Individual Review

An Individual Review is one of two different procedures for dealing with possible violations of academic integrity. The Individual Review is conducted by faculty members and is usually faster than the alternative procedure, Honor Code Review conducted by the Honor Code Review Board of the Honor Council.

If an instructor discovers a possible case of academic dishonesty, the instructor is free to decide if an individual review should be conducted or if the case should be handled by the Honor Council. However, if the only evidence is the statement of a student-witness, the Faculty Handbook recommends that the case be sent to the Honor Council.

In any case, if it is likely that a violation of academic integrity has occurred, faculty members must either conduct an individual review and submit the required form to the Dean’s office or send the case to the Honor Council.

There are six phases in the recommended procedure for the individual review of possible violation of academic integrity:

  1. Investigating
  2. Consulting
  3. Meeting
  4. Discussing / Deliberating
  5. Sanctioning
  6. Reporting

As part of the individual review, the Individual Review by Faculty of Suspected Academic Integrity Violations Form has to be submitted to the Office of the Provost, even if no sanctions are issued.

Individual Review Procedure

Investigate the case and keep records of all evidence of the suspected violation, including copies of the assignments or exams, statements by students or other witnesses, potential sources of plagiarism, and references to policies in the course syllabus or assignments that define violations of academic integrity.

Consult with another faculty member, preferably the department chair, a senior member of the department, or the Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council, and discuss the evidence and your reasons for believing that a violation has occurred.

If you, at this point, decide to send the case to the Honor Council, inform the student about this. All communication with the student or third parties concerning the case should stop until you received a verdict from the Honor Council. Keep in mind that a case, once submitted to the Honor Council, cannot be retracted.

You and the additional faculty member (who is present as an observer, to take notes on the meeting, and to discourage harassment of the faculty member by the student, but who otherwise should not participate) should meet face to face with the student (if there is more than one student involved in the violation, they should meet with each separately).

  • It is recommended that students are allowed to be accompanied by an advisor as well (who cannot take an active role during the meeting)
  • It is recommended that the student should be asked if she/he would prefer that the case be sent to the Honor Council. However, students cannot demand that the case is send to Honor Council. If you follow the student’s request for sending the case to the Honor Council, the meeting automatically ends and you should wait until you hear back from the Honor Council

You should explain what violation is being discussed, how exactly this behavior is a violation of the Honor Code and/or the course policies, and the evidence that exists.
The student has an opportunity to respond to the evidence and the allegation, ask and answer questions, and present any evidence to refute the allegation. If you need time to review evidence presented by the student, a follow-up meeting may be held.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the two faculty members should discuss all the evidence for and against the allegation. The additional faculty member can provide advice and an alternative perspective, but the decision of whether a violation has occurred and if a sanction is imposed is in the hands of the faculty member in charge of the course.

If a faculty member, considering all evidence, determines that a violation has occurred, he or she can impose a sanction that is commensurate with the violation. His or her additional faculty member and/or the Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council can provide guidance on appropriate sanctions, as well as examples of past violations of a similar nature. Sanctions can include:

  • Issuing a warning to the student
  • Allowing the student to do the work over again
  • Refusing credit for the work in question
  • Lowering the student’s grade in the course

If a faculty member determines that a violation has occurred, he/she must report the case by submitting the Individual Review by Faculty of Suspected Academic Integrity Violations Form (which explains the violation, the student’s response, the decision, and the sanction, along with any evidence used) to the Academic Dean’s Office so that a record of all academic integrity violations on campus is maintained. The Academic Dean will review all reports of academic integrity violations to determine if a student has committed multiple violations, and what additional sanctions might be appropriate.

Download the Individual Review by Faculty of Suspected Academic Integrity Violations Form