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FAQs - Student Affairs

I have a faculty member who is accusing a student of cheating in a class. What course of action is the faculty obligated to take?

The faculty and administration of the University of Missouri recognize the importance of creating an honest academic climate where students are evaluated fairly on the basis of their own performance. Maintaining the environment is a shared responsibility of the administration and the faculty. The administration oversees the student disciplinary process and the faculty evaluate the students' academic performance.

If a faculty member believes a student has committed academic dishonesty he or she must file a formal report of academic dishonesty in writing to the Chief Academic Officer of the campus. The report, should be prepared immediately and provide a detailed account of the incident, any supporting evidence, and any action taken by the instructor.

The faculty members may evaluate the quality of the students' work and assign grades based on their assessment of the work. Students have the right to appeal their grades through the campus-specific grade appeals processes. Although faculty members have the authority to evaluate student academic performance and award the grade earned by any student, they do not have the authority to punish any student for academic dishonesty. The University Regulations placed that responsibility on the Chief Academic Officer in accordance with System-wide procedures on student conduct which ensure due process. These procedures can be found at University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 200.020.

For more information about the code of conduct including definitions of academic dishonesty are in the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 200.010 B.1.

(For more information about grade appeals, refer to the question on campus grade appeals processes. For information on student discipline for academic dishonesty, see the question on student disciplinary procedures.)

Students often come in and feel the grade they received was "unfair." What are the conditions under which a student may appeal a grade and what are the processes?

There is no System-wide grade appeals process and each of the UM campuses has its own conditions and processes for grade appeals.

For more specific information about grade appeals, see the campus-specific grade appeals processes listed below. Be sure to check with the Office of the Chief Academic Officer to make sure their web sites reflect their current campus policies.

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I have a student in the department who is disabled. Once he or she provides proof of a bona fide disability, is he or she is entitled to the accommodation he or she requests?

The University is required to provide reasonable accommodations. However, these accommodations shall not affect the substance of the educational programs or compromise educational standards. This does not mean that you must provide the accommodation requested.

On all campuses there is an official who will inquire into the condition of the disability, determine proper alternative accommodations, review any documentation or seek an evaluation of the condition, and attempt to address the situation to the satisfaction of both parties.

For more information consult the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations Section 240.040.

For more information, contact your campus representative.

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Does the University have an established code of conduct and procedures for disciplining students for misconduct?

Yes, there is a formal code of student conduct that relates to student behavior in a number of areas such as:

  • Physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse
  • Possession or use of alcohol or drugs on University property
  • Theft of attempted theft of University property
  • Illegal or unauthorized use of firearms
  • Falsifying records
  • Computer use and computer viruses

The same formal procedure applies to both academic dishonesty and to student conduct of a nonacademic nature. That procedure includes an opportunity for a formal disciplinary proceeding, hearings, and other safeguards for both the student and the institution.

The Chief Student Affairs Administrator on each campus is the primary administrative officer for student misconduct except in cases of academic dishonesty, where the Chief Academic Officer is the primary administrative officer.

For students who violate the Student Conduct Code there are a range of possible sanctions that may be imposed for a violation. These include warnings, probation, loss of privileges, restitution, discretionary sanctions, residence hall suspension or expulsion, and University suspension or dismissal.

The primary administrative official should investigate any reported student misconduct before initiating any formal "conduct proceedings" and give the student an opportunity to present a personal version of the incident.

If the disciplinary incident is not resolved informally, faculty members or chairs might be called as witnesses at the formal hearing. Faculty members may also be appointed by Chancellors to serve on student conduct committees.

A. Jurisdiction of the University Of Missouri generally is limited to conduct that occurs on the University of Missouri premises or at University-sponsored or University-supervised functions.

For more information about the standards of conduct and these issues see the student conduct section of the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations.

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Are students entitled to see faculty email notes about them?

Generally, yes they are. Students may have access to most written or electronic records maintained by the University that are directly related to them. However, personal notes or records that are considered "sole possession" (i.e., not shared with any other person) are excluded from the definition of educational records.

Tape recorded classes or productions, video tapes, or computer digital files that contain pictures or images of students or otherwise identify them are considered to be "educational records." In addition to the students' right to access email notes about them, University employees are prohibited from sharing email messages about students without the consent of the students unless there is an educational need to know.

Generally, there is no distinction between email messages and other educational records. Consequently, students have the following rights related to email notes:

  • The right to access educational records pertaining to them.
  • Subject to statutory exceptions, the right to prevent disclosure of their educational records to others without the student's written consent.

For more information consult the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulation Section 180.020 E.

Reviewed August 28, 2014.