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The principle objective of The University of Vermont Code of Academic Integrity [PDF] is to promote an intellectual climate and support the academic integrity of the University. Academic integrity is an essential part of learning at UVM. Thus faculty, staff, and students are expected to conduct themselves in an ethical way while at the University and abide by the expectations written in Our Common Ground.

Violations of the Code of Academic Integrity [PDF] are any acts which would have the effect of unfairly promoting or enhancing one's academic standing within the entire community of learners. Such acts are serious offenses and will not be tolerated. Suspected violations of the Code will be forwarded to the Center for Student Conduct.

You've Received a Notice of Charge(s) ...

If you have received notification of an Academic Integrity Hearing, it means the Center for Student Conduct has received an incident report that alleges you have violated one or more of the University of Vermont Code of Academic Integrity [PDF] standards.

Pre-Hearing Meeting

With your notice notice of charge, you will also receive notice of a scheduled pre-hearing meeting to discuss the charges with our Assistant Director for Academic Integrity. The pre-hearing meeting is an informal meeting designed to review the instructor's referral report, explain the academic integrity process, and answer any questions. Students have the opportunity to either: 1) accept responsibility for the violation of the Code of Academic Integrity as well as agree to the sanction or 2) choose to go forward to a formal Academic Integrity Council hearing to determine the outcome.

Academic Integrity Council

The Academic Integrity Council hearing is your opportunity to respond to the alleged violation(s) and explain what happened from your perspective. The Academic Integrity Council’s role is to first determine whether you are responsible for a policy violation, and if so, to determine appropriate sanctions.

The Council is a group of students and faculty who are trained to hear academic integrity cases. Typically, three to four council members will be present during a hearing, with at least one student and one faculty on the council.

Council members may ask you to explain what happened from your perspective, whether you believe you violated the policy and why or why not, what you have learned from the incident, and what impact the incident has had on you and others.

Preparing for Your Academic Integrity Pre-Hearing Meeting and/or an Academic Integrity Council ...

In preparation for your upcoming meeting and/or council, we encourage you to consider the following:

  • Read your Notice of Charge carefully. The Notice of Charge letter outlines the alleged violations as well as the date and time of your Pre-Hearing Meeting. This meeting has been scheduled based on your academic course schedule. To request an accommodation for your meeting, contact the Center for Student Conduct. If you need to request a change to your meeting date/time due to religious observance, please contact the Assistant Director for Academic Integrity directly.
  • Request a copy of your incident report prior to your meeting, so that you are prepared to discuss the report and alleged violations during your meeting. You can request reports online.
  • Review the Code of Academic Integrity [PDF] for more information about the Academic Integrity Standards.


After your Pre-Hearing meeting, if you opt for an Academic Integrity Council hearing, you will be notified of the date and time of that council. An Academic Integrity Council is typically convened within a week of your pre-hearing meeting.

Arrive to your council prepared to describe, as honestly and as clearly as possible, the details of your involvement in the incident for which you have been charged. Some students find it useful to prepare written notes or statements in advance of their hearing to assist them in sharing important information, timelines, etc. This is not required, but may be helpful. Your Academic Integrity history becomes an educational record protected by federal privacy guidelines. There are conditions to the extent of that privacy: FERPA Rights Disclosure [PDF]


Consider whether you wish to bring an advisor, witnesses, or additional documents to your hearing. Information about advisors and witnesses can be found in the sidebar of this page as well as in the Code of Student Conduct [PDF].


If you have any questions about the incident or the conduct process, please contact the Assistant Director for Academic Integrity at the Center for Student Conduct. We are happy to answer questions, explain the process, and provide additional resources.

After the Council

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You will be notified of the outcome in your hearing decision letter. This decision letter will be sent to your UVM email account. Please be sure to carefully read the letter in its entirety as it contains important information about the outcome, sanctions (if applicable), due dates, and the appeals process.

Appeal Process

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One of your rights in the Academic Integrity resolution process is to appeal the decision if it meets one of the three grounds for an appeal.

How to Prepare for an Appeal

Student Withdrawal Prior to a Hearing

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In cases where a student withdraws prior to the issuance of charges for an Academic Integrity violation, the Center for Student Conduct retains the discretion to determine whether or not to proceed with resolution of alleged violations. In exercising this discretion, consideration will be given to the seriousness of the offense, whether the respondent is likely to return to campus, whether allegations may impact official academic transcripts, and whether the offense, if established as having occurred, would likely result in suspension or dismissal from the University.

Group Hearings

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If an incident involves more than one student, the hearings for all students may be combined into one hearing. A student may request a separate hearing; however, in most cases, it is in the University’s interest to hear all cases together. Requests for an individual hearing must be made within 24 hours of the date of your Notice of Charge letter and will only be granted for good cause.

Advisor

You may bring an advisor to your hearing. An advisor does not have a speaking role during the hearing, but can serve as a person of support for you. Your advisor must be a UVM affiliate, and cannot be a family member.

More information on potential advisors.

Witness(es)

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You may also bring a witness who has first-hand relevant knowledge of the incident. Character witnesses are not allowed. Witnesses may attend the hearing or submit a written statement via their UVM email, but it is your responsibility to bring your witness or witness statement to the hearing.

A witness and an advisor may not be the same person. If you choose to bring either, you must submit the name(s) no later than 24 hours before the hearing.

A person submitting a witness statement should include:

Their full name and contact information
The following statement along with their signature and date: The information that I have provided in this statement is true and accurate. I have made this statement freely without expectation of a benefit or reward, without threat of punishment, and without coercion. I understand that providing false information in this statement may subject me to penalty of perjury.

Standard of Evidence (How the Decision is Made)

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You are presumed to be “not responsible” for the alleged violation(s) unless the facts of your case show a preponderance of evidence. Preponderance of evidence is defined as being more likely than not that the violation occurred, meaning there is greater than a 50% chance the violation occurred. A student is found responsible when the Academic Integrity Council concludes there is a preponderance of evidence.