Skip to main content

Procedures for Cases of Alleged Academic Dishonesty

I. Initiation of a Complaint

  1. All cases of alleged academic dishonesty by undergraduates in courses in the Northwestern University in Qatar must be referred to the Senior Associate Dean. Cases should be referred within one month of the date of the alleged incident, or within one month of the date the reporting individual becomes aware of the alleged incident, whichever is later. However, no action will be taken on any case if more than one year has elapsed since the alleged incident. Once a matter has been referred to the Senior Associate Dean, it may not be withdrawn without the Senior Associate Dean’s approval, nor may the referring faculty member resolve the case without the approval of the Senior Associate Dean.

  2. The Senior Associate Dean shall send the materials to the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee for review of the facts of the alleged incident, including statements of the reporting individual, the instructor(s), and any supporting material. If, after the review, the Committee determines that there is cause for further investigation, an official letter shall be drafted for the student including the date of the incident (if known), the course and instructor, and the nature of the alleged violation. A copy of the current procedures should accompany the letter. The student shall be notified via email that they are to report to the Academic Affairs Office to receive the letter in person.

    The student will be asked to make an appointment with the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee to discuss the case within seven (7) working days of the date of the letter, at which time the student may present any relevant material or statements in his or her behalf. The student will have the right, prior to meeting with the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee, to review relevant original materials in the Academic Affairs Office, to obtain copies of such materials if desired, and to discuss the matter with a faculty adviser or other individual. Review of original materials must take place by appointment during normal working hours at the Academic Affairs Office within fourteen (14) working days of the date of the Senior Associate Dean’s letter.

    If the student does not schedule a meeting to take place within seven (7) working days, the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee may make their determination on the basis of the evidence before them at that time. The Senior Associate Dean may grant reasonable requests for an extension of this time deadline in his/her sole discretion.

  3. In certain cases where timely notification is important--as, for instance, if a student is about to leave campus for vacation--verbal notification may be made, but such verbal notification should be followed by a letter.

II. Meeting with the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee

  1. The Faculty Academic Integrity Committee has the authority to determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence available to the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee, whether a violation of academic integrity has occurred.

  2. In meeting with the student, Faculty Academic Integrity Committee will describe the charges made and detail the evidence supporting those charges. At this initial meeting, the student may decline to discuss the matter and/or request that the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee defer making a determination until after a subsequent meeting between the student and the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee, at which the student may present relevant information or evidence. This second meeting must be requested at the initial meeting and must be scheduled for a time within seven working days of the initial meeting.

  3. After their review, Faculty Academic Integrity Committee shall inform the student by letter of the committee’s decision and the sanction, if any, to be imposed. (If the student is not registered at Northwestern University in Qatar, the sanction will be determined by the school in which the student is registered; see VI. below.)

III. Sanctions

  1. Sanctions which may be imposed by the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee include, but are not limited to: a letter of warning; a defined period of probation with the attachment of conditions; a defined period of suspension, with or without the attachment of conditions; permanent exclusion from the University; notation on the official record; revocation of an awarded degree; or any combination of the previously listed sanctions.

  2. Any grade entered for a student in a course in which an allegation of academic dishonesty is pending against him/her, whether for the course as a whole or for a piece of work submitted in the course, is subject to modification after all proceedings and appeals are concluded. Should the student be found to have violated academic integrity, the course instructor is empowered, in his/her sole discretion, to determine the effect this violation will have on the student's grade in the course; possible actions range from disregarding the incident in calculating the grade to failing the student in the course.

IV. Appeals to the Committee on Academic Appeals

  1. The Faculty Academic Integrity Committee’s decision and/or sanction may be appealed to the Committee on Academic Appeals by filing a written notice of appeal within ten (10) working days of the date of the letter of notification. The student's written notice of appeal must state what is being appealed-whether the finding of academic dishonesty, the sanction imposed, or both-and must describe in detail the grounds for the appeal. The student's written notice of appeal should also state whether the student desires to present the appeal in person to the Committee on Academic Appeals.

  2. If the student so requests, he or she will be granted an opportunity to appear in person to present his or her case to the Committee on Academic Appeals and to hear and respond to any testimony provided by the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee or witnesses appearing before the Committee on Academic Appeals. Likewise, the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee may be present to hear and respond to testimony of the accused student or any witnesses appearing before the Committee on Academic Appeals. If the student wishes to present witnesses before the Committee on Academic Appeals, s/he must inform the Secretary to the Committee on Academic Appeals at least seven (7) working days before the appeal is to be heard of the names of the proposed witnesses and of the nature of the evidence they are prepared to present. However, the Committee on Academic Appeals has sole discretion to determine what witnesses other than the accused student and the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee it will hear, if any. The Committee on Academic Appeals shall review the appeal as soon as practical after it has been filed.

  3. Following its review, the Committee on Academic Appeals may sustain or reverse the finding of academic dishonesty, if that portion of Faculty Academic Integrity Committee’s decision was appealed, and may, if a finding of academic dishonesty stands, sustain or modify (but not increase) the sanction, if that portion of the decision was appealed. The Committee on Academic Appeals shall inform the student by letter of its decision.

V. Appeal to the Senior Associate Dean

  1. The student may appeal the Committee on Academic Appeals' decision within ten (10) working days to the Senior Associate Dean. Such appeals must be in writing and include a detailed statement setting forth the grounds for the appeal. Appeals to the Senior Associate Dean will be limited to alleged errors in procedures, interpretation of regulations, or alleged manifest discrepancies between the evidence and a school finding and/or sanction. The Senior Associate Dean will receive appeals only after a sanction has been specified for the alleged violation (see VI. below); an appeal to the Senior Associate Dean may concern the finding and/or the proposed sanction.

VI. Cross-School Cases

  1. In instances where a student registered in another school is alleged to have committed an act of academic dishonesty in a Northwestern University in Qatar course, the authority of the Northwestern University in Qatar will extend only to determining whether or not the alleged action constitutes academic dishonesty and, if so, to the imposition of a grade penalty by the instructor in the course (see IIIB.). If the finding is affirmative and all appeals have been exhausted or the time for appeals has expired in the first school, the case will be formally referred to the appropriate authority of the school in which the student is registered for whatever further sanction that school deems appropriate. If the student not enrolled in any Northwestern University school, e.g. is cross registered or a study abroad student, the sanction may include any of the sanctions available to the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee including up to and including suspension.

    Similarly, the Senior Associate Dean for may be called upon to determine further sanctions for Northwestern University in Qatar students who have been guilty of academic dishonesty in courses in another Northwestern school.

  2. In instances where a student registered in the Northwestern University in Qatar has been found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty in a course offered by another school, the Senior Associate Dean will notify the student in writing of the formal referral of the matter to the Northwestern University in Qatar for determination of a Northwestern University in Qatar sanction, if any. Such notification will inform the student that he/she may schedule an appointment with the Undergraduate Dean, to take place within seven (7) working days, to present any evidence of mitigating circumstances, but not on the underlying question of guilt or innocence. If the student does not schedule an appointment within the allotted time, or within such extension of time as the Senior Associate Dean may grant in his/her sole discretion, the Undergraduate Dean will make a decision on sanctions based on the available information.

  3. The Senior Associate Dean will inform the student in writing of any sanction imposed and of the student's right to appeal that sanction (but not issues of guilt or innocence) to the Committee on Academic Appeals.

VII. General Considerations

  1. A student charged with academic dishonesty may not change his or her registration in the course(s) in which a charge is pending or in which a finding of academic dishonesty has been made.

  2. At any stage of the proceedings described above, the student may be accompanied by a fellow student, a faculty member, or another individual of the student's choosing, but not by an attorney. This person may not, however, take part in the proceedings; the student must speak on his or her own behalf.

  3. Sanctions specified by Faculty Academic Integrity Committee, as modified by the Committee on Academic Appeals or the Senior Associate Dean (if an appeal has been filed), shall take effect at the expiration of the period for appeal of a decision if an appeal has not been filed, and after a decision has been reached by the Committee on Academic Appeals or the Senior Associate Dean if an appeal has been filed. If the appeal is not granted, the sanction will be applied retroactively to the date specified by the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee, and, if necessary, current registrations may be canceled.

  4. All materials relating to an allegation of academic dishonesty will be kept in the Office of Academic Affairs until the student has graduated or for ten years after the incident, whichever is earlier.

  5. All references to the Senior Associate Dean in these procedures include the Undergraduate Dean's designee if circumstances prevent the Senior Associate Dean from participating.
Back to top