So, what are the rules?
The primary “rules” are found in the Student Conduct Code. Students are also responsible for following other university policies and expectations which apply to them. These additional “rules” can be found in a variety of places, including class syllabi, departmental policies, University Housing’s Residence Hall Contract, and the UO Policy Library.
Can I get in trouble off campus?
In addition to incidents which occur on university property or at a university-sponsored activity, the Conduct Code may also be applied to your actions or behaviors that take place off campus. The university may apply the Student Conduct Code to students whose off-campus behavior has a significant adverse impact on the university community, its members, and/or the pursuit of its mission and educational objectives. The university may also apply the Student Conduct Code to conduct that would have violated the Student Conduct Code if it occurred on university premises and a) involved violence; or b) involved academic work or any university records, documents, or identifications. For more information, review the jurisdiction section of the Student Conduct Code.
How will I be notified?
The Student Conduct and Community Standards office will notify you about conduct allegations through Maxient, a secure, web-based case management application that is used to track behavior records at colleges and universities.
If you are suspected of alleged misconduct, you will receive an email from “notifications[at]maxient.com.” The email will show the sender as a UO employee, with their name followed by “(via Maxient).”
How much evidence do you need to find me guilty?
Students are not “found guilty.” Rather, there is a determination regarding whether a violation occurred based on the preponderance of evidence (i.e., more likely than not) standard following a thorough review of available and relevant information about the incident. This standard is different than the burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, used in most criminal courts.
While many university expectations of conduct parallel the laws of society in general, there are significant differences between the conduct process and criminal justice procedures. Students should expect a supportive and non-adversarial environment during the process. The university focuses primarily on educating students about their behavior, but may impose administrative sanctions to preserve a safe and healthy environment for the university community.
Are you going to tell my parents or family about this?
No. With few exceptions, your conduct history is not released to any third party without your written permission. A student must specifically waive privacy (granted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974) and designate a person(s) to receive such information. Moreover, even after a student waives privacy, it is up to the designee—including parents, other family members, attorneys, and other advisors—to inquire about the student’s conduct record.
Is this going to keep me from getting into graduate school?
Graduate and professional schools, state bar associations, government agencies, and/or independent agencies may request a clearance to review your conduct history while attending the University of Oregon. Evaluators of these applications are looking for what students have learned from their experiences. For more information about how to request your records, review our Conduct Records Request Process.
Why didn’t I get the same action plan as my friends?
Action plans typically include both outcomes and sanctions, are individually developed, and are intended to be educational in nature. Outcomes and sanctions are determined based on several factors including the nature of the incident, your conduct history, and your responses during the process. Outcomes may include educational courses, substance abuse assessments, reflection papers, educational projects, or community restitution service. Egregious or repeated misconduct could result in an elevated administrative sanction such as disciplinary probation, removal from the residence halls, suspension, expulsion, and/or negative notation on your transcript.
Do I have to forward allegations of academic misconduct to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards?
Yes. If you believe academic misconduct has occurred at any level, and regardless of the method of resolution, you must notify the SCCS. If after meeting with the student you dismiss the allegations, you do not need to forward any information to SCCS.
I am concerned about a student and want to submit a report, but I don’t know if it is a conduct issue. What should I do?
Don’t worry about submitting the wrong form. If the office receives a report that is better suited to be addressed by the Student Care Team or a member of the Dean of Students crisis staff, it will be forwarded within our system to the new recipient. Learn more about assisting students of concern.
I never heard back after I submitted a report. Did you receive it?
We often reach out to connect with anyone who has submitted a report to gather more information about the concern, identify support strategies, and collaborate on informal resolutions as appropriate. However, due to FERPA regulations, we may not be able to follow up with you about your report or provide specific information about the resolution of the incident. Rest assured, if you receive the confirmation message from Maxient, your report has been submitted, and someone will be investigating and addressing the concern according to our practice, policies, and procedures.
I have a disruptive student in my class/office. What can I do?
Faculty have the right to determine appropriate classroom expectations and to set boundaries to maintain an effective teaching and learning environment. An instructor may dismiss a student from any single class session during which the student is being disruptive and has not responded to requests or directions to change their behavior.
After such an event, an incident report should be filed. The student has the right to return the next class day and try to abide by expectations again. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards generally is unable to remove a disruptive student from a registered course. If the student has made direct threats of violence, there may be some options for delaying return to the classroom until an issue has been formally resolved. For information about the University of Oregon’s Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment team, go to betateam.uoregon.edu.
I am a faculty member, not a student. Why do I have to follow the procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Code and the Standard Operating Procedures for Academic Misconduct?
You may wonder why attention to the outlined procedures is necessary, particularly when it is obvious (or at least appears to be obvious) that a student has cheated.
One reason is rooted in the consistent judicial interpretation of the guaranteed due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Unlike the highly subjective process of evaluating the quality of a student's performance on assignments, which has been afforded considerable judicial deference, an allegation of academic misconduct is an assertion that a person has violated a university rule. Whether or not that assertion is true is a fact to be established—not assumed—even when such an assumption seems quite reasonable.
Confronting what appears to be impermissible behavior is certainly appropriate, but keep in mind that many students have difficulty acknowledging their involvement in academic dishonesty and may deny any wrongdoing, even when reportedly “caught in the act.” Some students, in fact, are incredibly contentious despite compelling evidence against them. And students facing probable suspension (likely for repeated and/or egregious violations) may feel that they have nothing to lose in challenging allegations, notwithstanding the evidence. Students may also be inclined to shift the focus from the evidence of their misconduct to any possible missteps by the university in the conduct process.
Not surprisingly, courts have remained insistent that colleges and universities, at a minimum, follow their own procedures. Those in effect at the UO have been designed to protect the interests of students, faculty members, administrators, and the institution. Evidence so convincing as to substantiate an on-the-spot determination that a student is cheating should remain sufficiently compelling after the incident if the accused student disputes the allegation.
In short, observing the established procedures for student conduct matters is essential, even if the outlined steps appear to be unnecessary and burdensome requirements for reaching a conclusion. Such legalities may at times cause understandable frustrations, but they are realities under which we are obliged to function. Following the proper steps rarely prevents us from arriving at an appropriate outcome. Our goal is to do so in a manner that is beyond reproach. This, of course, requires a collaborative effort by all of us at the university who place a high value on academic integrity.