Advocacy If you have received an allegation of Academic Misconduct letter – do not ignore it! What happens if there is an allegation of Academic Misconduct? If a university staff member believes that academic misconduct has taken place they have to report this to the relevant Unit Chair and Head of School. What is Academic Misconduct? According to the University Regulation 04.01(01) – STUDENT DISCIPLINE: 21. A student shall have committed an act of academic misconduct other than in research if he or she engages in plagiarism or behaves in any other manner that has the effect of or is designed or calculated to provide a misleading basis for admission, assessment or academic progress. Academic Misconduct includes: 21.1 impersonating or allowing impersonation by, any other person in, or for the purpose of, any examination, essay, assignment, course requirement or any other work relevant to student assessment; 21.2 passing off as the student's own work the work of any other person; 21.3 copying without acknowledgment as to its authorship, the work of any other person; 21.4 using in connection with any examination any material or item not allowed under the instructions or directions for that examination; 21.5 obtaining from, or giving to, any other person during any examination, or other assessment any information relating to that examination or other assessment or any part of it without the approval of the supervisor of that examination or other assessment; 21.6 undertaking an examination in breach of the conditions set down by the University for the supervision and conduct of the examination; 21.7 providing false information or fraudulent documentations including academic transcripts or medical certificates; 22. A student shall also have committed an act of academic misconduct if he or she takes into an examination room any material or item not allowed under the instructions for that examination, whether or not with the intention of using the material to obtain an advantage. If after initial investigation a university staff member believes that a student has a case to answer, they will refer this to the Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC). The FAPDC will let you know in writing that there has been an alleged act of academic misconduct. This letter will usually state the alleged act of academic misconduct which you are being asked to address and include some evidence relating to the allegation. What do I do if I receive a letter? Most importantly – don’t ignore the letter! You have an opportunity to respond to the allegation, but there are specific timelines and ways that you need to respond. Read the letter carefully and check the dates. You should receive the letter at least 10 working days before the scheduled hearing. The date for you to return your Reply Slip and Written Submission, as well as an indication of your hearing date, will also be in the letter. Advocacy On your Reply Slip you will need to let the FAPDC know whether you: admit or do not admit the allegation; will or will not be sending a written submission; will or will not be attending the hearing; if attending the hearing, whether you will or will not be accompanied. You will need to prepare a written statement and submit this to the FAPDC along with any supporting documentation. A DUSA advocate can help you with this. You will need to let the FAPDC know whether you will or will not be attending the hearing. If you choose to attend, you can bring along another person as long as he/she is not a practising lawyer. DUSA’s advocates can attend with you and assist you to prepare for the hearing. It is very important that you check the dates carefully and respond on time! What happens now? You have the opportunity to respond to the allegation and make your case, either by writing a submission, attending the hearing, or both. If you do not attend the hearing, the FAPDC will consider your written statement. If you do not respond at all, or do not respond before the deadline, the FAPDC will make a decision based on the evidence that they have collected. If the FAPDC determines that you have committed an act of academic misconduct, one or more of the following penalties can be imposed: a reprimand; a fine not exceeding $500; allocated a zero mark in the relevant task or such other mark as is appropriate; allocate a zero mark in the relevant unit or such other mark as is appropriate; allocate a zero mark in such other units in which the student is enrolled; suspend the student for up to one year, or exclude the student for a minimum period of one year. If you attend the hearing, you will normally be told of the FAPDC decision at the end of your hearing. You will also be notified in writing of the outcome within 5 working days of the decision being made, so make sure that your postal address is up to date in Student Connect. What can I do if I disagree with the decision of the FAPDC? If you disagree with the FAPDC decision, you may have the right to appeal to the Academic Appeals Committee (AAC). There are specific and limited grounds for appeal. You will need to check that you qualify for one of these before proceeding. Please note that you only have 5 working days from the date of the FAPDC decision to notify the AAC that you will be appealing the FAPDC decision. An AAC appeal form is included in the letter from the FAPDC notifying you of the outcome of your case. Where can I get further assistance? For more information or to speak to an advocate about your situation, contact DUSA (contact info follows on from this page). A DUSA advocate can assist you to write your written submission, can attend the hearing with you and can provide support and advice during any stage of the FAPDC appeals process. Please note that we do experience very busy periods, particularly at the end of each trimester where we need to assist a large number of students, so it is important that you book in to see an advocate as early as possible. Advocacy All campuses Phone: 1300 555 528 Email: email@example.com Web: http://dusa.org.au Melbourne Building A, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Vic 3125 Phone: 03 9244 6356 Fax: 03 9888 8796 Waterfront Level 1, Deakin University, 1 Gheringhap Street, Geelong, Vic 3217 Phone: 03 5227 8033 Fax: 03 5227 8030 Waurn Ponds Level A, Fred Jevons Building, Deakin University, Pigdons Road, Geelong, Vic 3217 Phone: 03 5227 3322 Fax: 03 5227 3319 Warrnambool Building H2-3, Deakin University, Princes Highway, Warrnambool, Vic 3280 Phone: 03 5563 3378 Fax: 03 5561 2726 ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT – EXAMPLE LETTER The Secretary Faculty academic Progress and Discipline Committee Faculty of (Insert name of the faculty you are studying at) Deakin University (Insert name and address of campus you are enrolled at) Date: ADDRESSING THE ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT ALLEGATION MADE BY THE FACULTY ACADEMIC PROGRESS & DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE If you disagree with the allegation You need to write that you are challenging the misconduct allegation made by the FAPDC and quote University Regulation 4.1 (1) Part 2, section 24.3 If you accept the allegation You need to write that you want to explain the academic misconduct allegation made by the FAPDC pursuant to University Regulation 4.1(1) Part 2, section 24.3 Brief Introduction Provide the committee with some information about yourself. Some things you might like to include here are year(s) and area of study, academic history, evidence of your integrity, the effect this allegation has had upon you. This should be kept brief. If in your reply slip to the FAPDC you admit the allegation, explain to the committee the circumstances that led to the act: explain details about what happened; provide details of consequences; write a brief description about what you have done to address issue, including resources that you may have accessed, e.g. DSL; write a brief statement of apology and request that the committee give your application due consideration. If in your reply slip to the FAPDC you do not admit the allegation, explain why the allegation is not true: explain details about what happened; provide arguments about why you disagree with allegation. Yours Sincerely, (Ensure to include your contact details: Student Name, Student I.D., postal address, telephone, email) Attachments Provide copies of any documents that you think are relevant to your case.