Reporting Academic Misconduct

hummingbird in purple flower

One of the responsibilities delegated to faculty by the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct is to report suspected academic misconduct to the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs.  It is important that all instructors utilize our centralized disciplinary system in order to ensure consistency -- and therefore fairness -- in the handling of academic misconduct, and to catch repeat offenders.  Many instructors have indicated that they appreciate this system as it allows them to focus on their teaching and research rather than being distracted by disciplinary matters. 

If you suspect academic misconduct on any graded work that a student submits, you may talk with the student about your concerns before referring them to OSSJA but you are not required to do so. If you do speak with the student and continue to believe that cheating or plagiarism occurred, don't let the student dissuade you from reporting the incident. You may need to remind the student that instructors are required to report suspected academic misconduct. Whether to inform the student (either directly or via email) that you have referred them to OSSJA, is also up to you. 

If you are unsure whether to report a particular incident, feel free to call our office (530-752-1128) to consult with a Judicial Officer.

Before You Submit a Report

The more evidence you submit to support the report, the more likely it is that the student will admit to the misconduct if in violation. While this requires more time at the front-end of a referral, in the end it saves time by reducing the number of meetings and emails necessary to resolve the issue and by reducing the possibility that the case will need to be referred on to a formal hearing. Additionally, if the case does need to go on to a formal hearing, you will already have done most of the work necessary to prepare the case. Tips:

  • Be sure to include the accused student's name and student ID#, your name and contact information, and a brief description of the suspected misconduct.
  • If you or your TAs saw suspicious conduct, have each witness write up a statement of what they observed and add that to the report. 
  • If you have collected unauthorized materials, retain and review the notes/books/devices to see if they contain information relevant to the subject of the exam. Talk to OSSJA about whether any books or electronic devices must be returned to the student before the student meets with OSSJA.
  • Review suspect exams for evidence of cheating (for example: a correct answer with insufficient or no supporting work; a pattern of identical, wrong answers with the student sitting next to them; the correct answers for the other version of the exam; etc.) 
  • Where plagiarism is the issue, please submit the student's paper and, if known, the source/s from which the student plagiarized.  You can save us a significant amount of time if you correlate the plagiarism in the paper with the location in the source using a simple system of some kind (For example: A on paper = A marked on article. Or note in margin:  "see [give link], page 587, paragraph 4.)
  • Please retain a copy of all documents submitted to OSSJA. 

Submitting a Report

Reports of academic (or social) misconduct may be submitted to OSSJA by any of the following means:

1. Online Reporting

Online reporting is encouraged. Once you have submitted a report, you will see a confirmation screen indicating that your report was successfully submitted to OSSJA. You will then receive an email with an assigned case number unique to your case.

2. Emailed, Mailed or Delivered to OSSJA

Alternatively, reporting parties may:

  • Email us: ossja@ucdavis.edu
  • Mail it:  OSSJA / 3200 Dutton Hall / UC Davis / One Shields Avenue / Davis,  CA / 95616
  • Deliver it: OSSJA / 3200 Dutton Hall

Edited on 2/7/2019 by slh