Academic Misconduct Policy

School of Journalism and Mass Communications Student Academic Misconduct Policy

The following policy defines a uniform approach to acts of academic misconduct involving students in courses offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Academic integrity requires the honest performance of academic responsibilities by students. Academic responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the preparation of assignments, reports and term papers, the taking of examinations, internships, capstone courses, experiential learning opportunities and a sincere and conscientious effort by students to abide by the policies set forth by instructors.

Any subversion or compromise of academic integrity thus constitutes academic misconduct. Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting; harassment in an academic setting; giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports or other assignments; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results; plagiarizing of another's work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for the treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research.

When an instructor determines that a student has violated academic integrity as described above, the instructor may charge the student with academic misconduct.

In addition to informing the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the KU Office of Research Integrity will be informed of all charges filed alleging dishonesty in research. KU Human Resource Management and/or the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX will be informed of all charges filed alleging sexual harassment.

The possible sanctions for academic misconduct are detailed below and are within the provisions of Article II, Section 7, of the University Senate Rules and Regulations.  More than one sanction may be imposed for the same offense.

Admonition: An oral statement that the person's present actions constitute academic misconduct.

Warning: An oral or written statement that continuation or repetition, within a stated period, of actions that constitute academic misconduct may be the cause for a more severe disciplinary sanction.

Censure: A written reprimand for actions that constitute academic misconduct. Censure may include a written warning.

Reduction of Grade for specific work: Treating as unsatisfactory any work that is a product of academic misconduct. Reduction of grade may include the assignment of an F for that specific work.

Reduction of grade for the Course: Reduction of grade may include the assignment of an F in the course. If the charged student dropped or withdrew from the course prior to the outcome of the adjudication, the course will be reinstated and assigned the grade as determined by the outcome of the hearing. No student is allowed to change their grade to credit/no credit if found responsible of academic misconduct with the sanction of a reduction of grade for the course.

Exclusion from Activities: Exclusion from participation in specified privileged or extracurricular activities for a period not exceeding one school year.

Transcript Citation for Academic Misconduct: The student’s transcript will state that the student has been cited for academic misconduct. This sanction will include a determination of the final grade in the course. This grade may be an “F.” The statement will be permanent unless the student applies to the University Provost for removal of the statement and the application is granted.

Suspension from a specific course: An instructor may suspend a student from the instructor's section of a course for academic misconduct. In cases involving physical violence or disruptive behavior, the suspension should occur immediately. In cases where a physical threat is made, the suspension should be reported to the KU Police Department. During suspension, a student is not permitted to withdraw, pending decision by the hearing committee. A suspended student may complete work for the course only if reinstated. Conditions for re-instatement to the course shall be stated by the instructor at the time of the suspension. These initial conditions are subject to review by the hearing committee. When suspending a student, the instructor shall, before the next meeting of the course, inform the chairperson of the department in which this course is offered. The department chairperson shall notify the student in person or by certified mail (postmarked on or before the day of the next class meeting) of the opportunity to be heard on the suspension. The department chairperson shall also inform the Vice Provost for Student Affairs and other appropriate offices according to guidelines of the academic unit involved. If the student requests a hearing, the appropriate procedures (See Section 2.6.2) of the School or College, or at the department level where feasible, shall be initiated within five working days. The suspension will remain in effect pending review. Because this sanction places an immediate burden upon the suspended student, the department is obligated to act promptly. Options in such review include: reassignment of the student to another section of the course; reinstatement of the student into the course; upholding the suspension. In case of suspension through the end of the semester, a grade will be assigned by the instructor, subject to review by the hearing committee.

Suspension: Immediate exclusion from all courses and other specified privileges or activities for a definite period not to exceed two years, subject to review by the hearing committee. The student's transcript will state that the student is suspended for academic misconduct. The statement will be permanent unless the student applies to the University Provost for removal of the statement and the application is granted.

Expulsion: Termination of student status for an indefinite period. The conditions of readmission, if any, shall be stated in the order of expulsion. The student's transcript will state that the student is expelled for academic misconduct. The statement will be permanent unless the student applies to the University Provost for removal of the statement and the application is granted.

All transcript statements will be permanent unless the student applies to the University Provost for removal of the statement and the application is granted.

After a charge of misconduct is filed it will be reported to the assistant dean.  Grievance Committee hearings will be scheduled ONLY if the student wishes to deny the charge and/or appeal the recommended sanction. If the student admits to the charge and does not wish to appeal, the sanction may be imposed immediately. The assistant dean will refer the case to the Grievance Committee.

Hearing Panel and Appeals

The Dean will appoint a Grievance Committee consisting of a minimum of three faculty members to conduct a hearing for all parties involved. The Grievance Committee should be a sub-committee of the Curriculum and Assessment Committee. For a case involving a graduate student, a faculty member from the Graduate Committee will serve as one of the three members of the Grievance Committee. The hearing will be conducted in accordance with the School’s Academic Misconduct Hearing Guidelines.

Attending the hearing are the charged student, the charging instructor(s), the associate dean, and the Grievance Committee. The hearing will be held even if the charged student and/or charging instructor(s) fails to appear for the hearing.

Individuals attending the hearing will be kept to a minimum to insure the confidentiality of the proceedings. The charged student and/or charging instructor may request that an observer/advisor or witness(es) attend the hearing. The assistant dean must be notified in writing 10 calendar days prior to the hearing of any observer/advisor and/or witness(es) that will be attending the hearing. An observer (a supportive family member, advisor, or friend) may not directly participate in the hearing. Witnesses may be present only during their testimony to respond to questions from the panel, charged student, or charging instructor(s).

Typically, students do not bring legal counsel. However, if the student has an attorney, University General Counsel will be contacted and asked to attend the hearing also. The hearing may be delayed until such time as all parties, including legal representatives from both sides, can attend.

If either party to a charge of academic misconduct or to a grade appeal involving a charge of academic misconduct is dissatisfied with the resolution of the charge, he or she may seek review by the Judicial Board. All appeals must be made within 30 calendar days of the initial decision.

Approved October 4, 2019

revised March 24, 2023 – added graduate program representatives to process

revised February 9, 2024 – technical updates to university office names, USRR references, sanctions; updated examples of academic misconduct per guidance by the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX