Academic integrity and grading disputes

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Academic integrity

Why is academic integrity important?

Academic Integrity a fundamental value at ASU and the Herberger Institute because violations can cause real harm to individuals and to our institution.

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity violations fall into five broad areas:

  • Cheating on an academic evaluation or assignment.

  • Plagiarizing.

  • Academic deceit, such as fabricating data, information or documentation.

  • Aiding others in committing integrity violations and inappropriately collaborating.

  • Falsifying academic records.

Review the Student policy for more information on how allegations of academic dishonesty are handled and the possible sanctions that may occur.

Student code of conduct

All ASU students are required to comply with the student code of conduct. Violations of the ASU student code of conduct (other than the provision concerning academic dishonesty) are generally considered inappropriate behavior.

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities reviews and sanctions these matters. If a student violates both the academic integrity provision and additional provisions of the student code of conduct, both the college and the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will review the matter. Each independently makes determinations concerning violations and appropriate sanctions.

Grade grievance

Students who are unsatisfied with a course grade are allowed to file a grievance. Each unit or department can set their own policy and procedures. The grade grievance outlines the procedural steps that must be followed by any student seeking to appeal a grade in a course offered by the Herberger Institute. This process does not address academic integrity allegations, faculty misconduct or discrimination. This process provides a transparent outline of what steps the student can expect and how their grievance will be heard and evaluated.

School of Art courses

For any ARA, ARE, ARS, ART or FSH course, use the School of Art informal grievance request form.

All other Herberger Institute courses

For DCE, THE, THF, THP, MHL, MDC, MHL, MTC, MUE, MUP, or MUS AME, MDC, FMP, ALA, APH, ARC, ATE, IND, INT, GRA, DSC, EDS or LAP courses, and for any School of Art course where the student is not satisfied with the School of Art’s informal grievance process, follow the procedure below.

Student grade appeals must be processed in the regular semester immediately following the issuance of the grade in dispute (by commencement for fall or spring), regardless of whether the student is enrolled at the university. Grievance hearings cannot be processed during the summer months or University vacation periods.

There are two stages to the grade grievance process, the informal process and the formal process. Each contains a series of steps.

Informal process

  1. Students with grievances should first consult with the faculty member in an effort to resolve the problem. Be sure and save all relevant information.

  2. If this meeting does not result in a satisfactory resolution of the problem, the student should next consult the director of the school to assist in the resolution of the matter.

  3. If no resolution is reached at this level, the student should then move to the formal grievance process

Formal process

  1. Log your complaint, along with all supporting documents, using the Academic Affairs Report form. This process starts a grade grievance case with the associate dean for students and academic programs and/or the Academic Integrity Office (AIO) of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Your complaint should include the below items.

    1. A heading including:

      1. Your name and ASU ID number.

      2. The course number, title, 5 digit class number.

      3. The year and term and the session in which the course was taught (A, B or C).

      4. The instructor’s name.

    2. Your statement, addressing:

      1. Your reason for questioning the grade.

      2. The remedy you are requesting.

    3. If you have documents you wish to submit as evidence to support your statement:

      1. Upload them as supporting documents with clear labels as to their contents.

      2. You should refer to the documents in your statement so that your evidence and logic are clear to outside readers.

  2. The Associate Dean and/or AIO will contact you and try to solve your concern with the faculty member and the school director directly.

  3. If no resolution is achieved, the associate dean/AIO will then refer your case to the Herberger Institute Curriculum Committee (graduate committee for graduate students, undergraduate committee for undergraduate students), from which a Grievance Committee will be drawn, and a formal meeting will be scheduled.

  4. A panel of three will act as the Grievance Committee. The associate dean for students will appoint two or three faculty members from the appropriate Herberger Institute Curriculum Committee. One member of the Grievance Committee may, upon request by the student bringing the grievance, be a Herberger Institute student senator (for undergraduate students) or a member of the GPSA (for graduate students), also appointed by the associate dean for students. The Grievance Committee will elect a chair from the faculty membership.

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts student grievance procedure

  1. The student and faculty member will have one opportunity to request the withdrawal of any one member of the Grievance Committee due to a perceived bias.

  2. In addition, members of the committee will be given the opportunity to withdraw due to their own perceived bias or a conflict of interest. If a faculty committee member withdraws, another member of the Herberger Institute Curriculum Committee, appointed by the chair, will replace that member. In the event of the withdrawal of a student representative, the associate dean for students will appoint a replacement.

  3. The case and all supporting documents will be provided to the Grievance Committee as well as the faculty member involved and the unit director.

  4. Within 10 business days of receipt of the grievance case, the faculty member must submit a written response to the chair of the Grievance Committee, which will then be distributed to the members of the Grievance Committee, the student and the associate dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

  5. Within 10 business days of the distribution of the faculty member's reply, a meeting will be held to consider the grievance. Both parties in the grievance will have the opportunity to present their positions to the committee in person.

  6. The student and faculty member should be present throughout the meeting(s) in order to allow for immediate response to testimony and panel questions.

  7. The student will appear before the committee first. In the event that the student or faculty member is away from campus, this hearing can be held via phone or zoom conference.

  8. In order to preserve the confidential nature of the grade grievance process and to protect the privacy interest of those involved, the hearing will be closed to the public. The committee chair will preside at the hearing and will rule upon all procedural matters

  9. After all parties have been heard, they will be excused and the committee will deliberate in closed session. Once the committee has reached consensus, the committee chair will submit their written recommendation to the dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and/or AIO within no later than 5 working days.

  10. At that time, the dean will take final action after fully considering the committee’s recommendation.

  11. The dean shall inform the student, instructor, department chair or school director (if any), registrar (if appropriate) and Grievance Committee of any action taken. The decision of the dean is final.

  12. A student who fails to appear or refuses to participate at the hearing will be deemed to have abandoned the request for a hearing, unless the student can demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances prevented their appearance or participation.

  13. Grade changes (if any and if recommended by the committee) will be made by the instructor. In the absence of the faculty member caused by such things as death, resignation, termination, retirement or prolonged illness, the associate dean is authorized to change a grade.

  14. Timelines delineated in this document may be extended by the associate dean and/or the AIO in consultation with the chair of the Grievance Committee.