Academic Misconduct

Dealing with academic misconduct is one of the more distasteful duties faced by university faculty.  MSU policies (see below) detail the process for following up on any suspected act of misconduct.  If you suspect that a student has committed academic misconduct, please read the policy carefully and complete the ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT NOTIFICATION form (see links below).  Although not a substitute for the detailed policy, the following is a brief summary of the key elements.  If you have questions, please contact Ron Larsen in the Provost's Office (994-4371; ronl@montana.edu).

  • It is important to document every finding of academic misconduct by filing the ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT NOTIFICATION form.  Records of misconduct are maintained by the Provost's Office; these findings do not automatically result in the creation of a disciplinary file for the student.  If a second offence is reported, the case is referred to the Dean of Students' Office for further action, and the Assistant/Associate Dean in the student's college is notified .
  • If you believe that a student has committed academic misconduct, it is recommended that you first meet with the student to discuss the situation.  If, following the meeting, you believe that the student has committed misconduct, complete the form and assign the appropriate sanction (see the policy for a list of sanctions that faculty may apply without convening a conduct board).  You should give a copy of the signed form to the student as well as sending copies to your department head and to the Provost's Office.  If you cannot deliver the form to the studnet in person, the Provost's Office will mail it to the student's current address.
  • If the student cannot be reached or ignores requests for an initial meeting, you can procede with filing the form.
  • If the event occurs at the end of the semester, and the sanction could result in a lower grade, submit the initial grade as incomplete (an "I" grade).  If you have already submitted your grades, contact the Registrar's Office to change the grade to an "I" pending resolution.  Because the "I" grade is temporary, the usual form is not required. 
  • If you believe that the offence warrants an action that goes beyond that immediately available to you, indicate this on the form.  The case will be reviewed in the Provost's Office and you will will be consulted.  The case will then be referred to the Dean of Students for the possible convening of a conduct board.  A conduct board is a formal proceeding in which faculty, staff, and students on the board hear evidence and render a decision.  It is generally only used for more serious cases or where multiple infractions have occurred.
  • Students do have a right to appeal your decision, which goes to your department head, and then to your dean (similar to a grade appeal).  The form directs students to the Student Conduct and Instructional Grievance Procedures for this information. 

Download ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT NOTIFICATION form:  Dean of Students' Office

The complete policy is found by going to http://www2.montana.edu/policy/ and selecting "Conduct Guidelines & Grievance Procedures for Students" under the Student Affairs heading.