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Suspected Dishonesty

UT Arlington's Policy on Cheating

Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including the possibility of failure in the course and dismissal from the University. Since dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.

How to Handle Suspected Dishonesty

Taking the First Step

If a suspected incident occurs during an exam, the student should be allowed to complete the exam. Note the names of possible witnesses. You may privately ask the student to move to another location. After the exam, meet privately and individually with the student(s) involved and discuss the alleged violation and the supportive evidence.

If the alleged scholastic dishonesty was recognized after the assignment or exam was turned in, gather all supportive evidence (exam, assignment, SafeAssign report, computer programs, etc.) and meet with the student privately at your earliest possible opportunity.

When dishonesty is suspected on a final exam or near the end of the term, submit an "X" for incomplete until you meet with the student, preferably within a month of the examination.

Every effort should be made to preserve the faculty/student relationship. Listen carefully to the student's response to the allegations. Part of the value to having a conversation with the student is explaining to the student what your concerns are and correcting the behavior.

Student Admits Dishonesty

If the student accepts responsibility for scholastic dishonesty, you have the right to determine and assess a grade penalty that you deem appropriate, including but not limited to: "F" for the assignment or test, an "F" for the course, a deduction of points on the assignment or a less serious sanction such as resubmitting the assignment or retaking the test. If the student wishes to accept responsibility, they should sign the Faculty Referral Form. The form is then forwarded to the Office of Community Standards with all of the supporting documentation. If a student does not have a previous violation, the Office of Community Standards will send the student a letter with indicates the student's acknowledgement of responsibility and outlines any imposed sanctions. If the student has a previous violation, a summons letter will be sent to schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the allegations and possible outcomes. The student has the right not to sign the Faculty Referral Form and must be given the opportunity to deny the allegations.

If the student signs the referral form but still wishes to file an appeal, he/she must send a written argument addressed to the president of The University of Texas at Arlington to the Office of Community Standards within 14 days after notification of the decision.

The Office of Community Standards is located in the E.H. Hereford University Center (UC), lower level, room B170, Box 19355, 817-272-2354.

Faculty Referral Form (Word)

Faculty Referral Form (PDF)

Student Denies Dishonesty

If you believe an act of scholastic dishonesty occurred and do not accept the student's explanation, the student denies the allegation, or you are unable to meet with the student, please complete the Faculty Referral Form and submit it to the Office of Community Standards with all supporting documentation (notes, exams, materials plagiarized, SafeAssign report, etc.). Mark the grade penalty that will be imposed should the student be responsible for the violation. If it is near the end of the term, assign an Incomplete until the case is resolved.

The Office of Community Standards is located in the University Center (UC), lower level, room B170, Box 19355, 817-272-2354.

Faculty Referral Form (Word)

Faculty Referral Form (PDF)

Decision Making Approaches

The Office of Community Standards is responsible for investigating the allegations received. The student will receive a summons letter to schedule a meeting with a conduct officer.

Note: If the student fails to appear without a valid reason, the conduct officer may place a "hold" on the student's enrollment or proceed with a University formal hearing.

After hearing the student's explanation, the conduct officer may determine that the charges are unfounded or that there is insufficient evidence to pursue the matter and may dismiss the case at this point.

If the conduct officer decides that the charges are not unfounded, the student is offered the following options:

  1. Accept responsibility for the allegation, sign a waiver of a formal hearing, and have a disciplinary sanction assessed by the conduct officer (i.e. administrative disposition);
  2. Not accept responsibility for the allegation and have the evidence presented at a formal hearing before a hearing officer who will determine an outcome and assess an appropriate disciplinary sanction.

If a formal hearing is conducted, the Office of Community Standards is responsible for the preparation.

The time commitment required of the faculty member varies with the complexity of the case. Typically in a formal hearing, the student and conduct officer are present. In some cases, the faculty member may be asked to serve as a witness. 

Reporting academic dishonesty emphasizes to the student the seriousness placed on integrity in the classroom, upholds the UTA Honor Code, maintains a level of fairness among students that emphasizes ethical and honorable decision making, and allows the University to more effectively address instances where a student may be cheating in more than one course. The process is intended to be educational and developmental for students.

Appealing the Decision/Discipline Sanction

The student may appeal the decision/discipline sanction of the conduct officer, and either the student or the conduct officer may appeal the decision of the hearing officer. An appeal must be submitted in writing addressed to the president of The University of Texas at Arlington to the Office of Community Standards within 14 days after the parties have been notified of the decision. (If the decision is sent by mail, the date the decision is mailed initiates the 14-day period). The president serves as the final review.

Discipline Record

Records of disciplinary action are retained in the Office of Community Standards and are kept separate from the student's academic records. A student's disciplinary record is not available to persons within the University unless they have a legitimate need to know. The primary reason for maintaining the records is to alert the Office of Community Standards of repeated violations. Evidence of prior violations may be used when relevant to the current allegation or to the imposition of the appropriate disciplinary sanction.