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How can students report academic misconduct at MSU?

The University’s policy, as published in the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades, states, “The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a community of scholars. The university expects both instructors and students to honor these principles and, in so doing, to protect the validity of university education and grades.” Therefore, if you observe cheating taking place, please report it to your instructor. It will then be up to your instructor to look into the matter and take appropriate action.

What happens when a student is reported for academic misconduct?

For a first offense, a hold is placed on the undergraduate student’s record for registration until the student completes the required academic integrity course. For a second or further offense, there may be additional sanctions. Graduate students must complete the educational requirement designed by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Faculty members may either give a student a penalty grade for the assignment/test/quiz or for the course when an incident of academic dishonesty is alleged. A penalty grade is any grade (including a 0.0) that is lower than the student would have earned based on their academic performance. Faculty may also request additional sanctions. Please note that penalty grades can be given for both intentional and unintentional incidents of academic dishonesty.

For undergraduates, the Academic Dishonesty Report stays on record with the university until the student graduates if the student has no other incidents of academic dishonesty. Once the student graduates, this record is destroyed. If, however, the student has additional incidents, the record remains. ADRs for graduate students remain on record until removed by the Dean of the Graduate School.

What kind of penalties can result from cheating?

If your instructor believes you have committed an act of academic misconduct, s/he may give you a penalty grade, which is defined as any grade based on a charge of academic misconduct. A penalty grade may include, but is not limited to, a failing grade on an assignment or in the course. That’s up to each instructor. When this occurs, the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades policy (ISG) requires your instructor to report the academic misconduct to your dean through an electronic Academic Dishonesty Report. The form, which will end up in your student folder, also asks if your instructor wants to request an academic disciplinary hearing to impose sanctions in addition to the penalty grade. Additional sanctions include probation, suspension from your program or the University for a designated time. Your dean may also call for this hearing independent of your instructor. Deans usually call for disciplinary hearings for repeat offenders or in cases involving egregious acts of academic misconduct. The ISG policy requires first-time offenders to complete an Academic Integrity Education Program, which is administered by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education or the Dean of the Graduate School.

For more information, visit the website of the Ombudsperson.