How to Report Undergraduate Student Academic Misconduct

When you believe a violation may have occurred in your class, the following steps should be taken:

  1. It is strongly recommended that you meet with the student to discuss the incident as soon as possible. This is the student’s opportunity to understand that he or she violated the standards for the class as well as the student’s opportunity to provide a response. If a personal meeting cannot be arranged, this may be accomplished through a telephone conversation or through email correspondence. When a student denies a violation, the student should be allowed to remain in the class and complete course work until a final resolution is reached. The Student Conduct Code states:

    “If the instructor, academic unit or appropriate university official has reason to believe, based on observation or other evidence, that a student has violated the university’s academic integrity standards, they are encouraged to make reasonable attempts to meet with the student and discuss the alleged violation and the evidence which supports the charge. When necessary, such discussions may be conducted by telephone or electronic mail. In this meeting every effort should be made to preserve the basic teacher/student relationship. The student should be given the opportunity to respond to the allegation.

    The instructor should assign a mark of “MG” until notification is received from the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards that a final decision has been made.

    Also, because the student may contest the allegation, they must be allowed to attend all classes and complete all assignments until the incident report is resolved.” (SCampus Part B, Section 13.20)

    [Note: failure or inability to follow all recommendations in step 1 does not invalidate a student violation.]

  1. When you have determined that a violation has occurred, it is required that you file a report of the incident with Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards using the Appendix B: Report of Academic Integrity Violation. Supporting documents such as the exam, unauthorized notes or the plagiarized paper with copy of source material should be included with the report. The student will be allowed access to the report and supporting documents you submit.
  2. You may recommend an appropriate sanction for the violation. Sanctions include but are not limited to: grade sanctions (e.g., “F” in course) and dismissal from the academic department. Refer to Appendix A: Academic Dishonesty Sanction Guidelines, when determining which sanction is most appropriate for the violation.
  3. To file a report, submit the completed Appendix B: Report of Academic Integrity Violation and supporting documentation via email to sjacs@usc.edu.
  4. Once a report has been submitted, Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards will evaluate the report, confirm whether or not the accused student has a previous disciplinary record at the university, and notify the student of the allegation in writing. A copy of the notification will be sent to the individual submitting the report and to their academic dean, if appropriate.
  5. Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards also notifies the university Registrar of the pending action as the student may not withdraw from the course. If a withdrawal has occurred, the student will be re-enrolled.
  6. If the student submits an appeal of the outcome of the case, you may be notified of the action and given the opportunity to respond in writing to the student’s appeal.
  7. Once a decision is final (including any appeal that may be submitted), you will receive a notification of the outcome along with a form for you to use to replace the student’s missing grade (MG) with a final course grade. Please do not post any grade that was assigned as the result of an academic integrity case by any means other than the use of the Missing Grade form provided to you by our office.

Please refer to Part B, Section 13.00 in SCampus for a complete description of the process for reporting and reviewing academic integrity violations. You may also contact Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards with questions about the process.