the word 'FAQs' spelled in vintage wood blocks

What Types of Incidents Are Reported to Student Support  & Judicial Affairs?

  • Why are students reported to OSSJA?
  • As members of society and our academic community, students have both rights and responsibilities.  The University expects students to comply with all laws and with University policies and campus regulations. These policies and regulations include, but are not limited to, the University of California Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline and the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct. Students are reported to OSSJA when there are concerns that their behavior may have violated these University or campus standards.
  • Can students be reported for both academic misconduct and social misconduct?
  • Yes, students can be reported for both academic and social misconduct.  Examples of academic misconduct include:  cheating, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, uploading instructors' materials to CourseHero or other sites, and any other dishonest or unfair academic conduct.  Examples of social misconduct include:  underage alcohol use/possession; drugs; disruption or noise; unauthorized access to, misuse of, or damage to University property, electronic resources, identification, keys or facilities; theft, misappropriation, or possession of stolen property; and assault, threats of violence or conduct that threatens health or safety of any individual.
  • What are examples of violations for which students are referred?
  • Academic cases reported include plagiarism; cheating (such as copying, sharing answers, or using unauthorized materials during exams); and giving or receiving unauthorized assistance on homework.  Social cases reported include alcohol policy violations; forgery, alteration or misuse of identification, keys or documents; unauthorized entry to or misuse of property; and sexual assault.

  • Can students be reported for off-campus conduct?
  • Yes, students can be reported to OSSJA for off-campus conduct when their behavior causes concerns that there may be a threat to safety or security. See On- and Off-Campus Jurisdiction.
  • Can the student be prosecuted criminally AND also be reported to OSSJA for the same act?
  • Yes, if the act is both a violation of student conduct standards and the criminal law. Students have special responsibilities as part of their relationship to the University that are different from their general obligations as citizens to obey the law. The same act may be a violation both of the student's responsibilities to the University and his/her legal obligations, resulting in more than one kind of consequence for that act.

What Happens When a Report is Made?

  • How are students reported to OSSJA?
  • The reporting party submits a written statement to OSSJA (electronically or on paper) and includes any documents or other evidence related to the suspected misconduct. OSSJA reviews the report to determine whether it describes conduct that may be a violation of University standards. In most cases, OSSJA creates a disciplinary file and notifies the student that he/she needs to meet with OSSJA to discuss the matter.
  • What kinds of information might be submitted in support of a report to OSSJA?
  • In addition to information from witnesses, the reporting party may submit other evidence such as documents (tests, notes, term papers, assignments), and incident reports.
  • How are students notified that they have been reported to OSSJA?
  • Generally, OSSJA sends an email asking the student to schedule an appointment with a specific Judicial Officer.  Prior to the student's scheduled meeting, the student is encouraged to review the judicial process, which is outlined on the OSSJA webpage on the disciplinary process.
  • What should a student do after receiving an email notice that a report has made to OSSJA?
  • It is important that the student follow the directions in the notice, call to schedule an appointment, and meet with the Judicial Officer.
  • What if the student does not respond to the notice?
  • If the student does not respond, holds will be placed on the student's registration and transcripts. If the student is a senior nearing graduation, holds will also be placed on the student's graduation and diploma. Holds are not removed until the student responds and participates in the disciplinary process.
  • What if the student is out of town (on leave, summer break, or studying abroad) and cannot be back in Davis for a meeting by the deadline?
  • The student should still call or email OSSJA to explain the situation and request a phone appointment with the Judicial Officer assigned to the case. An in-person meeting/s may be required later, but the student can at least have an initial discussion with OSSJA over the phone. Ignoring an email from OSSJA will result in holds being placed on the student's records.

The Informal Discipline Process

  • Can the student have a friend or parent attend the first disciplinary meeting with him/her?
  • Yes. A student may bring someone for emotional support or as an advisor.  The student must speak for him/herself, however.
  • What happens at the first meeting between the student and OSSJA?
  • A Judicial Officer meets with the student in a one-on-one meeting and explains the disciplinary process to the student. The Judicial Officer informs the student of the reason for the report, reviewing the information that has been received from the reporting party. The student is given an opportunity to respond to the concerns and tell the Judicial Officer what they know about the situation. While the reporting party does not attend this first meeting, after meeting with the student, the Judicial Officer informs the reporting party what the student has said and discusses possible resolutions. The purpose of the first meeting is to see if the student and OSSJA can reach an agreement regarding what happened and what might be an appropriate way of resolving the matter. Students may choose not to comment on the allegations but if they do provide information, they are expected to be honest.
  • At the first meeting, does the Judicial Officer decide whether the student violated University rules?
  • Generally, during this part of the process (Informal Disposition), no decision is made and no sanction is imposed unless:  (a) The student admits a violation and agrees to the recommended sanction(s); or (b) The student fails or refuses to participate in the disciplinary process.
  • What if the student did commit the violation - why should the student admit it and risk punishment?
  • A report to the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs, regardless of the outcome, can be a learning process. The goals of a disciplinary inquiry are to find the truth, to be fair, and to treat all those involved with respect. While it may be difficult for a student who has violated the rules to admit fault, experience has shown that most students have the courage to acknowledge their mistakes. The act of taking personal responsibility allows the student to get beyond a bad decision and move forward with his or her life. In addition, admitting responsibility and accepting the consequences of one's actions is an important mitigating factor that is taken into account in imposing sanctions; a student who admits the violation will receive a less severe sanction than one who continues to deny or tries to cover-up the offense.
  • What is a disciplinary agreement?
  • When a student and OSSJA reach an agreement to resolve a disciplinary matter, the agreement is generally summarized in a written document which states that: (a) The student acknowledges violating specific conduct standards; and (b) Describes the nature and facts of the admitted violation as well as the terms of the sanctions to be imposed.
  • What happens if the student says he or she did not do anything wrong?
  • There are three possible outcomes:  (1) The evidence indicates that the student did not violate University policy. The student's response to the explanation of the questionable behavior or work, including supporting evidence provided by the student, is communicated to the reporting party. If the reporting party and OSSJA are convinced that no violation occurred on the basis of the student's account of what happened, the case is closed. (2) There is conflicting evidence, but after reviewing the student's explanation and evidence, the reporting party and OSSJA may not be convinced of the student's innocence but may believe that the evidence supporting the report is not sufficient to pursue the matter further. Generally, the University issues an Administrative Notice, a written notice of campus and University standards. This does not constitute disciplinary action, but is a formal notice of University policy and it may be considered in determining sanctions if there are future violations. (3) There is conflicting evidence, but the information provided by the student does not resolve the concerns. The University decides there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a formal hearing.

  • What if a matter can't be resolved informally?
  • If the matter cannot be resolved informally, a formal fact-finding hearing is scheduled.  At the hearing, the reporting party and accused student and their witnesses testify and present documents and/or other evidence. The hearing panel then considers the evidence and determines the facts of what happened.
  • Can't a student just lie or argue his/her way out of trouble, and get away with it?
  • This is a bad idea. People almost always get caught in their lies as one lie leads to another and another — and eventually everything comes crashing down and what was a single violation at the start is compounded by further dishonest acts, each of which can trigger additional and more severe sanctions. Thus, if a student is found to have lied in order to cover up a violation, what could have been resolved with Probation could result in the student being Suspended or even Dismissed. Similarly, arguing doesn't work well in a fair process designed to find the truth, such as our student disciplinary system. Indeed, arguing and going on the offensive can be disastrous if the student did commit the violation as it only delays the inevitable, demonstrates an unwillingness to accept responsibility, and aggravates the potential punishment. The meeting with a Judicial Officer is an opportunity to talk about what happened in a non-threatening environment. Trying to avoid responsibility for one's behavior usually results in more severe sanctions, and may establish a pattern of dishonesty that will create bigger problems in the future. It is best to tell the truth right at the beginning, face one's mistakes and take responsibility for the consequences. This allows one to learn from the experience and develop positive, ethical ways of solving problems in the future.
  • Should a student who didn't do anything wrong admit a violation just to get it over with?
  • No, there is no purpose served by punishing innocent students. A student should never falsely admit a violation he/she did not commit. The University simply asks that students be completely honest in the process. This is a fundamental ethical principle, and students are expected to live up to this standard.
  • What if the student is afraid that admitting the violation will ruin his or her college career?
  • The act that jeopardizes the student's career is committing the violation in the first place, not admitting it afterwards. Admitting the violation will help mitigate the offense and reduce the penalty. In most cases, the sanction is not reflected on the student's academic transcripts and will not be reported to potential schools or employers. Even when the violation and sanction must be reported, truthfulness and cooperation in the disciplinary process, accepting consequences, and learning from the experience are important factors that are carefully considered by employers and admissions committees.
  • Must a student participate in the student disciplinary process if there is a pending criminal action arising out of the same incident?
  • In cases where a criminal investigation or prosecution is pending, a student may be advised by his/her attorney not to discuss the facts of the case with the Judicial Officer. In such cases, it is still necessary to meet with OSSJA, although the student may have his/her attorney attend the meeting. Depending on how serious the alleged crime is, the student may be removed from school immediately through Interim Suspension, or OSSJA may require that the student sign an "interim" [temporary] agreement in order to continue in school.
  • Can a student bring an attorney to the meeting with OSSJA?
  • Yes. However, the attorney may attend only in an advisory capacity, and the student must speak on his/her own behalf in the OSSJA process for academic matters. As a result, most students do not find it worthwhile to involve an attorney, especially in academic cases, since most first-time academic violations are resolved in a way that permits the student to remain in school and learn from the experience. Additionally, the main purpose of the discipline process is educational: to ensure that the student understands our conduct standards and to help the student learn.
  • Will OSSJA inform a student's parents about the case? What if they are paying the student's fees?
  • Under University policy and state law, students have the right to privacy whether or not the parents or guardians are paying the fees. Therefore, OSSJA will not contact the student's parents, guardian, family members or friends unless: (a) The student requests that OSSJA do so and/or gives consent for OSSJA to speak with that person, or (b) It is necessary to contact the parents or others for health or safety reasons.

  • Some students understandably feel stressed about being reported to OSSJA. Is there anyone to talk to anonymously to get help and advice?
  • Yes, there is. First, students who feel stressed or anxious are encouraged to seek assistance from the counseling centers, which are located at the Student Health & Wellness Center and in North Hall. Their services are strictly confidential and the counselors will not talk to OSSJA or anyone else about the student unless the student gives consent. In addition, these services are free of charge to registered students. Second, a student can call OSSJA for general advice and ask questions about the process without providing his/her name.

Formal Hearing Procedures

  • When does OSSJA schedule a formal fact-finding hearing to resolve a pending discipline case?
  • If there is a dispute about the facts and the matter cannot be resolved through the informal disposition process, a formal fact-finding hearing is scheduled. In cases of suspected academic misconduct, the hearing is usually held before a panel of students and faculty members on the Campus Judicial Board. For suspected social misconduct violations, the case will normally be conducted before a hearing officer (selected and appointed from among University faculty or staff). In both cases, the panel or hearing officer will listen to testimony from both sides, ask questions, weigh the evidence, and make a decision about the facts of what happened. After a full and fair hearing, the panel or hearing officer is in the best position to make the correct decision and find the truth.
  • What is the Campus Judicial Board (CJB)?
  • The Campus Judicial Board is a student-faculty panel that decides cases of reported student misconduct that cannot be resolved informally. At confidential formal hearings, the "CJB" panel hears witnesses and reviews evidence to determine the facts of suspected violations. CJB members may also serve as advisors to accused students and reporting parties in the formal hearing process. Additionally, student members of the CJB promote academic integrity by doing education and outreach to students and instructors at UC Davis.
  • What happens during a formal hearing?
  • A small panel of the Campus Judicial Board (usually, one or two students and one or two faculty members) meets with the reporting party and the accused student to hear the evidence and reach a decision regarding the facts of what happened. The reporting party starts by telling the Board what caused them to suspect misconduct and why they reported the student, and explaining any documents or other evidence supporting the report of misconduct. The Board may question the reporting party, and then the accused student may ask questions. If the reporting party has any additional witnesses, each will tell what he/she knows and then respond to questions from the Board, the reporting party, and the accused student. The accused student then tells what happened from his/her own perspective, and may present any supporting documents or witnesses. The CJB and the reporting party may question the accused student and his/her witnesses. When all evidence has been received, the CJB concludes the hearing and meets in closed session to discuss the case and reach a decision. After the hearing, the Chair of the hearing (usually a CJB student) writes up a report of their decision and the reasons supporting it (call a "findings of fact") and sends it to the Director of OSSJA. The Director reviews the report and makes the final decision. He then sends out a "Decision Letter" to the student, informing the student as to whether he/she has been found "in violation" or "not in violation". If the former, the Director will impose disciplinary sanctions on the student, based on the violation/s. If the latter, the charges against the student are dropped.
  • Does the student have to prove he/she is innocent?
  • No. The University has the burden of proving that a violation occurred. If a formal hearing is held, the test is whether there is "more evidence than not" that the student committed the violation (this standard of proof is called "preponderance of the evidence"). If the evidence is evenly balanced, the burden is not met, and the decision is in favor of the accused student.
  • What is the role of an advisor in student disciplinary matters? Who can serve as an advisor?
  • The advisor may attend meetings between the accused student and OSSJA, and help the student gather information about the report of suspected misconduct and the discipline process. An accused student can ask a friend, University staff member, family member, or attorney to serve as an advisor. Most students do not find it necessary to have an advisor in the informal disposition process, but they may if they wish. If a case is referred to a formal hearing, students are encouraged to have an advisor who can help them prepare for the hearing. Most students use a trained, experienced student member of the CJB to serve as their advisor for a formal hearing. The advisor helps with hearing preparation, collecting supporting documents, contacting witnesses, reviewing any written statement that the student wishes to submit, and discussing the student's testimony to be given at the hearing. The advisor can attend the hearing to provide support and advice, but the advisor cannot speak on behalf of the student without specific permission of the hearing panel chair.
  • Why is the role of an attorney limited in the student discipline process?
  • The student discipline process is designed to be educational, not adversarial. The informal process involves meeting and discussing what happened to see if an agreed resolution is possible, and most cases are resolved in this way. In cases where a formal fact-finding hearing is necessary, it is viewed as an opportunity for all pertinent information to be reviewed by impartial students and faculty from our academic community. This panel of Campus Judicial Board members determine whether there has been a violation of the University's standards of academic and student conduct. Formal rules of evidence and discovery do not apply, and the proceeding is not a civil or criminal court "trial." Since student disciplinary matters are not resolved in a courtroom, the role of an attorney in the process is limited to that of an advisor.

Reported Academic Misconduct and the Student's Grade

  • What happens to the student's grade if a student is reported for suspected academic misconduct?
  • While the matter is pending, no grade will be assigned to the work in question. If the matter is not resolved by the end of the quarter, a grade of "Y" will be recorded for the course. The "Y" is simply a place-holder that signals to the Registrar's Office that a matter remains pending with OSSJA, and the Y grade does not factor into the student's GPA. The student's final course grade is submitted at the conclusion of the disciplinary process. Once the matter is resolved, if the student has admitted to the academic misconduct or has been found in violation after a formal hearing, the instructor may assign the student a failing grade (F) for the course, regardless of how many points the piece of work was worth.
  • Can't a student who has been reported to OSSJA for an incident in a class just drop that class?
  • No, once a student has been reported to OSSJA, he/she must go through the disciplinary process regardless of whether he or she is still enrolled in the class. Also, deans in the academic colleges may not approve a late drop for a class in which a student has been reported for suspected academic misconduct.

Academic Integrity

  • What is the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct?
  • The UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct is a campus policy that places shared responsibility for maintaining academic integrity on students, faculty and the administration. The Code stipulates that all three groups have important roles to play in ensuring that student academic work is honest, in upholding standards of academic excellence, and in creating an environment that promotes learning. The Code was enacted by a campus-wide vote and approval by students and faculty in 1976. Before adopting the Code of Academic Conduct, UC Davis had a traditional student-run honor code for over 50 years.
  • What is an honor code? What is a modified honor code?
  • Under traditional student honor codes, students are completely responsible for academic integrity at their college or university. Students pledge that their own work will be honest and that they will report misconduct by other students. At honor code schools, exams are unproctored and a student honor council enforces the rules by reviewing suspected violations and imposing sanctions when a violation has occurred. UC Davis adopted its Code of Academic Conduct, which is a modified honor code, only after the UC Davis campus grew to over 10,000 students and larger classes made a solely student-run system unworkable. After much campus-wide discussion, the honor code was modified so that now our UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct shares the responsibility for maintaining an environment of academic integrity among students, faculty and the administration — and each of these groups plays a vital (although different) role in upholding the standards of our campus.
  • What is unauthorized collaboration? How can a student find out whether working with others is permitted in a particular class, and if so, how much?
  • "Unauthorized collaboration" is working with others on graded coursework (in-class or take-home tests, homework, labs, or papers) without the specific permission of the course instructor. This means that unless given permission, students are not authorized to work with others on any work that will be submitted for a grade. When an instructor does permit collaboration, students may not work together more than is permitted. For example, if an instructor says that students may work together when performing an experiment in the lab but must write up their reports (experimental procedures, data/results, discussion, conclusion) by themselves, then students are not allowed to discuss or work together on their reports. If a student is unsure whether working together is permitted, or (if so) to what extent he/she may work with others, the student must read the syllabus and assignment carefully, and ask the instructor for clarification if there are still questions. (See our handout titled, Collaboration: When You Can and When You Can't Work With Others.)
  • What should a student do if she/he sees another student cheating?
  • If a student sees someone cheating during an exam, the student should cover his/her own work and alert the instructor to the situation as soon as possible. If possible, tell the instructor while it's still happening so that the instructor can also witness the behavior. It is very helpful if you can also supply additional details, such as how the student appears to be cheating (e.g. copying, using a cell phone or cheat-sheet, etc.), where the student is sitting, what he/she looks like and — if you know it — the suspect student's name.
  • What if the student wants to tell the instructor but doesn't want the other student to know who reported incident?
  • Often, students want the professor to know what happened but don't want the other student to know who reported the matter. So reports can be made anonymously. Letting the instructor know there is a problem means that the instructor can look for evidence of misconduct. In many cases, it is this other evidence (such as unusually similar answers or having a final answer without necessary intermediate steps) rather than the information from the initial student witness that leads to an OSSJA report and action. OSSJA will not disclose the name of a student witness if the witness wishes to remain anonymous.
  • What is plagiarism?
  • "Plagiarism" means using the words or ideas of another without giving appropriate credit. Even if a student paraphrases an idea in his/her own words, the source must still be cited. If exact words are used, the student must put the words in quotation marks and cite the source. Students are responsible for knowing what plagiarism is and not doing it. Be particularly careful about copying and pasting information from the internet - materials used from internet sources must be quoted and cited just like information from other sources. Students must also be aware that copying or adapting pictures, charts, computer programs or code, music, or data without citing sources and indicating that the material has been copied or adapted is plagiarism. It may also be copyright infringement, which is a violation of the law. (See our handout titled, Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship.)
  • Where can a student get help with learning how to cite sources properly?
  • Citing sources properly includes learning several skills, such as (a) Always putting words used from a source in quotation marks and giving a citation to the original document, website, speech, or other source; (b) Always giving accurate citations for any source material used; (c) Careful research, making sure to keep track of the words and ideas accumulated during research and the information gathered from each source (including the author, title, copyright date, publisher, and page of printed resources, and at the least a website address, author, copyright and/or revised date for Internet sources, including a printed or electronic copy of the page; and (d) Building on and adding to the ideas and words of others with the student's own new interpretations or contributions, while always giving full credit to any sources.

    UC Davis students can get help with learning these skills from the Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers (AATC), 2205 Dutton Hall, 530-752-2013. The AATC offers a variety of services, including drop-in tutoring and tutoring by appointment, workshops, and individual assistance from professional staff English/Writing Specialists. In addition, students should read the course syllabus, class handouts, and writing assignments for direction in citation requirements and assignment formats, and should consult their instructor or TAs for any questions regarding proper citation.

    Finally, the OSSJA publication Avoiding Plagiarism: Mastering the Art of Scholarship provides useful information about how to avoid plagiarism and cite sources properly. Students are also welcome to contact OSSJA with any questions they may have.

  • What constitutes cheating?
  • Cheating includes receiving or providing assistance during an exam when one is supposed to work alone, whether the exam is in-class or take-home. This includes looking at and/or copying from another's exam, sharing answers with another (whether electronically, in writing, by talking, or by other methods), and "checking" answers by looking at the work of others. Cheating also includes using unauthorized materials or equipment during an exam (e.g., notes, calculator or computer, textbook, the internet, cell phone, etc.), and failing to stop working when time is called on an exam. Other very serious kinds of cheating on exams include (1) Having another person take an exam for the student; (2) Taking an exam for another student; (3) Stealing another's work (homework, test, lab, etc.) either before or after that work has been graded; and (4) Altering a graded test or assignment and submitting the altered work for re-grading.
  • What if the student was not aware of the rules and did not mean to do anything wrong?
  • Students at UC Davis are responsible for knowing the rules, so is ignorance is not considered a valid excuse. This is why it is important to ask questions if one is unsure of the standards that apply. For example, if a student does not know the proper rules for citing sources in a paper, or does not know whether or to what extent students can work together on a homework assignment, the student should ask questions about the rules BEFORE completing and submitting the assignment. If a student is worried about whether something is OK or not, it's important not to ignore those concerns. When in doubt, the best course of action is to ask for clarification.
  • Can a student get in trouble even if he/she does not copy answers or benefit directly from the situation?
  • Yes, letting another student copy from one's test or failing to cover one's work is a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct because such behaviors facilitate the cheating, disturb other students, and create suspicion and unfairness. Similarly, talking during an exam - even if only to borrow a pencil or compare answers with a friend after both have turned in the exam - makes it difficult for others to concentrate and could provide information that may be overheard and used by those who are still taking the exam. Further, leaving notes or other unauthorized materials visible (even if the student doesn't look at or use the materials him/herself to answer the test questions) contaminates the testing environment, causes distrust and disruption, and makes it possible that others may see and be tempted to use the information.

Sanctions for Disciplinary Violations

  • What kinds of sanctions are imposed for a first-time violation of the Code of Academic Conduct?
  • It depends on the nature of the violation and the student's actions after the offense. In general, if the student admits the violation and accepts the consequences of her or his actions, a student is not suspended or dismissed, but is placed on disciplinary probation or a deferred separation. These are generally combined with community service and/or completion of an online Academic Integirty Seminar. However, if there are any "aggravating factors" that make the violation more serious, this will usually result in more serious sacntions. For example, Suspension or even Dismissal may be imposed for a first offense if the violation involves pre-planning, conspiring with others, deliberate harm to another, or a criminal act; if the student is reported for more than one violation at the same time; or if the student lies about the incident or provides false information to try to cover up the offense. Students in professional schools and graduate programs, however, may be suspended or dismissed for a first time offense. In professional programs, for example, students who will be eligible for professional licensing and be responsible for the care or representation of other persons, should be held to much higher standards.
  • If the student did break the rules, will she/he get kicked out of school?
  • It depends. However, the student may be removed from school - suspended or dismissed - if any one or more of the aggravating factors are present (see next question).
  • What kinds of factors influence the sanction imposed?
  • Aggravating factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Pre-planning (premeditation) - For example, was the act planned out beforehand, did it involve several steps, or did it take several hours or days to complete? For example, did the student pre-write notes in a Blue Book and then use the notes during the exam, ripping out pages to conceal the prior writing? Did the student gain access to others' confidential information through his/her employment, and then use it to set up fraudulent credit card accounts?

    Number of offenses - For example, has the student been referred before or has the student been reported for several violations at the same time (e.g., three plagiarized papers in the same quarter, all reported within two weeks)? Did the student repeatedly download and then distribute copyrighted programs, games, or music from the Internet?

    Prior disciplinary sanction or offense - A student who violates a prior disciplinary sanction such as Probation or Deferred Separation, or who commits a subsequent offense after a prior disciplinary action, is subject to further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Suspension or Dismissal.

    Magnitude (quantity/size of violation) - For example, did the violation involve copying one sentence vs. plagiarizing an entire paper? Did the student steal a mechanical pencil costing $3.95 from the Bookstore or take another student's credit card and fraudulently charge several hundred dollars in purchases?

    Conspiracy (deliberately coordinating with others to commit the violation) - For example, did the student have another student take an exam for him? Did three students steal bicycles and sell them on eBay, splitting the proceeds?

    Lying or falsifying evidence - For example, did the student lie to the instructor (claiming to have turned in a paper on time when in fact the student never submitted the work), falsely accuse others for the incident (claim that someone else took the paper), or fabricate documents or other evidence to cover-up his or her actions or deceitfully blame another (create a back-dated version of the paper to support a claim that it was originally submitted on time).

    Malicious or deliberate, direct harm to another - For example, did the student steal another's paper from the homework submission box and turn it in under his own name, thus depriving the other student of credit?

    Criminal acts - For example, did the student break into an instructor's office to gain access to an exam key, or physically assault another student? Any of the above factors, standing alone, is sufficient to warrant Suspension; if more are present, a longer Suspension, or Dismissal, should be imposed.
  • Are different standards and sanctions applied for social misconduct vs. academic misconduct?
  • Standards and sanctions are similar for academic and social misconduct (e.g., cheating vs. alcohol violations), but the circumstances of the specific case are always taken into account. Any act of cheating is a serious offense, which may warrant Probation or Deferred Separation up to Suspension or Dismissal from the University, depending on the facts. Many alcohol violations, on the other hand, are resolved with the sanction of a written reprimand or "name on file." OSSJA may impose sanctions such as special assignments and community service, as well as learning or educational tasks. These could include a requirement that a student disciplined for plagiarism meet with the SASC to work on how to cite sources properly, or that a student referred for an incident of intoxication and disruption meet with ATODIS to discuss alcohol and drug abuse and how to make responsible decisions.
  • What is disciplinary probation?
  • Disciplinary probation is a sanction permitting a student to remain enrolled under prescribed conditions; the probation is normally assigned through graduation. Students on probation must demonstrate that his/her behavior conforms to University standards of conduct. Probation may include conditions and restrictions on the student's privileges or eligibility for activities. A student on probation retains the right to the complete disciplinary process (informal resolution, formal hearing) if referred again.

  • What happens if a student who is already on Disciplinary Probation commits another violation?
  • A student who commits another violation while already on Disciplinary Probation, or who violated any conditions of the Probation, is subject to further disciplinary action, normally in the form of Suspension or Dismissal from the University. Even if a student's probation has ended, a second similar violation, will result in more serious sanctions.
  • What is the difference between Academic and Disciplinary Probation?
  • A student can be placed on Academic Probation by the Dean of his or her school or college if the student's GPA or units completed fall below academic requirements. Disciplinary Probation is a sanction imposed for violation of University or campus Standards of Conduct for Students; it is specific to behavior, not to grades, and does not affect the student's academic standing or status.
  • How does getting in trouble with OSSJA affect a student who is already on Academic Probation?
  • Academic Probation does not affect the choice of a disciplinary sanction for a violation of Student Conduct Standards. If a student is in academic trouble, OSSJA may refer the student for academic advising or for counseling, or may assign an educational task such as having the student meet with a SASC staff member to improve her or his writing or study skills.
  • What are Deferred Separation, Deferred Suspension or Deferred Dismissal? 
  • Deferred Separation, Deferred Suspension, and Deferred Dismissal are sanctions permitting the disciplined student to remain enrolled under prescribed conditions. Under the terms of the Deferred sanction, a Suspension or Dismissal is held in abeyance (delayed), and the student is permitted to remain in school. The sanction is Deferred on condition that the student agree to waive the right to a formal fact-finding hearing for any new violation of specified conduct standards. If the student is later reported again, and admits or is found in violation by OSSJA, the Suspension or Dismissal may be implemented at that time.
  • How do they differ from Disciplinary Probation?
  • A student on Disciplinary Probation retains full hearing rights (the right to both informal disposition and a formal fact-finding hearing). A student on Deferred Separation has waived the right to a formal fact-finding hearing, but retains the right to an informal disposition and to meet with OSSJA if the student is later reported for another suspected violation. If OSSJA determines that the violation occurred, the deferred sanction (Suspension or Dismissal) can be implemented by OSSJA without a formal hearing. "Deferred Separation" means that the OSSJA officer may impose any appropriate sanction, including Dismissal, after determining that a violation has occurred.
  • What is Suspension? What is Dismissal? What's the difference between Suspension and Dismissal?
  • A student who is Suspended may not enroll as a student during the specified period of Suspension (one or more quarters). The student may return after submitting a timely application for readmission with applicable fees. Violation of the conditions of Suspension or of University policies or campus regulations may be cause for Dismissal or other sanctions. A student who is Dismissed may not re-enroll in any University of California campus without the specific approval of the chancellor of that campus. Readmission after dismissal may be granted only under exceptional circumstances. Dismissal is indefinite; a student is guaranteed readmission after a Suspension, as long as he/she is otherwise academically qualified to return to school and has met any other outstanding requirements. Suspension or Dismissal are noted on the student's transcripts; that notation is removed after the Suspension ends or if the Dismissed student is readmitted.
  • What is a Censure or Warning?
  • A Censure is a written reprimand, and a Warning is a written notice, issued to a student after a meeting between that student and OSSJA. The Warning or Censure means that a violation of specified University policies or campus regulations has occurred and that continued or repeated violations of University policies or campus regulations may be cause for further disciplinary action. Warning or Censure is generally reserved for minor offenses.
  • What is a Name on File?
  • A "Name on File" is a written record of a student violation reported to OSSJA by other campus officials (such as a Resident Advisor in Student Housing, or a faculty member), when there is no meeting between OSSJA and the student. The "Name on File" is equivalent to a written Warning or Censure, and it is a formal, central record of the violation maintained by OSSJA. The student is notified of the report and offered an opportunity to respond. If the student does not respond, or if, after a response, OSSJA determines that the report is supported by the evidence, the violation may be considered in assessing a sanction for any later similar offense.
  • What goes on the student's record?
  • In most cases, the sanction will not be noted on the student's transcripts. Only if the sanction involves Suspension or Dismissal is it noted on transcripts. Disciplinary records are confidential and generally cannot be released to others without the student's consent.
  • How does a disciplinary record affect a student's future education and career?
  • In most cases, a single violation will not ruin one's life. Because UC Davis is an educational institution, one of the primary goals of our campus disciplinary process is to help students learn from their mistakes. Usually, no permanent records are retained, and nothing goes on a student's transcripts regarding the disciplinary action. Students should be aware, however, that AMCAS now requires that applicants report student disciplinary matters, and many law schools and Bar Associations require that students authorize OSSJA to report whether the student has a disciplinary record. In addition, Education Abroad and Summer Abroad programs also require OSSJA to verify a student's disciplinary record. Similarly, OSSJA verification is often mandated by law enforcement jobs or positions requiring a security clearance. A student discipline record is not an automatic bar to being admitted to medical, law, dental, or other professional or graduate schools, especially if the student admits the violation and it is a one-time error resulting in Probation or a lesser sanction. Many professional schools do consider the totality of the circumstances, and will admit academically qualified students who have clearly learned from their experience. Education Abroad and Summer Abroad programs may deny the applications of students who have a record of alcohol policy violations, or those who have been disruptive or uncooperative, because of concerns for safety and security in foreign countries. Finally, lying about a violation will only result in a more severe sanction, quite likely Suspension or Dismissal - and failing to disclose a disciplinary record would almost certainly result in rejection of the student's application.


What If I Have a Question That is Not Answered Here?

Please feel free to contact the Office of Student Support & Judicial Affairs at (530) 752-1128.

Page Last Updated August 2018.