code of community responsibility

Academic Honesty Appeals Process

Appealing a Faculty Member's Finding

Students may appeal a finding of academic honesty or associated penalty and request a hearing under the following circumstances: (1) evidence of significant irregularity in the initial sanctioning process, (2) imposition of an inappropriate or excessive penalty, and/or (3) evidence to refute a faculty member's finding. Simple disagreement with a faculty member is not a sufficient basis for an appeal.

The student may petition in writing to the academic dean to appeal the faculty member's decision. This appeal must be received by the academic dean within the five (5) business days indicated in the dean's letter to the student. The petition for appeal must be sufficiently detailed to allow for reasonable judgment on whether to grant the petition and must be based upon one of the claims listed above.

If an appeal is denied by the academic dean, no further institutional recourse is available. If an appeal is granted, the academic dean will assemble an Academic Honesty Appeals Board consisting of two faculty members and one staff member from the Academic Review Board. Whenever possible, at least one of the members of the board will be a tenured faculty member. The academic dean will serve as the chair and non-voting member. In the event that a faculty member or staff member feels that he or she should not participate in the hearing of a particular case, the academic dean will complete the board with another member of the Academic Review Board or find another member of the faculty or staff if another Academic Review Board member is not available. A voting member of the board is not permitted to abstain from voting once the facts and issues of the case have been presented. If the academic dean grants an appeal, a hearing will take place within ten (10) business days unless the college is not in session, in which case, the hearing will take place as promptly as circumstances allow. Every effort will be made to have this occur prior to the start of the next academic semester. During an Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing, all parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments relevant to the disputed decision.

An Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing may result in one of the following actions: (1) confirmation of the original faculty decision, (2) confirmation of the original faculty decision and alteration of the original penalty, or (3) reversal of the original faculty decision and cancellation of the original penalty. The determination of the Academic Honesty Appeals Board is final.

Appealing Penalties Levied by the Academic Dean

A student may only appeal the academic dean's additional penalty for a multiple offense if the penalty is outside the normal penalties stated for multiple offenses. If the penalty is outside the normal penalties stated, the student should send his/her appeal to the academic vice president and dean of faculty within five (5) business days of notification from the academic dean of the penalty. The academic vice president and dean of faculty will appoint a department chair (other than the chair of the department in which the academic dean teaches or has taught) to assume the academic dean's role for the appeal process.

If an appeal is granted, the hearing chair (assigned department chair) will assemble an Academic Honesty Appeals Board consisting of two faculty members and one staff member from the Academic Review Board. Whenever possible, one of the faculty members will be a tenured faculty member. These members will not have heard an academic honesty case for this individual previously. The hearing chair will serve as a non-voting member. In the event that a faculty member or staff member feels that he or she should not participate in the hearing of a particular case, the hearing chair will complete the board with another member of the Academic Review Board or find another member of the faculty or staff if another Academic Review Board member is not available. A voting member of the board is not permitted to abstain from voting once the facts and issues of the case have been presented. If the hearing chair grants an appeal, a hearing will take place within ten (10) business days unless the college is not in session, in which case, the hearing will take place as promptly as circumstances allow. Every effort will be made to have this occur prior to the start of the next semester. During an Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing, all parties will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments relevant to the disputed decision.

Burden of Proof/Evidentiary Standards

Formal rules of evidence do not apply; however, evidence must conform to basic standards of fairness. The accused is presumed innocent and the accuser must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate a violation of the Academic Honesty policies to a reasonable person. The Academic Honesty Appeals Board shall not consider written statements against a student or faculty member unless the student or faculty member has been advised of their content, the identity of those who made them, and has been given the opportunity to rebut unfavorable inferences which might be drawn from them. A simple majority is required for a valid finding and for sanctioning.

Hearing Advisor

A student or faculty member involved with an Academic Honesty Appeals Board hearing, either as a party or as a witness, may be accompanied during the hearing by an advisor from within the Colby-Sawyer College community, exclusive of legal counsel or members of the Academic Honesty Appeals Board. Such advisors may confer with the student or faculty member during the hearing, but may not participate in the hearing, or speak in place of the involved party.

Notice

An Academic Honesty Appeals Board will verbally notify the accused and the accuser of their decision on the day of the hearing. The Appeals Board will select an individual to send written notification of the appeals decision to all parties within five (5) business days of the hearing.


Policy reviewed and approved 2012 by the faculty and academic dean.

Rationale
  • Colby-Sawyer College is committed to high standards of academic honesty. Such standards are central to the process of intellectual inquiry, the development of individual character, and the maintenance of a civilized community.

  • The integrity of academic life depends on cooperation among students, faculty, and staff.

Values
  • Excellence
  • Interconnectedness
  • Integrity
  • Stewardship