8.3. Additional Notes

  1. By university policy, professors should report all cheating cases to the University's Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. They may also consult with this office on any complicated misconduct situations. See the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity site for more information.
  2. Accused students often claim that what they did was not cheating, that they did not realize it was cheating, or that they did not intend to cheat. There is a faculty obligation to (i) include a section in the class syllabus about what is or is not permitted, (ii) include further details or clarifications as needed in other course information (e.g., a file on assignment policies posted to the class web page), (iii) clarify, when confusion occurs, what is and is not permitted. However, there is also a student obligation to know what is and is not normative, and to exercise good judgment and responsible behavior, and to ask when they are unsure about what is and is not permitted. This is especially true for graduate students and TAs.
  3. While the specifics of academic conduct may vary from class to class, all students should know the general types of academic misconduct such as plagiarism. See Academic Conduct Information for New CS&E Students and the department Academic Conduct Policy for lists of, and brief comments about, some more common forms of misconduct.
  4. Before making an accusation of cheating, faculty should have solid evidence of misconduct.
  5. Many students claim extenuating circumstances as to why they cheat. It is arguable whether such circumstances should be considered when deciding a cheating penalty. A previous University report strongly recommends that "academic" circumstances (such as a student's class level) can be considered, "non-academic" ones (such as work or family issues) not be. In general, circumstances relating to that academic maturity of the student (such as their class level and previous academic training) can be considered; however, other circumstances, academic or non-academic, should not.
  6. Peer and community pressure and standards are one of the most, if not the most, effective ways to prevent cheating.
  7. U of M and department norms of academic conduct are mentioned in a number of places including:
    • The summer English program for new international TAs. All international students who get a Fall TA offer as part of the admission process are required to attend this.
    • The CS&E grad student orientation (all new graduate students should attend this).
    • The department TA orientation.
    • The TA web page. All CS&E TAs are responsible for this material.