Office of the Registrar
University Regulations (2008/2009)
4.11 Academic Misconduct
4.11.1 Principles

Within the University community there is a collective responsibility to maintain a high level of scholarly integrity. Students are expected to adhere to those principles which constitute proper academic conduct. Academic misconduct cannot be condoned or even appear to be condoned. Students have the responsibility to know which actions, as described under Academic Offences, could be construed as dishonest or improper. Students are reminded that for further guidance on proper scholarly behaviour they should seek advice from their instructors and faculty advisors.

4.11.2 General Information
  1. These procedures shall apply to all academic offences relating to undergraduate studies involving, but not limited to, those students who either have been or who are enrolled at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Notification of an allegation of academic misconduct will be forwarded to the last known mailing address of the student as noted on the files at the Office of the Registrar. The University reserves the right to implement action under these procedures where an allegation has been made against a student but where reasonable efforts to contact the student are unsuccessful.

  2. A student who wishes to attend classes, laboratories or other educational activities while an investigation under these procedures is being carried out, can do so only with the written permission of the academic unit concerned. This provision excludes students charged with an offence under the Code of Disciplinary Procedures for Students. For information regarding the Code of Disciplinary Procedures for Students contact the Office of Student Affairs and Services.

  3. While a student can continue in a program of studies, if eligible, while an investigation under these procedures is being carried out, the University does not accept liability for any consequences to the student's progress. However, the University may take these consequences into account, as appropriate and to the extent feasible, in cases where charges are dropped or the student is not found guilty. The consequences arising from an investigation and any negative decision rendered may include retroactive effect on grades or promotion within a program.

4.11.3 General Procedure
  1. When a member of the University community (faculty, staff, student) has grounds for belief that an academic offence has been committed, that person shall report the matter without delay to the head of the appropriate academic or administrative unit. There should then be an attempt between the parties concerned to resolve minor offences. Only if resolution proves impossible, or one party is dissatisfied with the resolution, should the head of the academic or administrative unit become further involved.

  2. If, in the judgment of the head of the academic or administrative unit, the offence warrants resolution through informal procedures, the individuals involved will be advised to attempt to resolve the matter through Procedures for Informal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences. In the event that no resolution is possible through informal procedures between the individual parties, the head of the academic or administrative unit will institute formal proceedings.

  3. If, in the judgement of the head of the academic or administrative unit, the alleged offence against University regulations is such as to warrant resolution through formal procedures, the head of the academic or administrative unit will refer the matter to the chair of the appropriate committee on undergraduate studies, and Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences will be implemented.

  4. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the academic or administrative unit to ensure that fairness and impartiality are achieved in the treatment of students.

4.11.4 Academic Offences
  1. In the following section the plural shall be deemed to include the singular.

  2. Academic offences shall be deemed to include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

    • Cheating on examinations or any other tests, theses, assignments, work term reports, projects or internship reports: includes copying from another student's work or allowing another student to copy from one's own work; consulting with any unauthorized person during an examination or test; using unauthorized aids; or knowingly recording or reporting false empirical or statistical data. The work referred to includes examinations, theses, assignments, work term reports, projects, internship reports, or any other tests which are to be used in judging the student's performance in a course or program of study, or on any special tests which the University may offer.

    • Impersonating another student or allowing oneself to be impersonated: includes the imitation of a student or the entrance into an arrangement with another person to be impersonated for the purposes of taking examinations or tests or carrying out laboratory or other assignments.

    • Plagiarism: is the act of presenting the ideas or works of another as one's own. This applies to all material such as essays, laboratory reports, work term reports, design projects, seminar presentations, statistical data, computer programs and research results. The properly acknowledged use of sources is an accepted and important part of scholarship. Use of such material without acknowledgment is contrary to accepted norms of academic behaviour. Information regarding acceptable writing practices is available through the Writing Centre.

    • Theft of examination papers or other material: includes obtaining by any improper means examination papers, tests, or any other such material.

    • Use and/or distribution of stolen material: includes the use of material which the student knows to have been improperly obtained and/or the distribution of such material.

    • Submitting false information: includes falsifying academic forms or records, submitting false credentials, medical or other certificates, or making a false, misleading or incomplete declaration to the University.

    • Submitting work for one course or work term which has been or is being submitted for another course or work term at this or any other institution without express permission to do so: includes the presentation of an essay, report or assignment to satisfy some or all of the requirements of a course when that essay, report, or assignment has been previously submitted or is concurrently being submitted for another course without the express permission of the professor(s) involved.

4.11.5 Procedures for Informal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences
4.11.5.1 General Information

These procedures will not be applied to cases involving alleged offences on final examinations. Alleged offences on final examinations are governed by the Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences.

4.11.5.2 Explanation of Procedures

If, upon receiving a report of an alleged academic offence, the head of the academic or administrative unit decides that an attempt should be made to resolve the matter informally the following procedures shall apply:

  • The head of the appropriate academic or administrative unit shall request a meeting with the accuser and the accused and at the meeting the head shall state the allegation, review the Procedures for Informal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences including the range of applicable penalties, and arrange a second meeting between the accuser and the accused only.

  • At the second meeting the accuser and accused shall endeavour to obtain a mutually satisfactory resolution of the matter.

  • The accuser and accused shall report jointly to the head of the academic or administrative unit on the result of their second meeting.

  • If the report is of a resolution which the head of the academic or administrative unit considers to be fair and equitable the matter shall be considered closed. If the head of the academic or administrative unit considers the reported resolution to be unfair and/or inequitable he or she will endeavour to obtain an alternative satisfactory resolution directly with the parties.

  • Should all reasonable efforts to obtain an informal resolution fail, the head of the academic or administrative unit will refer the case to the chair of the appropriate committee on undergraduate studies and shall inform the accuser and the accused accordingly. From this stage onward Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences will apply.

  • A student may request, during the Procedures for Informal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences, that his or her case be referred to the chair of the appropriate committee on undergraduate studies, and thereafter the Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences will apply.

4.11.5.3 Failure to Appear or Respond
4.11.5.4 Penalties in the Case of Informal Resolution

A student who has been found guilty of an academic offence will be subject to a penalty or penalties commensurate with the offence. Some cases may warrant more than one penalty for the same offence, and previous academic misconduct will be taken into account in determining penalties. The range of penalties and their determination are:

  • Reprimand: will be in the nature of a warning by the head of the academic or administrative unit or the appropriate committee to the student that the student's behaviour has been unacceptable to the University.

  • Reduction of grade: will apply to an examination, test, or assignment to which an offence is relevant, and will be decided by the head of the academic or administrative unit.

4.11.6 Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences
4.11.6.1 General Information

If the matter cannot be resolved following the Procedures for Informal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences, or if, in the opinion of the head of the appropriate academic or administrative unit, the allegation involves a major breach of University regulations, or in the case of alleged offences on final examinations, the following Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences shall apply.

4.11.6.2 Explanation of Procedures
  • If the head of the academic or administrative unit (in the case of departmentalized faculties, the head in consultation with the dean) is satisfied that the student has a serious allegation to answer, that person shall inform the student in writing of the nature of the allegation against him or her. In addition, the head of the academic or administrative unit shall report to the chair of the appropriate faculty committee on undergraduate studies who will interview separately the accuser, the accused and relevant witnesses. At these interviews the chair of the appropriate committee on undergraduate studies, the accuser, the accused and relevant witnesses all have the right to be accompanied by a registered student or a member of the faculty or staff of the University. The Memorial University of Newfoundland Student Union (MUNSU) and the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Council of the Students' Union (SWGC CSU) will provide students with information on their legal rights.

  • Upon completion of these interviews, the faculty chair shall submit a written report of all findings to the Secretary, Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies, c/o Office of the Registrar.

  • The Secretary of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies shall present this report to both the accuser and accused for perusal and comment. Once in receipt of this report, the accuser and accused shall have two weeks in which to submit to the Secretary, Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies any additional comments on the report that the person wishes to be considered in the deliberations of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies.

  • The Secretary of the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies shall present to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies for decision all information received from the chair of the appropriate Committee on Undergraduate Studies as well as comments from the accuser and accused. The chair who submitted the written report shall remain at the meeting held to consider the case to answer questions raised by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies and to provide information pertinent to the case, but shall be absent from the voting process.

  • The Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies shall take appropriate action in accordance with Penalties in the Case of Formal Resolution.

4.11.6.3 Failure to Appear or Respond
4.11.6.4 Penalties in the Case of Formal Resolution

A student who has been found guilty of an academic offence will be subject to a penalty or penalties commensurate with the offence. Some cases may warrant more than one penalty for the same offence, and previous academic misconduct will be taken into account in determining penalties. Enforcement of penalties resulting from Procedures for Formal Resolution of Alleged Academic Offences will be overseen by the Registrar. The range of penalties and their determination is:

  • Reprimand: shall be in the nature of a warning by the head of the academic or administrative unit or the appropriate committee to the student that the student's behaviour has been unacceptable to the University.

  • Reduction of grade: will apply to an examination, test, or assignment to which an offence is relevant, and will be decided by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies upon the recommendation of the appropriate academic or administrative unit.

  • Probation: the period of probation will be determined by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies. The impact of being placed on probation is that the commission of any further academic offence during the period of probation may lead to suspension or expulsion.

  • Suspension: will apply to a course, department, faculty, school, or the University. The period of suspension will be determined by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies and shall not exceed six consecutive semesters.

  • Expulsion: the recommendation for expulsion from the University will be made by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies to the President of the University for a final decision. Prior to the President's decision, the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies will notify the accused, in writing, of the recommendation for expulsion from the University. The accused will be allowed a period of two weeks following the date of release of such notification to lodge an appeal before the President's final decision concerning expulsion from the University. Any such appeal should be made in writing to the Executive Committee of Senate, c/o the Office of the Registrar.

4.11.7 Transcript Entries Related to Penalties
  1. Transcript entries shall relate to the penalty(ies) imposed as follows:

    Penalty

    Transcript Entry

    Reprimand

    No transcript entry

    Reduction of Grade

    Entry of final grade for course

    Probation

    "On probation at the University for academic misconduct until [Day, Month, Year]"

    Suspension

    "Suspended from the University/Faculty/School/Program/Course for academic misconduct until [Day, Month, Year]"

    Expulsion

    "Expelled from the University for academic misconduct effective [Day, Month, Year]"

  2. The transcript entries for "probation" or "suspension" will be removed entirely upon the expiration of the penalty.

4.11.8 Disposition of Documentation
  1. The disposition of documents relating to allegations under these procedures shall be as follows: