Talking About Academic Misconduct

How do I talk about suspected academic misconduct with a student?

You do not need to talk with the student yourself.  In fact, you should not approach the student until after the Dean of Students Office (DSO) sends a letter to the student, which occurs once they receive and review your incident report.  The DSO will copy you on the communication to the student.  Why is it important for you to wait?  This protects both the student’s rights as well as your rights. As part of the DSO communication to the student, they will include a link to UF information on the student’s rights.  If you were to forget to inform the student of their rights when talking to them, the student could easily appeal any decision regarding responsibility for a violation.

The one exception to waiting to approach the student is if you suspect significant mental health issues or that the student might be suicidal. In that case, the student needs immediate help. In this situation, call the DSO immediately for help on managing the situation. (Also, refer to the next section for assistance.)   

What if I don’t suspect academic misconduct but I notice the student is showing signs of distress?

If it is an emergency, contact 911. Otherwise, let the student know that you have noticed a change and express your concern.  Encourage the student to come talk with you and to reach out to UF resources.  Offer to call to make a counseling appointment with the student or walk the student to one of the UF resource locations. If you are talking with the student and they seem to be struggling with significant mental health issues, do not hesitate to ask whether they are suicidal.  If the student declines your assistance, be sure to fill out a Care Concern Form. We also have relevant modules as part of our Teaching Excellence Program in Canvas. These include Classroom Management – Communication and Academic Integrity and Misconduct.