Academic Integrity Sanctions
Instances of academic misconduct represent behavior that is of an especially serious nature. Sanctions assigned to instances of academic misconduct should convey the message that this type of behavior can serve as a destructive force within the academic community. However, a wide range of sanctions can be employed in order to strike an appropriate balance between sending a message of accountability and enhancing a student’s moral and cognitive development. Sanctions in each subcategory below can be used in conjunction with sanctions from other sub-categories. While this list is not designed to be exhaustive, it demonstrates the wide range of sanctions that can be utilized to respond to findings of responsibility for academic misconduct.
1. General Sanctions
The Honor Council is empowered to assign any of the following sanctions:
Expulsion from the university – as defined in University Student Rules, section 27
27.1.1 Expulsion: Separation of the student from the university whereby the student is not eligible for readmission to this university.
Dismissal from the university – as defined in University Student Rules, section 27
27.1.2 Dismissal: Separation of the student from the university for an indefinite period of time. Readmission to the university may be possible in the future, but no specific time for a decision is established.
Suspension from the university – as defined in University Student Rules, section 27
27.1.3 Suspension: Separation of the student from the university for a definite period of time. The student is not guaranteed readmission at the end of such period of time, but is guaranteed a review of the case and a decision regarding eligibility for readmission.
Instructors may impose only the Academic Sanctions and Educational Sanctions. A case must be transferred to the Honor Council if the instructor wishes to recommend a sanction involving separation from the University.
2. Academic Sanctions
The Honor Council or the instructor may assign appropriate academic sanctions based upon the specifics of the incident.
The usual penalty for a violation shall be an “F*” in the course and “Honor Violation Probation." More severe penalties (including separation from the University) may be imposed by the Honor Council if the facts and circumstances as determined by the Honor Council warrant such penalties. Less severe penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant. Examples include:
A grade reduction for the course.
A zero on an assignment
Requirement to participate in extra requirements for a course
3. Educational Sanctions
The Honor Council or the instructor may assign appropriate educational sanctions. Examples of educational sanctions include requiring a student to attend an academic integrity seminar, to perform appropriate university or community service, or to make restitution for damage that occurred as a result of the incident.
No Upper Division student found guilty of academic misconduct may receive Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude honors at graduation. Upper Division status is defined as having earned 60 or more credit hours, including transfer hours, prior to the date of the violation. This sanction is automatic upon a finding of academic misconduct, and is imposed without regard to the severity of other sanctions imposed by the instructor or Honor Council.
4. Additional Consequences
There may also be specific impact for a student within their academic major or degree program based upon a finding of academic misconduct and the consequences of subsequent sanctions. Students are encouraged to discuss their involvement in an academic misconduct situation and its impact upon their academic major or degree program with their academic advisor.
5. Repeat Offenses
When an alleged violation is reported to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services, and it is determined that the student has a previous violation on record, the case must be referred to the Honor Council for further adjudication. The usual penalty for a second offense is one of the General Sanctions, that is, separation from the university. Less severe penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant.
6. The “F*” Grade Designation
A student who is assessed a grade of “F*” shall have it documented on his/her transcript with the notation “FAILURE DUE TO ACADEMIC DISHONESTY.” The grade of “F*” is intended to recognize a student for failing to uphold the values of academic integrity at Texas A&M University. The grade of “F*” shall be treated in the same way as an “F” for the purposes of calculating Grade Point Ratio and determination of academic class standing. A student who receives a grade of “F*” will be considered to be on “Honor Violation Probation” with the university for reasons of academic misconduct. A student who is on “Honor Violation Probation” is subject to the following restrictions:
Ineligibility to hold an office in any student organization recognized by the university or to hold any elected or appointed position within the university.
Ineligibility to represent the university to anyone outside the university community in any way, including representing the university at any official function, intercollegiate athletics or any forms of intercollegiate competition or representation.
Ineligibility to receive a university-administered scholarship or fellowship when the “Honor Violation Probation” is in place for longer than one semester. Some scholarships adhere to more strict guidelines, and, therefore, ineligibility may result from a lesser length of time on “Honor Violation Probation.”
Ineligibility to receive an Aggie Ring, to pre-register for classes, or to receive a diploma.
Additional restrictions or conditions also may be imposed, depending on the timing, nature and severity of the misconduct. Examples are inability to receive an official transcript and inability to participate in commencement exercises.
7. Removal of the F* Grade and/or Honor Violation Probation
The student may file a written petition to the Honor Council to have the grade of F* removed and permanently replaced with the grade of F. The decision to remove the grade of F* shall rest with the Honor Council and is contingent upon the successful completion of the Academic Integrity Development Program.
A student will remain on Honor Violation Probation until the F* is removed from the transcript. Additionally, the F* grade, or the F that remains when the “*” designation is removed, will not be eligible for any grade forgiveness or replacement action, and it must be considered in the calculation of a student’s Grade Point Ratio. An undergraduate student who receives an “F*” grade will not be allowed to remove the course from his/her degree plan until the successful completion the Academic Integrity Development Program. Graduate students are not allowed to remove an “F” from a degree program, regardless of whether it was imposed for cheating or academic failure. A student who wishes to re-take the course may do so concurrently with the Academic Integrity Development Program.
The student may file a written petition to the Honor Council to have the Honor Violation Probation removed. The decision to remove the Honor Violation Probation shall rest with the Honor Council and is contingent upon the successful completion of the Academic Integrity Development Program.
There is a one-year time limit to complete the Academic Integrity Development Program. The one-year limit shall be calculated from the time that the sanction was applied, and will be the longer of one year past the original sanction date or one year past the date that the appeal is exhausted or finalized. In unusual circumstances, the Honor Council is empowered to grant an extension of time.