OCTOBER 2020 UPDATE

The AI Office has experienced a 79% increase in the number of cases reported in AY19-20 compared with AY18-19. The AI Office staff worked diligently and are now caught up on case initiations. 

This case increase, as well as a doubling of the number of students contesting the allegations, has resulted in an unprecedented backlog in the AI Review queue. The AI Office has been working throughout the summer with campus partners to reduce the backlog as well as plan for holding more Reviews per quarter than historically possible. The AI Office thanks instructors and students for their patience during these difficult and exceptional circumstances.

 

If you have questions about our process, please do utilize the information on this webiste, especially under the Process and this FAQ tab.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

AI Reviews

There are two types of AI Reviews depending on the sanctions the student is facing. If the student IS facing separation from the University (i.e., suspension or dimissal), the case proceeds to an AI Review II. Otherwise, the case proceeds to an AI Review I.

I'm waiting for an AI Review I. What can you tell me?

The AI Office complied and answered a list of frequently asked questions about the AI Review I backlog. Please click here to see that document.

I'm waiting for an AI Review II. What can you tell me?

The AI Office complied and answered a list of frequently asked questions about the AI Review II backlog. Please click here to see that document.

 

 

How do I know if I'm going to an AI Review I or II?

After you've met with the Appropriate Administrative Authority (AAA) and contested the allegation, you'll receive a notification of what to do next, and that notice will indicate whether you are proceeding to an AI Review I or II.

Should I contest the allegation?

You should contest the allegation if you didn't do what is alleged. You should NOT contest the allegation if your actions violated academic integrity but you're worried about the consequences. There is an appeal process to deal with the latter. You should also NOT contest if you didn't intend to violate or your actions don't reflect your character. The AI Review board only looks at the evidence and whether a violation occurred, they are not there to judge you.

How do I prepare for a Review?

  • Focus on being honest, fair, respectful, responsible and trustworthy in your statement and documentation, as well as in your interactions on the day of the Review (if going to an AI Review II)
  • Work with your AS Advocate or AIRB Advisor to write your statement, attach appropriate corresponding exhibits, as well as to prepare for the day of
  • Carefully and diligently attend to your @ucsd.edu email and follow the AI Office instructions and timelines

What happens at an AI Review?

At either an AI Review I or II, the AI Review Board considers all of the information presented to them "in writing" by the Instructor and the involved student(s). This information includes written statements from the relevant parties as well as documentation to support the written statement.

In AI Review IIs, there is an added component - all of the relevant parties are invited to meet with the Review Board to discuss the case. Questions will be asked and answered during this Review.

In the end, both the AI Review I and II Panels will make decisions of responsibility based on a "preponderance of the evidence", that is "is it more likely than not that the student violated academic integrity?" If the answer is yes, the involved student is held responsible. If the answer is no, the involved student is NOT held responsible.

When will my AI Review occur?

This depends on whether your case is headed to an AI Review I or II.

AI Review Is will most likely occur within 3 months of when an allegation was reported.

AI Review IIs are usually backlogged and take longer to resolved, so most likely within 6-9 months of when the allegation was reported.

Can I resolve the situation another way?

According to the Policy's Procedures, there are only three ways in which an academic integrity violation allegation can be resolved:

  1. Acceptance of Responsibility. The involved student accepts responsibility for violating academic integrity standards and the procedures for applying administrative and academic sanctions are initiated (this is how 70% of cases are resolved)
  2. Agreement to Proceed to an Academic Integrity Review. The involved student does not accept responsibility for violating academic integrity standards and the AI Review procedures are initiated (this is how 15% of cases are resolved)
  3. Withdrawal of Allegation. The AAA uncovers additional information that should be shared
    with the instructor regarding the allegation and the instructor decides to withdraw the allegation (this is how 15% of cases are resolved).

In other words, if you aren't accepting responsibility and there appears no cause for an allegation withdrawal, the AI Review is the only resolution option.

Does...count as cheating?

Does working with others count as cheating?

Not always, but it depends. Generally speaking, students are expected to complete all of their academic work independently unless they're told otherwise by the course instructor. So if students work with others on a class assignment that was intended by the instructor to be an individual assessment, the instructor may consider this an integrity violation. Students should always check with the instructor about the rules and if allowed, engage in honest collaboration which means acknowledging when they have worked with others on an assignment.

Does copying words or ideas, or paraphrasing from the Web count as cheating?

Copying or using someone else's ideas or words without attribution is always cheating, even when paraphrased. When the Internet or any source is used in completing a class assignment, the source must be cited within the document and at the end within the bibliography or references. This should be standard practice even if the instructor doesn't grade for or require proper citation – get in the habit! For help with citation, go to the UC Libraries’ Tutorial.

Does using old exams to study or prepare count as cheating?

Students are NOT allowed to use old exams in preparing for or taking a test if it was not explicitly authorized by the course instructor, otherwise it is not fair to other students. When sources of old course material are discovered, students should ask their instructors if the materials can be used.

Does copying a sentence or two count as plagiarism?

YES, if they are used without citation. This is true regardless of the extent or length of the sentence or paraphrase used. This is true for using other people’s ideas too. If you’re not sure, talk to your instructor, TA or writing program coordinator.

Does it count as cheating if my instructor didn't tell me I couldn't do something?

UCSD instructors won't verbalize every unauthorized behavior. As a Triton, you're expected to know some of the basics of excelling with integrity. For example:

  • Cite your sources.
  • Complete in-class tests and take-home tests independently.
  • Complete your own homework assignments.

In general, the AI Office recommends that before you engage in an action related to academic course work, assigments or exams, run your action through the following three tests:

  • VALUES - is the action honest, responsible, respectful, fair and trustworthy?
  • STANDARDS - does the action honor the integrity standards set by the University and/or by the course instructor?
  • EXPOSURE - if my action was exposed to the course instructor or the AI Office, would I be okay with that or would they approve?
If the answer to ANY of the tests is a NO, then the action is likely a violation of academic integrity so avoid it!

Can I use websites that offer course materials, tutors, editors and so on?

NO! Avoid these websites. They are definite red flags and should not be trusted. Not only are most of the things they would do for you either violations of law (e.g., copyright law) or violations of academic integrity, but they have also been known to steal students' identities and personal and financial information. If the website's services sound "too good to be true" and/or the University or Instructor are not telling you about the sites, then you shouldn't be using them. 

Numerous students who have used these sites have been reported to the AI Office for integrity violations and the violations almost always end in suspension or dismissal from the University. Use UCSD resources instead!

What if I...? What are the consequences?

Why did I get re-enrolled in a course?

If you were suspected of an academic integrity violation in your class and you dropped the course, you may get an email that says "you have been re-enrolled in a course for QUARTER YEAR that you dropped, since your action was not allowed by the UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship."

This is because the Policy on Integrity of Scholarship does not allow you to withdraw from a course if an Instructor has submitted an Intent to Report or an Allegation Report to the Academic Integrity Office.

You should keep attending the course and completing the assignments while the process is ongoing.

If I got caught cheating, IS MY LIFE OVER?

Your life is not over. We understand that you may not have previously experienced failure, especially in your academics, but great things can come from such experiences. And, we know that students with integrity violations go on to graduate and professional schools, as well as employment. We'll help you leverage this experience as a catalyst for growing as an ethical professional and citizen. You can see what the University consequences are for academic integrity violations, which includes Academic Integrity Training

Read more about the Academic Process here: After Cheating is Reported.

What if I didn't mean/intend to cheat?

Intent doesn't matter; what matters are your actions. If your actions violated academic integrity standards, then you are responsible whether you "meant to" or not or whether you are "a good person" or not. In fact, we assume 95% of the students reported for cheating are good people who have made a bad decision under stress, pressure or while tired. 

If your actions violated academic integrity standards, then accept responsibility and prepare to learn and grow from the experience. Denying your responsibility and fighting the allegation (i.e., by going to the AI Review Board) just because you're scared or worried can only make things worse. For example, students who have lied or gone to an AI Review even though they know that their actions violated academic integrity, have also been reported for conduct code violations.

However, if your actions did NOT violate academic integrity standards, then of course you should exercise your right to contest the allegation.

What if I did not know I was cheating?

Ignorance is no excuse for integrity violations. When you came to UCSD, you received quite a bit of education on academic integrity including at orientation and through at least one online tutorial. Even without these educational opportunities extended to you, you are expected to understand the standards and expectations of you as a UCSD student. In other words, in any situation (school, work, life) it is your responsibility to discover these norms and rules and then follow them.

If I cheat, what happens to my grade in the course?

According to the UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship, a course instructor has full discretion over the grade in the class and how you will be academically sanctioned for academic misconduct. The academic sanction can range from a failing grade on the assignment, quiz, or exam in question, to a failing grade in the class. That grade will remain on your transcript and calculated into your GPA, even if you retake the class.

What happens to my GPA if I choose to retake a class in which I had an integrity violation?

Any grade received as a result of an integrity violation stays calculated in your GPA, even if you retake the class.

What happens if I alter a graded examination and re-submit it for a regrade?

The standard sanction for altering a graded examination and submitting it for a regrade is a 1-year suspension.

If I cheat, is it possible for me to get suspended or dismissed from UCSD?

Yes, students have been suspended or dismissed. About 15% of students reported for cheating are suspended or dismissed from UCSD. You can find out more about the sanctions for integrity violations here.

If I’m suspended from or dismissed, is it just from UCSD or from the University of California?

If you are suspended, you are suspended from the University of California. So, this means that while you are suspended, you could take courses at another university or from a community college. If you decide to enroll somewhere else while suspended from UCSD, DO check with your academic advisors beforehand to ensure that you take the appropriate courses for your major or degree.

If you are dismissed, you are dismissed from the University of California system.

Can I appeal my suspension or dismissal?

Yes you can if it is within 5 business days of you receiving the sanction notification. If it is within that timeframe, go to this page to submit your appeal. If you are beyond that timeframe, you can email aio@ucsd.edu to ask for an extension.

NOTE: If you appeal a Suspension or Dismissal sanction, you should continue to attend your classes while the appeal is in process. That way, if your appeal is granted and the suspension or dismissal is removed, you will not be behind in your classes. If your appeal is not granted and you are suspended or dismissed for the quarter in which you are enrolled, you will be retroatively withdrawn and your money refunded. 

What happens if I’ve been reported for a second policy violation?

It depends on your first violation. If you were suspended for your first violation, it is likely that you'll be dismissed from UCSD (see sanctioning guidelines). If you were not suspended for your first violation, it is likely that you'll be suspended for 1-3 quarters for your second violation (even if the second violation is minor).

What happens if I’ve been disciplined for academic misconduct, and I want to apply for graduate, law, or medical school?

This depends on the school and their application. Many professional and graduate students ask for your "disciplinary history". If they ask, obviously we recommend that you be truthful. You can use the opportunity to explain how you have learned and grown as a result of the integrity violation. 

If I cheat, do other people find out?

Generally, no one outside of the University will find out. BUT, here are some important things for you to understand:

  • You’ll have a disciplinary record with your college (if you’re an undergraduate) or with the Graduate Division (if you’re a graduate student) for 7 years from the quarter of the incident. This record is internal, but can still be checked by any law schools, medical schools, or some federal government employers if you apply for admission or employment
  • There will be a mark on your academic record that you can see online (i.e., an A1, A2, A3, or A4 next to the grade received in the class). However, this record is known as your "unofficial academic record" and will not be seen by external parties unless you print it out and give it to them. So, don't do that! If you have to submit your academic record or transcript to another party, order an "official transcript" which will not show these markings.
  • There will be a mark on your official transcript if you are suspended or dismissed from UCSD for an academic integrity violation. It will say something like "suspended (or dismissed) for academic dishonesty." The notation will be there forever if you are dismissed, but only for the duration of the suspension if you are suspended.

Help! The absence of a grade is impacting my financial aid!

Students have a blank instead of a grade while the academic integrity process is going on. This CAN impact your ability to get financial aid if the blank means that you've achieved fewer credits than required. No worries. You can submit an appeal for a one quarter probationary period by using this form. By the end of that probationary period, your case should be resolved and your grade inputted. If you have any other questions about this, do talk to the Financial Aid Office.

My blank grade is preventing me from progressing academically. What should I do?

Contact your academic advisor through the VAC system.