The faculty of Claremont McKenna College is firmly committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity . Faculty members have the responsibility to report suspected cases of academic dishonesty to the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) when they have a reasonable suspicion that a student has committed an academic integrity violation. The ASC has the duty of investigating, making findings of, and sanctioning academic integrity violations.
Faculty members or other College officials may, but are not required to, discuss suspected violations with the students involved. When they reasonably suspect academic dishonesty has occurred, they must refer cases to the ASC through the Registrar. The Registrar will collect any information, correspondence, or documents relevant to the case, prepare the charge materials, and issue them to the student for an initial response to determine if further investigation is necessary. If needed, the Registrar will appoint one or more members of the ASC to investigate the case and solicit input from others with appropriate expertise. Individuals conducting investigations on behalf of the ASC are recused from voting on findings of academic dishonesty.
The Registrar will provide the student(s) with written notice of the charges and all evidence supporting those charges. The student will have the opportunity to submit a complete written response to the charge, including any supporting documentation or evidence. The student’s response must be submitted to the Registrar as required in the notification of the charge. The student’s failure to submit a timely response will not delay or impair these procedures. Character references or letters of support are not relevant and will not be accepted or reviewed.
The Registrar will submit the case, including the student’s response, to the ASC for review. The ASC will determine whether to convene a hearing committee based on the student’s response to the charge. In cases that do not require a hearing, the ASC will produce a written decision. The decision will include a description of the facts found by a preponderance of the evidence and indicate whether those facts support a finding of academic dishonesty based on a preponderance of the evidence. If a student is found responsible for academic dishonesty, the ASC determines an appropriate sanction for the violation. The Registrar will notify the student of the ASC decision and any consequent sanctions.
 The ASC will convene a hearing committee to make academic dishonesty findings in cases where facts are disputed and potential sanctions include suspension or dismissal from the College. Hearing committees include the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Research and two CMC faculty members appointed by the Dean of the Faculty who have previously served on the ASC. CMC may designate a hearing officer, such as the Deputy General Counsel, to assist with administration of hearings.
Hearings proceed as follows. The Associate Dean, or his/her designee, makes introductions and explains rules to the participants. The student gives testimony in response to committee members’ questions. Witnesses then give testimony in the order determined by the Associate Dean or designee and in response to the committee members’ questions. The student may also pose questions to witnesses. The student may have up to five minutes to make a closing statement before the Associate Dean or designee adjourns the hearing. Within three business days, the Associate Dean will notify the Registrar of the hearing committee’s decision in writing. The decision will include a description of the facts found by a preponderance of the evidence and indicate whether those facts support a finding of academic dishonesty based on a preponderance of the evidence. If the student is found responsible for academic dishonesty, the Registrar will send the case to the ASC for sanctioning. The Registrar will notify the student of the hearing committee decision and any consequent sanctions.
Faculty members may not independently assign penalties to students for suspected violations that have not been assessed through the ASC process. There is no statute of limitation on a faculty member’s ability to bring an academic dishonesty charge to the ASC for review.
Sanctions for academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, academic probation, deferment of graduation, application of NC grades (to include the change of grading type from letter-grading to Credit/No-Credit grading), suspension, ineligibility to register, and dismissal from the College. The ASC may also recommend specific grading penalties to the instructor(s) involved. The Committee determines the appropriate sanction based on the extent of the violation, after due consideration of all circumstances.
Suspension for Academic Dishonesty
Suspensions for academic dishonesty are for a specific period of time and suspended students are not eligible to register for classes at CMC during the suspension period. In addition, academic course work taken at another academic institution during the suspension period is not transferable to CMC. A notation that the student is suspended for academic dishonesty will appear on the student’s official transcript for the duration of the suspension. This notation will be removed from the official transcript when the suspension expires. A record of the academic dishonesty finding will be retained in the student’s academic file. A student suspended for academic dishonesty may return to the College after the suspension period has expired through the standard re-enrollment process.
Dismissal for Academic Dishonesty
Students may be dismissed from the College for reasons of academic dishonesty. This action is recorded permanently on the student’s transcript. A record of the academic dishonesty finding will be retained in the student’s academic file. Students found to have committed academic dishonesty twice will be subject to dismissal from the College. Students may be dismissed on a first offense in particularly egregious cases. Students dismissed for academic dishonesty may not return to the College in the future.
Academic Dishonesty Appeal Procedures
A student who has been found responsible for academic dishonesty may appeal the decision by submitting a request for an appeal to the Registrar within ten (10) days of receipt of the decision. An appeal consists of a written statement outlining and documenting any new information to serve as the specific grounds for appealing the decision. New information is the only acceptable grounds for an appeal. New information may only be introduced upon appeal if it has arisen after the original review and only if it may substantially impact the original finding. Information that was known to the student at the time the case was originally reviewed but which the student chose not to share in the original response to the charge is not considered new information.
The Registrar will convene an appeal committee to review the appeal. The appeal committee consists of three individuals:
- The CMC Dean of the Faculty, who serves as chair;
- The department or program chair of the CMC faculty member who brought the original case. In the event that the faculty member who brought the original case is the department or program chair, the Registrar will appoint another CMC department chair in a relevant subject area. In the event that there is no department or program chair, or the case involves a non-CMC faculty member, the Registrar will appoint another tenured CMC faculty member with expertise in a related subject area or the chair of the cognate department at CMC.
- A tenured CMC faculty member selected by the Dean of the Faculty who has expertise in a subject area relevant to the case.
The appeal committee may not include faculty members presently serving on the ASC, those who served on a hearing committee for the case, or the student’s academic advisor(s). The appeal committee will consider the merits of an appeal based on documents and records including the information provided in the student’s appeal statement, the materials reviewed by the ASC, the student’s academic records, and the original decision. Character references or letters of support are not relevant and will not be accepted or reviewed. An appeal is not a new review and the appeal committee will not meet with any of the parties involved. An appeal is not an opportunity for the appeal committee to substitute its judgment for that of the ASC and/or the hearing committee merely because it disagrees with the finding and/or sanction(s). Based on this information the appeal committee may:
- Uphold the original decision, if the basis for the appeal is unsubstantiated; or
- Return the case to the ASC for reconsideration in light of the new information presented in the appeal; or
- Overturn the original finding of academic dishonesty on the basis of clear and compelling new information presented in the appeal.
Only one appeal is permitted and the decision of the appeal committee is final.
Interim procedures adopted on 7/1/2019.