Suspected of Committing an Academic Offence?
You have received a letter from the Academic Integrity Office, or your Instructor, or Chair, alleging that you have committed an academic offence in a course and inviting you in to meet.
What is this meeting about?
- This is an investigation to determine whether an offence has been committed.
- It is in response to an allegation of an academic offence that has been made against you by your Instructor. The details of what is alleged, is contained in your initial allegation letter.
What should I do?
- If you have not already, meet with your instructor to discuss the case.
- Book your meeting with the Dean’s Designate as soon as possible.
- Get good advice (see below).
I’m nervous. Where can I get advice?
- Academic Advising – bring them all materials relevant to the case
- Downtown Legal Services – free legal advice for U of T students
- Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU)
- If you are experiencing significant stress because of this, please visit UTSC Health and Wellness
- If you are an international student, visit the International Student Centre (ISC)
- If you are an AccessAbility student, please visit your consultant right away
What can I expect at this meeting?
- You will be asked whether you received a letter informing you of the allegation, and a copy of the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters.
- You may be accompanied by counsel (friend, lawyer, support person, family).
- The Dean’s Designate will point out the sections of the Code relevant to your case, and the range of sanctions available if you admit to the offence.
- You will be shown evidence, and informed of details supporting the allegation.
- You will have the opportunity to offer an explanation, and may be asked questions for clarification.
If the Dean’s Designate is satisfied than an offence was committed, you will be asked to admit to the offence.
What happens if I admit to the offence?
- You will be asked if you wish to make a statement in the mitigation. This can refer to your personal situation, or anything you wish to be taken into consideration when determining the sanction.
- You will not be told at the meeting what the sanction will be. You will receive a letter after the meeting informing you of the sanction.
- Your instructor will be asked, via the letter, to amend your grades according to the sanction.
- You may not withdraw from the course to avoid a sanction.
What happens if I do not admit to the offence?
- Your case will be sent to the Vice-Provost and the Dean’s Designate will ask that a charge be laid.
- You will receive a letter from the Vice-Provost informing you of the charge(s). You should get legal advice.
Is an allegation ever dismissed?
- If, after careful examination of the evidence, the Dean’s Designate believes that an offence was not committed, you will receive a letter informing you that the charge has been dismissed. You may be warned in the letter about behaviour which brought you under suspicion.
How can I move on from this?
- Visit Academic Advising in order to plan the rest of your academic career, and avoid the pitfalls that may have contributed to this.
- Make use of other UTSC resources such as the English Language Development Centre, the Writing Centre, and Health and Wellness, where appropriate.
How can I ensure that I do not do this in the first place?
- Attend an Academic Integrity Matters (AIM) workshop. Workshops occur at the beginning of each semester.
- Visit Academic Advising in order to work on your study skills, time management and motivation.
- Visit the Writing Centre and/or the Library in order to ensure you do not plagiarize.
- Speak to your Instructor about concerns you have around completing your coursework.
For more information: