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York's Policy on Academic Honesty » Procedures Governing Breach of Academic Honesty

Procedures Governing Breach of Academic Honesty

A student who is charged with a breach of academic honesty shall be presumed innocent until, based on clear and compelling evidence, it is determined that the student has violated the academic standards of the University. Suspected breaches of academic honesty are handled by a Committee within the Faculty offering the course, and may include the following steps:

  1. an exploratory meeting
  2. a formal hearing
  3. an appeal

This is simply a quick outline of the procedures regarding these hearings. For further clarification you are advised to contact the appropriate Faculty office, and consult the full York Senate Policy on Academic Honesty, and the Senate Appeals Committee Procedures.

1. Exploratory meeting at the unit level

An exploratory meeting will be arranged at the unit level to determine whether or not there are reasonable and probable grounds to proceed with a charge of breach of academic honesty. Written notice of the meeting and a brief description of the reason for the meeting shall be provided at least seven days prior to the meeting. The student and the faculty member may each have another person present at this meeting, and the meeting may proceed without the student present.

The exploratory meeting may result in one of the following:

  • Agreement is reached that no breach of honesty occurred.

  • Agreement is reached that the apparent breach was unintentional or the result of student error, and informal remedial steps may be taken to correct the mistake and avoid its recurrence.

  • If the student admits to a breach of academic honesty, a signed statement summarizing the situation and the agreed-upon penalty is submitted to the Faculty Committee.

  • If the student admits to a breach of academic honesty, but no agreement is reached on the penalty, a document that includes the admission and summary of the matter, along with individual submissions by the student and faculty member as to penalty, is submitted to the Faculty Committee, which will arrange a hearing of the matter.

  • If the student elects not to attend the meeting, and if those present find sufficient grounds to proceed with a charge of breach of academic honesty, a summary of the matter will be forwarded to the Faculty Committee, which will arrange a hearing of the matter.

  • If it is decided that sufficient grounds exist to proceed with a charge and the student does not admit to this alleged breach, a formal charge containing a full, concise statement of the facts accompanied by all available supporting evidence is submitted to the Faculty Committee.

2. Formal hearing at the Faculty level

A hearing is arranged by Faculty Committee to allow a full and fair opportunity for the parties to present their evidence and to respond to the evidence presented against them. At the hearing, the Faculty Committee will consider the facts and circumstances of the case and determine whether there has been a breach of academic honesty. Procedures for setting up and proceeding with a hearing are outlined in detail in the Senate Policy.

If a finding of academic misconduct is determined, the Committee will hear submissions as to suitable penalties and then decide the penalties. In determining the penalties, the following factors can be considered:

  • The extent or severity of the violation
  • The level of the student's academic experience
  • Extenuating circumstances that might help explain why a certain course of action was taken
  • Whether the student admits guilt, accepts responsibility for their action, and is amenable to educative remedies
  • Whether the student has committed prior academic offences

3. Appeal

An appeal of the decision of the committee may be made to the Senate Appeals Committee on the grounds of new evidence (i.e., evidence which could not be considered at the Faculty level) or on procedural grounds.

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