Procedures and Sanctions

Under the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska [Sections 2.9 and 4.1(i)], the respective colleges of the University have jurisdiction over procedural matters concerning academic integrity. Just as the task of inculcating values of academic honesty reside with the faculty, the faculty are entrusted with the discretionary authority to decide how incidents of academic dishonesty are to be resolved. If a faculty member suspects that a student has intentionally violated the principles of academic honesty, the faculty member shall initiate the following procedures, starting at step 1, continuing only as necessary to steps 2 or 3.

Step 1 The faculty member shall request a meeting with each student involved. At the meeting, the faculty member shall:

  • Attempt to ascertain the facts pertinent to the incident;
  • Explain to the student the basis for the suspicion of academic dishonesty; and
  • Give the student an opportunity to explain the matter satisfactorily.

If the student offers an unsatisfactory explanation, the faculty member shall inform the student of the penalty for the offense, and shall explain to the student his or her rights to mediation, as described in step 2, and appeal as described in step 3. Any penalty imposed by the faculty member, such as retaking a test or rewriting a paper, or failure for the work involved or failure for the course, shall be limited to the course. If the student admits responsibility and accepts the penalty, the faculty member may consider the case closed, but will keep a confidential record of the action taken and retain any pertinent materials relating to the academic dishonesty until the end of the next regular semester following imposition of the penalty for academic dishonesty. A penalty of “F” for the course must be reported to the department chair and to the registrar. A faculty member who imposes a penalty for academic dishonesty may report the student and the penalty imposed to the department chair, the dean, and to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. If a faculty member reports any action taken to a department chair, a dean, the registrar, or the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the faculty member shall inform the student.

Step 2 If the faculty member and student cannot reach agreement as to the matter of an alleged incident of academic dishonesty, they may request the departmental chair to serve as a confidential mediator, exploring the student’s intentions, the gravity of the suspected offense, and the appropriateness of the penalty. If the matter is satisfactorily resolved among these three parties, a record of the resolution shall be retained by the chair. Violation of the policy may be reported to the Assistant Vice Chancellor. If reported, the student will be notified.

Step 3 If the matter of an alleged incident of academic dishonesty cannot be mediated as provided in Step 2, or if either the faculty member or the student did not wish the departmental chair to mediate, either party may request the dean of the college convene an appropriate college standing committee with student representation or impanel a committee with student representation to consider the matter of the alleged academic dishonesty. The college committee will be drawn from the instructor’s college. The college committee will function in accordance with the procedural guarantees provided in Section 5.4 of the By-laws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska. If the committee finds the student not responsible, the faculty member will award a grade for the student’s work and course without prejudice, and all records related to the incident will be destroyed in the absence of an appeal. If the committee finds that the student has violated the policy, it will uphold the faculty member’s proposed penalty. The dean will:

  • Convey the committee’s decision to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs;
  • Retain the evidence and records of the committee’s proceedings in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regent’s and UNO on the retention of disciplinary records; and
  • Inform the student and faculty member of the committee’s decision.