Academic Conduct Policies
ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT POLICY
All issues of non-academic student misconduct are subject to the University-wide Student Conduct Code.
Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing or reporting research. For a complete definition, refer to The Johns Hopkins University Research Integrity Policy. The Policy applies to all University faculty, staff, trainees and students engaged in the proposing, performing, reviewing or reporting of research, regardless of funding source. Allegations of research misconduct regarding a student must be referred to the Research Integrity Officer for assessment under that Policy and must also be reported to the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs.
2. INTERDIVISIONAL ENROLLMENTS
SOE students may enroll in courses in one or more other University divisions or schools. SOE students are subject to this policy not only when enrolled in SOE courses, but also when enrolled in courses in other University divisions or schools. Academic misconduct in the context of those “outside” courses will be subject to and resolved under this policy.
3. POLICY VIOLATIONS
Academic misconduct is prohibited by this policy. Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. This includes a wide variety of behaviors such as cheating, plagiarism, altering academic documents or transcripts, gaining access to materials before they are meant to be available, and helping another individual to gain an unfair academic advantage. Nonexclusive examples of academic misconduct are listed below.
The following are nonexclusive examples of cheating:
- fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic assignment, text or examination;
- use or consultation of unauthorized materials (e.g., notes, books, etc.) on assignments, tests or examinations;
- unauthorized discussion of a test or examination during its administration (including face-to-face and online examinations in either synchronous or asynchronous formats);
- copying content on an assignment, test or examination from another individual;
- obtaining a test or examination or the answers to a test or examination before administration of the test or examination;
- studying from an old test or examination whose circulation is prohibited by the faculty member;
- use or consultation of unauthorized electronic devices or software (e.g., calculators, cellular phones, computers, tablets, etc.) in connection with assignments, tests or examinations;
- use of paper writing services or paper databases;
- unauthorized collaboration with another individual on assignments, tests or examinations;
- submission of an assignment, test or examination for a regrade after modifying the original content submitted;
- permitting another individual to contribute to or complete an assignment, or to contribute to or take a test or examination on the student’s behalf;
- tampering with, disabling or damaging equipment for testing or evaluation; or
- unauthorized submission of the same or substantially similar work, assignment, test or examination to fulfill the requirements of more than one course or different requirements within the same course, including for courses that a student repeats.
The following are nonexclusive examples of plagiarism:
- use of material produced by another person without acknowledging its source;
- submission of the same or substantially similar work of another person (e.g., an author, a classmate, etc.);
- use of the results of another individual’s work (e.g., another individual’s paper, examination, homework, computer code, lab report, etc.) while representing it as your own;
- improper documentation or acknowledgment of quotations, words, ideas, or paraphrased passages taken from published or unpublished sources;
- wholesale copying of passages from works of others into your homework, essay, term paper, or dissertation without acknowledgment; or
- paraphrasing of another person’s characteristic or original phraseology, metaphor, or other literary device without acknowledgment.
The following are nonexclusive examples of forgery, falsification and lying:
- falsification or invention of data or information for an assignment, test or examination, or in an experiment;
- citation of nonexistent sources or creation of false information in an assignment;
- attributing to a source ideas or information that is not included in the source;
- forgery of university or other official documents (e.g., letters, transcripts, etc.);
- impersonating a faculty member;
- request for special consideration from faculty members or university officials based upon false information or deception;
- fabrication of a reason (e.g., medical emergency, etc.) for needing an extension on or for missing an assignment, test or examination;
- claiming falsely to have completed and/or turned in an assignment, test or examination;
- falsely reporting an academic ethics violation by another student;
- failing to identify yourself honestly in the context of an academic obligation; or
- providing false or misleading information to an instructor or any other University official.
3.4 FACILITATING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
The following are nonexclusive examples of facilitating academic dishonesty:
- intentionally or knowingly aiding another student to commit an academic ethics violation;
- allowing another student to copy from one’s own assignment, test, or examination;
- making available copies of course materials whose circulation is prohibited (e.g., old assignments, texts or examinations, etc.);
- completing an assignment or taking a test or examination for another student; or
- sharing paper mill/answer bank websites or information with other students.
3.5 UNFAIR COMPETITION
The following are nonexclusive examples of unfair competition:
- intentionally damaging the academic efforts of another student;
- stealing another student’s academic materials (e.g., books, notes, assignments, etc.); or
- denying another student needed University resources (e.g., hiding library materials, stealing lab equipment, etc.).
4. INVESTIGATING ALLEGATIONS OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT
If a student is suspected of academic misconduct, the course instructor must investigate the matter. Instructors should document the potential evidence and all communication with the student concerning the possible infraction. If, after speaking with the student and any potential witnesses, the instructor believes that academic misconduct has occurred, the instructor must contact SOE’s Registrar’s Office (copying the Office of Student Affairs) to determine whether the offense is a first-time offense, or a second or subsequent offense. Before making a final decision in a case, instructors should also consult with the faculty member in charge of the student’s program and the student’s faculty adviser. If the instructor ultimately determines that academic misconduct has occurred, the instructor must complete SOE’s Academic Misconduct Form, providing a brief description of the infraction and the action(s) to be taken. These actions could include either imposing a penalty on the student (subject to the conditions noted below in section 5) or recommending that the case be referred to the hearing process (as outlined in section 6 below).
5. FIRST-TIME OFFENSES
For a first-time offense that the instructor does not consider to be egregious—i.e. not worthy of a penalty harsher than the award of an F grade for the entire course—the instructor shall determine the penalty at his/her discretion. Depending on the severity of the charge, the instructor may choose to 1) reduce the number of points or the grade level awarded for an individual assignment, 2) allow the student to resubmit an assignment, but set a limit on the possible number of points or the grade that the student may earn, 3) award zero points/an F grade for the assignment without granting the student an opportunity to resubmit, 4) award an F grade for the entire course, or 5) impose another type of penalty as s/he deems appropriate (provided that the penalty imposed is not greater than the award of an F grade for the entire course). If the instructor decides to impose another type of penalty (under option #5), the penalty should be determined in consultation with the faculty member in charge of the student’s program.
If the student accepts the charge and penalty imposed by the instructor, s/he will sign the consent statement on the Academic Misconduct Form. A student who signs the consent statement admitting the infraction and accepting the penalty imposed cannot subsequently appeal.
If the student disagrees with the academic misconduct charge and/or the penalty proposed by the instructor, s/he must sign the acknowledgement statement on the Academic Misconduct Form, instead of the consent statement, acknowledging that s/he is aware of the instructor’s decision. In such cases, the student may appeal the decision to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) (see section 5 below for further details).
Once both parties have signed the form, it will be placed in the student’s record (which the Registrar’s Office maintains), with a copy sent to the student’s adviser, faculty member in charge of the student’s program, Office of Student Affairs, and Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. The process for handling non-egregious first-time offenses should be completed within 30 days of the instructor’s identifying the alleged academic misconduct.
For a first-time offense that the instructor considers to be an egregious case of academic misconduct, where a sanction greater than awarding an F grade for the entire course should be considered, as well as for all second or subsequent offenses, the instructor must refer the case directly to the Office of Student Affairs for a hearing process for resolution (see section 6 below for further details).
6. HEARING PROCESS FOR SECOND/SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES, EGREGIOUS FIRST-TIME OFFENSES, AND STUDENT APPEALS
The following cases shall be referred to the hearing process outlined below:
- For a second or subsequent offense.
- For a first-time offense that the instructor considers an egregious case of academic misconduct and where the instructor believes that a penalty greater than the award of an F grade should be considered.
- For a first-time offense where the students has submitted an appeal to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) disputing the academic misconduct charge and/or the penalty proposed by the instructor.
For options 1 and 2 above—i.e. for a second or subsequent offense, or for a particularly egregious first-time case of alleged academic misconduct where the instructor believes that a sanction greater than awarding an F grade for the entire course should be considered—the instructor shall promptly notify SOE’s Office of Student Affairs, submitting the completed Academic Misconduct Form outlining the alleged violation(s), and additionally detailing in writing any available evidence, including potential witnesses, and other pertinent details of the case.
For option 3 above—i.e. where a student disagrees with the instructor’s decision and/or the penalty proposed by the instructor—any appeal to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) must be submitted by the student in the form of a letter to the Office of Student Affairs (who will vet the appeal on the Vice Dean’s (or designee’s) behalf). In submitting an appeal, the student must provide a thorough rationale for the basis of the appeal and include supporting materials as evidence. Such materials would typically consist of the disputed work in question, the signed Academic Misconduct Form, and any correspondence (such as email communications) between the student and the instructor and (where applicable) other persons involved in the case (e.g. communications with the faculty adviser and/or faculty member in charge of the student’s program). The appeal form and supporting materials must be received by SOE’s Office of Student Affairs within seven working days of the date that the initial Academic Misconduct Form is signed by the instructor and student. The appeal letter and supporting materials should be mailed to the following address—Office of Student Affairs, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, 6740 Alexander Bell Drive, Columbia, MD 21046—or emailed to Jenny Eddinger at Jeddinger@jhu.edu. (The term “academic misconduct appeal” should be referenced in the email subject link.)
For all the options outlined above, SOE’s Office of Student Affairs will be assigned to the case and gather information regarding the alleged academic misconduct. This gathering of information may include without limitation 1) meetings with or requests for statements or additional supporting materials from the instructor, student, faculty adviser/faculty member in charge of the student’s program, and/or witnesses, 2) review of any related information and supporting materials, and 3) (for student appeals) a determination that the appeal to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) was submitted within the seven-day appeal window.
Following this initial review, the Office of Student Affairs will forward the case and any supporting materials to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) with a recommendation as to whether the case should proceed or be dismissed. The Vice Dean (or designee) may dismiss a case for a lack of sufficient information, because the appeal was not submitted within the seven-day deadline established by this policy, or if the alleged conduct does not fall within conduct prohibited by this policy. Absent these circumstances, the Vice Dean (or designee) will appoint a hearing panel to resolve the case.
6.1 PANEL HEARINGS
The hearing panel is composed of faculty and staff appointed for annual terms by the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs (or designee) to hear alleged violations of this policy. The hearing panel must comprise at least three faculty members drawn from the Student Affairs Committee and one representative from the Office of Student Affairs. The hearing panel shall convene within 21 days of its appointment by the Vice Dean (or designee) to consider the case.
The panel is charged with determining based on a preponderance of the evidence whether a student’s actions constitute a violation of this policy and, if so, recommending (an) appropriate sanction(s). The panel shall make its determination of responsibility and recommended sanctions by majority vote, except that unanimity is required for a sanction of expulsion. The hearing is a closed proceeding, meaning that no one other than the panel members, and necessary University personnel, may be present.
The student accused of academic misconduct, and any other participants (e.g. the instructor or witnesses) called to the hearing, will be present in the hearing room only when making a statement or being questioned by the panel. Participants may attend the panel hearing remotely (e.g. via telephone or Skype), if unable to attend in person.
The hearing panel may request the presence of any witness with relevant information about a case. The student and/or instructor may request that witnesses with relevant information speak on their behalf. Absent exceptional circumstances, the student/instructor should inform the hearing panel in writing at least three days in advance of any hearing of the names of the witnesses and to what they will attest. The hearing panel may determine whether and the extent to which witnesses will be permitted to participate or questioned in any meeting or hearing, including whether their testimony is relevant.
Within 14 days of the hearing panel meeting, the representative from the Office of Student Affairs on the hearing panel will notify the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs (or designee) in writing outlining the hearing panel’s findings, determination of responsibility, and any recommended sanctions (if applicable). The Vice Dean (or designee) will notify the student in writing of his/her judgement in relation to both the final determination of responsibility and the sanction (if any) to be imposed, copying the instructor, student’s faculty adviser, faculty member in charge of the student’s program, and the hearing panel within 14 days of receiving the recommendation from the hearing panel. A copy of the letter will also be placed in the student record maintained by the Registrar’s Office.
7. APPLICABLE PROCEDURES
In connection with the resolution of alleged policy violations, the student accused of academic misconduct shall:
- be notified in writing by the Office of Student Affairs of the allegations in advance of any hearing;
- be notified in writing by the Office of Student Affairs of the charges, and the date, time and location of the hearing, and identities of the hearing panel members in advance of the hearing;
- have the opportunity to review in advance of any hearing any information to be considered by any faculty member, administrator or panel consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (“FERPA”) and to protect other confidential information;
- be notified in writing by the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs (or designee) of the outcome of any hearing, namely the findings, determination of responsibility, and any sanctions; and
- be notified in writing of the outcome of any subsequent appeal to the Dean.
A student accused of academic misconduct may raise the potential conflict of any University personnel participating in the resolution process. The student may also decline to participate in the resolution process. The University may however continue the process without the student’s participation.
Communications under this policy will primarily be conducted with students through their official University email address, and students are expected check their official University email on a regular basis.
8. EVIDENTIARY STANDARD
A “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be used to determine responsibility for alleged violations of this policy. A “preponderance of the evidence” standard is an evidentiary standard that means “more likely than not.” This standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true.
9. APPEALS TO THE DEAN
A student may appeal the hearing panel’s finding of responsibility and/or sanction(s). The student must file any appeal within seven working days of the date of the notice of outcome on one or more of the following grounds:
- procedural error that could have materially affected the determination of responsibility or sanction(s);
- new information that was not available at the time of the hearing and that could reasonably have affected the determination of responsibility or sanction(s); and
- excessiveness of the sanction(s).
Any appeal must be filed in writing with the SOE Dean (or designee). An appeal will involve a review of the file and as determined necessary, gathering of information from relevant university personnel or panelists; the appeal does not involve another hearing. On review of the appeal, the Dean (or designee) may:
- enter a revised determination of responsibility and/or revise sanction(s);
- remand the matter to the original hearing panel to reconsider the determination of responsibility and/or sanction(s); or
- establish a new hearing panel to consider the case.
The Dean (or designee) will deliver his/her final decision, with the reasons therefor, in writing to the student within 14 days of receiving the student appeal, simultaneously copying the instructor, the student’s faculty adviser, faculty member in charge of the student’s program, and hearing panel. A copy of the letter will also be placed in the student record maintained by the Registrar’s Office. The decision of the Dean (or designee) is final. No further appeals are permitted.
The following factors may be considered in the sanctioning process:
- the specific academic misconduct at issue;
- the respondent’s academic misconduct history; and
- other appropriate factors.
This section lists some of the sanctions that may be imposed upon students for violations of this policy. SOE reserves the right, in its discretion, to impose more stringent or different sanctions and corrective measures depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Sanctions and corrective measures for academic misconduct under policy are generally cumulative in nature.
Possible sanctions and corrective measures against students, include without limitation one or more of the following listed below.
10.1 ACADEMIC SANCTIONS
Examples of academic sanctions include but are not limited to the following: retaking of the examination, paper or exercise involved; score of zero on the examination, paper or exercise involved; lowering of the course grade; loss of any SOE scholarship for a specific duration or permanently; and failure in the course, including transcript notation of the sanction and/or academic misconduct violation.
10.2 FORMAL WARNING
The student is notified in writing that his or her actions constitute a violation of this policy, and may be subject to other actions (e.g., re-taking an examination or failure in a course).
The student is notified that further violations of this policy within the stated period of time will result in the student being considered for immediate suspension or other appropriate disciplinary action. If at the end of the specified time period no further violations have occurred, the student is removed from probationary status.
The student is notified that the student is separated from the University for a specified period of time. The student must leave campus and vacate campus residence halls, if applicable, within the time prescribed and is prohibited from University property and events. The conferring of an academic degree may be deferred for the duration of the suspension. A student must receive written permission from the University prior to re-enrollment or re-application. Academic work completed at another institution while on suspension will not be recognized for credit transfer.
Expulsion means the permanent removal of the student from the University. Expulsion includes a forfeiture of all rights and degrees not actually conferred at the time of the expulsion, permanent notation of the expulsion on the student’s University records and academic transcript, withdrawal from all courses according to divisional policies, and the forfeiture of tuition and fees. Any student expelled from the University is prohibited from University property and events and future reapplication to the University.
A case file concerning a student will be retained by the Office of the Registrar for seven years from date that the student graduates or otherwise leaves the university.