Investigation and Adjudication Procedures
Kansas State University has an Honor and Integrity System based on personal integrity, which is presumed to be sufficient assurance in academic matters that one's work is performed honestly and without unauthorized assistance. All full and part-time students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate courses on-campus, off-campus, and via distance learning, by registration in those courses, acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Honor System.
The Investigation and Adjudication Procedures have been developed for the purpose of administering the Kansas State University Honor and Integrity System. As set out in Article X of the Honor and Integrity System Constitution, the Investigation and Adjudication Procedures were approved by the Honor Council, Student Senate, and Faculty Senate in 2006 and are subsequently subject to periodic review by those three governance bodies at 5 year intervals beginning in 2010. Interim revisions to the Investigation and Adjudication Procedures may be made upon approval by a 2/3 vote of the Honor Council and upon approval by the Provost (latest revisions: ). The Investigation and Adjudication Procedures must be posted at the Honor System website (http://www.k-state.edu/honor) and updated regularly.
B. Reporting Honor Pledge Violations
Faculty, instructors and students report violations of the Honor Pledge to the Honor and Integrity System Director by filling out the Honor and Integrity System Violation Report form available at http://www.k-state.edu/honor/reportform.html. When the report is made by a student, the Director will consult with the faculty member who is the instructor of the course about filing an Honor Pledge Violation Report. Faculty members are urged to report alleged violations to the Office of the Honor and Integrity System when:
Option 1. The faculty member alleges a violation and imposes an academic sanction (An academic sanction is any action that would lower a student’s grade on an assignment).
Option 2. The faculty member alleges a violation and requests investigation and adjudication (if applicable) by the Honor and Integrity System.
Faculty members who allege an Honor Pledge violation do not need to report the alleged violation to the Office of the Honor and Integrity System when:
a. a faculty member alleges a violation and issues a warning but imposes no academic sanction; or
b. a faculty member alleges a violation, issues a warning, provides the student an opportunity to correct the transgression, but imposes no academic sanction; or
c. a faculty member alleges a violation, issues a warning, provides an opportunity for the student to redo the assignment or take the exam again, but imposes no academic sanction.
Honor Pledge Violation reports shall be submitted to the Honor and Integrity System Director within twenty (20) class days of the violation or of the discovery of the violation. In certain situations, it is acceptable for a verbal notification to be given within the notification period. This situation might occur when a faculty member is conducting an internal investigation. A written report must follow the verbal report within a reasonable amount of time. Alleged Violators are required to attend a Case Review meeting with the Associate Director within five class days of receiving notification of the Violation Report.
Faculty members have two options for filing an Honor Pledge Violation Report.
Option One allows the faculty member to conduct her/his own investigation and identify the specific sanction for the violation. In this situation, Alleged Violators may contest only the allegation. If they do so, the case is turned over to the Honor and Integrity System for investigation and adjudication.
Option Two allows the faculty member to turn the case directly over to the Honor and Integrity System for investigation and adjudication. The faculty member may recommend a sanction. Alleged Violators may contest the allegation and propose an alternate sanction during the adjudication phase, but the Honor and Integrity System Case Review Board makes the final determination of the sanction up to an XF in the course. A Case Review Board may recommend to the Director that a permanent XF be sanctioned, or recommend to the Director that an official recommendation be made to the Provost that a Violator be suspended or expelled.
Once a report has been filed by a faculty member, hereafter referred to as the Reporter, the Director notifies the Alleged Violator (AV) of the allegation, of the right to review the Violation Report, and of the right to contest the allegation. If the AV contests the alleged Honor Pledge violation then the AV must submit to the Director a written report within 5 class days of officially contesting the Violation Report. The AV’s report should describe the situation and the reasons why he/she is contesting Violation Report. The Director then initiates the investigation and adjudication processes. The AV’s contest will be dropped and the case closed if the AV’s report is not received by the specified deadline.
A faculty Reporter may, in consultation with the Director, withdraw the allegation at any time during the process. Such withdrawal will cause the contest process to be terminated. In the event that a report is withdrawn, the Director shall ensure that all documentation are confidentially retained in the Office of the Honor and Integrity System.
C. Contested Violation Reports.
The Alleged Violator is required to submit a completed Alleged Violation Contest Report within 5 class days of having a Case Review meeting with the Associate Director. The Director appoints two students and one faculty/staff member of the Honor Council to serve as a Case Review Board (CRB) for a contested case. If the Alleged Violator is a graduate student, the Case Review Board students shall be graduate students and the faculty Case Review Board member shall be a member of the Graduate Faculty.
The Case Review Board shall conduct an investigation and make a determination if the Alleged Violator is responsible, or not, for violating the Honor Pledge. In the case of an Option 2 Violation Report, the Case Review Board will also determine sanctions, if applicable. The Case Review Board shall review materials, interview Reporter, AV, witnesses (if any) and make a decision. A simple majority is required for a decision. The AV and Reporter may have an advisor present with them while being interviewed by the Case Review Board.
During the course of the investigation the Alleged Violator is advised not to contact the Faculty Reporter to discuss aspects of the case. In the same manner, the Faculty Reporter is advised not to discuss the case with the Alleged Violator. Normal academic contact, however is permitted. In the event that the Director feels the need to protect the Faculty Reporter, Alleged Violator, or any witnesses involved in the investigation, the Director may take appropriate steps to protect the integrity of the process.
The Case Review Board submits a completed Case Review Board Decision Form to the Director within 15 class days of the start of the Case Review Board (unless a time extension is granted by the Director). The Director then notifies in writing the Alleged Violator, Faculty Reporter, and the Reporter’s and Violator’s Department Head (or Chair) and Deans if sanction was an XF. In a case involving a graduate student the Director will notify the above individuals as well as the Dean of the Graduate School and the Violator’s Graduate Program Director.
If the Case Review Board determines that a violation of the Honor Pledge occurred, this decision then upholds the sanction stated in Option 1 reports. If the Case Review Board determines that violation of the Honor Pledge did not occur then the AV shall receive the grade earned on the assignment or in the course. A Case Review Board may impose sanction of up to an XF in the course for Option 2 reports. The Case Review Board may recommend to the Director that a permanent XF be sanctioned. A permanent XF will be sanctioned if Director accepts recommendation. A Case Review Board may also recommend that a Violator be suspended or expelled. Those recommendations need approval of the Director and then are made to the Provost for final decision.
All CRB meetings are audio recorded and kept as part of the permanent record of the adjudication procedures.
D. Multiple Violations Hearings
When multiple Honor Pledge violations occur, the Director appoints a panel of five members drawn from the membership of the Honor Council to determine if additional sanctions are needed. Each panel consists of three students and two faculty/staff members. If the Alleged Violator is a graduate student, student members of the hearing panel are graduate students and faculty members are members of the Graduate Faculty. The Director appoints the chair.
In preparation for the hearing, the Director prepares the script, authors a Director’s report summarizing previous cases, and supervises preparation of all necessary documentation required by the Hearing Panelists and Alleged Violator. A copy of the Script and Director’s Report will be made available to the Violator at least three (3) class days prior to the hearing date.
At the hearing, the Violator represents himself/herself. During the hearing, the Violator may consult as necessary with his/her Advisor. Failure by the Violator to appear before the Hearing Panel neither halts nor interrupts the proceedings.
The Hearing Panel Chair accepts for consideration all information that reasonable persons would accept as having evidentiary value during hearing panel proceedings. Character witnesses and personal references are not permitted. Formal rules of evidence are not applied.
The decision of the Honor Council Hearing Panel is reported to the Director, who then notifies in writing the Alleged Violator, and appropriate people (i.e., Dean if changing a course grade to an XF, Provost if a recommendation of suspension or expulsion is being made). In a case involving a graduate student the Director will notify the above individuals as well as the Dean of the Graduate School and the Violator’s Graduate Program Director.
All hearings are audio recorded and kept as part of the permanent record of the adjudication procedures.
E. Modified Case Review Board or Hearing Panel
During the summer, as well as January, May and August Intercessions, the Director may postpone Honor Council Case Review Boards and hearings until the beginning of the subsequent fall or spring semester. At the request of the Alleged Violator, the Director can convene a Special Case Review Board or Hearing Panel whose make-up may deviate from that prescribed in this document in order to facilitate resolution of an alleged violation delayed by either Intercessions or the summer.
Records are confidential and subject to applicable privacy laws. Records are made available to authorized parties upon the determination of the Director. Alleged violations filed under this policy are confidential and should not be disclosed to anyone who does not have a need to know. The University cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality because the University is obligated to investigate complaints. Supervisors and administrators are obligated to keep complaints confidential and protect the privacy of all parties to the extent possible consistent with preventing future acts of academic dishonesty, providing a remedy to persons injured and allowing Alleged Violators to reply to a complaint if any disciplinary action is anticipated. Alleged Violators as well as student witnesses are similarly bound by this expectation of confidentiality. Complaint information may be disclosed to state or federal anti-discrimination agencies for investigations and during litigation.
All hearings and meetings of the Case Review Board with Reporter and/or AV are recorded and kept as part of the permanent record of the adjudication procedures. Deliberations are not recorded. Records are confidential and subject to applicable privacy laws. Records are made available to authorized parties upon the determination of the Director.
The sanction(s) for a first Honor Pledge violation will be commensurate with the seriousness of the violation. Sanctions can include a recommendation to the Provost to suspend of expel the student and/or to revoke the student's degree, to assign an XF or permanent XF in appropriate courses or to receive a written warning. For first Honor Pledge violations of a less serious nature, a written warning, the Development and Integrity Course, a course grade sanction, or an XF on the student's transcript is typically appropriate.
If a sanction includes an XF, the Director shall contact the Registrar’s office and authorize the grade of XF when:
- the Alleged Violator does not contest the allegation, or
- the Associate Director closes a case because an Alleged Violator refused to communicate or meet the required deadlines, or
- the case has been adjudicated, the Case Review Board has issued a sanction, and the Violator chooses not to appeal the Hearing Panel’s decision.
When the appeals process is initiated immediately following the hearing, the Director shall postpone the grade change until such time as the appeals process is resolved.
If a sanction includes the requirement that the Violator complete the Development and Integrity course, described at the Honor and Integrity System web site <ksu.edu/honor>, the Faculty Reporter records an Incomplete for the course grade. If the Violator fails to successfully complete the Development and Integrity course in two semesters, then the Associate Director authorizes the Registrar to change the incomplete to an XF. If the Violator successfully completes the Development and Integrity course, then the Associate Director contacts the Faculty Reporter who then replaces the Incomplete with the final grade earned in the course.
The Hearing Panel for a multiple violations hearing may consider any combination of the following sanctions, in addition to those previously mentioned:
- XF in appropriate course(s), or
- Permanent XF in appropriate course(s), or
- Recommendation to the Provost that the student be suspended from the University, or
- Recommendation to the Provost that the student be expelled from the University, or
- Other sanctions as determined by the Hearing Panel.
In the event that an Honor Pledge Violation report cannot be resolved prior to the end of a semester, the Faculty Reporter records an Incomplete until such time as the alleged violation is resolved. The Honor and Integrity System Director will make every effort to resolve these conflicts prior to the end of the semester but does have the right to postpone the Investigation and Adjudication process during Intersessions and summer semesters.
H. Appeal of a Case Review Board or a Hearing Panel Decision
Appeals by an AV are to be based on procedural irregularities or substantial new information. Reporters shall not appeal a decision because a faculty reporter is an employee of the University and an official University process was followed in making the decision. A written appeal by the AV shall be filed with the Director of the Honor and Integrity System, within three class days following written notification of the decision to the Violator. A maximum of three additional class days may be granted at the discretion of the Director if warranted by unusual circumstances. The Director determines whether an appeal based on substantial new information or procedural irregularities might have impacted the investigation or adjudication procedure. Following this determination, the Director may:
- reconvene the Case Review Board to consider new information, or
- appoint a new Case Review Board and conduct a new review, or
- take such other action as the Director feels appropriate, or
- deny the appeal.
The Director then notifies the Faculty Reporter and Alleged Violator in writing of the decision and the process to be followed. The Provost is copied on correspondence.
I. Conflict of Interest
Members of the Honor Council involved in the investigation or adjudication procedures of a case will immediately notify the Director of any conflicts of interest. The Director may remove an Honor Council member from the investigation and adjudication process if sufficient information exists to support a conflict of interest.