
- Keep your address updated with the university! You can update your address at your mywsu page. We communicate by mail to the address on file for you…that might be your parent or guardians address if you have not changed it to a local address. Also, we will communicate with you through your WSU student email account, not checking that account is not an acceptable excuse for ignoring communication. Lots of great campus information comes through this account so check it regularly!
- Read your class syllabus thoroughly. The instructor needs to keep with their published course policy on academic integrity violations. For example they can’t fluke you in the class if their syllabus states they will only assign an extra quiz for an academic integrity violation.
- Lastly, try to keep in mind that this is an educational process. The sanctions assigned to you are constructed to educate you about academic integrity in a university setting so you do not have another violation. We want you to be successful at WSU!
How do I appeal an academic integrity violation?
The full description of the appeal process can be found in the Standards of Conduct for Students under WAC 504-26-404 Procedure for academic integrity violations. You can file an appeal online within 21 days from the date of the decision. The Office of Student Conduct will work with you to prepare for the hearing and notify you of the date, time, and location of the hearing. The Academic Integrity Appeal Board consists of teaching faculty. The board will review your case and provide you with the opportunity to be an active participant in the process. The board will make an independent determination of whether you violated the academic integrity policy or not and if the instructor keep with their course policy as outlined in their syllabus. The board will communicate their decision to you in writing within ten business days.
If you are found not responsible or the outcome imposed by the instructor violated their course policy; the board is empowered to change your grade, have your work evaluated, and/or arrange for a withdrawal from the course.
If you are found responsible by the board you will go through the standard process with the Office of Student Conduct.
Things to keep in mind…
- We recommend you stay in the class and complete the remaining assignments if you plan to appeal a violation. If you are found not responsible you want to be able to receive the grade you earned in the class.
- Come prepared to the hearing to state your case and answer any questions the board may have. They are trying to get a complete picture of the situation so they can make a sound determination and your side of the story is an important piece!
- The WSU Academic Integrity Policy makes no distinction between intentional and unintentional plagiarism. It is your responsibility to know course expectations for citation styles. Ignorance is not grounds for a successful appeal.
- We are here to guide you through this process. Please call or email us if you have any questions.
- The online appeal form can be found here.