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Athabasca University

Student Academic Misconduct Policy

10.1.5 Disciplinary Procedures

Where there is an allegation of an academic offence, refer to the following procedures. Decisions are subject to the appeals process outlined in Section 7 Appeals within this policy. Any member of the University community who has reason to believe that a student is guilty of an academic offence may initiate proceedings against the student. Athabasca University has the right to amend and adjust these disciplinary procedures from time to time.

10.1.5.1 Initiation of Proceedings

Where a member of the Athabasca University community has reason to believe that a student has committed an academic offence, that individual may forward a written complaint to the appropriate University Officer for investigation.
The written complaint will include the following information:

  1. a written summary of the allegation and
  2. all supporting documentation that led to the belief that an academic offence has been committed including, but not limited to, copies of coursework and course materials, results from the use of plagiarism detection software, copies of Internet searches, invigilator statements, and any other documentation in support of the case.

10.1.5.2 Investigation

Preliminary Investigation and Summary Dismissal of Complaint

Within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the written complaint, or such other time as may be permitted in accordance with this procedure, the University Officer may conduct a preliminary Investigation of the complaint, including, if it is in the view of University Officer desirable, discussing the complaint with the Complainant, or consulting with others (e.g. Registrar, academic staff, Athabasca University lawyers, Vice President – Academic, Associate Vice-President Academic, etc.). Where the University Officer is of the opinion the complaint is without merit, or is frivolous, trivial or vexatious, the University Officer may dismiss the complaint summarily. Where the complaint is dismissed summarily, the University Officer must notify the complainant, in writing, specifying the reason(s) for the dismissal.

Review and Determination

Within fifteen (15) business days of receiving the written complaint, or such other time as may be permitted in accordance with this procedure, and provided that the complaint has not been summarily dismissed, the University Officer must discuss the alleged offence with the student and the complainant. Other persons (e.g., Registrar, academic staff, Athabasca University lawyers, Vice-President – Academic, Associate Vice-President – Academic, etc.) may also be consulted as deemed appropriate; however, any previous record of the student alleged to have committed the offence is not to be consulted.

Determination That An Offence Has Not Occurred

Where the University Officer has determined that no offence has been committed and thus declines to proceed with the complaint, the complainant and the student must be provided with written notice of the decision within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the complaint or such other time as may be permitted in accordance with this procedure. This notification will not form any part of the student’s official student record.

Determination That An Offence Has Occurred and Imposition of Penalty

Where a student is found to have committed an academic offence, the University Officer will consult with the Office of the Registrar regarding penalties imposed generally for such offences and regarding the student’s previous record. The University Officer shall consider the previous record of the student in order to determine the severity of the penalty. Where the penalty of Suspension or Expulsion in under consideration, the University Officer investigating the matter will consult with the appropriate University Officer. No Suspension or Expulsion shall be imposed without the necessary approval. After the required consultation the University Officer may impose one or more of the Section 5 Penalties. The University Officer shall prepare a statement in writing in accordance with section 6.2.5 and 6.2.6.

Written Record

Where a penalty is to be imposed, the University Officer shall prepare a written statement setting out:

  1. a brief summary of the conduct alleged to constitute the offence
  2. a statement in writing that the alleged offence has been reviewed with the student and the complainant
  3. a brief statement giving details of the determination and the reasons therefore
  4. any special conditions that must be met by the student
  5. for those penalties that require the approval of the Vice-President – Academic, documentation that the approval has been obtained.
Imposition of Penality

The University Officer shall then impose:

  1. the penalty
  2. any special conditions deemed appropriate by the University Officer that must be met by the student based upon the findings in the present case and the results of the review the student’s record of previous discipline.
Notification to the Student and the Complainant

Within fifteen (15) business days of discussing the incident with the complainant and the student, or such other time as may be permitted in accordance with this procedure, the University Officer shall provide written notification to the complainant and the student of any penalty imposed. Such notification shall include the written statement prepared under Section 6.2.5. A copy of the correspondence shall be forwarded to the Registrar and be kept in the student’s official student record. The written notification of the penalty imposed must also include notification of the right of appeal and must outline the procedures for appeal.

Student Appeals Policy

In all cases, the University Officer will keep a file with all documentation associated with the case for a period of two (2) years. In the event of an appeal to the Student Academic Appeals Committee, the University Officer will forward a copy of this file to the Chair of the Student Academic Appeals Committee upon request.

10.1.5.3 Course and/or Program Withdrawal During Disciplinary Proceedings

A student is not eligible to withdraw from a course or program during disciplinary proceedings. If, at the conclusion of the proceedings it has been decided not to proceed with a charge of Academic Misconduct and the student wishes to withdraw from a course or program, the withdrawal may be back dated to the date the proceedings were initiated.

Information effective September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017.

Updated October 14 2016 by laurab

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