Academic Honesty Policy FAQ

Academic Honesty Policy
FAQs for Students

The University of Houston Academic Honesty Policy is posted online in the Undergraduate Studies Catalog and also appears in each edition of your Student Handbook. To view it as a PDF, click here

It is each student’s responsibility to be aware of and understand the Academic Honesty Policy. The FAQs are intended to clarify Academic Honesty processes, and are not a substitute for the complete policy. 

 

Scroll down to review the list of Frequently Asked Questions.

    1. What is an Academic Honesty Hearing?

    2. What are the consequences of an Academic Honesty violation?

    3. I have been accused of an Academic Honesty Violation. What happens next?

    4. May I drop a course with a 'W' if I am accused of an academic honesty violation?

    5. What is a Waiver?

    6. What are the consequences of a departmental waiver?

    7. What is a Departmental Hearing?

    8. May I bring anyone to the Departmental Hearing?

    9. Can I review the information presented by the faculty member in my academic honesty case?

    10. What should I do if someone else is the person who violated the academic honesty policy?

    11. Do I have the right to question the accusations against me?

    12. How long will the departmental hearing take?

    13. How will I be informed of the decision made by the departmental hearing officer?

    14. Where will my letter be mailed?

    15. What are the consequences of a Departmental Hearing?

    16. Do I have the right to appeal a Departmental Hearing?

    17. What happens if I do not attend the Departmental Hearing?

    18. How should I decide whether to accept or appeal a departmental sanction?

    19. Suppose I violated the Academic Honesty policy but I wish to appeal the penalty at the college level?

    20. How can I get more information?
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  1. What is an Academic Honesty Hearing?

An Academic Honesty Hearing is a hearing concerning an allegation of academic dishonesty. During a hearing the student and faculty member have the opportunity to present and discuss information in support of or against the allegation that the student has violated the academic honesty policy.   

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  1. What are the consequences of an Academic Honesty violation?

A violation of the Academic Honesty Policy is a serious offense. It can affect your transcript. It can result in a wide range of possible sanctions, including expulsion. It can result in denial of entry into law, medical, and professional schools. An Academic Honesty violation can result in denial of security clearances.

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  1. I have been accused of an Academic Honesty Violation. What happens next?

You may have to appear for a departmental hearing or you may be eligible for a waiver of the departmental hearing.

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  1. May I drop a course with a 'W' if I am accused of an academic honesty violation?

Students may not receive a 'W' for courses in which they have been found guilty of a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy.

If a 'W' is received prior to a guilty finding, the student will become liable for the Academic Honesty penalty, including 'F' grades.

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  1. What is a Waiver?

If you have no previous Academic Honesty violations and if the recommended sanction is less severe than probation, you may be eligible for a waiver (also called Waiver of Departmental Hearing). This is not to be confused with a Waiver of Automatic College Hearing. A departmental hearing waiver is a document that you, the faculty member, and the departmental hearing officer must sign. By signing the departmental hearing waiver, you acknowledge the Academic Honesty Violation, and all parties agree to accept the recommended sanction.

A Waiver of Automatic College Hearing exists for students who wish to accept a departmentally recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion and thereby waive the automatic college hearing. The sanction is then considered a college level decision. This specific waiver form is issued from the Dean of Students Office.

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  1. What are the consequences of a departmental waiver?

The departmental sanction you agreed to accept will be assessed against you. Sanctions may include reduced or zero credit for a test, a grade of 'F' in the course, etc. Your name will be placed on waiver lists maintained by the department, college, and provost. Following graduation, you may request that your name be removed from waiver lists.

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  1. What is a Departmental Hearing?

If you are not eligible for a waiver (because you have a previous violation; because the suggested sanction is probation or greater; or because you, the departmental hearing officer, and the instructor cannot agree on the waiver), a departmental hearing will occur. You will have the opportunity to present documents and witnesses to the departmental hearing officer in support of your case. The departmental hearing officer will render a decision based on information presented at the hearing.

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  1. May I bring anyone to the Departmental Hearing?

Yes. You may bring an individual for support. This person is not allowed to participate in the hearing. Additionally, you (or the faculty member) may bring individuals who have knowledge of the circumstances and who are prepared to testify. If you intend to bring someone to testify, you must inform the departmental hearing officer three class days prior to the hearing. You may also bring legal counsel. This legal counsel will be allowed to advise you but is not allowed to address the departmental hearing officer, the faculty member or any witness presented by you or the faculty member. If you wish to bring legal counsel, you must inform the departmental hearing officer three class days prior to the hearing so that a representative of the University of Houston legal counsel is also present.

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  1. Can I review the information presented by the faculty member in my academic honesty case?

Yes, at the hearing.

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  1. What should I do if someone else is the person who violated the academic honesty policy?

You may present this argument and relevant information at the departmental hearing.

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  1. Do I have the right to question the accusations against me?

Yes, at a departmental hearing you may ask questions relevant to your case.

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  1. How long will the departmental hearing take?

Most hearings last 20-30 minutes. Few last longer than an hour.

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  1. How will I be informed of the decision made by the departmental hearing officer?

In many cases, you will be informed at the conclusion of the hearing. In all cases, you will be informed in writing within three class days after the hearing.

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  1. Where will my letter be mailed?

All required written notices shall be addressed to the student via their UH email or US mail at his/her mailing address as it appears in University of Houston records. It is the responsibility of the student to keep his/her current email and mailing address up to date on his/her record (my.uh.edu).

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  1. What are the consequences of a Departmental Hearing?

A departmental hearing may result in one of a full range of outcomes. The departmental hearing officer may decide that the violation did not occur and/or that no penalty should be assessed. On the other hand, the departmental hearing officer may decide that a violation did occur and impose a penalty ranging from reduced grade, zero on the assignment, F in the course, probation, suspension, expulsion, etc. Sanctions of suspension or expulsion are reviewed automatically in a college hearing unless such a hearing is waived.

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  1. Do I have the right to appeal a Departmental Hearing?

Yes, both you and the instructor have equal right of appeal to a college-level Academic Honesty hearing panel made up of faculty and students. If you are found in violation of the academic honesty policy at a departmental hearing and the recommended sanctions are suspension or greater, a college level hearing is required. You may waive the college level hearing if you elect to accept the decision of the department.

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  1. What happens if I do not attend the Departmental Hearing?

If you fail to attend the departmental hearing, the case against you may  be decided in your absence. You would still have the option to appeal the departmental decision/sanction to a college level hearing.

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  1. How should I decide whether to accept or appeal a departmental sanction?

Students who admit to violating the academic honesty policy will want to carefully weigh a decision to appeal a departmental decision to the college-level Academic Honesty panel. If a departmental decision is appealed to the college level, a college hearing is scheduled. The case is heard before a panel and is a de novo hearing, a rehearing of the case, and may result in outcomes for the student that are different from the departmental level. The outcomes may or may not be to the advantage of the student. Depending on the case and hearing, the resulting sanctions may be the same, or less/more severe. The Dean of Students Office is available to help students understand the process to make an informed decision.

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  1. Suppose I violated the Academic Honesty policy but I wish to appeal the penalty at the college level?

You may appeal the penalty to the college level. A college-level hearing is a de novo hearing, a rehearing of the case, and may result in different outcomes for the student than what was decided at the departmental level. The range of sanctions include those that may result on a student’s transcript.

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  1. How can I get more information?

For the complete Academic Honesty Policy, refer to the policy online at: http://catalog.uh.edu/content.php?catoid=6&navoid=1025 , or your Student Handbook. To view it as a PDF, click here

For assistance or information pertaining to the academic honesty process please contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, room 207 E. Cullen. Telephone: 713-743-9565.

You may also consult the Dean of Students Office.

For student academic support:

Writing Center: http://www.uh.edu/writecen/

Learning Support Services: http://www.las.uh.edu/LSS/

 

 

 

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