Policies

Policies

Dismissal for Misconduct, Graduate Programs

POLICY SOURCE: Graduate Policies - 04 Other Graduate Policies POLICY NO: 7552
SUPERCEDES: 7549
TITLE: Dismissal for Misconduct, Graduate Programs SUBMITTED BY: Liz Fox
DATE: Jan 19, 2017 APPROVED BY: Liz Fox

Effective Date Jan 19, 2017

Dismissal for Misconduct, Graduate Programs  (Rev. 11/20/03)

(Graduate Policy 4.12)

Misconduct refers to student conduct that violates the legal or ethical standards of the university and/or has the potential to adversely affect the university’s reputation. Misconduct may result in mandatory withdrawal from all classes and denial of permission to register in future terms, for either a definite or indefinite period of time. Two types of misconduct are described here: “Academic Misconduct” and “Research Misconduct.” Both could result in the above sanctions. Behavioral misconduct such as forging, altering or misusing university documents or academic credentials, shall be treated according to the stipulations indicated in the Student Handbook.

As a guide to determining whether misconduct should be classified as “academic misconduct” or “research misconduct,” the following examples may be considered: 

Criteria Academic Misconduct Research Misconduct
Faculty involvement student's independent work part of faculty research
Dissemination potential presented to a class has the possibility of being published in some manner
Nature of inappropriate action crib sheets during an examination passing someone's research off as one's own 
Use of results outside the university none applied by an enterprise outside the university
Plagiarism unattributed quotation in any work submitted to anyone in the university community unauthorized quotation in a document posted to the Web or in a thesis that has been signed by all committee members

When in doubt about the nature of the dismissal, whether it is academic or research, the dean should seek the guidance of the director of graduate programs.

Academic Misconduct (Rev. 1/19/17)

(Graduate Policy 4.12.1)

Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating or knowingly furnishing false information to the university. According to “Academic Dishonesty, Cheating and Plagiarism” (www.fit.edu/current/documents/plagiarism.pdf), plagiarism “is the theft of intellectual property belonging to another. This includes both the theft of unwritten ideas and concepts as well as the theft of written texts, notes, computer programs, designs and/or visual materials.” Cheating includes but is not limited to:

  • Giving or receiving information during an examination (‘examination’ includes tests and quizzes)
  • Using unauthorized material (such as notes) during an examination; unauthorized dissemination or receipt of examinations, examination materials, contents or answer keys
  • Taking an examination or writing a paper for another student or asking someone to take an examination or write a paper. (includes shared work and/or group-produced answers on take-home examinations)
  • Submitting the same paper—or different versions of what is substantially the same paper—for more than one course
  • Misrepresenting or fabricating written work, sources, research results as well as helping another student commit an act of academic dishonesty or lying to protect a student who has committed such an act

In a case of academic misconduct, the decision to dismiss will be made by the dean of college in which the student is enrolled. A letter from the dean will inform the student, the student’s academic unit head(s), dean of students, registrar, director of graduate programs and dean of the graduate school of the dismissal and the student’s right to appeal. In the case of an international student, the letter will also inform the director of international student and scholar services. The letter must include a statement of misconduct, evidence supporting the misconduct, disciplinary actions, options to either accept the actions or to appeal, as well as a deadline for notification of the choice to appeal. 

Appeal Procedure for Academic Misconduct Dismissals (Rev. 1/19/17)

(Graduate Policy 4.12.1.1)

Appeals of actions taken in accordance with graduate policy “Academic Misconduct” shall be subject to the following regulations and procedures:

The person on whose behalf the appeal is filed (the “Appellant”) shall prepare or have prepared on his/her behalf, a written statement outlining the basis of the appeal, setting forth such factual and argumentative materials as the Appellant may deem necessary to explain the action complained of, the reason for the appeal and any alleged erroneous or incorrect actions or decisions made or taken in the case. The Appellant may include supporting materials as called for by the nature of the matter.

The statement shall be submitted to the dean of the graduate school, who shall convene a meeting of the dismissal appeals committee of the Graduate Council. The committee shall act as hearing examiner in the matter. The Appellant shall be notified of the right to appear in person before the committee to present a statement and offer any additional information he/she deems relevant. Such hearings will be closed. The committee shall carefully review the written statement and supporting materials and shall carefully consider the oral arguments presented by the Appellant. The committee may also conduct such independent investigations as it deems proper. Procedural rules for the hearing shall be prescribed by the committee.

If the Appellant so desires, he or she may be accompanied by an advisor who must be a member of the Florida Tech faculty, staff or student body, but such advisor shall not have the right to make a statement, examine witnesses or present evidence.

Following the determination of the committee, the Appellant shall be notified by means of a letter from the dean of the graduate school regarding the decision, with copies to the academic unit(s), registrar, dean of students, the student's academic dean, the graduate programs office, and the international student and scholar services office, if appropriate.

The decision of the dismissal appeals committee is final and is binding of all parties involved. In the case of a tie vote, the dean of the graduate school will cast the deciding vote. All information will be retained on file in the Office of Graduate Programs. 

Research Misconduct

(Graduate Policy 4.12.2)

  1. “Research refers to those efforts which, while under university auspices, have been or could be widely disseminated or that has the potential of increasing human knowledge or that is applicable in the professional or public domain.” Examples of research misconduct include, but are not limited to, fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, misappropriation of ideas of others and failure to comply with legal requirements governing research.
  2. Determinations of research misconduct, appeals from such determinations and recommendations for sanctions to be applied in such cases will be governed by the processes set forth in the Florida Tech administrative policies and procedures for review, investigation and reporting allegations of research misconduct and fraud (www.fit.edu/research/policies/miscon_pol.php).
  3. If it is determined by a committee on scientific misconduct that the student has committed research misconduct in any form, the dean of the appropriate college and the dean of graduate school will be guided by the recommendations of the committee as to the sanctions to be applied. If dismissal is recommended and the deans of the college and the graduate school concur, the student and director of graduate programs shall be notified in writing by the vice president for research, chief operating officer and dean of students regarding the determination of the committee and the concurrence of the dean and vice president for research.

Appeal Procedure for Research Misconduct Dismissals

(Graduate Policy 4.12.2.1)

The student shall have the right of appeal as specified in the policies and procedures. If the dismissal is upheld, the dean of the graduate school shall notify in writing the student, the director of graduate programs and the registrar.

Annotation of the Transcripts for Misconduct Dismissals (Rev. 9/18/03)

(Graduate Policy 4.12.3)

Transcripts of students dismissed for misconduct reasons are annotated as follows:

The statement, “dismissed for academic misconduct” shall appear on the transcript following the semester in which the dismissal occurred.

If a student is reinstated following a dismissal for misconduct, the statement of the cause for the dismissal will remain on the transcript, unless the determination of misconduct is reversed.