Suspected of Academic Misconduct
This does not mean you have been found "guilty" or to have committed academic misconduct. At this point, there is just a suspicion. It is the responsibility of the Ryerson community to take action if they have reasonable grounds for thinking that academic misconduct has occurred.
However, it would be a mistake to think that because you don’t know what academic misconduct is, this will exempt you from the consequences and penalties. If you play a sport you know the rules before you get in the game. If you drive a car, you learn the rules of the road before you get your license. As a Ryerson student, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with Ryerson University's PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Procedures and PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Guidelines and to abide by it.
FAQs: What happens?
Frequently asked questions that will assist you to understand the suspicion you may have received, what happens next and where to get support.
- You will receive an email letter from the Academic Integrity Office (AIO) or the decision maker (Faculty/Instructor/Designated Decision Maker) to your Ryerson email. This is a confidential email.
- Read the letter very carefully. It has a lot of useful information.
- The email letter should state what the suspicion is and provide a summary of the basis for the suspicion. For example, if “plagiarism” is the suspected misconduct, the nature and extent of the plagiarism should be identified.
Remember, this is only a suspicion. No decisions have been made yet.
The purpose of the discussion is for the decision maker to understand, from you, what may have happened. Note the date, time and place of the proposed meeting. If you are unable to make the proposed date/time, you can call into the meeting or contact whoever sent you the email to reschedule. Do this ASAP!
If this is confusing or you want support, contact an independent person whose role is to support Ryerson students. For full-time undergraduate or graduate students, contact the Ryerson Student Union — 416-979-5000 ext. 2322 OR firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a part-time program, certificate, or Chang School student, contact the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson 416-979-5000 ext. 7056 / email@example.com.
Refer to PDF fileRyerson Policy 60: Academic Integrity, PDF fileRyerson Policy 60: Academic Integrity Procedures, PDF fileRyerson Policy 60: Academic Integrity Guidelines and get as informed as possible.
- Contact the advocate from RSU/CESAR if you want support in this process.
- If you have been asked to attend a Non-Facilitated Discussion you can always contact the Academic Integrity Officer and ask for the discussion to be changed to a Facilitated Discussion (an AIO neutral staff member will facilitate).
- Bring with you rough notes, drafts or other relevant documents related to the suspicion.
- You will be part of a non-adversarial, respectful conversation about the suspicion of misconduct that you have been notified of.
- The discussion is normally scheduled for 30 minutes.
- The facilitator (in the case of an FD) or the decision maker (in an NFD) will introduce the discussion, its guiding principles, and the possible outcomes. The facilitator or decision maker will make a neutral, fair and accurate record of the discussion (usually on a computer).
- The decision maker will explain the basis of their suspicion. They may refer to specific documentation or evidence, as appropriate, and ask questions of you, relevant to the suspicion. You will have a chance to respond to the decision maker’s concerns and questions, and ask questions of your own.
- The facilitator or decision maker will explain the next steps, including the timeline for a decision letter to be sent (to your Ryerson email), and potential outcomes of the discussion (e.g. no finding of misconduct; a finding of misconduct, which the student may choose to accept; a finding of misconduct, which the student does not accept and may wish to appeal; placement of a DN on the academic record; an assigned quiz and/or academic integrity workshop, etc.).
- You will not discuss the potential decision at this meeting.
The facilitator (in an FD) or decision maker (in an NFD) will complete a Summary of Discussion Form. You will be asked to read the summary and to sign this form if you believe it accurately reflects the discussion. Any disagreement will be noted on the form. Everyone will be provided with a copy of this form.
If you do not contact the Academic Integrity Office or your decision maker to change the date/time or you do not attend the meeting, a decision may be made without the benefit of your input.
A decision letter will be sent to your Ryerson email, within 5 days.
Based on the information available (including your FD/NFD) they will apply what is called a “balance of probabilities” standard of proof as to whether academic misconduct occurred. This means that weighing all the information, it is determined that more likely than not misconduct occurred.
- You may not drop a course once a suspicion of academic misconduct has been registered with the AIO until the matter is resolved. The Registrar at the start of this process will place a “DEF” on your academic record.
- If you drop the course before the matter is resolved, the Registrar’s Office will re-enroll you in that course.
- If there is no finding of academic misconduct, and the decision is received on or prior to the published drop deadline, you may then drop the course if they wish to do so.
- If there is no finding of academic misconduct and the decision is received after the published drop date has passed, but (normally) prior to the official last day of the term, you have up to two business days from the date/time of the decision being sent to request to drop the course.
- If there is a finding of misconduct prior to the published deadline to drop a course, and any penalty assigned is less than an “F” in the course,you may drop the course in accordance with the published deadline dates. In such a case, a Disciplinary Notation (DN) will still be placed on your academic record.
- If there is a finding of misconduct and a grade of “F” is assigned for the course, whether before or after the published drop deadline, you may not drop the course. That grade of “F” shall remain on your transcript and a DN will be placed on your academic record.
- If there is a finding of misconduct after the published deadline to drop a course, and a penalty of less than an “F” is assigned, you may normally not request a late course drop.
Important: when the decision is sent less than 3 days before the drop date - additional procedures may have to be taken to drop the course - see PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Procedures.
- You can appeal the finding that academic misconduct occurred
- You can appeal the penalty assigned, if the penalty is an “F” in the course (a grade reduction cannot be appealed).
- See: Appeals Process
- Contact the Ryerson Students Union or the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson.