Academic Regulation 1: Academic Integrity

1.1 - Introduction

1.1.1 – Definition

According to the Centre for Academic Integrity, academic integrity may be defined “as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behaviour that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action.” The Senate Report on Principles and Priorities notes that the educational mission of Queen’s with its emphasis on “intellectual integrity”, “freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas” and “equal dignity of all persons” depends on an adherence to academic integrity in all its actions. In support of the concept academic integrity, students have the responsibility to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of the Faculty. Additional information for instructors and students and direction for appeals can be found throughout this regulation.

In accordance with the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities, academic integrity provides a foundation for the “freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas” fundamental to the educational environment at Queen’s University. As a member of the Centre for Academic Integrity (CAI), Queen’s subscribes to the definition of academic integrity “as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility.” In “The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity”, the CAI offers the following statements contextualizing these values:

  1. Honesty - An academic community of integrity advances the quest for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research, and service.
  2. Trust - An academic community of integrity fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential.
  3. Fairness - An academic community of integrity establishes clear standards, practices, and procedures and expects fairness in the interactions of students, faculty, and administrators.
  4. Respect - An academic community of integrity recognizes the participatory nature of the learning process and honours and respects a wide range of opinions and ideas.
  5. Responsibility - An academic community of integrity upholds personal accountability and depends upon action in the face of wrongdoing.

The values set out in this definition are described more fully in a document produced by the CAI titled “The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity” and faculty, students and staff are encouraged to consult this document for a more detailed discussion.

               1.1.2 – Integrity in Action

The Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s is dedicated to creating a scholarly community free to explore a range of ideas, to build and advance knowledge and to share the ideas and knowledge that emerges from a range of intellectual pursuits. Each value gives rise to and supports the next. Honesty appears in presenting one’s own work, whether in the context of an examination, written assignment, laboratory or seminar presentation. It is in researching one’s own work for course assignments. It is also present in faithfully reporting laboratory results even when they do not conform to an original hypothesis. Further, honesty is present in acknowledging dependence on the ideas or words of another and in distinguishing one’s own ideas and thoughts from other sources. Trust exists in an environment where one’s own ideas can be expressed without fear of ridicule or fear that someone else will take credit for them. Fairness appears in the proper and full acknowledgement of contributions of collaborators in group projects and in the full participation of partners in collaborative projects. Respect, in a general sense, is part of an intellectual community which “recognizes the participatory nature of the learning process and honours and respects a wide range of opinions and ideas.” However, “respect” appears in a very particular sense when students attend class, pay attention, contribute to discussion and turn papers in on time; instructors “show respect by taking students’ ideas seriously, providing full and honest feedback on their work” (“The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity”, p. 8). Ultimately, “responsibility” is both personal and collective and draws students, faculty administrators and staff into creating and maintaining a learning environment supported by and supporting academic integrity. As the document further shows, these values are not just abstract but are expressed in and reinforced by policies and practices.

1.2 – Departures from Academic Integrity
In accordance with the Senate Report on Principles and Priorities, any departure from these values compromises the “free enquiry and the free expression of ideas, both of which are basic to the University’s central purpose”. The following list defines the domain of relevant acts without providing an exhaustive list.

               1.2.1 – Types of Departures

(i)                Plagiarism (presenting another’s ideas or phrasings as one’s own without proper acknowledgement)  Examples: copying and pasting from the internet, a printed source, or other resource without proper acknowledgement; copying from another student; using direct quotations or large sections of paraphrased material in an assignment without appropriate acknowledgement; submitting the same piece of work in more than one course without the permission of the instructor(s).

(ii)              Use of Unauthorized Materials  Examples: possessing or using unauthorized study materials or aids during a test; copying from another’s test paper; using unauthorized calculator or other aids during a test; unauthorized removal of materials from the library, or deliberate concealment of library materials.

(iii)             Facilitation (enabling another’s breach of academic integrity)  Examples: making information available to another student; knowingly allowing one’s essay or assignment to be copied by someone else; buying or selling of term papers or assignments and submitting them as one’s own for the purpose of plagiarism.

(iv)             Forgery (submitting counterfeit documents or statements) Example: creating a transcript or other official document.

(v)              Falsification (misrepresentation of one’s self, one’s work or one’s relation to the University)  Examples: altering transcripts or other official documents relating to student records; impersonating someone in an examination or test; submitting a take-home examination written, in whole or in part, by someone else; fabricating or falsifying laboratory or research data.

1.3 – Remedies or Sanctions for Departures from Academic Integrity

1.3.1 – Remedies or Sanctions an Instructor May Assign

The instructor may consider a range of remedies or sanctions including, but not limited to, the following:

(i)               an oral or written warning that such infractions constitute unacceptable behaviour;

(ii)              a learning experience involving a rewriting or revision of the original piece of work;

(iii)              the submission of a new piece of work;

(iv)             the completion of other work;

(v)              the deduction of partial or total loss of marks for the assignment/exam; or

(vi)             a failing grade (down to a grade of zero) in the class.

If the penalty amounts to a failure in the class, the student may not drop the class, regardless of the drop deadlines.

If the instructor believes that the finding warrants a sanction more serious than an instructor may impose, the instructor will refer the case to the Associate Dean (Studies) (see Academic Regulation 1.4.2).

               1.3.2 – Remedies or Sanctions the Associate Dean (Studies) May Assign or Recommend

If there is a finding of a departure from academic integrity or a finding of a failure to abide by academic rules, a range of remedies or sanctions including, but not limited to, one or more of the following may be assessed by the Associate Dean (Studies):

(i)                an oral or written warning;

(ii)              the submission of a revised or new piece of work;

(iii)             partial or total loss of marks for the assignment/examination;

(iv)             partial or total loss of marks for the course in which the departure of academic integrity took place;

(v)              an official written warning that the penalty for a subsequent offence could be a requirement to  withdraw from the Faculty or University for a specified minimum period of time;

(vi)             the rescinding of University- or Faculty-awarded scholarships, prizes and/or bursaries;

(vii)            a requirement to withdraw from the Faculty for a specified minimum period of time;

(viii)          a recommendation to withdraw from the University for a specified minimum period of time; or

(ix)             a recommendation for the revocation or rescinding of a degree.

No student who has been required to withdraw due to a departure from academic integrity may apply to graduate during the period of the sanction.

1.3.3 – Factors to Consider in Assigning a Sanction

Factors that should be considered in assigning a remedy or sanction include:

(i)                The extent and seriousness of the departure having regard to its actual or potential consequences;

(ii)              the degree to which the work or conduct in question forms a significant portion of the final grade and whether the extent of the departure is substantial as demonstrated by the work or conduct in question;

(iii)             the academic experience of the student differentiating between first-year or students taking electives and upper-year students who ought to be familiar with the expectations for academic integrity in the discipline, Department and/or Faculty;

(iv)             records of multiple departures within a single incident or multiple departures discovered at one time, rather than an isolated aberration;

(v)              evidence of a deliberate attempt to gain advantage;

(vi)             injury to another student or to the institution; or

(vii)            conduct that intimidates others or provoked the misconduct by others.

Mitigating circumstances do not exonerate or excuse from the finding of a departure from academic integrity, but these factors may be taken into account to ensure that the imposed sanction is fair, reasonable and proportionate to the gravity of the departure found. The decision must outline the evidence supporting reliance on the mitigating circumstances. The onus is on the student to adduce evidence of mitigating circumstances, which may include:

(i)                documented evidence from an appropriate health professional of factors directly compromising the student’s capacity to adhere to the standards of academic integrity at the relevant time;

(ii)              prompt admission to the departure from academic integrity by the student and expression of contrition and willingness to undertake educative remedies; or

(iii)             evidence that reasonable steps were not taken in the circumstances to bring the standards and expectations regarding academic integrity to the attention of the student at the relevant time.

In summary, any sanction should reflect the extent and severity of the departure from academic integrity, and precedents in the academic unit and Faculty, taking into account any mitigating circumstances.

               1.3.4 – Categorizing the Finding

In preparing the finding and corresponding sanction, decision makers must also distinguish between “minor” (Level I) and “major” (Level II) departures.

In preparing the finding, decision makers should use the guidelines below to categorize the departure as being either Level I or Level II. Only one factor need apply to establish a Level II departure. Because instructors are generally the most familiar with the case and the surrounding circumstances, instructors are expected to use informed judgment and reasonable discretion in deciding on a Level I versus a Level II departure. Instructors may also seek general advice on categorizing the remedy or sanction from the Faculty Office.

                              1.3.4.1 – Level I Departures

Level I departures will not be kept in a student’s main file, but in a separate special file that will only be accessed if there is a future finding. Central to the separation of a finding from the student’s main file is an attempt to find a balance between remediation and sanction. Whereas sanctions are necessary where there are findings of departures from academic integrity, this policy avoids treating students punitively in all cases and allows for remedies which seek to educate students about matters related to academic integrity. Level I materials are destroyed as of the date of the student’s graduation.

A Level I departure will be assessed under the following conditions:

(i)                the extent or severity of the departure is limited;

(ii)              the departure is on an assignment where the sanction is less than 50 per cent of the course grade and the sanction will NOT necessarily result in a failure in a course;

(iii)             the student is at an early stage of his/her academic career, especially a Year 1 student, or the student has little or no experience in a course in a particular subject (for example first-time experience in a History or Psychology Department);

(iv)             there is no direct evidence of a deliberate attempt to gain advantage; or

(v)              there is no direct effect on other student(s) or the institution.

1.3.4.2 – Level II Departures

Level II departures will be kept in the student’s main file in the Faculty Office. This file is kept confidential and is used for academic advising purposes. It will also be consulted where a finding has been copied to the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies). In rare cases, some institutions (such as American Law Schools, Medical Schools and Police Academies) request references from the Associate Dean (Studies) and the materials in the file are consulted to answer specific questions about the student’s academic history.

A level II departure will be assessed under the following conditions (only one factor need apply):

(i)                the extent and severity of the departure is significant (e.g., in the case of plagiarism, the departure involves significant and unacknowledged use of one or more sources);

(ii)              the sanction WILL result in a failure in a course;

(iii)             the departure is by an upper-year student who has taken several previous courses in the subject (for instance, a fourth-year student);

(iv)             there are previous departures from academic integrity (the case should therefore be referred to the Associate Dean);

(v)              there is evidence of additional misconduct involving forgery, facilitation, etc.; or

(vi)             there is a direct negative effect on other students (e.g. stealing another students’ paper, assignment, laboratory work) or the institution.

Because instructors are generally the most familiar with the case and the surrounding circumstances, instructors are expected to use informed judgment and reasonable discretion in deciding on a Level II departure.

Under current practices in the Faculty, one Level I departure results in no further action; two Level I findings result in a review of the cases by the Associate Dean (Studies) and a letter of warning which is kept in the student’s main file; and three instances of a Level I finding result in an investigation to determine if a requirement to withdraw should be recommended to the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP). These current practices may vary depending on the seriousness of each individual departure.

1.4 – Processes for Investigation of Departures from Academic Integrity

               1.4.1 – Investigation by an Instructor of Suspected Departures from Academic Integrity in a Class

1.4.1.1 - Delegation of Investigation

Normally the instructor of the class is the individual tasked with the investigation of a possible departure from academic integrity. However, in cases where the instructor is unable to initiate and/or complete the investigation, the Department Head may delegate the responsibility to another individual within the Department.

1.4.1.2 – Collection of Initial Information

To begin investigating a possible departure from academic integrity, the instructor should assemble all documents related to the case. Such documents might include:

(i)                the work submitted by the student for academic credit;

(ii)              the source(s) from which the work submitted by the student is apparently derived;

(iii)             the instructions describing the nature of the work to be done;

(iv)             any e-mail between the instructor and the student relating to the work;

(v)              any other materials related to the departure; or

(vi)             any documents used by the instructor or his or her department stating policies on departures from academic integrity.

While collecting evidence, the instructor is encouraged to seek guidance from the Undergraduate Chair, Head, or appropriate department delegate concerning matters relating to departures from academic integrity, and from the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms concerning university policy and procedure.

When discussing possible departures from academic integrity, the instructor should ensure that the student’s identity remains confidential, pending a finding of departure from academic integrity.

Should the instructor decide the evidence is insufficient to proceed with further investigation, all documents related to the matter should be destroyed and all aspects of the case considered dismissed.

Should the instructor decide the evidence merits further investigation, he or she should continue the processes outlined below.

1.4.1.3 – Notification of Investigation

Where possible departures from academic integrity within a course are identified, the instructor must advise the student in writing. Instructors are encouraged to use the Notice of Investigation form. Completing the form supplies the student with the information required by Senate Policy, including:

(i)               the evidence on which the investigation is based;the possible remedies or sanctions;

(ii)              the student’s right to respond to the investigation; and

(iii)             the student’s right to have representation for any response - the instructor will inform the student of the services provided by the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.

While the case is under investigation, the instructor should address all matters to the student as “possible” or “apparent” departures from academic integrity. The instructor should include all documents relevant to the investigation (i.e., those gathered under Academic Regulation 1.4.1.2 above) along with the Notice of Investigation form.

                                             1.4.1.3.1 – Delivery and Receipt of Documentation

To ensure that students receive the Notice and additional relevant materials in a timely manner, instructors should e-mail the students with the direction to pick up the materials from the program’s departmental office or send these documents by registered mail to the student’s local address (as obtained from the student information system).

Within 10 days of receiving the notice of investigation, the student must make an initial response to the instructor, either to schedule a meeting or to indicate that he/she does not wish to meet and will provide a written response.

                                              1.4.1.3.2 – Student’s Enrolment Status

The student may not drop the class once a notice of investigation has been delivered. If an instructor becomes aware that a student under investigation has dropped the class, the instructor should alert the Associate Dean (Studies), who will reinstate the student pending the outcome of the case. Otherwise, if a finding is made, the Faculty Office will confirm the student’s enrolment status in the class when filing the finding, and reinstate the student at that time, if necessary.

                                             1.4.1.3.3 – Submission of a Final Grade

If an investigation is initiated near the end of the class or otherwise cannot be resolved prior to the grade submission deadline, the instructor should assign a Grade Deferred (GD) to hold the final grade in abeyance until the investigation process has been concluded. Once the investigation is concluded, the instructor must submit a change of grade.

                                              1.4.1.3.4 – Graduation

No student who is the subject of an ongoing academic integrity investigation may graduate, even if academic credit for the course(s) under investigation is not required to complete a degree.  The Faculty will make all reasonable attempts to expedite the investigation process before the expected convocation date.

1.4.1.4 – Investigation and Meeting

1.4.1.4.1 – Convening the Meeting

In most instances, the instructor will convene a meeting with the student (and his or her representative), the instructor (and his or her representative), and witnesses where appropriate, to conduct a thorough review of the evidence. Where it is decided a meeting will occur, the instructor and the student will set a mutually agreed-upon time and the instructor will notify the student of the time and location of the meeting, the right to bring a representative, and the names of those who will be present.

                                             1.4.1.4.2 – Student’s Alternative to Attending a Meeting

If, for any reason, the student does not wish to meet in person, he or she may submit a detailed, written explanation to the instructor, along with copies of earlier drafts of the student’s work, and any other relevant documentation. This written submission must be provided to the instructor within 10 days of receipt of the Notice of Investigation.

                                             1.4.1.4.3 – Student’s Right to Review Documentation

At least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting, the student has the right to see any relevant material considered by the instructor in addition to the documents sent with the Notice of Investigation (see Academic Regulation 1.4.1.3).

1.4.1.5 – Deciding on a Finding

                              1.4.1.5.1 – No Grounds Found for a Finding

If, after an investigation of the evidence and consideration of the response by the student, the instructor determines that there are no grounds for a finding, all documents related to the case will be destroyed and the student will be informed that the investigation has been dismissed.

                                             1.4.1.5.2 – Grounds Found for a Finding

If, after an investigation of the evidence and consideration of the response by the student, the instructor determines that there is sufficient and persuasive evidence on which to make a finding of departure from academic integrity, the instructor must then proceed to establish an appropriate remedy.

1.4.1.6 – Assessing a Sanction after a Finding is Determined

1.4.1.6.1 – Contacting the Faculty Office

After making a finding, the instructor should then contact the Faculty Office. If a previous finding is on record, the instructor will refer the case to the Associate Dean (Studies) who will set an appropriate sanction (see Academic Regulation 1.4.2.3). A record of a previous departure from academic integrity is only relevant when assessing an appropriate sanction or remedy; it should have no bearing on the determination of a finding. (See Academic Regulation 1.4.2 for the process followed by the Associate Dean (Studies) in assessing a sanction after referral from an instructor.)

                                             1.4.1.6.2 – Referral to the Associate Dean (Studies)

If the finding appears to warrant a sanction more serious that the instructor may impose, the case shall be referred to the Associate Dean (Studies). The instructor should fill out a Finding of a Departure from Academic Integrity form, indicating that there has been a finding but that the case will be referred to the Associate Dean (Studies) for consideration of a sanction. A copy should be directed to the student either by e-mailing the student requesting that he or she picks up a copy from the instructor’s departmental office or by sending the document by registered mail. A copy should also be sent to the Associate Dean (Studies). (See Academic Regulation 1.4.2 for the process followed by the Associate Dean (Studies) in assessing a sanction after referral from an instructor.)

                                             1.4.1.6.3 – Sanction and Level Determined by the Instructor

If there is no previous finding on record or if the instructor decides that one of the penalties outlined in Academic Regulation 1.3.1 is appropriate, then he or she will determine a remedy or sanction appropriate to the extent or severity of the offence, and may consult with the Department for guidance on an appropriate remedy or sanction.

The instructor should also determine whether the particular finding should be categorized as a Level I or Level II departure according to the guidelines in Academic Regulation 1.3.4.

1.4.1.7   – Notification of Decision

After making the finding, setting a remedy or sanction within the scope of those available to the instructor (see Academic Regulation 1.3.1), and categorizing the departure as Level I or Level II, the instructor must inform the student in writing of the decision. Instructors are encouraged to use the Finding of a Departure from Academic Integrity form. Completing the form supplies the student with the information required by Senate Policy, including:

(i)                the details of the finding of departure from academic integrity, including the reasons for the finding as supported by relevant, clear and cogent evidence;

(ii)              the remedy or sanction;

(iii)             the type of departure (Level I or Level II)

(iv)             the student’s right to appeal the finding and/or the remedy or sanction to the Associate Dean (Studies) (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2);

(v)              the deadline for appealing to the Associate Dean (Studies);

(vi)             the resources available for consultation (the instructor will inform the student of the services provided by the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms); and

(vii)            the fact that a copy of the finding will be kept on file in the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies).

In the case of a student who is studying at Queen's University on an official exchange program, a copy of the finding of a departure from academic integrity must be reported in writing to the student's home university Faculty or Program Office.

Information on the process of appealing an instructor’s decision to the Associate Dean (Studies) is outlined in Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2.

1.4.2 – Assessment of Sanction by the Associate Dean (Studies) Upon Referral from an Instructor

If the finding made by the instructor appears to warrant a sanction more serious than the instructor may impose or if there is a previous finding of departure from academic integrity on file in the Faculty Office (see Academic Regulation 1.3.4.2), the instructor must refer the case to the Associate Dean (Studies) who will impose an appropriate sanction. The Associate Dean (Studies) may impose sanctions ranging from those listed in Regulation 1.3.2 to a recommendation to Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP) that the student be required to withdraw from the University).

1.4.2.1 – Notification of Referral

In referring the sanction for a finding of a departure from academic integrity to the Associate Dean (Studies), the instructor must advise the student in writing. Instructors are encouraged to use the Finding of a Departure from Academic Integrity form, indicating that there has been a finding but that the case will be referred to the Associate Dean (Studies) for consideration of a sanction. Completing the form supplies the student with the information required by Senate policy, including:

(i)                the details of the finding of departure from academic integrity, including the reasons for the finding as supported by relevant, clear and cogent evidence;

(ii)              the fact that the case is being referred to the Associate Dean (Studies) for assessment of an appropriate sanction;

(iii)             the student’s right to appeal the finding and/or the remedy or sanction to the Associate Dean (Studies) (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2);

(iv)             the resources available for consultation (the instructor will inform the student of the services provided by the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms); and

(v)              the fact that a copy of the finding will be kept on file in the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies).

The instructor should also include all documents relevant to the investigation and finding with a copy sent to the Associate Dean (Studies).

To ensure that students receive the Finding and additional relevant materials in a timely manner, instructors should e-mail the students with the direction to pick up the materials from the academic unit’s main administrative office or send these documents by registered mail to the student’s local address (as obtained from the student information system).

Within 10 days of receiving the notice of investigation, the student must make an initial response to the Associate Dean (Studies), either to schedule a meeting or to indicate that he/she does not wish to meet and will provide a written response.

1.4.2.2 – Investigation and Meeting

                                             1.4.2.2.1 – Convening the Meeting

In most instances, the Associate Dean (Studies) will convene a meeting with the student (and his or her representative), the instructor (and his or her representative), and witnesses where appropriate, to conduct a thorough review of the evidence as it relates to assessing an appropriate sanction (as outlined under Academic Regulation 1.3.3). This review will allow the Associate Dean (Studies) to weigh the mitigating and aggravating circumstances (as outlined in Academic Regulation 1.3.3) to arrive at an appropriate sanction. Where it is decided a meeting will occur, the Associate Dean (Studies) will notify the student and the instructor of the time and location of the meeting. The student will also be informed of the right to bring a representative and the names of those who will be present. In preparation for the meeting, the Associate Dean (Studies) may request additional relevant materials.

                                             1.4.2.2.2 – Student’s Alternative to Attending a Meeting

If, for any reason, the student does not wish to meet in person, he or she may submit a detailed, written explanation to the instructor, along with copies of earlier drafts of the student’s work, and any other relevant documentation. This written submission must be provided to the instructor within 10 days of receipt of the notice of investigation.

                                             1.4.2.2.3 – Student’s Right to Review Documentation

At least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting, the student has the right to see any relevant material considered by the Associate Dean (Studies) in addition to the documents sent with the Finding (see Academic Regulation 1.4.1.3).

1.4.2.3 – Assessing a Sanction

After a review of the evidence and consideration of the response by the student, the Associate Dean (Studies) will inform the student of the appropriate sanction or remedy according to the guidelines in Academic Regulation 1.3.2, categorize the sanction as Level I or Level II, and inform the student and the instructor in writing of the following:

(i)      the remedies or the sanctions and reasons for them;

(ii)    the type of departure (Level I or Level II);

(iii)   the student’s right to appeal the finding and/or the remedy or sanction to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2);

(iv)   the deadline for appealing to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel;

(v)    the resources available for consultation (the Associate Dean (Studies) will inform the student of the services provided by the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms); and

(vi)   the fact that, in the case of a Level II finding, a copy of the finding will be kept on file in the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies).

Appeals of the decisions of the Associate Dean (Studies) may be made to the Faculty of Arts and Science Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel as outlined in Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2.

1.4.3 – Investigation of Suspected Departures From Academic Integrity by the Associate Dean (Studies)

Where possible departures from academic integrity are identified that involve more than one course, multiple instances, or the possibility of forgery or falsification (see Academic Regulation 1.3.3), the Associate Dean (Studies) may initiate an investigation. In addition, an instructor may request (in writing) that the Associate Dean (Studies) conduct an investigation on his or her behalf when such serious departures are suspected. The Associate Dean (Studies) may also undertake an investigation of a departure from academic integrity in academic matters unrelated to performance in a course.

1.4.3.1 – Preliminary Investigation: Collection of Initial Information

To begin investigating a possible departure from academic integrity, the Associate Dean (Studies) should assemble all documents related to the case. Such documents might include:

(i)      the work submitted by the student for academic credit;

(ii)    the source(s) from which the work submitted by the student is apparently derived;

(iii)    the instructions describing the nature of the work to be done;

(iv)   any e-mail between the instructor and the student relating to the work;

(v)    any other materials related to the departure;

(vi)   any documents used by the instructor or his or her department stating policies on departures from academic integrity.

While collecting evidence, the Associate Dean (Studies) is encouraged to seek guidance from the Undergraduate Chair, Head, or appropriate department delegate concerning matters relating to departures from academic integrity, and from the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms concerning university policy and procedure.

When discussing possible departures from academic integrity, the Associate Dean (Studies) should ensure that the student’s identity remains confidential, pending a finding of departure from academic integrity.

Should the Associate Dean (Studies) decide the evidence is insufficient to proceed with further investigation, all documents related to the matter should be destroyed and all aspects of the case considered dismissed.

Should the Associate Dean (Studies) decide the evidence merits further investigation, he or she should continue the processes outlined below.

1.4.3.2 – Notice of Investigation of Departure from Academic Integrity

The Associate Dean (Studies) must advise the student in writing of the following:

(i)      the evidence on which the investigation is based;

(ii)    the student’s right to respond to the investigation; and

(iii)   the student’s right to have representation for any response; the Associate Dean (Studies) will inform the student of the services provided by the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.

The Associate Dean (Studies) should also include all documents relevant to the investigation and finding.

1.4.3.2.1 – Delivery and Receipt of Documentation

To ensure that students receive the Notice of Investigation and additional relevant materials in a timely manner, the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies) should e-mail the students with the direction to pick up the materials from the Student Services Office or send these documents by registered mail to the student’s local address (as obtained from the student information system).

Within 10 days of receiving the notice of investigation, the student must make an initial response to the Associate Dean (Studies), either to schedule a meeting or to indicate that he or she does not wish to meet and will provide a written response.

1.4.3.3 – Investigation and Meeting

                                             1.4.3.3.1 – Convening the Meeting

In most instances, the Associate Dean (Studies) will convene a meeting with the student (and his or her representative), the instructor (and his or her representative), and witnesses where appropriate, to conduct a thorough review of the evidence as it relates to the departure. Where it is decided a meeting will occur, the Associate Dean (Studies) will notify the student and the instructor of the time and location of the meeting. The student will also be informed of the right to bring a representative and the names of those who will be present. In preparation for the meeting, the Associate Dean (Studies) may request additional relevant materials.

                                             1.4.3.3.2 – Student’s Alternative to Attending a Meeting

If, for any reason, the student does not wish to meet in person, he or she may submit a detailed, written explanation to the Associate Dean (Studies), along with copies of earlier drafts of the student’s work, and any other relevant documentation. This written submission must be provided to the instructor within 10 days of receipt of the notice of investigation.

                                             1.4.3.3.3 – Student’s Right to Review Documentation

At least 10 calendar days prior to the meeting, the student has the right to see any relevant material considered by the Associate Dean (Studies) since issuing the Notice of Investigation, in addition to the documents sent with the Notice of Investigation (see Academic Regulation 1.4.3.2).

1.4.3.4 – Finding of Departure from Academic Integrity

                                             1.4.3.4.1 – No Grounds Found for a Finding

If, after an investigation of the evidence and consideration of the response by the student, the Associate Dean (Studies) determines that there are no grounds for a finding, all documents related to the case will be destroyed and the student will be informed that the investigation has been dropped.

                                             1.4.3.4.2 – Grounds Found for a Finding

If, after an investigation of the evidence and consideration of the response by the student, the Associate Dean (Studies) determines that there is sufficient and persuasive evidence on which to make a finding of departure from academic integrity, the Associate Dean (Studies) must set an appropriate remedy or sanction and then notify the student in writing.

1.4.3.5 – Assessing a Sanction after a Finding is Determined

The Associate Dean (Studies) will consider the factors discussed in Regulation 1.3.3 in setting a sanction. The sanction should reflect the extent and severity of the departure from academic integrity, and precedents in the Faculty, taking into account any mitigating circumstances.

 After making the finding and setting the corresponding sanction, the Associate Dean (Studies) will categorize the departure as being either Level I or Level II as outlined in Academic Regulation 1.3.4.

 1.4.3.6 – Notification of Decision

After making the finding, setting a remedy or sanction and categorizing the departure as Level I or Level II, the Associate Dean (Studies) must inform the student of the following:

(i)      the details of the finding of departure from academic integrity, including the reasons for the finding as supported by relevant, clear and cogent evidence;
(ii)    the remedy or sanction;
(iii)   the type of departure (Level I or Level II); and(iv)   the student’s right to appeal the finding and/or the sanction to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel (see Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2);
(v)    the deadline for appealing to the Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel;
(vi)   the resources available for consultation; the Associate Dean (Studies) will inform the student of the services provided by the Coordinator of Dispute Resolution Mechanisms; and
(vii)  the fact that, in the case of a Level II finding, a copy of the finding will be kept on file in the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies).

In the case of a student who is studying at Queen's University on an official exchange program, a copy of the finding of a departure from academic integrity must be reported in writing to the student's home university Faculty or Program Office.

Appeals of the decisions of the Associate Dean (Studies) may be made to the Faculty of Arts and Science Academic Integrity and Conduct Panel as outlined in Appeal of Academic Decisions, Section 2.