If it is alleged that you engaged in misconduct you have the right to participate in the adjudication process by telling your side of the story, presenting evidence in support of your story, and having your story given full consideration by the investigator.

Academic misconduct (UWS Chapter 14) allegations are typically investigated by the course instructor (although University Investigating Officers may fill this role if necessary). Non-academic misconduct (UWS Chapter 17) allegations are investigated by University Investigating Officers from the Dean of Students Office or from Student Life Services who are appointed for this purpose by the Chancellor.


The investigating officer will offer to discuss the matter with the student and will consider all information before deciding that misconduct occurred or imposing sanctions. The purpose of this meeting is to review with the student the evidence for the investigator's belief that the student engaged in misconduct and to allow the student to respond. A student cannot be forced to participate in such a meeting, but the investigating officer may make a decision based on the available evidence if the student chooses not to discuss the matter. If the investigating officer concludes that the student did violate University rules, and if the student disagrees with the description of the misconduct and/or the sanction imposed, the student always has the right to a further hearing.

If an instructor suspects a student of academic misconduct, she or he will request to meet with the student as the beginning of the investigative process. During this meeting, the instructor will explain to the student why they believe the student may have committed academic misconduct and will share the evidence they have. The instructor will then give the student time during the meeting to respond and provide their perspective on the matter.

After the student's meeting with the instructor, a decision will be made as to whether academic misconduct occurred. If the instructor concludes that no academic misconduct took place or that no penalty is warranted, the meeting will end the matter. If the instructor concludes that the student is responsible for academic misconduct, the instructor will issue sanctions and notify the student of the right to appeal. The sanction(s) and notification of the right to appeal can be issued verbally or in writing, depending on the level of sanction.

Possible Sanctions

Sanctions are intended to address the inappropriate behavior in a constructive, developmental, and educational manner. Sanctions hold students accountable for behaviors which violate university policies. Criteria for assigning sanctions are determined by several factors: the severity of the misconduct, the nature of the incident, and the student's prior conduct record.

The following 10 sanctions are permitted under UWS Chapter 14:

  • An oral reprimand;
  • A written reprimand presented only to the student;
  • An assignment to repeat the work, to be graded on its merits;
  • A lower or failing grade on the particular assignment or test;
  • A lower grade in the course;
  • A failing grade in the course;
  • Removal of the student from the course in progress;
  • A written reprimand to be included in the student’s disciplinary file;
  • Disciplinary probation; or
  • Suspension or expulsion from the university

Right to Appeal

Students who disagree with the finding of responsibility for academic misconduct and/or with the sanctions imposed have the right to an appeal as described in UWS Ch. 14.07(8). The student found responsible of academic misconduct has 10 days from notification of the determination of responsibility (either verbal or written notification) to contact the Dean of Students Office to request an appeal hearing. For sanctions of disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion, an appeal hearing is automatic (unless the student waives their right to a hearing in writing). Students should continue with all class activities if there is a consideration of appeal of the findings and sanction(s).

Any questions or concerns from students regarding academic misconduct issues, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 715 232-1181.