USF System Regulation 3.027: Academic Integrity of Students

I. PURPOSE & INTENT
Academic integrity is the foundation of the University of South Florida System’s (USF System) commitment to the academic honesty and personal integrity of its university community. Academic integrity is grounded in certain fundamental values, which include honesty, respect and fairness. Broadly defined, academic honesty is the completion of all academic endeavors and claims of scholarly knowledge as representative of one’s own efforts. Knowledge and maintenance of the academic standards of honesty and integrity as set forth by the university are the responsibility of the entire academic community, including the instructional faculty, staff and students. The final decision on an academic integrity violation and related academic sanction at any USF System member institution shall affect and be applied to the academic status of the student throughout the USF System, unless otherwise determined by the independently accredited institution.

II. STATEMENT OF REGULATION
This Regulation asserts fairness in that it requires notice to any student accused of a violation of academic integrity and provides a directive for discussion between the instructor and student to seek a fair and equitable resolution. If a fair resolution is not accomplished in this discussion, this Regulation allows the student continued rights of due process.

As this Regulation contemplates several levels of administrative or academic review, students are advised to direct emails only to the single designated office identified as responsible for the current level of review. Student’s failure to adhere to this directive or ignoring specific directives provided by an administrator such as the emailing all levels of administration, multiple parties not directly involved, or tangentially involved offices may be interpreted as a waiver of the review/appeal process and a failure to follow university directives.

As the university has both Offices of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies with different standards for academic integrity, it is important to reference Section V(D).

III. APPLICABILITY & AUTHORITY
A. The following Regulation applies to all students, instructional faculty and staff who participate in administration of academic classes, programs and research at the USF System. The processes outlined in this Regulation are meant to govern all colleges exclusive of the MD and DPT programs within the College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy to the extent that they maintain procedures and processes for issues regarding academic integrity and/or professionalism.

B. The Academic Integrity Review Process (AIRP) is independent of any other USF process or review. The determinations by the Academic Offices are final. However, this process includes mechanisms for referrals outside of the Academic process to both the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) and the Division of Research, Integrity and Compliance (DRIC). Each of the offices has the authority to impose independent sanctions on the student that may be additional, less severe or more severe than the academic sanctions. The student will be subject to each sanction concurrently and/or consecutively and must comply with the full terms of each.

C. The student will be assigned the grade by the instructor in the course in which the student is registered. Jurisdiction of the appeal and review stays with the course; however, if the potential sanction extends outside of the College or Academic unit where the course is housed, jurisdiction is transferred to the Academic Officer with the authority to impose the greater sanction.

IV. DEFINITION OF TERMS

A. Notice shall be considered final upon email to a student’s official USF email address. Additional notice may be sent at the discretion of the parties.

B. Academic Officer (“AO”) shall mean the individual (or their designee) vested with the authority to impose the recommended academic sanctions by the instructor. The appropriate AO may vary by institution, circumstance or factual basis of each case. In the event it is unclear, the Chief Academic Officer or their designee will identify the appropriate AO. The table below is provided as a general guideline.

Academic Dishonesty
occurred in:
Sanction: Academic Officer (to be determined by individual cases and title may vary): Academic Officer for Academic Integrity Appeal:
Course · Grade Assignment; or· Removal from course Instructor’s Supervisor or Department Chair Dean of College
Program · Suspension; or· Removal from Program Chair (or Director for certain Schools) Dean of College

 

College · Suspension; or· Removal from College Dean of College Dean of Graduate/Undergraduate Studies or Chief Academic Officer
University or Institution · Suspension; or· Dismissal from University Dean of Graduate/Undergraduate Studies or Chief Academic Officer Dean of Graduate/Undergraduate Studies or Chief Academic Officer


C. Dean
shall mean a College Dean, or where applicable the Dean of Undergraduate  Studies, Dean of Graduate Studies, or the Chief Academic Officer (for those Institutions that do not have a Dean of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies) or the equivalent as indicated – or in all cases a “Dean’s designees” appointed to handle academic grievances for the unit.

D. Academic Integrity Review Board (“AIRB”): The committee that will be appointed by the Academic Officer to review the Academic Integrity finding and sanction as referenced in Section VII (2).

E. Academic Integrity Review Process (“AIRP”): The steps described in this Regulation that govern how an Academic Integrity violation will be charged, appealed and determined.

F. Student Academic Integrity Committee (“SAIC”): The group of individuals that may be identified by a University System member as trained academic integrity volunteers.  These volunteers may develop academic integrity educational modules and policies and who may be available to serve on an AIRB.

G. Academic Dishonesty is the term used to define the violation of the Academic Integrity Regulation.

H. Violations of Academic Integrity: The behaviors described below are considered violations of the academic standards for both Undergraduate and Graduate students. The academic sanctions for Graduate students may be more severe.

1. Cheating is using or attempting to use materials, information, notes, study aids, or other assistance in any type of examination or evaluation which have not been authorized by the instructor.

  1. Students completing any type of examination or evaluation are prohibited from looking at or transmitting materials to another student (including electronic reproductions and transmissions) and from using external aids of any sort (e.g. books, notes, calculators, photographic images or conversation with others) unless the instructor has indicated specifically in advance that this will be allowed.
  2. Students may not take examinations or evaluations in the place of other persons. Students may not allow other persons to take examinations or evaluations in their places.
  3. Students may not acquire unauthorized information about an examination or evaluation and may not use any such information improperly acquired by others.
  4. Instructors, programs and departments may establish, with the approval of the colleges, additional rules for exam environments and behavior. Such rules must be announced in advance in a course syllabus or other advance written notice to students.

2. Plagiarism is intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work which has wholly or in part been created by another person. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another person without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. Students must consult with their instructors for clarification in any situation in which the need for documentation is an issue, and will have plagiarized in any situation in which their work is not properly documented.

  1. Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged by parenthetical citation in the text or in a footnote or endnote.
  2. When material from another source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one’s own words, that source must be acknowledged in a footnote or endnote, or by parenthetical citation in the text.
  3. Information gained in reading or research that is not common professional knowledge must be acknowledged in a parenthetical citation in the text or in a footnote or endnote.
  4. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the use of papers, reports, projects, and other such materials prepared by someone else.

3. Fabrication, Forgery and Obstruction:

Fabrication is the use of invented, counterfeited, altered or forged information in assignments of any type including those activities done in conjunction with academic courses that require students to be involved in out-of-classroom experiences.

Forgery is the imitating or counterfeiting of images, documents, signatures, and the like.

Obstruction is any behavior that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources.

  1. Fabricated or forged information may not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of research, or academic exercise. Invention for artistic purposes is legitimate under circumstances explicitly authorized by an instructor.
  2. Students may not furnish to instructors fabricated or forged explanations of absences or of other aspects of their performance and behavior.
  3. Students may not furnish, or attempt to furnish, fabricated, forged or misleading information to university officials on university records, or on records of agencies in which students are fulfilling academic assignments.
  4. Students may not steal, change, or destroy another student’s work. Students may not impede the work of others by the theft, defacement, mutilation or obstruction of resources so as to deprive others of their use.
  5. Obstruction does not include the content of statements or arguments that are germane to a class or other educational activity.

4. Multiple Submissions is the presenting or turning in the same or substantially the same work for credit in two or more courses. Multiple submissions shall include the use of any prior academic effort previously submitted for academic credit at this or a different institution. Multiple submissions shall not include those situations where the prior written approval by the instructor in the current course is given to the student to use a prior academic work or endeavor.

  1. Students may not normally submit any academic assignment, work, or endeavor in more than one course for academic credit of any sort. This will apply to submissions of the same or substantially the same work in the same semester or in different semesters.
  2. Students may not normally submit the same or substantially the same work in two different classes for academic credit even if the work is being graded on different bases in the separate courses (e.g. graded for research effort and content versus grammar and spelling).
  3. Students may resubmit a prior academic endeavor if there is substantial new work, research, or other appropriate additional effort. The student shall disclose the use of the prior work to the instructor and receive the instructor’s permission to use it PRIOR to the submission of the current endeavor.
  4. Students may submit the same or substantially the same work in two or more courses with the prior written permission of all faculty involved. Instructors will specify the expected academic effort applicable to their courses and the overall endeavor shall reflect the same or additional academic effort as if separate assignments were submitted in each course. Failure by the student to obtain the written permission of each instructor shall be considered a multiple submission.

5. Complicity is assisting or attempting to assist another person in any act of academic dishonesty. A student will be considered to be complicit if the student is aware of an academic integrity violation, is able to report and fails to do so. In addition:

  1. Students may not allow other students to copy from their papers during any type of examination.
  2. Students may not assist other students in acts of academic dishonesty by providing material of any kind that one may have reason to believe will be misrepresented to an instructor or other university official.
  3. Students may not provide substantive information about test questions or the material to be tested before a scheduled examination unless they have been specifically authorized to do so by the course instructor. This does not apply to examinations that have been administered and returned to students in previous semesters.
  4. Students may not have a substitute take an examination or take an examination for someone else.

6. Improper use of teamwork credit is allowing your name to be included on a group project in which you did not participate. This act is considered a violation of academic integrity. For reference, general guidelines for appropriate teamwork participation include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. No team member shall intentionally restrict or inhibit another team member’s access to team meetings, team work-in-progress, or other team activities without the express authorization of the instructor.
  2. All team members shall be held responsible for the content of all teamwork submitted for evaluation as if each team member had individually submitted the entire work product of their team as their own work.
  3. Only those persons who participated on the team shall be named in the submission of the assignment.

7. Solicitation or Purchase is the offering, advertising or responding to solicitations or purchasing products or services designed to facilitate, support or actively contribute to the commission of an act of academic dishonesty.

8.Misrepresentation. Submitting the work of another as your own, e.g., using a ghostwriter to write a paper, thesis, dissertation; having another person complete an on-line class in your name.

9. Misconduct in Research and Creative Endeavors is a serious deviation from the accepted academic and professional practices within a discipline or from the policies of the university in carrying out, reporting, or exhibiting the results of research or in publishing, exhibiting, or performing creative endeavors. Research Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results. It does not include honest error or differences in opinion. In addition to the academic sanctions in this Regulation misconduct in research is also subject to USF System Policy 0-301, procedures and any sanctions contained therein.

  1. Students may not invent or counterfeit information.
  2. Students may not report results dishonestly, whether by altering data, by improperly revising data, by selective reporting or analysis of data, or by being grossly negligent in the collecting or analysis of data.
  3. Students may not represent another person’s ideas, writing or data as their own.
  4. Students may not appropriate or release the ideas or data of others when such data have been shared in the expectation of confidentiality.
  5. Students may not publish, exhibit, or perform work in circumstances that will mislead others. They may not misrepresent the nature of the material or its originality, and they may not add or delete the names of authors without permission.
  6. Students must adhere to all federal, state, municipal, and university regulations or policies for the protection of human and other animal subjects.
  7. Students may not conceal or otherwise fail to report any misconduct involving research, professional conduct, or artistic performance of which they have knowledge.
  8. Students must abide by the university’s policies on Misconduct in Research where applicable, which can be found in the university’s policies and Procedures Manual at the Regulations and Policies website.

10. Computer Misuse includes unethical or illegal use of the computers of any person, institution or agency in which students are performing part of their academic program.

  1. Students may not use the university computer system in support of any act of plagiarism.
  2. Students may not monitor or tamper with another person’s electronic communications.

11. Misuse of Intellectual Property is the illegal use of copyright materials, trademarks, trade secrets or intellectual properties.

12. Violation of State or Federal laws with regard to Intellectual Property is conduct that violates and does not adhere to state or federal laws concerning the fair use of copies or other intellectual property.

V. SEVERITY OF CONDUCT DETERMINATIONS & ACADEMIC SANCTIONS

A. General Guidelines:

1. Violations for USF System Undergraduate students are classified into four (4) levels according to the nature of the infraction. For each level of violation a corresponding set of academic sanctions is recommended, however, specific academic programs may include additional and different academic sanctions. These academic sanctions are intended as general guidelines for the academic community with examples cited below for each level of violation. These examples are not to be considered all-inclusive.

2. Violations for USF System Graduate Students are not classified into levels as the instructor determines the severity of the violation, the grade and recommends any more severe academic sanction.

3. Multiple Violations:

  1. Graduate Studies:  Graduate Students who are assigned an “FF” grade will be academically dismissed from the university and will not be eligible to apply to any Graduate program at USF.  Graduate Studies may have additional guidelines and protocols available online or in the Graduate Studies catalog.
  2. Undergraduate Studies:
    1. For the first “FF” recorded in an Undergraduate student’s academic record, the student will receive a letter from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Chief Academic Officer informing him or her of being placed on “Academic Dishonesty Warning” for the remainder of enrollment at USF and of appeal rights for the “FF” grade. The student may also be suspended for one (1) full semester, depending upon the level of violation.
    2. For the second “FF” recorded, the Undergraduate Student will be suspended for one (1) full semester and readmitted only after writing a clear statement indicating remorse, understanding of the seriousness of the offense, and understanding of the importance of integrity in all areas, including academic work. A letter informing him or her of this action and appeal rights will be sent from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
    3. The Undergraduate Student may be permanently dismissed from the university for violations of academic integrity with notice of that dismissal as a part of the formal record and transcript.
    4. The maximum penalty for receipt of any “FF” grade may be permanent dismissal from the university for violations of academic integrity and with a notice of that dismissal as a part of the student’s formal record and transcript.
    5. In the event of multiple violations, sanctions may be imposed consecutively or concurrently at the discretion of the AO.

B. Severity of Academic Integrity for Undergraduate Students: For Undergraduate Students the severity of conduct is divided into levels with specific academic related sanctions. For Graduate Studies, the instructor determines severity and academic sanctions as provided in Section V(D) below

1. Level One

a) CONDUCT:
Level One violations may occur because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of principles of academic integrity on the part of persons committing the violation. These violations address incidents when intent is questionable and are likely to involve a small fraction of the total coursework, are not extensive, and/or occur on a minor assignment. The following are examples:

  1. Working with another student on a laboratory or other homework assignment when such work is prohibited (This level is appropriate if the instructor determines it is a minor infraction).
  2. Failure to footnote or give proper acknowledgment in an extremely limited section of an assignment.

b) ACADEMIC SANCTIONS:

  1. Reduction or no credit given for the original assignment.
  2. An assigned paper or research project on a relevant topic.
  3. A make-up assignment at a more difficult level than the original assignment.
  4. Required attendance and tuition cost for a non-credit workshop or seminar on ethics or related subjects.

2. Level Two

a) CONDUCT:
Level Two violations are characterized by dishonesty of a more serious character or that which affects a more significant aspect or portion of the coursework or assignment. The following are examples:

  1. Working with another student on a laboratory or other homework assignment when such work is prohibited (This level is appropriate if the instructor determines it is a more serious infraction).
  2. Quoting directly or paraphrasing, to a moderate extent, without acknowledging the source.
  3. Submitting the same work or major portions thereof to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission from the instructor.
  4. Using data or interpretative material for a laboratory report without acknowledging the sources or the collaborators. All contributors to preparation of data and/or to writing the report must be named.
  5. Receiving assistance from others, such as research, statistical, computer programming, or field data collection help that constitutes an essential element in the undertaking without acknowledging such assistance in a paper, examination or project.

b) ACADEMIC SANCTIONS:

  1. Failing grade for the assignment involved with the grade in the course determined in the normal manner.
  2. Failing grade for the course, which may be an “F” or “FF” on the internal transcript.

3. Level Three*

a) CONDUCT:
Level Three is characterized by violations that affect a major or essential portion of work done to meet course requirements, involves premeditation or demonstrates repetition or both, of one or more violations of Level One or Level Two violations including repeating any one or more of the following actions:

  1. Copying on examinations.
  2. Plagiarizing major or essential portions of a written assignment.
  3. Acting to facilitate copying during an exam.
  4. Using prohibited materials, e.g. books, notes, e-flashcards or calculators during an examination.
  5. Collaborating before an exam to develop methods of exchanging information and implementation thereof.
  6. Altering examinations for the purposes of re-grading.
  7. Acquiring or distributing an examination from unauthorized sources prior to the examination.
  8. Presenting the work of another as one’s own.
  9. Using purchased term paper or other materials (even if the source is cited).
  10. Removing posted or reserved material, or preventing other students from having access to it.
  11. Fabricating data by inventing or deliberately altering material (this includes citing “sources” that are not, in fact, sources).
  12. Using unethical or improper means of acquiring data.

b) ACADEMIC SANCTIONS*:

  1. Failing grade for the course with a designation of “FF” on student’s internal transcript.
  2. Possible suspension from the university for one (1) semester.

4. Level Four*

a) CONDUCT:

  1. All academic infractions committed after return from suspension for a previous academic honesty violation.
  2. Infractions of academic honesty in ways similar to criminal activity (such as forging a grade form, stealing an examination from a professor or from a university office; buying an examination; or falsifying a transcript to secure entry into the university or change the record of work done at the university).
  3. Having a substitute take an examination or taking an examination for someone else.
  4. Fabrication of evidence, falsification of data, quoting directly or paraphrasing without acknowledging the source, and/or presenting the ideas of another as one’s own in a senior thesis.
  5. Sabotaging another student’s work through actions designed to prevent the student from successfully completing an assignment.
  6. Willful violation of a canon of the ethical code of the profession for which a student is preparing.

b) ACADEMIC SANCTIONS*:
The typical sanction for all Level Four violations is permanent academic dismissal from the university with the designation of “Dismissed for Academic Dishonesty” to be placed permanently on a student’s external transcript.

C. Centralized Reporting:
1.* In all Level 3 or Level 4 violations, the instructor must send a concise written statement including details of the date, time, and incident particulars (the “Report”) to the AO to consider additional academic sanctions above the grade assignment.
2. In Level 2, 3 and 4 violations, the instructor should contact the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or the Chief Academic Officer at their institution to determine if there is an office designated to track academic integrity violations/violators (Referred to as an “AIO”). If the institution has an AIO, the instructor must send a copy of the Report to the institution’s AIO. The AIO will have exclusive access to the Reports and will only share the Reports to instructors or academic advisors in the event of multiple Reports regarding a single student.  This will enable appropriate handling of multiple violations.
3. As member institutions may not have a Dean of Undergraduate Studies they may establish internal protocols for centralized reporting by an internal procedure or Policy.

D. Severity of Academic Integrity for Graduate Students
1. The Office of Graduate Studies has no levels of severity as any violation may result in immediate dismissal. Students will be held to the standards provided for Graduate Studies if those students are admitted to a Graduate degree program or Graduate certificate or any student taking Graduate level courses. The instructor will determine the severity of the offense and the appropriate grade. Any student in a Graduate Studies course who receives an “FF” grade is subject to immediate dismissal and or expulsion. The grade assignments and additional academic sanctions will depend on the seriousness of the offense and may range from the receipt of:

  1. An “F” or “Zero” grade on the subject paper, lab report, etc.
  2. An “F” in the course or activity in which credit may be earned.
  3. An “FF” in the course (leading to expulsion from the university).
  4. Academic Dismissal for any violations of academic dishonesty Regulations or Policies.
  5. Possible revocation of the degree or Graduate Certificate following a thorough investigation.

E. “FF” Grade Guidelines:
1. Instructors may assign an “FF” grade in specific circumstances. An “FF” grade is noted on the students USF record, indicates academic dishonesty and is only reflected on internal records. Any Undergraduate Student who receives an “FF” grade in a course is restricted from repeating the course using the Grade Forgiveness Policy. For Graduate Students, an “FF” grade will lead to permanent dismissal from the university (in cases of permanent dismissal from the university a notation may be added to the official USF transcript).
2. If a student who has been accused of academic dishonesty drops the course, the student’s registration in the course will be reinstated until the issue is resolved.
3. Any final course grade may be changed to an “FF”, “F”, or other grade depending on the instructor’s decision or the ultimate resolution of the Academic Integrity Review Process. This includes any determination of a violation of the Academic Integrity Regulation that is not detected until after the student has dropped or completed the course or during or after the Academic Integrity Review Process. The actual steps for imposing the “FF” grade (which is an internal USF System designation) shall be established by each institution’s Registrar or Chief Academic Officer.

VI. PROCESS STEPS:
1. The instructor identifies or learns of an academic integrity violation.

2. The instructor identifies the severity level of the violation (see Section V(B)).

3. The instructor determines the appropriate grade assignment and use of the guidelines (included in Section V) and identifies any additional academic sanctions that may be recommended to the AO.

4. The instructor advises the student of the grade determination and recommended academic sanctions (if applicable) either in person or by email including a set date to discuss the determination (within ten (10) days of determination of the grade if possible).

5. Final Notice of Academic Sanction by the Instructor: Within ten (10) days of meeting with the student, if the instructor determines there is a grade sanction only and no recommended additional academic sanctions, the instructor may immediately assign the grade sanction and email the student notice of this final grade sanction. If the instructor does recommend additional academic sanctions, the instructor will assign the grade sanction and advise the student and AO of those recommended additional academic sanctions considered to be appropriate to the violation (Level 3 or 4 violations will include additional academic sanctions) and the process continues as detailed below.

6. Final Notice of Academic Sanction by the AO:

  1. Undergraduate Students: Within ten (10) days of receipt of the recommendation from the instructor, the AO will determine any additional academic sanctions, if applicable, and notify the student by email. The student may grieve the final notice by the Department level AO and ask that it be reviewed by the College Dean, who will determine if the student’s grievance is appealable. The Dean will determine the final decision for reviews involving an assignment with alleged academic dishonesty. Appeals for final grades and sanctions will be considered by the Dean and may be appealable to an AIRB (as described in Section VII: Academic Integrity Appeal).
  2. Graduate Students: Graduate Studies uses an internal document which processes the request for academic sanctions up to and including dismissal and the Dean of Graduate Studies provides notice to the student.

7. Reports to a designated centralized office:
The instructor or the AO may make a referral to an internal university office responsible for tracking academic integrity violations/violators if one has been designated as detailed in Section V (C).

8. If a student files an appeal (Section VII below), the final notice will not be imposed or noted until after the appeal process is complete unless the Academic Officer feels immediate action is necessary.

9. Referral to OSRR & DRIC: The Academic Offices are responsible for the AIRP and assignment of academic sanctions. If the instructor or AO determines the conduct also rises to a violation of the Student Conduct Code or the expectations and standards of the Division of Research, Integrity and Compliance (DRIC), the instructor or AO may make a referral to those offices. The instructor or AO making the referral should notify those additional offices of any pending or final academic sanction. A determination by OSRR or DRIC is separate and distinct from the AIRP and any academic sanction. The student must comply will all sanctions imposed by each office (a lesser sanction or different determination by the conduct offices does not impact the Academic sanction).

10. Transcript/Record:

  • An Academic Integrity dismissal from the University will be reflected on a student’s official transcript.
  • A grade sanction (such as an “FF”) or other lower sanction is reflected on the student’s internal USF record.

VII. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY APPEAL:
If the student identifies that the determination of the academic integrity violation or related grade assignment or sanction either (1) had no factual basis or could not be reasonably inferred by the facts as presented or (2) violated a University Regulation or Policy, the student must allege the absence of factual support or basis or the specific Regulation or Policy violated and provide it as part of an academic integrity appeal. A student who has accepted responsibility for the academic integrity violation itself (either in writing or verbally) to the instructor or administrator, may not challenge the factual basis and may only appeal the severity of the sanction imposed (See Section V(B)).

The student may appeal after notice of the final academic sanction(s) which is either: (1) the instructor’s grade determination; or (2) if there are additional academic sanctions, after those additional academic sanctions are reviewed and determined by the Dean. The student may remain enrolled in their academic program until the conclusion of the appeal process unless the Dean determines that the student may not remain enrolled and advises the student in writing accordingly. Unless an Institution or College has established and referenced an alternative academic integrity or professional standards process, the appeal process steps for academic integrity issues are:

1. Student Written Appeal: After notice of the academic sanction, the student may send a written appeal to the Dean copying the instructor by email within ten (10) days of the grade determination or final academic sanction (additional time may be granted at the discretion of the Dean as necessary). If it is unclear who the designated Dean should be, the student may ask the instructor to identify the appropriate Dean. The student’s written appeal may be an email request and must contain a concise statement of the student’s position including the factual deficiency or the specific Regulation or Policy violated. This statement should include why the student feels the determination by the instructor and/or AO was not correct and must include all documentation available that supports the student’s position.

2. Initial Review of Appeal: As general complaints or disagreements with the instructors decision are not grounds for appeal and students who have accepted responsibility at any time in the process may only appeal imposed sanctions, the Dean may make an initial review of the appeal to identify the limits of the appeal and to verify that the student has clearly identified that there was no factual basis for the instructor’s determination and/or the specific Regulation or Policy violated. If the Dean elects to make this initial review, the Dean may clarify the parameters of the appeal (sanctions only), or dismiss the appeal as insufficient. The Dean must send the student and instructor notice of this determination within ten (10) days of receiving the student’s written appeal, copying the instructor’s supervisor or department chair. This will be a final University decision.

3. Dean Appointment of Board: If the Dean does not dismiss the appeal, the Dean may move the appeal forward with or without the initial review or after the review set parameters for the appeal (if it is for sanctions only). The Dean will appoint an Academic Integrity Review Board (AIRB) composed of students and instructors or administrators at the Dean’s discretion, provided that there are at least three (3) individuals, one (1) of which is an instructor or administrator and one (1) student.

4. Selection of AIRB members: Although the Dean may select any students to serve on the AIRB, if the university system member establishes a Student Academic Integrity Committee (SAIC) at that institution, and there are SAIC members available to serve, the Dean shall select the student board members from the SAIC to serve on the AIRB at that institution. The students serving on the AIRB do not need to be from the College in which the appeal was filed. However, when possible undergraduate students should serve on AIRB for undergraduate student appeals, graduate students for graduate student appeals, clinical students for clinical student appeals, and medical students for medical student appeals.

5. Meeting of the AIRB: Unless extended by written notice of the Dean or other extenuating circumstance, the AIRB will meet within three (3) weeks from the time the Dean receives the student’s written appeal. The Dean will advise the student by email of the date, time and place of the AIRB review. If the student or instructor has a justifiable conflict, the student or instructor may make one (1) written request to reschedule the review emailed to the Dean with the reason for the request, noting any known foreseeable conflicts into the next three (3) weeks. The one-time extension may be granted at the discretion of the Dean. (The timelines provided in this Regulation may be extended at the Dean’s discretion with written notice to the student and instructor).

6. AIRB Review Steps and Further Appeals:

  1. At the Review, the student and instructor will each be afforded an opportunity to present their position with reasonable time limits not to exceed fifteen (15) minutes per person.
  2. The student may bring one (1) person to serve as an advisor; however that person may not act as a legal representative, argue, present, or participate in any active way in the review, including through communications by verbal, written or electronic promptings with the student.
  3. Each party may be present during the other’s position statement. Neither party may ask questions of the other, argue, or respond to the other’s statement. The AIRB may question both parties at any time during the proceedings
  4. The AIRB will deliberate in private and render a decision within three (3) weeks of the AIRB review and offer its determination as a recommendation to the Dean (or equivalent depending on the organizational structure of the USF institution) with copy to the student by email. The student and instructor’s concise written statements will be included with the AIRB’s recommendation. The Dean will have three (3) weeks to accept or not accept the determination of the AIRB. (a) If the Dean accepts the determination of the AIRB, that is a final university decision and there is no further review available at the university. (b) If the Dean does not accept the determination of the AIRB, the Dean must refer the matter to the university level (Deans of UGS/OGS for Undergraduate and Graduate reviews, respectively or the Chief Academic Officer (See Section IV(C)). The University Level officer (a) will have three (3) weeks to make a final determination (b) may request to review any additional information necessary or may limit the review to the initial statements provided by the student and instructor upon initiation of the Academic Integrity Appeal Review and the Dean’s Statement (c) will issue a determination in writing by email to the student, instructor and the Dean. This will be a final university decision.

7. In the event the determination and final university decision is an “FF” grade with Academic Dishonesty noted and/or a related dismissal from the College or University, the student may appeal that final university decision within thirty (30) days to the Circuit Court by way of Writ of Certiorari.

Authority: Art. IX, Sec. 7, Fla. Const.; FL Board of Governors Regulation 1.001(4)(a); s.1006.60(4)FS. History – New (BOT approval) 12-11-08. Amended 12-4-14, 1-7-15 (technical), 2-18-15 (technical), 6- 3-15 (technical).