UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 02-03-02

CATEGORY:              ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

SECTION:                  Academic Integrity

SUBJECT:                 Guidelines on Academic Integrity - Student and Faculty

                                       Obligations and Hearing Procedures

EFFECTIVE DATE:   September 2005 Revised

PAGE(S):                   19

Academic Integrity

This document contains a set of principles which shall be applicable to each of the academic

units* throughout the University.  A student desiring information about an academic unit's

specific procedures and the makeup of its Academic Integrity Hearing Board may obtain a

copy of the procedures and other necessary information from the Office of the Dean, either in

the academic unit in which he or she is registered or in the academic unit in which a particular

course is taught.  Additional information or guidance may be obtained from the Office of the

Provost.  Copies of this document and guidelines for academic units should be distributed by

the deans to all instructional staff in each academic unit.

*“Academic unit” is used to refer to a college, academic unit, or regional campus.

Preface

Provided here are Academic Integrity Policy Guidelines based on the 1983-86 document which

was initially approved by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the University

Senate Council.  The original document evolved from and represented careful deliberation

among staff, Senate committees, and student leaders of the University.  The purpose of this

document is to clarify and codify the rights and responsibilities that are inherent in traditional

faculty-student relationships and to reflect procedural modifications that were approved,

effective January 1, 1989, by the Chancellor.

In following the Guidelines, the faculty members of each academic unit of the University are

expected to adapt them to the circumstances of their own academic unit.

The Guidelines are designed to assure due process, equity, and prompt and objective review

by third parties, with appropriate appeals procedures.  There is a general intent to maintain

confidentiality, to avoid unnecessary formality, and to resolve issues at the lowest possible

level.

Faculty have a particular interest and responsibility in assuring that the Guidelines are

adhered to, by virtue of their profession and their role as academic officials of the University.

Any failure to follow these Guidelines would be harmful to the whole University community.

All members of the University community have access to advice and interpretation regarding

these Guidelines.  Students may consult with the Campus Judicial Coordinator, faculty may

consult with their dean or academic unit hearing officer, and any individual may ask for any

other guidance they need from the Office of the Provost.

In general, we seek to preserve the traditional freedoms and duties associated with academic

endeavors.  The University should work to preserve the rights and responsibilities of faculty

and students in their relationships with one another.  Just as faculty and students must be free

to seek truth and to search for knowledge with open minds, they must also accept the

responsibility that these activities entail, maintaining the highest standards of integrity, mutual

respect, and honest inquiry.

Historical Background

In March 1965, the Senate Council approved a policy statement on the subject of academic

integrity.  It was there declared, in language that is as true and vital today as then, that:

      The University of Pittsburgh seeks excellence in the discovery and dissemination of

      knowledge.  Excellence in scholarship cannot be achieved in situations which are

      contaminated by dishonest practices. All members of the University community are

      obligated to adhere strictly to the highest standards of integrity in study, research,

      instruction, and evaluation.

      It is presumed that those who instruct and administer observe such standards of integrity.

      Administrators and senior faculty members are presumed further to encourage these

     standards among their junior colleagues.  Students are presumed to accept the concept

     of academic integrity and to seek to live by it but they may need continuing clarification

     of the concept and guidance in its observance.  Particularly, students need the assurance

     that those who work honestly will not suffer thereby in comparisons with the dishonest. 

     Those who cannot or will not adopt the concept and practices of academic honesty do

     not belong within the University.

These principles are reaffirmed.

In February 1974, the Senate Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom reported to

the Senate Council, recommending a general statement on academic integrity as follows:

      The integrity of the academic process requires fair and impartial evaluation on the part

      of faculty, and honest academic conduct on the part of students.  To this end, students

      are expected to conduct themselves at a high level of responsibility in the fulfillment of

      the course of their study.  It is the corresponding responsibility of faculty to make clear to

      students those standards by which students will be evaluated, and the resources

      permissible for use by students during the course of their study and evaluation.  The

      educational process is perceived as a joint faculty-student enterprise which will perforce

      involve professional judgment by faculty and may involve--without penalty--reasoned

      exception by students to the data or views offered by faculty.

      Consistent with these considerations (and without limiting their scope and application in

      their entirety to the academic programs of the University), faculty and students are

      directed to observe the following guidelines:

      1.    Faculty should meet and students should attend their classes when scheduled,

            faculty should be available at reasonable times for appointments with students,

            and both parties should keep such appointments, faculty and students should make

            appropriate preparations for classes and other meetings, students should submit

            their assignments in a timely manner, and faculty should perform their grading duties

            in a timely manner.

      2.   The general content of a course or other academic program should be described

            with reasonable accuracy in catalogues or other written documents available to

            students.  The content, objectives of, and standards for evaluation (including the

            importance to be assigned various factors in academic evaluation) in a course should

            be described by the faculty member at the first or second class meeting, preferably in

            a written hand-out.

      3.   Integrity of the academic process requires that credit be given where credit is due.

            Accordingly, it is unethical to present as one's own work the ideas, representations, or

            words of another, or to permit another to present one's own work without customary

            and proper acknowledgement of sources.  The limits of permissible assistance available

            to students during a course or an academic evaluation should be determined by the

            faculty member and described with reasonable particularity at the first or second class

            meeting, or well in advance of an evaluation, so as to allow for adequate student

            preparation within the permissible limits.

      4.   All academic evaluations should be based upon good-faith professional judgment, in

            accordance with applicable standards; factors such as race, color, religion, sex,

            national origin, political affiliation, and activities outside the classroom that are

            unrelated may not be considered in matters of academic evaluation, academic

            assignments, or classroom procedures, nor shall reasoned views expressed by

            students during the course adversely prejudice any students.

      5.   University records, which shall contain only information reasonably related to

            educational purposes, shall be considered a matter of privacy not to be released

            except with student consent, or as may be permitted by law; provided, that any

            student shall be permitted to review his or her own personal record, except for its

            confidential contents (such as the recorded comments of counseling personnel).

      6.   The faculty of each academic unit shall establish rules implementing these principles,

            and procedures pertaining to the investigation and redress of grievances.

The above Guidelines cannot be fulfilled in the University of Pittsburgh as a whole unless they

are fulfilled in each and every academic unit.  University-wide Guidelines of implementation as

outlined above are accordingly appropriate as an expression of a common understanding and

dedication.  These principles are presented in some detail in the two model codes of this

statement, which deal with student and faculty responsibilities, respectively.  Each academic

unit is required to adopt regulations conforming to these documents.  The development of

exact procedures remains sufficiently flexible to provide proper discretion on the part of the

individual faculty; however, such procedures must be designed to assure fair and orderly

review of particular cases and should adhere closely to the language of the attached codes.

The dean of each academic unit will be responsible for furnishing to the Provost the regulations

and procedures adopted by the faculty and any amendments.  The codes of each academic

unit will be reviewed to ensure reasonable conformity with the principles and procedures of the

attached model codes.  The dean shall also assure that all full-time and part-time students and

faculty are informed about the existence and availability of the applicable regulations and

procedures.

In cases that involve a student registered in one academic unit, but in which the faculty member

involved holds his or her appointment in another academic unit, the jurisdiction shall be held by

the academic unit which offered the course (usually the academic unit in which the faculty

member is appointed).  Remedial action benefiting the student must be approved by the dean

of the academic unit in which the course is offered.  However, in offenses involving academic

integrity, only the dean of the academic unit in which the student is matriculated can suspend

or dismiss the student from the University.  In cases that cross academic unit boundaries,

consultation between the appropriate administrative officers may be appropriate.

                                                                 Academic Integrity:

                                                                Student Obligations

I.    Student Obligations

      A student has an obligation to exhibit honesty and to respect the ethical standards of the

      profession in carrying out his or her academic assignments.  Without limiting the

      application of this principle, a student may be found to have violated this obligation if he

      or she:*

      1.   Refers during an academic evaluation to materials or sources, or employs devices,

            not authorized by the faculty member.

      2.   Provides assistance during an academic evaluation to another person in a manner

            not authorized by the faculty member.

      3.   Receives assistance during an academic evaluation from another person in a manner

            not authorized by the faculty member.

      4.   Engages in unauthorized possession, buying, selling, obtaining, or use of a copy of

            any materials intended to be used as an instrument of academic evaluation in advance

            of its administration.

      5.   Acts as a substitute for another person in any academic evaluation process.

      6.   Utilizes a substitute in any academic evaluation proceeding.

      7.   Practices any form of deceit in an academic evaluation proceeding.

      8.   Depends on the aid of others in a manner expressly prohibited by the faculty member,

            in the research, preparation, creation, writing, performing, or publication of work to be

            submitted for academic credit or evaluation.

      9.   Provides aid to another person, knowing such aid is expressly prohibited by the faculty

            member, in the research, preparation, creation, writing, performing, or publication of

            work to be submitted for academic credit or evaluation.

     10.  Presents as one's own, for academic evaluation, the ideas, representations, or words

            of another person or persons without customary and proper acknowledgment of

            sources.

     11.  Submits the work of another person in a manner which represents the work to be one's

            own.

     12.  Knowingly permits one's work to be submitted by another person without the faculty

            member's authorization.

     13.  Attempts to influence or change one's academic evaluation or record for reasons other

            than achievement or merit.

     14.  Indulges, during a class (or examination) session in which one is a student, in conduct

            which is so disruptive as to infringe upon the rights of the faculty member or fellow

            students.

     15.  Fails to cooperate, if called upon, in the investigation or disposition of any allegation

            of dishonesty pertaining to a fellow student.

     16.  Violates the canons of ethics of [here refer to relevant discipline or disciplines].

II.   Procedures for Adjudication

      No student should be subject to an adverse finding that he or she committed an offense

      related to academic integrity, and no sanction should be imposed relating thereto, except

      in accordance with procedures appropriate for disposition of the particular matter

      involved.  The degree of formality of proceedings, the identity of the decision maker or

      decision makers, and other related aspects properly reflect such considerations as the

      severity of the potential sanction, its probable impact upon the student, and the extent to

      which matters of professional judgment are essential in arriving at an informed decision.

      In all cases, however, the objective is to provide fairness to the student as well as an

      orderly means for arriving at a decision, starting first with the individual faculty member

      and then designated administrative officers or bodies.

      These Guidelines are not meant to address differences of opinion over grades issued by

      faculty in exercising good faith professional judgments of student work.  They are meant

      to address matters in which a faculty member deals with a student regarding an alleged

      breach of academic integrity.  In matters of academic integrity, the succeeding procedural

      steps must be followed:

      1.   Any member of the University community may bring to the attention of the faculty

            member a complaint that a student has failed, in one or more respects, to meet

            faithfully the obligations specified in the above Section I.**  Acting on his or her own

            evidence, and/or on the basis of evidence submitted to the faculty member, the faculty

            member will advise the student that he or she has reason to believe that the student

            has committed an offense related to academic integrity, and the student will be afforded

            an opportunity to respond.  If the accused student and the faculty member accept a

            specific resolution offered by either of them, the matter shall be considered closed if

            both parties sign a written agreement to that effect and submit it to the Office of the

            Dean.  The Office of the Dean will maintain a written record of the argument, signed

            by the student and the faculty member.  These records are not to be added to the

            student's individual file, and they are to be destroyed when the student graduates or

            otherwise terminates registration.  The Office of the Dean may provide such

            information on an individual student for the following uses:

            a.   to a faculty member who is involved with a student integrity violation at the initial

                  stage and who wishes to use this previous record in determining whether a

                  resolution between the faculty member and the student or an academic integrity

                  board hearing may be most appropriate, especially in the case of repeat offenders;

                  and

            b.   to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board of an academic unit after a decision of

                  guilt or innocence has been made in a case, but before a sanction has been

                  recommended.

      2.   If an agreed-upon resolution between the faculty member and the student cannot be

            reached, the faculty member will file a written statement of charges with the appropriate

            administrative officer.  Such statement should set forth the alleged offenses which are

            the basis of the charges, including a factual narrative of events and the dates and times

            of occurrences.  The statement should also include the names of persons having

            personal knowledge of circumstances or events, the general nature and description of

            all evidence, and the signature of the charging party.  If this occurs at the end of a

            term, and/or the last term of enrollment, the "G" grade should be issued for the course

            until the matter is decided.  In situations involving the student’s last term before

            graduation, degree certifications can be withheld pending the outcome of the hearing,

            which should be expedited as quickly as possible.

      3.   The dean’s designated academic integrity hearing officer will transmit the written

            statement of charges to the student, together with a copy of these regulations.

      4.   The letter of transmittal to the student, a copy of which shall also be sent to the faculty

            member or charging party, will state a time and place when a hearing on the charges

            will be held by the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board.

      5.   In proceedings before the academic unit’s Academic Integrity Hearing Board, the

            student shall have the right:

            a.    to be considered innocent until found guilty by clear and convincing evidence of

                   a violation of the student obligations of academic integrity;

            b.    to have a fair disposition of all matters as promptly as possible under the

                   circumstances;

            c.    to elect to have a private or public hearing;

            d.    to be informed of the general nature of the evidence to be presented;

            e.    to confront and question all parties and witnesses except when extraordinary

                   circumstances make this impossible;

            f.    to present a factual defense through witnesses, personal testimony, and other

                  relevant evidence;

            g.   to decline to testify against himself or herself;

            h.   to have only relevant evidence considered by the Academic Integrity Hearing

                  Board;

            i.    to have a record of the hearing (audio tape), at his or her own expense, upon

                  request.

      6.   The hearing should provide a fair inquiry into the truth or falsity of the charges, with

            the charged party and the faculty member or charging party afforded the right to

            cross-examine all adverse witnesses.  At the level of the academic unit’s Academic

            Integrity Hearing Board, legal counsel shall not be permitted, but a non-attorney/law

            student representative from within the University community shall be permitted for both

            faculty and students.  A law student cannot be used as a representative at the

            Academic Integrity Hearing Board.

      7.   Any member of the University community may, upon showing relevancy and necessity,

            request witnesses to appear at the hearing.  Witnesses who are members of the

            University community shall be required to appear, and other witnesses shall be

            requested to appear, at a hearing.  When necessitated by fairness or extraordinary

            circumstances, the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board may make

            arrangements for recorded or written testimony for use in a proceeding.

      8.   HEARING PROCEDURE:  The hearing will be conducted as follows:

            a.   the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board will not apply technical

                  exclusionary rules of evidence followed in judicial proceedings nor entertain

                  technical legal motions.  Technical legal rules pertaining to the wording of

                  questions, hearsay, and opinions will not be formally applied.  Reasonable rules

                  of relevancy will guide the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board in ruling

                  on the admissibility of evidence.  Reasonable limits may be imposed on the number

                  of factual witnesses and the amount of cumulative evidence that may be introduced;

            b.   the alleged offense or offenses upon which the complaint is based shall be read

                  by the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board;

            c.   objections to procedure shall be entered on the record, and the Chair of the

                  Academic Integrity Hearing Board shall make any necessary rulings regarding the

                  validity of such objections;

            d.   the charging party shall state his or her case and shall offer evidence in support

                  thereof;

            e.   the accused or representative(s) for the accused shall have the opportunity to

                  question the charging party;

            f.    the charging party shall be given the opportunity to call witnesses;

            g.   the accused or representative(s) for the accused shall be given the opportunity

                  to question each witness of the charging party after he or she testifies;

            h.   the charging party shall inform the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board

                  when his or her presentation is completed, at which time the Academic Integrity

                  Hearing Board members shall be given an opportunity to ask questions of the

                  persons participating in the hearing;

            i.    the Academic Integrity Hearing Board shall recess, and the Chair of the Academic

                  Integrity Hearing Board shall make a determination as to whether the charging

                  party has presented sufficient evidence to support a finding against the accused,

                  if such evidence is uncontroverted.  The parties may be required to remain in the

                  hearing room during the recess or may be excused for a time period set by the

                  Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board;

            j.    depending upon the determination of the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing

                  Board, the matter shall be dismissed or the accused shall be called upon to

                  present his or her case and offer evidence in support thereof;

            k.   the accused may testify or not as he or she chooses;

            l.    the charging party shall have the opportunity to question the accused if the

                  accused voluntarily chooses to testify;

            m.  the accused or representative(s) for the accused shall have the opportunity to

                  call witnesses;

            n.   the charging party shall have the opportunity to question each witness of the

                  accused after he or she testifies;

            o.   the accused shall inform the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board when

                  his or her presentation is complete, and the Academic Integrity Hearing Board

                  members shall have an opportunity to ask questions of the accused as well as the

                  accused’s witnesses;

            p.   the Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board shall have an opportunity to

                  address the hearing board on University regulations or procedure in the presence

                  of all parties, but shall not offer other comments without the consent of all parties;

                  and,

           q.    the hearing shall be continued and the members of the Hearing Board shall

                  deliberate in private until a decision is reached and recorded.

      9.   A suitable record (audio recording) shall be made of the proceedings, exclusive of

            deliberations to arrive at a decision.

    10.   The proposed decision, which shall be written, shall include a determination of

            whether the charges have been proved by clear and convincing evidence, together

            with findings with respect to the material facts.  If any charges are established, the

            proposed decision shall state the particular sanction or sanctions to be imposed. 

            Prior violations or informal resolutions of violations may be considered only in

            recommending sanctions, not in determining guilt or innocence.  Once a determination

            of guilt has been made, and before determining sanctions, the Chair of the Academic

            Integrity Hearing Board should find out from the appropriate dean(s) whether prior

            offenses and sanctions imposed have occurred.

    11.   The proposed decision shall be submitted to the dean, who will make an independent

            review of the hearing proceedings.  The dean may require that the charges be

            dismissed, or that the case be remanded for further proceedings whenever he or she

            deems this to be necessary.  Upon completion of such additional proceedings, if any,

            and within a reasonable time the dean shall issue a final decision.  The dean may

            reject any findings made by the Academic Integrity Hearing Board adverse to the

            student, and may dismiss the charges or reduce the severity of any sanction imposed,

            but the dean may not make new findings adverse to the student or increase the

            severity of a sanction, except in the case of repeat offenders of the Academic Integrity

            Guidelines.

     12.  The Chair of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board shall then transmit to the charged

            party and the faculty member copies of all actions taken by the Academic Integrity

            Hearing Board and the dean.  If a sanction is imposed, the notice to the student will

            make reference to the student's opportunity, by petition filed with the provost, to

            appeal to the University Review Board.

III.   Timeliness

      It is the responsibility of all parties, including administrative officers, to take prompt action

      in order that charges can be resolved quickly and fairly.  Failure of the faculty member to

      utilize these procedures diligently may constitute grounds for dismissal of charges. 

      Parties have the right to seek review by the Provost or to petition the University Review

      Board for an appeal from a decision of an Academic Integrity Hearing Board or

      investigatory committee within five (5) working days of the date of the decision letter.


IV.  Sanctions

      The alternative sanctions which may be imposed upon a finding that an offense related to

      academic integrity has been committed are the following:

      1.    Dismissal from the University without expectation of readmission.

      2.    Suspension from the University for a specific period of time.

      3.    Reduction in grade, or assignment of a failing grade, in the course in which the

             offending paper or examination was submitted.

      4.    Reduction in grade, or assignment of a failing grade, on the paper or examination in

             which the offense occurred.  Individual academic units can add other sanctions

             approved by the dean of the academic unit and the Provost.  Such sanctions must

             be made known to students.

      In administering sanctions, academic units must strive to achieve consistency in their

      application.  That is, within the same units, the same sanctions should be applied for the

      same offenses, unless extenuating circumstances can be documented, e.g., the student is

      a repeat offender.

      The imposition of such sanctions may be considered by the academic unit in the

      preparation of any report concerning a student submitted to a government agency,

      accrediting body, or other person or institution in accordance with the requirements of

      law or the written consent of the student.

V.  Academic Integrity Hearing Board

      The Academic Integrity Hearing Board shall be composed of both faculty and students

      and consist of:  [Here state the number of persons on the board; the manner and

      criteria of selection; the terms of service; the means for choosing individuals to serve in

      particular cases, if a panel of the entire board is to have this responsibility; and other

      related organizational matters.]

      In electing or appointing members to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board, emphasis

      should be placed on obtaining faculty members with expertise and/or concerns related to

      academic integrity matters.  Regardless of the selection process, it is the responsibility of

      the dean to provide all new Academic Integrity Hearing Board members with an orientation

      designed to familiarize the new members with the academic integrity guideline for the given

      unit.  Hearing Board members should be elected or appointed in a way to ensure continuity

      of membership as well as an orderly turnover of the membership.

VI.  Review and Appeal

      A student or faculty member may seek to have a dean’s final decision (or a determination

      that the charges are not subject to adjudication) reviewed by the Provost, who may seek

      the advice of the University Review Board, or the student may appeal to the University

      Review Board, whose recommendation shall be made to the Provost.***  The action of

      the Provost, taken with or without the advice of the University Review Board, shall

      constitute an exhaustion of all required institutional remedies.****

                                                               Academic Integrity:

                                                               Faculty Obligations

I.    Faculty Obligations

      A faculty member accepts an obligation, in relation to his or her students, to discharge his

      or her duties in a fair and conscientious manner in accordance with the ethical standards

      generally recognized within the academic community, (as well as those of the profession).

      Without limiting the application of the above principle, members of the faculty are also

      expected (except in cases of illness or other compelling circumstance) to conduct

      themselves in a professional manner, including the following:

      1.    To meet their classes when scheduled.

      2.    To be available at reasonable times for appointments with students, and to keep such

             appointments.

      3.    To make appropriate preparation for classes and other meetings.

      4.    To perform their grading duties and other academic evaluations in a timely manner.

      5.    To describe to students, within the period in which a student may add and drop a

             course, orally, in writing, or by reference to printed course descriptions, the general

             content and objectives of a course; and announce the methods and standards of

             evaluation, including the importance to be assigned various factors in academic

             evaluation and, in advance of any evaluation, the permissible materials or references

             allowed during evaluation.*****

      6.    To base all academic evaluations upon good-faith professional judgment.

      7.    Not to consider, in academic evaluation, such factors as race, color, religion, sex,

             sexual orientation, age, national origin, and political or cultural affiliation, and life

             style, activities, or behavior outside the classroom unrelated to academic

             achievement.******

      8.    To respect the confidentiality of information regarding a student contained in

             University records; and to refrain from releasing such information, except in

             connection with intra-University business, or with student consent, or as may be

             permitted by law.*******

      9.    Not to exploit his or her professional relationship with students for private advantage;

             and to refrain from soliciting the assistance of students for private purposes in a

             manner which infringes upon such students' freedom of choice.

     10.   To give appropriate recognition to contributions made by students to research,

             publication, service, or other activities.

     11.   To refrain from any activity which involves risk to the health and safety of a student,

             except with the student's informed consent, and, where applicable, in accordance with

             the University policy relating to the use of human subjects in experimentation.

     12.   To respect the dignity of students individually and collectively in the classroom and

             other academic contexts.********

II.   Grievance Procedures

      Any member of the University community having evidence may bring to the attention of

      the department chair and/or dean a complaint that a faculty member has failed, in one or

      more respects, to meet faithfully the obligations set forth above.  The chair or dean, at

      his or her discretion, will take such action by way of investigation, counseling, or action--in

      accordance with applicable University procedures--as may appear to be proper under the

      circumstances.  The faculty member's and student's interest in confidentiality, academic

      freedom, and professional integrity in such matters will be respected.

III.   Individual Grievances

      In order to provide a means for students to seek and obtain redress for grievances

      affecting themselves individually, the following procedures should be followed.  These

      are not intended and shall not be used to provide sanctions against faculty members.

IV.  Procedures

      Where an individual student alleges with particularity that the actions of a faculty member

      have resulted in serious academic injury to the student, the matter shall (if requested by

      the student) be presented to the Academic Integrity Hearing Board for adjudication. 

      Serious academic injury includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the awarding of a lower

      course grade than that which the student has earned or suspension from a class. 

      However, this is not intended to address normal grading decisions of faculty in exercising

      good-faith professional judgment in evaluating a student’s work.

      It is the responsibility of the student, before seeking to have a grievance adjudicated, to

      attempt to resolve the matter by personal conference with the faculty member concerned,

      and, if such attempts are unavailing, to call the matter to the attention of the (department

      chair, associate dean, etc., as appropriate) for consideration and adjustment by informal

      means.  If a matter remains unresolved after such efforts have been made, the following

      grievance procedures shall be employed:

      1.    The aggrieved student will file a written statement of charges with the dean’s

             designated Academic Integrity Administrative Officer.

      2.    If the dean’s designated Academic Integrity Administrative Officer determines that

             the charges are subject to adjudication under the terms of the Academic Integrity

             Guidelines, he or she will transmit the charges to the faculty member, together with a

             copy of these regulations.

      3.   The letter of transmittal to the faculty member, a copy of which shall also be sent to

            the student, will state the composition of a committee that has been named to meet

            with the involved parties to make an informal inquiry into the charge.  The purpose

            of this committee is to provide a last effort at informal resolution of the matter

            between the student and the faculty member.

      4.   The committee shall meet with the faculty member, the student, and others as

             appropriate, to review the nature of the problem in an attempt at reaching a

             settlement of the differences.  This is not a formal hearing, and formal procedural

             rules do not apply.  Upon completion of this meeting, if no mutually agreeable

             resolution results, the committee may produce its own recommendation for a solution

            to the conflict.

      5.   Should the committee recommend that the faculty member take some corrective action

            on behalf of the student, its recommendations shall be provided to the faculty member.

            As promptly as reasonable and at least within five (5) working days after the faculty

            member receives the recommendations of the committee, the faculty member shall

            privately take that action which he or she elects, and so advise the student and chair

            of the committee of that action.

      6.   Should the committee conclude that the faculty member need not take corrective action

            on behalf of the student, this finding shall be forwarded to both the faculty member and

            the student.

       7.   If the student elects to pursue the matter further, either because he or she is

             dissatisfied with the resulting action of the faculty member or the conclusion of the

             committee, he or she should discuss this intent with the chair of the committee, who

             should review the procedures to be followed with the student.  If the student wishes

             to proceed with a formal hearing, the chair of the committee shall advise the Chair of

             the Academic Integrity Hearing Board that the case appears to involve a student's

             claim of serious academic injury, and that the formal hearing procedure must be

             initiated.

      8.   The formal hearing should provide a fair inquiry into the truth or falsity of the charges,

            with the faculty member and the student afforded the right to cross-examine.  At the

            level of the Academic Unit Academic Integrity Hearing Board, legal counsel shall not

            be permitted, but a representative from within the University community shall be

            permitted for both faculty and students.

      9.   A suitable record (audio recording) shall be made of the proceedings, exclusive of

            deliberations to arrive at a decision.

     10.  The proposed decision, which shall be written, shall include a determination of

            whether charges have been proved by clear and convincing evidence, together with

            findings with respect to the material facts. If any charges are established, the proposed

            decision shall state the particular remedial action to be taken.

     11.  The proposed decision shall be submitted to the dean, who will make an independent

            review of the hearing proceedings.  The dean may require that the charges be

            dismissed, or that the case be remanded for further proceedings whenever he or

            she deems this to be necessary.  The dean may limit the scope of any further

            proceedings or require that part or all of the original proceedings be reconvened. 

            Upon completion of such additional proceedings, if any, the dean shall issue a final

            decision.  The dean may reject any findings made by the Academic Integrity Hearing

            Board, may dismiss the charges, or may reduce the extent of the remedial action to

            be taken.  If the dean believes the remedial action to be taken may infringe upon the

            exercise of academic freedom, he or she will seek an advisory opinion from the Senate

            Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom (TAF) before issuing his or her own

            decision.  The decision of the dean shall be in writing, shall set forth with particularity

            any new findings of fact or remedies, and shall include a statement of the reasons

            underlying such action.

     12.  The dean shall then transmit to the faculty member and to the student copies of all

            actions affecting them taken by the hearing authority and the dean.  Suitable records

            shall be maintained as confidential and retained in the Office of the Dean.

V.   Remedial Action

      Remedies on a student's behalf should usually be those agreed to willingly by the faculty

      member.  Other remedial action to benefit a student may be authorized by the dean only

      upon recommendation of the Academic Integrity Hearing Board and limited to:  allowing a

      student to repeat an examination; allowing a student to be evaluated for work that would

      otherwise be too late to be considered; directing that additional opportunities be afforded

      for consultation or instruction; eliminating a grade that had been assigned by a faculty

      member from the transcript; changing of a failing letter or numerical grade to a "pass"

      or "satisfactory" grade, so as not to adversely affect a student's grade average; allowing

      a student to repeat a course without penalty, schedule and program permitting.

      If some action is contemplated that might be deemed to infringe upon the academic

      freedom of the faculty member, the dean will seek an advisory opinion from the Senate

      Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom (TAF).  In such cases, TAF may identify

      other acceptable remedies or render such advice as may be appropriate in the particular

      situation.

      No action detrimental to the faculty member will be taken, except as in strict accordance

      with established University procedures.  An adjustment hereunder in the student's behalf

      shall not be deemed a determination that the faculty member was in any way negligent or

      derelict.

VI.  Review and Appeal

      A student or faculty member may seek to have a dean's final decision (or a determination

      that the charges are not subject to adjudication) reviewed by the Provost, who may seek

      the advice of the University Review Board, or the student may appeal to the University

      Review Board, whose recommendation shall be made to the Provost.  The action of the

      Provost, taken with or without the advice of the University Review  Board, shall constitute

      an exhaustion of all required institutional remedies.

      If any such determination may be deemed to have a possible adverse effect upon the

      faculty member’s professional situation, the faculty member may seek the assistance of

      the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee of the University Senate.

VII. Timeliness

      It is the responsibility of all parties, including administrative officers, to take prompt action

      in order that grievances may be resolved quickly and fairly.  While no explicit time limit

      could apply to all cases, failure to use diligence in seeking redress may constitute grounds

      for denial of a hearing or other relief, especially if prejudice results.  Parties have the right

      to seek review of the Provost or to petition the University Review Board for an appeal from

      a decision of an Academic Integrity Review Board or investigatory committee within five (5)

      working days of the date of the decision letter.

VIII. Investigatory Committees and Hearing Boards

      The informal investigatory committees and the formal hearing boards shall be composed

      of both students and faculty and shall consist of [here state the number of persons on the

      board; the manner of criteria of selection; the terms of service; the means for choosing

      individuals to serve in particular cases, if a panel of the entire board is to have this

      responsibility; and other related organizational matters].

Grievance Procedures Against Senior Administrators

A student complaint of arbitrary or unfair treatment against the principal officer of an academic

unit (e.g., the dean) should be made to the Provost or appropriate Senior Vice Chancellor. 

There must be a prompt review and decision on the grievance.  Members of the faculty who

may be called upon to review and advise on the grievance should be drawn from outside the

jurisdiction of the administrator against whom the charge is made.

 

Footnotes

* There may be instances where the charging party may more appropriately invoke the

University of Pittsburgh Student Code of Conduct and Judicial Procedures.  This may occur

where the alleged wrong mainly involves factual determinations and not academic issues.

** If the faculty member elects not to pursue a complaint submitted by a member of the

University community, the complaint can be submitted to an individual appointed by the dean

who can pursue the matter in place of the faculty member.

*** The University Review Board and its jurisdiction are described at the end of this document.

**** In implementation, the decision of the Provost shall be binding also on matters of

interpretation of codes and procedures, determination of serious injury, and determination

that an allegation is subject to adjudication by the procedures provided herein.

***** As each academic unit develops its code, it should recognize that what is expected of

faculty hereunder is intended to provide students with a notion of what is required in the

course, and how they will be evaluated; a general statement of broadly defined parameters

would therefore suffice.  If a course is deemed experimental in content, evaluation techniques,

or grading practices, the students should be so advised.  By academic evaluation is meant a

measurement or grading of a student's academic performance, such as in written or oral

examinations or papers, research reports, or class or laboratory participation.

****** If the student charges such discrimination, the [designated administrative officer] will

consult with the unit affirmative action officer to ensure compliance with civil rights legislation

and regulations.  In such cases, the University Senate Tenure and Academic Freedom

Committee may be consulted at any time.

******* References or recommendations may be given in good faith by a faculty member on his

or her own behalf, without documentation of a student's consent if it may be reasonably

perceived that the student initiated the request for a recommendation, in response to apparent

bona fide inquiries, such as those from institutions which state that the student has applied for

employment, for admission to graduate academic unit, or for a professional license.  See fuller

statements concerning University records in the "Student Code of Conduct and Judicial

Procedures."

******** Students are advised that other University policies may more appropriately apply to a

given grievance or avenue of redress, including, but not necessarily limited to, the University

of Pittsburgh Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures.

 

                                             UNIVERSITY REVIEW BOARD

The University Review Board (URB) is the duly authorized appellate body which serves as an

advisor to the Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor.  (Regional Campuses

may establish similar appellate bodies which serve as an advisor to their President and whose

appellate jurisdiction shall be limited to non-academic matters).

The URB may exercise appellate jurisdiction for academic and non-academic matters and

shall have sole appellate jurisdiction for matters originating from judicial bodies within the

University Student Judicial System.

The URB shall also exercise limited jurisdiction for matters referred directly from the

Chancellor and the Provost, the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, or the Vice

Provost and Dean of Students.

The University Review Board may meet from time to time for the purpose of orienting new

members and reviewing prior decisions and shall meet at such other times as are necessary

to conduct appellate hearings.

URB STRUCTURE

The URB shall be a standing body of fifteen members of the University community appointed

for staggered terms of two years.  Appointment shall be made in the following manner:

      1.   Five faculty members elected by the University Senate.

      2.   Five graduate and professional students appointed by the Graduate and Professional

            Student Association.

      3.   Five undergraduate students:

            a.   two appointed by the General Studies Student Council; and

            b.   three appointed by the Undergraduate Student Government Board.

A matter properly submitted for review shall be heard by a Review Board of five members of

the URB.  Review Boards shall be composed as follows:

      1.   In academic cases, three faculty members and two students.

      2.   In non-academic cases, two faculty members and three students.

URB MODERATOR

An attorney appointed by the Chancellor who shall serve as URB Moderator is authorized to:

      1.   Conduct the administrative and procedural operations of the URB.

      2.   Determine the appropriateness and completeness of Petitions to the URB in

            consultation with one student and one faculty member of the URB.

      3.   Provide advice and assistance to members of the University community regarding the

            processing of an appeal.

      4.   Select members from the URB membership to serve on Review Boards.

      5.   Moderate all proceedings before the URB.

      6.   Serve as legal advisor to the URB.

      7.   Provide legal advice related to URB proceedings and recommendation, if requested,

            to the Chancellor or other referring authority.

BASIS FOR APPEAL

The URB shall hear an appeal whenever requested by the Chancellor, Provost and Senior

Vice Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, or the Vice Provost and

Dean of Students.

The URB shall also hear appeals on the petition of a faculty member, student, or student

organization when either petition, together with supporting documentation, presents a

substantial question within the scope of review of the URB and either the prior adjudication or

action resulted in:

      1.   Suspension or dismissal from the University for violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

      2.   Suspension or dismissal from the University or the imposition of a serious academic

            sanction for violation of academic integrity standards.

      3.   Grant or denial of a remedy in an academic grievance proceeding.

      4.   Suspension or dismissal from the University residence halls.

      5.   Procedural rulings or substantive interpretations which have an important continuing

            impact upon the University Student Judicial System or the University community.

SCOPE OF REVIEW

The scope of review of the URB shall be limited to consideration of the following questions:

      1.   Whether rights affirmed by the Board of Trustees have been denied.

      2.   Whether the adjudicatory process of an initial hearing was conducted fairly and in

            conformity with properly prescribed procedures.

      3.   Whether the adjudication was supported by substantial evidence.

      4.   Whether the regulations involved were lawful and proper and whether they were

            properly applied in the particular case.

      5.   Whether the sanction or remedy imposed was in due proportion to the gravity and

            nature of the conduct.

URB PROCEDURES

Any faculty member or student adversely affected by the decision of a judicial body within

the University Student Judicial System may institute an appeal before the URB by filing a

petition in the Office of the URB Moderator.

A petition must set forth the following:

      1.   The name and address of the petitioner adversely affected by the prior adjudication.

      2.   The name and address of the respondent.

      3.   The result of the prior adjudication.

      4.   One or more of the questions within the scope of review of the URB.

      5.   A statement supporting, through factual narrative and argument, the petitioner's

            position.

The Moderator, in consultation with one student and one faculty member of the URB, shall

review petitions and determine whether all requirements set forth for the filing of an appeal

are satisfied and whether the petition sets forth the basis for an appeal and raises a question

within the scope of review.

Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, the Moderator shall notify the parties that an appeal

has been instituted.  Notice shall include:

      1.   A copy of the petition.

      2.   A copy of the relevant regulations and procedures.

After determining the appropriateness and completeness of a petition and allowing a

reasonable amount of time for preparation and review of any documents and recordings,

the Moderator shall schedule an appeal.  All parties shall receive written notification of the

time, date, and place.

The Moderator shall convene a Review Board at the time, date, and place scheduled, and

the appeal shall be conducted under the procedural guidance of the Moderator.

* The URB, at its discretion, may elect to decide an appeal based on the submission of briefs

by the parties without oral argument.  In such cases, the Moderator will provide written

instruction to the parties.

POSTPONEMENT OF SANCTION PENDING APPEALS

A sanction or remedy which has been recommended by a judicial board and approved by the

appropriate administrative officer may be postponed upon petition by the affected party or

parties upon a determination that pending the final examination of an appeal it would be unfair

not to postpone imposition of the sanction or remedy.

Persons wishing to postpone a sanction or remedy may petition the URB by separate petition

setting forth reasons why the imposition of a sanction or remedy would unfairly prejudice a

party.  Petition for postponement shall be reviewed by the Moderator, one student, and one

faculty member of the URB.  The criteria to be applied in determining whether to postpone a

sanction or remedy are as follows:

      1.   Whether the issues raised in the appeal may be resolved in favor of the petitioning

            party.

      2.   Whether the petitioning party will be unfairly prejudiced pending a final determination

            of the appeal by the immediate imposition of the sanction or remedy.

      3.   Whether the responding party will be unfairly prejudiced by the postponement of the

            sanction or remedy.

All decisions regarding the postponement of sanctions shall be made within five (5) days of

the receipt of such a petition and shall be communicated to all parties in writing through the

office of the Moderator.

REPRESENTATION

A party may be represented or assisted by whomever he or she wishes, but only one

representative may take an active part.

ARGUMENT FORMAT

Each party in interest shall be given ample time to present his or her position.  In support of

a position, a party may refer to any records, documents, or recordings from a prior

proceeding and may present an oral or written argument.

Each party may question the other about his or her argument.  Members of the URB may

question the parties.

The URB shall make factual findings and shall render a final adjudication in the form of a

written opinion.  A majority shall control all decisions, but there may be an accompanying

minority opinion.

URB ACTION

The URB may remand a matter to the initial adjudicatory authorities for further proceedings if

it determines there are insufficient written findings or prejudicial procedural error.  In other

cases, the URB shall render a written opinion and recommend action to the Chancellor,

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, or the

Vice Provost and Dean of Students, accompanied by the complete record.

The Moderator shall be responsible for promptly communicating any formal action of the URB

to the parties, transmitting remanded cases to the initial adjudicatory authorities, and forwarding

the recommendations to the Chancellor and his or her representatives.

ACTION BY THE CHANCELLOR OR OTHER REFERRING AUTHORITY

The Chancellor and/or his or her representatives shall consider the opinions and

recommendations of the URB, the record, and such other advice as they may deem necessary

and proper.  He, she, or they may remand the matter to the initial adjudicatory authority or to

the URB for further proceedings or may enter a final decision, accepting or rejecting the

recommendations in part or in their entirety.  (A sanction imposed by an initial adjudicatory

authority may not be increased.)

 

[Back Cover Text]

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality

of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity.  Accordingly, the

University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis or race,

color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual

orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era.  Further,

the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values

consistent with the University’s mission.  This policy applies to admissions, employment, access

to and treatment in University programs and activities.  This is a commitment made by the

University and is in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and complaint/

grievance procedures, please contact: William A. Savage, Assistant to the Chancellor and

Director of Affirmative Action (and Title IX and 504, ADA Coordinator), Office of Affirmative

Action, 901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. (412) 648-7860.