Read the Executive Summary of recommendations for 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. 

Opportunities for Faculty Engagement with Academic Integrity 

As we plan for an eventual implementation of the recommendations (pending approvals of policy amendments by the Faculty Senate Council), we are looking for faculty who are interested in volunteering for two opportunities related to academic integrity.

  • Grade Penalty Working Group: This group will be responsible for developing a baseline template for recommended grade penalties complete with examples that would establish levels of violations.  This is a short-term commitment of 4-6 weeks during the Fall 2023 semester for one hour each week. The baseline template developed by this group will be disseminated to each undergraduate academic department for further specification, if desired.
  • Integrity Board: The Board will be charged with evaluating the state of academic integrity at the university and recommending changes to process or new programming to benefit the community as a whole. The Integrity Board will include both students and faculty from each of the schools/divisions or programs participating in the centralized process. Members of the Integrity Board will also serve on academic integrity hearing panels to hear complaints, make any violation determinations, and recommend sanctions to be imposed.  This is a longer commitment of two years with an anticipated start of Spring 2024.
  • If you are interested in furthering students’ understanding of academic integrity or representing your school in these important conversations, please reach out to Angela Wilson, assistant provost, at angela.wilson@wustl.edu.


Frequently Asked Questions Generated from Open Comment Period

Campus Awareness
What training will the students receive regarding academic integrity?

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.

Has there been any thought given to establishing an honor code?

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. 

What supports and resources will be offered to faculty to utilize in their teaching in support of academic honesty?

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.

Procedural Questions
Will there be a way to informally ask questions/run scenarios past the AICs?

Yes. Faculty members are welcome to ask questions of the AICs at any time.

Can other individuals besides faculty or instructors submit a complaint?

Yes, any member of the campus community may submit a complaint. The term complainant is meant to be inclusive of all roles.

What was the rationale for the 2:1 faculty to student composition of hearing panels? 

This was the recommendation generated by the faculty/student/staff working groups.

What are the possible outcomes of an Appeal?

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. 

What will the mediation session entail?

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. 

Do these procedures also refer to violation of campus behavioral standards, or are these for academic violations only?

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.

How will cases with multiple students be handled?

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.   

Does the instructor need to construct the entire evidence packet in preparation for a mediation conversation?

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.)

Outcomes Questions
Can you share more about the educational opportunities?

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.

How will you ensure that different Departments’ suggested “outcomes” are equitable?

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.

How will the new process acknowledge the specific nuances associated with the wide range of disciplines?

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.

Does the educational remedy signal laxity in standards of academic integrity?

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.

How many levels will there be?

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.

If a student has a second low-level violation, does that go directly to suspension?ere be?

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.

If a student commits an academic integrity violation in their role as undergraduate TA or graduate AI, will those cases be handled differently?

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.

Graduate Students
Which graduate populations are included?

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. 

What governs the academic integrity of the other graduate students?

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.