Academic Dishonesty

For the sake of consistency, impartiality, fairness, and due process, instructors are expected to confer with the Yale College Executive Committee, thorough its secretary or assistant secretary, about any suspected case of academic dishonesty. The secretary can provide guidance about whether the matter should be reported to the Committee for investigation. The Executive Committee is the standing committee of the Yale College Faculty for matters of undergraduate discipline. Its chair is a senior member of the faculty, and its membership includes members of the faculty, undergraduate students, and members of the Yale College Dean’s Office.

Academic dishonesty includes cheating on a test or an examination, plagiarism, improper collaborating on assignments, or the submission of the same essay to two instructors without the explicit consent of both. It is often a good practice for the instructor to interview the student or students suspected of academic dishonesty before referring the matter to the Executive Committee, in order to ascertain if an allegation of academic dishonesty is warranted. If it is, then the instructor should forward the materials supporting a charge of academic dishonesty, accompanied by a cover letter assessing the nature, extent, and gravity of the offense, to the secretary of the Executive Committee. In cases of alleged plagiarism, for example, the Executive Committee needs a thorough identification of the improperly used sources, keyed to the passages in which they appear in the student’s essay, from the instructor. Except in unusual circumstances, an instructor who has alleged dishonesty on the part of a student is not required to attend the student’s interview with the committee, since the documents in the case are almost always sufficient for the committee’s deliberations.

It is essential that all cases of academic dishonesty be referred to the Executive Committee rather than being settled privately between instructor and student, not only for considerations of equity, but they may or may not be isolated incidents. 

For more information, see under “General Conduct and Discipline” in the Undergraduate Regulations.