Academic Integrity Sanctions

Instances of academic misconduct represent behavior that is of an especially serious nature. Sanctions assigned in instances of academic misconduct should convey the message that this 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 subcategories. 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.

Separation from the University

The Honor Council is empowered to assign any of the following sanctions:

  • Expulsion from the university – as defined in Student Rule 27 - Sanctions

    • 27.1.1 Expulsion: Separation of the student from the university whereby the student is not eligible for readmission to this university.

  • Suspension from the university – as defined in Student Rule 27 - Sanctions

    • 27.1.2 Suspension: 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.

  •   Deferred suspension from the university – as defined in Student Rule 27 - Sanctions

    • 27.1.2 Suspension: The sanction of suspension may be placed in deferred status. If the student is found in violation of any University rule during the time of deferred suspension, the suspension takes effect immediately without further review.

Instructors may not impose these sanctions. The case must be transferred to the Honor Council if the instructor wishes to recommend separation from the University.

Academic Sanctions

Both the Honor Council and the instructor may assign appropriate academic sanctions based upon the specifics of the incident.

First Offenses

The usual penalty for a violation shall be an “F*” in the course and “Honor Violation Probation” -- as defined below. More severe penalties, including separation from the university as outlined immediately above, 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 of lesser penalties include:

  • A grade reduction for the course

  • A zero on the assignment

  • A requirement to participate in extra requirements for a course

  • A requirement to complete the Academic Integrity Remediation Program

  • Placement on Honor Violation Probation

  • Some combination of these

Repeat Offenses

When an alleged violation is reported to the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office, and it is determined that the student has a previous violation on record, the case muse be referred to the Honor Council for further adjudication. The usual penalty for a second offense is separation from the university. The Honor Council adjudicates all such cases and may impose less severe sanctions if the circumstances warrant, as determined by the Honor Council.

Educational Sanctions

Both the Honor Council and the instructor may assign appropriate educational sanctions. Examples of educational sanctions include a requirement to perform appropriate university or community service which directly relates to the violation committed. The provision will be clearly defined. Examples include, but are not limited to, completion of an Academic Integrity Remediation Program, writing workshops supplied by the university, reflections, or reports. Failure to complete such requirements within the time specified will result in the imposition of Honor Violation Probation until the requirements are completed.

No Upper Division student found guilty of academic misconduct may receive Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Summa Cum Laude honors at graduation. Upper Division status is defined as having earned 60 or more credit hours (including transfer hours and advanced placement credits) on 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 either the instructor or the Honor Council.

Additional Consequences

There may also be specific impact for a student within their academic major based upon involvement in academic misconduct. Students are encouraged to discuss their involvement in an academic misconduct situation with their academic advisor.

Repeat Offenses

When an alleged violation is reported to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, 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.

"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” or other similar language approved by the Director for the Aggie Honor System Office. It is recorded by the Office of the Registrar immediately upon a finding of academic dishonesty. The grade of "F*" is intended to denote that the student has been penalized for failing to uphold the values of academic integrity at Texas A&M University. It shall be treated in the same way as an F for the purposes of calculating the Grade Point Ratio and determination of academic standing. A student with an "F*" is automatically on Honor Violation Probation.

Honor Violation Probation

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.

Honor Violation Probation can be assessed either by itself or in combination with any other penalty. Students on Honor Violation Probation may not be considered “In Good Standing” with the University. It takes effect immediately upon a finding of academic dishonesty. Removal of the Honor Violation Probation is addressed below.

Removal of the F* Grade and/or Honor Violation Probation

The student may file a written petition to the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office 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 Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and is contingent upon the successful completion of the Academic Integrity Remediation Program. The decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs is final.

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 of the Academic Integrity Remediation 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 Remediation Program.

The student may file a written petition to the Galveston Aggie Honor System Office to have the Honor Violation Probation removed. The decision to remove the Honor Violation Probation shall rest with the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and is contingent upon the successful completion of the Academic Integrity Development Program. The decision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs is final.

There is a one-year time limit to complete the Academic Integrity Remediation 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 Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs may grant an extension of time.

Important Information Regarding Q-Drop and Withdrawal for Alleged Students

Students who are accused of an Honor Code violation may not Q-drop or withdraw from the course in which the alleged behavior occurred.  After a case is adjudicated and the student is found not responsible, the student may be allowed to Q-drop or withdraw from the course.  A class previously Q-dropped or a class from which the student has previously withdrawn may be reinstated in a student’s record if a violation is found to have occurred after the student successfully Q-dropped or withdrew from the course.