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Academic Integrity

Student Statement of Principles

The College of Engineering has a Statement of Principles of Academic Honesty, Integrity, and Responsibility. This statement is intended to help students understand the importance of academic integrity in their UW experience as well as in their professional practice after graduation. Setting these expectations early may also decrease later incidents of academic misconduct.

Students are introduced to this statement throughout the First Year Experience, including during Advising & Orientation and in their Engineering First-Year Interest Group (E-FIG) during their first autumn quarter. Students are invited to sign the statement and acknowledge that they understand the importance of following its expectations.

Guidance for instructors 

Faculty and advisers play a key role in reinforcing principles of academic integrity with students during their time at UW. 

  • Include a statement on academic integrity in your course syllabus and encourage students to visit the COE webpage for students on academic integrity and misconduct.
  • Provide specific information about academic standards in your course. It can be helpful to provide examples to clarify expectations for acceptable behavior on group work, collaboration, use of online sources and previous course materials, etc.
  • Review the COE Statement of Principles and any departmental academic policies during departmental orientations for newly placed and admitted students.
  • Review more detailed tips to prevent academic misconduct from Community Standards & Student Conduct.

Quick link: Report a case of academic misconduct 

Effective August 18, 2017 an updated Student Conduct Code went into effect. The full Student Conduct Code is described in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 478-121. The University has developed a companion policy on academic misconduct, Student Governance Policy, Chapter 209, which explains how student academic misconduct proceedings work and a student’s rights in the process.

Under the old Student Conduct Code, the College of Engineering Academic Misconduct Process included an Agreed Settlement option where faculty could handle misconduct issues directly with students. Under the new code, all alleged academic misconduct by College of Engineering students must be reported to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Academic misconduct process

  • The instructor sends documentation of the case to the COE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs using the online reporting tool.
  • A Conduct Officer is assigned and a conduct proceeding will be initiated. The fact finding process will focus on gathering all of the pertinent information necessary to determine whether or not a violation of the Student Conduct Code occurred.
  • An investigative interview will be scheduled for the respondent (e.g., the student named in the report) to review the alleged violation(s) of the Student Conduct Code and the report with the Conduct Officer.
  • During the investigative interview, the respondent is provided with an overview of the Student Conduct Process and their rights.
  • The respondent has the opportunity to provide their account of what occurred, present relevant evidence, and provide names of witnesses for further consideration by the Conduct Officer during the fact finding process.
  • During the fact finding process, the Conduct Officer may initiate a full hearing and the student will be notified of this decision. The respondent will then receive further information from the Hearing Officer. 
  • At the conclusion of the fact finding process, the Conduct Officer will make a decision regarding whether there was a violation of the Student Conduct Code based on a “preponderance of evidence” standard, and if so, the Conduct Officer will also determine what sanctions are appropriate for the violation(s). This written decision is called an Initial Order.
  • The respondent has the option to request an administrative review of the decision within 21 days of service of the Initial Order.
  • If an administrative review is not requested the Initial Order is considered final.

For more details about the student conduct process, please visit Student Governance Policy, Chapter 209.

Additional information for faculty

What to do if you suspect a student of academic misconduct

  • Note that you may not simply adjust a student's grade when academic misconduct is suspected; this action fails to preserve the rights of the student. Any grading sanction an instructor takes must follow from the Student Conduct Process, and specifically from a finding that the student is responsible for the alleged action.
  • If you prefer not to deal directly with the student, you may simply refer the case directly to the COE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Dean’s Office will manage the process of determining if the student is responsible for academic misconduct.
  • You may also choose to communicate with the student by email or in person to outline why you suspect the student has engaged in academic misconduct and to ask for an explanation. Be sure to explain to the student that they have the right to talk directly to the Dean’s Office if they do not want to interact directly with you about the allegation. If you discuss the matter with the student and continue to suspect that the student engaged in academic misconduct, refer the matter to the COE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for review. After referral, the Dean’s Office will manage the process of determining if the student is responsible for academic misconduct.
  • Use Report It to refer the case to the COE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Grading work in a case of suspected academic misconduct

  • Do not assign a grade for the assignment(s) on which academic miscondcut is suspected or the course until the Conduct Officer informs you of the decision following the fact finding process in the case. If the Conduct Officer does not inform you of the decision by the grade submission deadline for the quarter, you must assign an “X” grade until you receive notification of a decision in the case. Once you are notified of a decision, 
  • If the student is found responsible for academic misconduct, you as the instructor can decide to adjust the student's grade(s) on the assignment(s) on which misconduct was determined to have occurred. then calculate and submit the final grade. Common practice is for instructors to assign a zero/no credit for any assignments or exams involving academic misconduct. Assigning no credit for only the portion of the assignment or exam where the misconduct occurred is also an option. All other course assignments should be evaluated and graded according to the expectations and grading method stated in the course syllabus. Please make sure that your syllabus is clear on the consequences of academic misconduct in your course.
  • If the student is found not responsible, you will award the grade(s) which the student would have received had the misconduct charge not been reported.
  • After finalizing the grade(s) on assignment(s) related to the academic misconduct case, you will determine the student's final course grade and submit a Change of Grade Request Form to update the student's course grade on their academic record. 

Sample syllabus statement on academic misconduct

Course Policy on Academic Misconduct

Engineering is a profession demanding a high level of personal honesty, integrity and responsibility. Therefore, it is essential that engineering students, in fulfillment of their academic requirements and in preparation to enter the engineering profession, shall adhere to the University of Washington’s Student Code of Conduct.

Any student in this course suspected of academic misconduct (e.g., cheating, plagiarism, or falsification) will be reported to the College of Engineering Dean’s Office and the University’s Office of Community Standards and Student conduct. (See CoE website for more detailed explanation of the academic misconduct adjudication process). Any student found to have committed academic misconduct may receive a grade of 0 on impacted academic work (e.g., assignments, project, or exams).