The University of Manitoba treats cases of inappropriate collaboration and other forms of academic dishonesty, very seriously. Honesty and fairness are fundamental aspects of the University's mission. As a result, any member of the University community who violates these principles is dealt with as if he/she is damaging the integrity of the University itself. If you have been accused of inappropriate collaboration or a similar scholastic offence, you may be surprised at how formally and seriously the accusation is dealt with and how severe the consequences can be. Students may be sanctioned or disciplinary action may be taken under the Student Discipline bylaw.
Purpose of this page is to
It is the responsibility of the student to:
Collaboration can include, but is not limited to:
Inappropriate collaboration is unethical because it:
When students work together or share information without specific instructions by the professor, this constitutes inappropriate collaboration. This applies to in-class or take-home tests, papers, labs, or homework assignments; basically, any assignment that will be submitted for a grade. Students should not collaborate unless the professor has given specific instructions about group work and when this is permissible.
If you have been accused of inappropriate collaboration:
Control your angry feelings. It is a common reaction to feel anger toward the person who alleges that you have cheated. It is important that you master these feelings to prevent you from saying or doing something you may later regret.
Be honest. Always answer questions honestly, as it is your professor's obligation to determine the truth. Your honesty may be taken into consideration when determining the penalty assigned if you are found guilty.
Know your rights. There is an appeal process available to you, should you find the case was handled improperly by others. You are also able to see a Student Advocate to receive help or advice in the preliminary stages of an investigation.
Meet with a Student Advocate;
If you are found guilty of the offence, the disciplinary action assigned to you may vary according to the following factors:
The professor who brought the allegation against the student cannot impose a disciplinary action (Student Discipline Bylaw). He or she must refer the matter to the department head or dean.
The Student Discipline Bylaw outlines the specific disciplinary actions available for each disciplinary authority.
There is no rule about which disciplinary actions are applied for which violations, but there are patterns in the ways that disciplinary actions have been applied in the past. Patterns are not rules and disciplinary authorities are free to depart from them.
Disciplinary actions can include:
Yes, students do have the right to appeal the disciplinary matter, the disciplinary action, or both. The Student Advocacy office can assist you in your appeal process. The process normally involves writing a letter to the appropriate authority explaining your situation, followed by attendance at a hearing where a committee will hear your case.
The first level of the appeal is the Local Discipline Committee (L.D.C.), which is assembled to hear appeals at the faculty level. If you are not satisfied with the outcome at this level, you may appeal further to the University Discipline Committee (U.D.C.), which hears appeals of L.D.C. decisions or decisions made from other disciplinary authorities such as residence appeal committees.
You can protect yourself from being charged with inappropriate collaboration by taking the initiative to prevent it:
A. Students are not normally allowed to withdraw from the course in which they are suspected of committing an offence until a final decision on the case has been made. As well, you may not withdraw from the course once disciplinary action (penalty) is assigned in order to avoid same. You may, however, still be able to withdraw from other courses if they are not related to the offence. If it is a serious case, you may not be permitted to change any courses until the investigation is completed.
Q. Can I get my degree while the case is being investigated?
A. The University will not award you any degree, diploma, or certificate until the final decision on your case has been made. You will be able to use university facilities, unless there is a valid reason to bar you and you can usually continue to be registered to take courses. You may be put on a "hold" status to prevent you from being able to request your transcript and subsequently transfer to another institution. Your student status stands while your situation is under investigation or appeal.
Q. Will this be recorded on my transcript?
A. That depends on whether part of the disciplinary action includes a transcript notation of academic dishonesty. If so, it will be up to the discretion of the decision-maker to determine the length of the notation up to 5 years. A student can make a request, after a certain length of time, to have this notation removed. The Student Advocacy office can assist with this request.
The Student Advocacy office offers presentations and workshops on academic integrity and related topics. We maintain the Student Discipline website that provides helpful information for faculty and staff handling a discipline case. Visit us at umanitoba.ca/student/advocacy for more information and to view our educational materials including online tutorials.
Student Advocacy gratefully acknowledges the following resources:
Revised April 2013, online version