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Academic Dishonesty

The Honor Statement of the Student Code of Conduct encourages each student to make a personal commitment to academic integrity. In addition, faculty members also have the responsibility to define and set guidelines for academic integrity in their courses as well as act on any violation of the Honor Statement. Both faculty members and students are integral parts to ensure that all students are able to have equitable learning environments.

In cases of alleged academic dishonesty, we have outlined steps for both staff/faculty and students. Please follow the steps outlined below:

Steps for Students

Download the Student Conduct Process Flowchart 

  1. If a professor believes that a student engaged in academic misconduct, the professor will provide the student with an informal opportunity to respond to these allegations.
      • Informal opportunities to respond are given to the student with professor discretion on the format of the opportunity. Faculty members may provide informal opportunities in various forms, including but not limited to: an email, a Canvas message, a Zoom meeting, an in-person meeting, etc. 
  2. The student will be contacted via email by SCCS with an appointment time to meet and discuss the incident. This meeting is called an Educational Conference.
  3. After the Educational Conference, SCCS may continue to investigate or make an outcome recommendation. If it is more likely than not that a violation of academic dishonesty occurred, a sanction will be recommended.
  4. The student may accept responsibility and/or sanction or request a formal hearing. SCCS will explain all resolution options and allow the student to decide how to resolve their case.
    • Once the SCCS case is resolved, if a student is found responsible, the student still has the opportunity to appeal any grade penalty. This is separate from the SCCS process. Please see the Grade Appeal Process section below for information.

Steps for Instructors

 Download the Academic Dishonesty Flowchart

  1. Gather information and document the incident.
    • Instructor (Or the person teaching the class) discovers a potential case of academic dishonesty.
    • Document all evidence. Analyze the information. Decide whether to refer to SCCS based on the evidence gathered.
    • If the evidence does not indicate a violation, there is no need to refer to SCCS. Retain internal documentation for your records. Do not issue a grade penalty. Process ends.
    • If the evidence indicates a violation, then follow the next steps.
  2. Inform the student you think they may have engaged in academic misconduct (via email, a meeting, etc.)
    • Share all allegations and any recommended grade penalty with the student.
      • The grade penalty recommendation is at the discretion of the faculty member. Please note the grade penalty recommendation is not final until the SCCS process concludes and there is a finding of responsibility.
    • If after speaking to the student, you no longer believe a violation occurred, do not refer to SCCS. Retain internal documentation for your records. Do not issue a grade penalty. Process ends.
  3. Submit Incident to SCCS by completing the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form (this form initiates the SCCS process).
    • Attach all relevant information supporting the allegation including course syllabus, assignment instructions, and student’s assignments.
    • Per the Code of Conduct, The referring instructor will not assign an academic penalty or a final grade for the course pending resolution of the allegation by SCCS.
      • If a grade must be submitted at the end of the grading period, the student will receive a temporary grade of “Not Reported” (NR) until the case is resolved. The faculty member will leave the grade blank and communicate the reason to the Registrar’s Office via email. The Registrar’s Office will then officially assign the NR. 
      • Once the case is resolved, the instructor should then initiate the grade change process to update the NR based on the outcome of the student conduct process.

SCCS will reach out with any questions and ultimate outcome of the case.  Please contact SCCS for questions and more information about the process at 865-974-3171 or

Additional information on the process can be found in the Student Code of Conduct..

*Individual departments may require internal notification to department heads. Faculty should consult with their department for any department specific requirements.

If you are experiencing problematic behavior from a student, please use our Faculty/Staff Page‘s flow chart to determine the necessary referral process.

Additional information on the process can be found starting on pages 22 and 23 of the Student Code of Conduct.

Grade Penalty Appeals

Students have the right to appeal grade penalties through the Undergraduate and Graduate Grade Appeals Process. SCCS does not oversee this process. Please follow the steps below for all grade appeal inquiries.

The Undergraduate Grade Appeal Process is laid out in the Academic Catalog under “Penalties for Academic Misconduct and Dishonesty.” Please see the following information below, pulled directly from the catalog:

A student may appeal the imposition of an academic penalty, as distinct from a student disciplinary sanction, through the following procedure. A student cannot use this procedure to challenge the underlying determination that the student is responsible for academic misconduct or dishonesty.

A student may only appeal the imposition of an academic penalty on the grounds that the penalty is unreasonable or unduly harsh.

Within five business days of the determination by SCCS that a student has committed an act of academic misconduct or dishonesty, the student may appeal the imposition of an academic penalty by submitting an appeal in writing (or e-mail) to the head of the department in which the course is located. The student must specify the reason(s) they are appealing the imposition of an academic penalty.

Upon receiving an appeal from a student, the department head will, within five business days, appoint a committee of three faculty members from the department charged with reviewing the student’s appeal and conducting an appeals hearing. The instructor and the student will both be invited to appear in person at the hearing and/or provide a statement in writing (or e-mail). Within five business days of the hearing, the committee will provide a decision in writing (or e-mail) to the department head. The committee may either uphold the original penalty or recommend that the student receive a lesser penalty (or no penalty). If the committee recommends that the student should receive a lesser penalty than the one imposed by the instructor, or that the student should receive no penalty, the department head will meet with the instructor and direct the instructor to reduce the penalty as recommended.

To read more information about the Undergraduate Grade Appeal Process directly from the Academic Catalog, please click here.

The Graduate Grade Appeal Process can be found by reviewing this PDF.