Academic Misconduct

Although the vast majority of university students are completely honest and would not consider cheating, there are occasional instances in which a student is guilty of academic misconduct.  Such conduct is a serious violation of the trust that should exist between teacher and student and it degrades the value of your degree from the University.  In fairness to the other students, and to prevent the spread of misconduct, such offenses will be dealt with harshly.  Although some institutions will immediately expel a student who is guilty of misconduct, I have decided that the penalty for misconduct in my classes will be removal from the course.

Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to: cheating on an examination (copying from another student's paper, referring to materials on the exam other than those explicitly permitted, continuing to work on an exam after the time has expired, turning in an exam for regrading after making changes to the exam), copying the homework or lab report of someone else, submitting for credit work done by someone else, stealing examinations or course materials, tampering with the laboratory experiment of another student, tampering with the grade records or with another student's work, or knowingly and intentionally assisting another student in any of the above.

Note that you are encouraged to work together on the homework and in the labs, but the paper or lab report you turn in should be your own and not simply copied from someone else.  You should be aware that we have ways of preventing and detecting many of these abuses, not all of which have been explained to you.  If you think you see incidents of misconduct, you should tell me about them, in which case I will take appropriate action and protect your identity to the extent possible if you so desire.

Chapter 14 of the University of Wisconsin Administrative Code sets forth the Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures.  If you are suspected of academic misconduct, you will be so informed, usually by letter from me, and asked to meet with me to respond to my accusations.  If I conclude after this meeting that no misconduct occurred or that no penalty is warranted, this meeting will end the matter, and no record will be kept of the incident.  If I conclude that you are guilty, you will be penalized, normally by removal from the course, although a variety of other sanctions, both more and less severe, are possible.  Normally, I will send you a letter shortly after our conference explaining the misconduct, the proposed sanction, and your rights to a hearing, including a copy of the Academic Misconduct Rules and Procedures.  You have ten days after the letter is mailed to request such a hearing.  A copy of this letter is sent to the Dean of Students and to the Dean of your college.  If this is a repeat offense, it is likely that the Dean of Students will impose a harsher penalty such as placing a written reprimand in your file, placing you on probation, or suspending or expelling you from the University.

Please avoid the shame and unpleasantness that accompanies such behavior by acting with honesty and integrity in this course and elsewhere.

J. C. Sprott