University Policies and Processes
The academic misconduct policy can be found in the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct can be found on the Iowa State webpage in the policy library. Additionally, students may visit the Office of Student Conduct website and click on the link in the upper right-hand corner.
Where faculty have a suspicion of academic misconduct in a course, students may receive notice from the faculty informing them of the concern. Some faculty may ask that students respond. Whether or not students are contacted by their faculty or provided an opportunity to respond at that time, where faculty have referred these allegations to the Office of Student Conduct, students will be provided the opportunity to respond and provide information and evidence on their own behalf to this office. Once a referral by faculty has been made, students will receive a notice of charges with information on how to contact the office to resolve the matter by an identified due date. In a conduct referral, faculty will provide the Office of Student Conduct with information including the assignment or exam in question, evidence in support of the referral, the course syllabus and assignment or exam directions, and comparable work, where applicable.
Student Conduct vs Academic Outcomes
In the student disciplinary process, a decision regarding responsibility is made using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This means when considering all the relevant evidence available regarding the case, if it seems more likely than not that a student is responsible, they will be found responsible. Where students are found responsible for academic misconduct, sanctions are imposed that could include a warning, conduct probation, deferred suspension, an educational outcome, and suspension or expulsion from the institution, depending on the severity of the violation.
Academic outcomes for cases of academic misconduct are separate from the student disciplinary outcomes, though are most often determined with consideration of the finding by the Office of Student Conduct. In a case of academic misconduct, if a student has admitted responsibility to their faculty, faculty will often assign a grade prior to referring the case to Student Conduct. If a student denies responsibility, a faculty may wait until after the student disciplinary outcome is shared before making a determination about the academic outcome they view as appropriate. Students may face academic outcomes ranging from a reduced or failing grade on that assignment or exam to failure of the entire course. These academic outcomes are at the discretion of the instructor for the course.
Students who have been charged with an alleged policy violation will have a university disciplinary record for seven years. A disciplinary record could be requested in a background check and impact a student’s ability to participate in certain campus programs, gain admission to other institutions or graduate programs, or certain employment opportunities.
Knowledge Check 9: University Policy