Academic Misconduct Committee Chairs

The Academic Misconduct Committee Chair is responsible for assessing cases of alleged academic misconduct, and recommending proportionate penalties.

Where a case of alleged academic misconduct is referred, the Chair of the Academic Misconduct Committee should first determine whether there is a case to answer.

Reviewing a Referral

Referred cases of Academic Misconduct are administratively managed by the Academic Misconduct Secretary. The Academic Misconduct Secretary will inform you when a specific case requires your review. 

Some important things for Committee Chairs to consider when reviewing cases include; 

  • Stage of study
  • Whether the alleged breach is a first offence or repeat offence
  • The proportion of work affected  
  • Type of assessment 
  • Does the offence involve any other students? 
  • Evidence of intent to deceive 
  • Recommendations that may be made for academic support and further training

Principles of Review:

When reviewing and making a recommendation for any case of alleged academic misconduct, two key principles are always in effect and should be considered by Committee Chairs. 

  • Strict Liability - Whether a student intended to commit an academic misconduct offence or not, is not of relevance.  
  • Balance of Probabilities - Given the information available, it is more likely that the allegation is true, or untrue.  

Chairing a Committee

The following information may be helpful to Committee Chairs seeking guidance on convening an Academic Misconduct Committee. 

Committee Proceedings

A Committee should consist of:

  • three members of academic staff (including the appointed Chair)
  • a Student Representative 
  • the Academic Misconduct Committee Secretary 

Secretaries will keep a record of the Committee proceedings, which will be made available to all members. Following the meeting, the Chair should confirm that the accuracy of the meeting record. The Secretary may then proceed to communicate the outcome of the case to the student. 

You may wish to use the example agenda below for an Academic Misconduct Committee Meeting as a guide.

Student Attendance

Student attendance at Academic Misconduct Committee meetings is permitted at the discretion of the Committee Chair. In all cases, students should be given the opportunity to provide evidence (written or verbal) for the Committee members to consider. 

In the most serious of cases (for example, cases where the Committee is considering D or E category penalties) it would almost always be appropriate for the student to be given the opportunity to attend in-person. 

Meeting with Students

Academic Misconduct Committees are structured as formal proceedings, and some students can find the process overwhelming. They may also find it difficult to understand the consequences of breaching the University's Academic Integrity regulations, and the impact this can have on their academic progress. In cases where the Committee Chair feels that it would be appropriate to do so, they may wish to set up a more informal meeting with the student once the Committee proceedings have concluded, to further explain or to help clarify the information they have received in their outcome letter.

Academic Tutors can also meet with students to discuss a case that has been referred, provided that they are not involved in the referral or review of the case. This is a good opportunity to signpost additional wellbeing or study support. 

Appeals

After the decision of an Academic Misconduct Committee has been reached the student may appeal the decision on the grounds outlined in Annex 13 and as such any minutes taken within the meeting and full details of the referral may be required for review both internally and externally. 

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