The Catholic University of America

Instructor Responsibilities     ||     Process      ||      Sanctions      ||      How to Report

Instructor Responsibilities 

Academic integrity is central to the teaching and research missions of the University, understood in their broadest terms: educating the whole person and pursuing the truth in all of its forms. Instructors have an obligation to familiarize themselves with University policies and to follow them.

When handling possible infractions of the University policy, instructors should be firm, fair, consistent, and compassionate. Compassion does not equate to leniency: instructors have an obligation to the institution and their colleagues to enforce the University’s policies. While remaining firm, however, they should consider that infractions of the academic integrity policy can be opportunities for intellectual and personal growth.

It is important to be proactive in educating students about academic integrity. Best practices include:

  • Use the distribution of the syllabus as an opportunity to discuss academic integrity within the context of the course and the discipline or field. Explain why it is important as a member of the academic community.

This concept is even more important for graduate students, who are becoming intentional members of that community. Expectations are higher for that reason.

International students may need additional reinforcement, stressing the expectations of an American university.

  • When possible, include professional codes of ethics, case studies and/or discussion questions to prompt student thinking beyond mere consequences and sanctions. Stressing integrity over dishonesty puts the proper constructive context on the discussion.
  • As the first “major” graded assignment nears – paper, report, design, midterm, etc. – revisit this discussion and acknowledge the increased pressure versus the start of a semester, when there is little or no pressure. Situations like these are the decision points, and there are resources to help students make the best decision. The first and most important resource is the instructor. Asking questions is the best way to avoid suffering sanctions. There are other resources, including the Academic Integrity website, the Undergraduate Advising Center, the Center for Academic Success, and the Writing Center.

The Process

Excerpted from the CUA Policies website.

Step 1

“When a faculty member suspects that an incident of academic dishonesty has occurred, the faculty member should communicate in writing and promptly arrange a conference with the student to discuss the matter. The faculty member may consult with the dean of the school and/or the chair of the department (where applicable) on the issues involved but will not discuss prior infractions of the student. At the conference, the faculty member will inform the student of his or her concerns, and the student will be given the opportunity to present his or her version of the facts. No counsel (e.g., parents/guardians, lawyers) will be present at this conference.

NOTE: Once an allegation of suspected academic dishonesty has been communicated to the student, the student may not withdraw from the course or academic project in question.”



Step 2

“After their conference, or if the student does not respond in a timely fashion to the offer to confer with the faculty member, the faculty member may conduct further investigation regarding the matter as the faculty member deems appropriate. On the basis of the facts, the faculty member will decide whether an act of academic dishonesty has taken place.”

It is strongly encouraged that faculty, and especially graduate teaching fellows, consult with your faculty mentor or chair/dean before imposing a sanction to ensure you are following your department/school guidelines and expectations.



Step 3

“If the faculty member decides that an act of academic dishonesty has taken place and imposes a sanction, the faculty member will make a written record of the disposition of the matter, including the facts on which he or she relied. The faculty member will retain a copy for the faculty member's file, and communicate the decision to the student. The faculty member will also report this decision to the designee of the dean of the school where the academic dishonesty occurred and to the chair of the department (in departmentalized schools).”

This report should be done via the reporting tool on

That is all that you, as a faculty member, need to do. Any additional steps, if necessary, will be handled by an academic dean.


Note that you, the instructor, are given the discretion to determine the appropriate sanction once a determination has been made that a student has violated the University’s academic integrity expectations.

Excerpted from the CUA Policies website:

“The availability and the imposition of meaningful sanctions communicate a message to the community that the University treats the standards of honesty set forth in this policy with the greatest seriousness and that infractions of these requirements will be pursued and punished.

“The presumed sanction for undergraduate students for academic dishonesty will be failure for the course. There may be circumstances, however, where, perhaps because of an undergraduate student's past record, a more serious sanction, such as suspension or expulsion, would be appropriate.

“In the context of graduate studies, the expectations for academic honesty are greater, and therefore the presumed sanction for dishonesty is likely to be more severe, e.g., expulsion.”

How to Report

Click the "Instructor Reporting Tools" link at the top of this page to access the necessary forms and instructions.

We are in the testing phase of a web form that will allow instructors to submit reports of academic dishonesty in a completely automated fashion. Until the web form is ready to go live, the static forms available on the reporting page approximate the web form's functionality.

If you have any questions about submitting the form or about reporting cases of academic dishonesty in particular, please be in touch with your department chair, your academic dean, or the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.


How To Report

Click below to access the academic dishonesty reporting page. This page contains a form that will allow you to enter information about an incident, as well as a contact list that will help you select the appropriate recipients for your report.

You can review the full reporting procedure here