8.2. Penalties

Possible penalties include:

  • No penalty: this should be the outcome only when the cheating allegation was erroneous, or when there was no solid evidence to support the cheating charge.
  • Probation: a truly minor offense may result in probation. Probation means (i) a further offense, even a minor one, will result in a more severe penalty, (ii) the student's advisor will be notified, (iii) if the student is a current TA, the professor(s) they are TAing for will be notified, and should exercise extra oversight, (iv) the student will need to meet with the TA supervisor to discuss the misconduct incident [Note 1: "truly minor offenses" should be truly minor. Note 2: while probation does not preclude a student from getting a future TA offer, it lessens their chances.]
  • Barring the student from any future TA offers: this or the next penalty (termination of a current TA position) will be the usual penalty for incidents of academic misconduct.
  • Termination of a current TA position: a current TA involved in academic misconduct may have their position terminated in accordance with the university rules at the Graduate Assistant Employment site.

The penalty should be decided by the TA Supervisor in consultation with the DGS. Particularly troublesome cases may be referred to the Department Head or one or more faculty designated by him or her.

Once a decision is made, the department will notify the student by letter. The letter will relate the decision, reasons for the decision, and the appeals process. A copy will be sent to the student's advisor.

A student may appeal a TA-related penalty. The initial appeal is to the department. The student should send a signed hardcopy letter to the TA supervisor and DGS explaining why the TA-related penalty should be reconsidered. This must be done within 10 days of receiving the letter about the TA-related penalty. The TA Supervisor and DGS will then reconsider the student's TA penalty. A decision on the appeal will be sent in writing to the student, with a copy to their advisor. This letter should include information about the procedure and appropriate university mechanism for further appeal, should the student wish to do so. The mechanism for further appeal will depend on the situation. In cases where the mechanism is not defined, the department will work with the student and the Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity to come up with a mutually agreeable mechanism.