Academic Integrity Process for Students

Academic Integrity Process for Students

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Sections on this page: 

  1. What happens when suspected of an offence?
  2. What to expect when meeting with the Academic Integrity Office
  3. What to expect when meeting with the Dean's Designate
  4. What happens if I admit to an offence?
  5. What happens if I do NOT admit to an offence?
  6. What happens after I am sanctioned?
  7. Resources

What happens if a student is suspected of committing an offence?

First, don’t panic. Respond to any messages from your instructor, the department Chair, or Academic Integrity Office. Attend any meeting(s) scheduled to discuss the matter and potentially resolve the case. Avoiding the matter could make it worse. 

Consider getting advice from Academic Advising & Career Centre, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU), the International Student Centre, or your AccessAbility Services consultant if you have one. If the offence is serious in nature, you may wish to consult a student lawyer in Downtown Legal Services

Your instructor will contact you to set up a time to meet and discuss the allegation. Respond promptly to your instructor’s message(s) regarding this situation. In the meeting, you will be given an opportunity to tell your side of things. Be honest in your discussion. If the instructor feels that an offence did not occur, the matter will be closed.  

However, if the instructor feels an offence did occur, it is their duty to forward it on to the Chair of their department. 

  • If the assignment or exam is worth 10% or less and you have no prior offences, the Chair of the academic department will resolve the case internally. 

  • If the assignment or exam is worth more than 10%, or if it is worth less than 10% and you either have a prior offence or do not respond to your instructor’s message(s) to meet, the Chair of the department will forward your case to the Academic Integrity Office in the Office of the Vice-Principal Academic & Lead for resolution. 

  • A professor or instructor may not sanction a student. 

While your case is being investigated, a Grade Withheld Pending Review (GWR) of an Alleged Academic Offence will be added to your transcript next to the course(s) involved. Failure to resolve your GWR may affect your course enrollment or ability to graduate. Once your alleged academic offence has been resolved, your final mark for the course will replace the GWR.  

What should a student expect when meeting with the Academic Integrity Office (AIO):

Once the Academic Integrity Office receives your case, they review it to ensure they have all the information required to proceed. The case is then assigned to one of the Dean’s Designates (DD’s) who act on behalf of the Vice-Principal Academic & Dean to resolve academic integrity cases. 

The Dean’s Designate reviews the case and decides on a course of action: 

  • You may be invited to attend a meeting with the Dean’s Designate, an Academic Integrity team member, and possibly your instructor (over Zoom) to discuss the allegation, or 

  • You may receive a Decision Letter package, allowing you to resolve your academic integrity case quickly by waiving your right to a meeting and agreeing to the sanction set out in the letter. Signing it and returning it by the date indicated means you admit to the offence. However, you have the right to request a meeting with the DD instead of signing the Decision Letter. 

What should a student expect when meeting with a Dean’s Designate (DD):

You will be asked whether you received a copy of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. The Dean’s Designate will review sections of the Code dealing with your rights, the range of sanctions available if you admit to an offence, and the offences as described in the Code. Evidence will be presented, along with details supporting the allegation of an academic offence. You will have the opportunity to offer an explanation and may be asked questions for clarification.  

This meeting is your opportunity to explain your side of the matter and add anything about your personal situation that you’d like the DD to know. They will take this information into account as they make their final decision. You may wish to bring additional documentation to the meeting to support your claim, for example: 

  • Assignment drafts 

  • Lecture or class notes 

  • Research done for a paper or assignment 

  • Medical documentation 

You may bring a counsel or a support person to your meeting (friend, family member, peer, advisor, representative from SCSU, translator, legal counsel, etc.). Downtown Legal Services provides free legal advice to U of T Scarborough students. During the meeting, you will be directly asked if you admit to the alleged offence.  

What happens if a student admits to an alleged offence?

If you admit to the alleged offence in the meeting, the DD will resolve the case. Their resolution may involve a sanction. Sanctions vary from situation to situation, but the range of sanctions can be found in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (see Appendix C on page 20). 

  • You will not be told what the sanction is during the meeting. 

  • You will receive a letter after the meeting, informing you of the sanction and your instructor will be requested (by copy of the letter) to submit a final grade in the course for you.  

Note that the Dean's Designate does not have to impose a sanction but may instead send the case to the Provost to ask that a charge be laid. This usually occurs when a student does not respond to the Academic Integrity Office, is a no show to any meetings scheduled with the Academic Integrity Office, or when an offence is of a more serious nature. 

What happens if a student does NOT admit to an alleged offence?

Students have the right to NOT admit to the offence.  

If the evidence is compelling, the Dean's Designate will send the case to the Vice-Provost to ask that a charge be laid.  You will receive a letter from the Vice Provost informing you whether a charge has been laid and describing the next steps. If the Provost agrees to lay the charge, the case will proceed to the Trial Division of the University Tribunal and will no longer be handled by the U of T Scarborough Academic Integrity Office. You will receive a letter from the Provost informing you what charges are being laid and describing the next steps. 

If you do NOT admit to the offence and after careful consideration of the evidence, the DD believes that an offence did NOT occur, the DD may dismiss the case. You will receive a letter after the meeting informing you that the charge has been dismissed, advised or warned about the behaviour which brought you under suspicion. Note the DDs have a right to reopen a case should new information be provided.  

What should a student expect after being sanctioned?

The range of sanctions can be found in the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (Appendix C on page 20). Note that if this is not your first offence, your case may be referred to the Vice-Provost’s office directly.  

If you are dissatisfied with a sanction that has been imposed by your Dean’s Designate, you have the right to appeal. You may refer the matter to the Provost’s Office for consideration.  The Provost has delegated authority over the sanction consideration process to the Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life.  All requests for consideration of a sanction should be sent in an email providing details of the specific request, the sanction/resolution letter, and of the situation to

For Academic Appeals forms and other information - 

What resources can help students avoid further offences?

Visit the Academic Advising & Career Centre to plan the rest of your academic career and avoid the pitfalls that may have contributed to this situation. Work with an Academic Advisor to develop your study skills, time management and motivation. Visit the Writing Support Centre and/ or the U of T Scarborough Library to learn more about plagiarism and proper referencing. View modules on Academic Integrity for more information on how to avoid academic offences.  

Make use of other U of T Scarborough resources such as English Language Development Support, AccessAbility Services, and Health & Wellness

Most importantly, speak to your instructor about concerns or questions you have about your coursework.  


If you have any questions on academic integrity matters or cases, please contact the Academic Integrity Office: