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Information for Parents of Students Charged with an Academic Integrity Violation

Information for Parents of Students Charged with an Academic Integrity Violation

Must there be a hearing? Is there another way to resolve this matter?

All reports of possible academic integrity violations must be resolved at an official academic integrity hearing. The reason for this is to make sure that the evidence presented by both the professor and the student is examined by a neutral panel that includes faculty, students, and staff members. A hearing is our way of ensuring that students are treated equitably and fairly across all Roanoke College courses.

Will my student get a fair hearing?

Yes. The purpose of holding a hearing rather than allowing individual professors to make these weighty decisions is to ensure fairness. Council members, who serve on hearing panels/boards, are trained to understand the precise rules of our academic integrity handbook, to think critically about the evidence presented, and not to prejudge the outcome by presuming the guilt or innocence of one party or another. Students who have been charged will make opening and closing statements and are encouraged to present evidence and ask questions throughout the hearing. While professors generally only bring charges when the evidence for them is quite clear, every year there are a few students who are exonerated of charges through our process.

Are parents allowed to attend the Academic Integrity Hearing?

A student who has been charged with an academic integrity violation may bring one member of the Roanoke College community including faculty, student, or staff, to the hearing as an assistant. Neither parents nor lawyers are permitted to attend hearings.

How can I support my student?

Encourage your student to talk with the chair of the Academic Integrity Council so that he or she will have a chance to ask questions about how the hearings are run and to clarify any other questions. Your student can also seek the advice of others on campus such as a trusted professor, advisor, or friend. Members of the Academic Integrity Council are also available to answer questions from students who have been charged with a violation. Encourage your student to take advantage of these resources during this stressful time.

Because academic integrity is fundamentally about honesty, please encourage your student to reflect deeply on the events that led to the charge and to be completely honest at the hearing and in the response letter. For many students, facing an academic integrity violation is an experience that helps them see more clearly than ever before what values and behaviors they wish to uphold in their own lives. Some violations stem from intentional dishonesty, others from poor judgment or carelessness. Poor time management, stress, and apathy can also play a role. While honesty after the fact about these factors will not excuse a violation, panels/boards are often impressed when a student has thought deeply about the situation, and sometimes this can result in a lesser penalty than one might receive otherwise.

What will happen if my student is not found in violation of academic integrity?

If a student is exonerated of an academic integrity charge, all materials relating to the charge will be destroyed, and there will be no notation on the student's permanent record.

What will happen if my student is found in violation of academic integrity?

If a student is found in violation of academic integrity, the panel/board will impose one or more of the penalties described in the handbook Academic Integrity at Roanoke College. After the hearing the student will meet with the chair of the Academic Integrity Council to discuss the penalties and clarify any questions. The student will also receive written confirmation of the outcome. Students have the right to appeal a panel's or board's decision within 48 hours of the hearing's conclusion. Appeals will only be granted in very specific circumstances; see the handbook for further details. A student who chooses to exercise this option is advised to attend class pending the Dean of the College's decision.

Will an Academic Integrity Violation ruin my student's career at Roanoke College?

While being found in violation of Academic Integrity is a stressful experience for students, our system is set up specifically so that students can recover from the penalties imposed for a violation and can continue to participate in the College community. Professors understand that students sometimes make poor choices and are willing to work positively with students who find themselves in the position of needing to retake a course. Generally the penalties for a first offense are less stringent than for subsequent offenses, which can have a more lasting impact on a student's record.

For additional information, see: Information for Students Charged with an Academic Integrity Violation

Revised November 2022