The Office of the Provost is pleased to accept feedback on recommendations to a proposed, centralized process for addressing allegations of academic integrity violations by undergraduate students. The goal of this new framework is to enhance our educational impact, increase trust, and ensure that a clear, consistent, and timely process occurs to address allegations of academic misconduct.
A link to the executive summary is available below. Those interested in providing feedback can do so by completing the feedback form at the bottom of this page. The deadline to submit feedback is September 8, 2023. As comments are received, we will populate an FAQ on this site with clarifications and answers to common questions.
Join us for Academic Integrity Reorganization – Community Feedback Session (virtual) on Tuesday, August 29 (3–4:30 p.m). Please register in advance.
Additional Meeting Opportunities
Additional opportunities to discuss how the proposed change will affect your school’s process may also be scheduled. The following additional discussions have been scheduled at the request of the respective schools or groups. Please reach out to Tarsha Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request additional discussions for your group.
- A&S Directors of Undergraduate Study Breakfast with the College (September 26 at 9 a.m.) – Closed Session for A&S Directors of Undergraduate Studies
Frequently Asked Questions Generated from Open Comment Period
All incoming undergraduate students will be required to complete the Academic Integrity training module offered by the Office of Student Transitions and Family Programs. This module will include an overview of WashU’s academic integrity policy and provide students with interactive and scenario based ways to identify instances of plagiarism, cheating, unauthorized collaboration, and other forms of academic misconduct. The module will be reformatted to align with this process and the expectations of academic integrity specific to Washington University.
Yes. The faculty, staff, and student working groups considered different models at numerous other institutions, including the implementation of an Honor Code. The committee decided against development of an Honor Code and instead chose to recommend certain changes to our current policy and process.
Faculty are essential to maintaining the culture of academic integrity. The impact of faculty upon students can be significant, and thus faculty should engage students frequently on the importance of upholding these standards. The Center for Teaching and Learning will be working to establish resources and approaches for incorporating discussions of academic integrity into classroom discussions beyond the first day of class. We aim to generate resources for designing assignments and assessments that appreciate the changing technological landscape.
Yes. Faculty members are welcome to ask questions of the AICs at any time.
Yes, any member of the campus community may submit a complaint. The term complainant is meant to be inclusive of all roles.
This was the recommendation generated by the faculty/student/staff working groups.
The outcomes of an appeal follow the guidelines established in the Student Code of Conduct, meaning that the underlying Panel decision could be reversed or the sanction could be modified if the appeal is successful.
Mediation offers an opportunity for conversation. During the mediation session, the Academic Integrity Coordinator (AIC) will provide both parties with a chance to offer greater context regarding the nature of the alleged academic integrity violation. The intention is to allow space for individuals to discuss their perspectives and reflect on the situation. If consensus is not reached,, then the case will be forwarded to for a hearing.
The newly proposed changes to the undergraduate academic integrity process will be for academic integrity violations only. All other violations of the student code of conduct will be handled by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
If the complaint involves allegations against more than two students, the procedures may be modified at the discretion of the Office of the Provost and the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
No, the instructor would not be responsible for submitting every piece of evidence or material relevant to the allegation. Instead, the instructor would be asked to submit information that brought them to believe that a violation occurred (e.g. a TurnItIn Plagiarism Report, links to relevant sites where original content was found, etc.)
Students found responsible for an academic integrity violation will be required to complete educational remediation regarding academic integrity. The learning outcomes for educational remedies will directly support and strengthen the students understanding of academic integrity principles so as to reduce the likelihood of future reoccurrences. More details about the framework will be available in the Fall 2023 semester.
Each department will be required to provide a framework of their suggested outcomes in an effort to maintain transparency in the process. Departments will be provided with a template of outcomes created by a committee of faculty members across the schools. Each department will be invited to edit this framework to meet the specific nuances of their academic fields. The initial collection of the outcomes frameworks will allow for conversations with departments if the outcomes deviate too greatly from the established guidelines of the faculty committee.
Each academic department will be required to develop and publish a discipline-specific framework of suggested sanctions for academic integrity cases. This discipline-specific framework will build upon the sanctioning template developed by a committee of faculty members across the schools and will support the unique challenges associated with each academic field.
The newly proposed academic integrity process seeks to enhance student learning by balancing educational and disciplinary measures by enriching their learning regarding the principles of academic integrity. This addition of a “restorative” approach to sanctioning seeks to strengthen the academic penalties imposed by faculty and require students to take personal responsibility for their role in upholding the rigorous standards of academic integrity at Washington University.
There will be three levels: Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. The least egregious violation type is categorized as Level 1, the most egregious violation types is categorized as Level 3. Violation Levels will be more clearly defined through the departmental frameworks to account for nuance associated with the type of violations.
Under the new process, students who either accept responsibility or are found responsible for a first-time violation will generally receive educational remediation regarding academic integrity, among other possible sanctions. The goal of this remediation is to help students identify when actions resemble academic integrity violations and to correct course. If a student is found responsible for a second violation, the recommended outcome will be suspension. However, the hearing panel will have the opportunity to suggest a lesser or greater penalty to account for the level of the second violation and other mitigating circumstances.
All students at Washington University are held to the standards of academic integrity. Actions of academic misconduct must be reported regardless of the student’s engagement in the class (e.g. as a student, TA, or AI). The addition of the educational remediation framework allows for opportunities to address the individual circumstances and apply relevant experiences. Students who engage in academic misconduct as related to their elevated role in instruction may also be held to other relevant university policies.
Each school that offers graduate programs will make a determination as to whether they will continue with their current policy and process or if they will subscribe to the undergraduate policy and proposed process. As schools confirm, we will include this language on websites and in communications campaigns with the schools.
Each graduate school currently follows their school’s or the university’s (in the case of PhD students) established academic integrity process and procedure. This practice will continue unless a school chooses to subscribe to the undergraduate policy.