instructor teaching a class in the arboretum

So You've Been Referred to OSSJA. What's Next?

  • My professor told me to call (or go to) OSSJA—what should I do, and what can I expect?
  • Although your professor told you to call or go directly to OSSJA, that's not how the process works. OSSJA receives over 1000 reports of misconduct annually, and we cannot see everyone immediately. The end of each quarter is a time that is particularly impacted; we may receive dozens of reports in one week, sometimes even in one day. It takes time to review a case before we can meet with the student. Our office will contact you by e-mail when it is time for you to make an appointment.
  • How are students reported to OSSJA?
  • The reporting party (usually an instructor) submits a written statement to OSSJA using our online reporting system and uploads 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. If it does, which is usually the case, OSSJA creates a disciplinary file and notifies the student by email that he/she needs to call our office to schedule a meeting with OSSJA to discuss the matter.
  • What if your professor has told you to come to/call OSSJA, but OSSJA has not yet received the report?
  • Because OSSJA has not received the report, we have no information about why you were referred and are therefore unable to discuss the case with you.  If you call OSSJA for information, all we can do is explain the disciplinary process to you.  Once we receive the report, the case will be assigned to a Judicial Officer and you will be notified and directed to schedule an appointment with that person.
  • How will you know if you have been reported to OSSJA?
  • OSSJA will send you an email directing you to schedule an appointment with a Judicial Officer. Prior to your scheduled meeting, you are encouraged to review the disciplinary process, which is outlined elsewhere on our web site.  Before you call our office, please note the name of the Judicial Officer who has been assigned to your case.  That person's name will be the person whose name is at the bottom of your email.
  • What should you do after receiving an email notice that a report has been made to OSSJA?
  • You should call OSSJA at (530) 752-1128 to schedule a meeting with the Judicial Officer who has been assigned to your case.  You will need to call during our regular business hours, which are 9-12 and 1-4 Monday through Thursday and 9-12 on Fridays.
  • What happens if I don't call to schedule a meeting by the deadline in the email?
  • If you do not respond, holds will be placed on your registration and transcripts.  These will prevent you from adding or dropping classes, and from registering for classes the following quarter. If you are a senior nearing graduation, holds will also be placed on your graduation, diploma and transcripts. These holds will not removed until you respond and participates in the disciplinary process.

    If you are out of town (on leave, summer break, or studying abroad) and cannot be back in Davis for a meeting by the deadline, you should still call or email OSSJA to explain the situation and request a phone appointment with the assigned Judicial Officer.  An in-person meeting may be required later, but you can at least have an initial discussion by phone. Ignoring an email from OSSJA will result in holds being placed on your student records.
  • Can the student have a friend or parent attend the first disciplinary meeting with him or her?
  • Yes. If you want to bring a friend or family member to the meeting for moral support, just let the receptionist know when you come in for your appointment. You are not required to say anything during this meeting but if you do wish to respond to the charges, you are required to speak for yourself and must speak truthfully.
  • What happens at the first meeting between the student and OSSJA?
  • The Judicial Officer will meet with you in a one-on-one meeting, and will first explain the disciplinary process and answer any questions you have about it. Then the Judicial Officer will inform you of the allegations, generally by reading the report that was submitted by the reporting party, and reviewing any additional information/evidence that was submitted. At this point, you are given the opportunity to respond and to tell the Judicial Officer what you know about the situation. Although the reporting party will not be at this meeting, the Judicial Officer will communicate what you say to the reporting party. The purpose of the first meeting is to see if you and the Judicial Officer can reach agreement regarding what happened, and to discuss possible options for resolving the matter. As stated above, you may choose not to comment on the allegations but if you do provide information, you are expected to be honest.
  • What kinds of information might be submitted in support of a report to OSSJA?
  • In addition to information from witnesses (eye-witness testimony), the reporting party may submit other evidence such as tests, notes, term papers, assignments, and incident reports.
  • At the first meeting, does the Judicial Officer decide whether you violated the rules?
  • No.  The Judicial Officer communicates what the allegations are to you, and then afterwards communicates what you have to say about the allegations to the reporting party.  If you make statements that are inconsistent with what eye-witness observers have reported or are contradicted by information/evidence that has been submitted by the Reporting Party, the Judicial Officer may challenge you if he/she thinks you are not being truthful.  However, the Judicial Officer does not have the right to simply make a decision as to whether you violated the Code of Academic Conduct.
  • What happens to my grade while my OSSJA case is pending?
  • No grade will be assigned to the work in question while the matter is pending, and if the issue is not resolved by the end of the quarter, a grade of "Y" will be recorded for the course. The "Y" is simply a signal to the Registrar's Office that you had a case pending with OSSJA at the time that grades were due, and the Y grade won't factor into your GPA. Once your case is resolved, the "Y will be changed to a regular letter grade.
  • Will I fail the class because I admitted to academic misconduct on one piece of work?  What if I deny that I cheated/plagiarized and the case goes to a Formal Hearing and I'm found in violation at that?
  • Under a new Academic Senate rule that went into effect as of Fall Quarter 2018, if a student admits to academic misconduct or is found in violation of academic misconduct at a formal hearing, the instructor may assign a grade of zero or "F" to that specific piece of work OR may fail the student for the entire course.  This means that a student who cheats on a homework assignment worth only 5% of the grade could fail the class if caught.  If there is no violation, the student receives credit for the work they submitted.
  • How does getting in trouble with OSSJA affect me if I'm on Academic Probation?
  • Being on Academic Probation will not effect the outcome of a disciplinary referral. Likewise, the outcome of a disciplinary referral -- even if the student is "in violation" and receives a sanction -- will not effect a student's AP. If the student is in academic trouble, however, OSSJA may refer the student for academic advising or counseling, or may assign an educational task such as having the student meet with someone in the Student Academic Success Center to improve his/her writing or study skills.

    What could negatively effect a student on AP is the zero they would likely receive for a particular piece of work  if it is established that academic misconduct occurred with respect to that piece of work.  That zero would lower their grade in the course, and that could effect the student's standing with respect to their AP.  

If your question hasn't been answered here, check out our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS page.


Edited 5/10/19 by slh



Student conduct at UC Davis is governed by the UC Davis Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline, which contains our Code of Academic Conduct. The Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline provides the standards that students are expected to uphold and the process that the University follows when those standards may have been violated.

The UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct, adopted in 1976, builds upon an earlier, student "Honor Spirit".  This spirit directs students to behave honestly, fairly, and with respect for others in all their academic endeavors. Our Code is considered a "modified honor code" because it assigns responsibility for maintaining academic integrity to students, faculty, and the administration, and each of these groups has specific responsibilities with respect to this endeavor.

The Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA) represents the administration, and is delegated to administer the student discipline system, promote academic integrity and enforce standards of conduct that aim to create a learning environment that is fair and equitable for all students.  

The student members of the Campus Judicial Board work with OSSJA to uphold academic integrity and to promote responsible conduct. Although addressing misconduct and serving on formal hearing panels are difficult tasks for students, research shows that the attitude of student peers — and whether they condemn or condone cheating — are crucial in creating a campus climate that supports academic integrity. This is why CJB service and outreach efforts are so important.

The Role of Students under our Code of Academic Conduct

The Code of Academic Conduct makes it clear that students are equal partners with faculty and OSSJA in upholding academic integrity on our campus. Under the Code, student responsibilities include: 

●  Behaving honestly, fairly, and with integrity in all their academic work. 

●  Desisting from behaviors that are disruptive or unfair.

●  Taking group as well as individual responsibility for academic integrity.

●  Reporting any academic misconduct they see or learn about to their instructor, TA or OSSJA. 

●  Ensuring that they understand ethical standards for academic work, including the rules regarding plagiarism:  how to quote and cite material they use from sources and how to paraphrase correctly. Students must also be aware of class rules about whether they are permitted to work with others on graded coursework, and if so, to what extent.  If students have questions about the rules or standards that apply in their course, it is their responsibility to contact their faculty or OSSJA.  Ignorance of the rules is not considered a valid excuse. 

OSSJA Services for Students

  1. OSSJA administers the student disciplinary system with respect for the rights and welfare of the accused students, the reporting parties, and the UC Davis community as a whole. Discipline procedures protect students' right to due process, equal treatment, and privacy. OSSJA maintains confidential, centralized records of conduct cases so that violations are handled consistently and so that repeat offenders are sanctioned accordingly. 
  2. OSSJA offers students the opportunity to resolve reports of suspected misconduct through an informal process of discussion and agreement that facilitates student learning. If agreement cannot be reached, a fact-finding hearing is scheduled before the student-faculty Campus Judicial Board. After hearing evidence, the CJB determines whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred. OSSJA tries to provide trained student advisors to both parties if a formal hearing is necessary.
  3. OSSJA uses procedures and sanctions designed to enhance the ethical, intellectual, and emotional growth and development of students. Students who breach  the Code of Academic Conduct are encouraged to seek assistance or training through resources such as the Student Academic Success Center in order to avoid similar problems in the future. Students may also be referred for counseling through Student Health and Counseling Services or the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Intervention Services. 
  4. OSSJA provides students with educational materials (including this website) to promote academic integrity and responsible conduct. OSSJA publishes the Code of Academic Conduct and the UC Davis Policies on Student Conduct and Discipline to inform students of their responsibilities and rights. 
  5. OSSJA helps to support and maintain academic excellence and and a civil campus environment by enforcing student conduct standards and administering the student disciplinary system.  
  6. OSSJA provides leadership opportunities for students to take an active role in promoting integrity and responsible conduct through the CJB.
  7. OSSJA provides non-clinical case management services to assist students in distress.
  8. OSSJA provides consultation, information, advice, and assistance to students regarding their rights and student grievance processes.

Edited 10/18/2017 by djd