What Happens if I Report a Case to the Office of Student Conduct?
The mission of the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) is educational rather than punitive. The staff at OSC make every effort to protect the faculty member’s and the student’s rights and make sure that disputes over integrity are settled in a fair and prompt manner.
Relatively minor infractions of Penn’s Code of Academic Integrity and first time offenses (those meriting judicial sanctions of Warning and/or Letters of Reprimand) will not be part of students’ permanent records and, therefore, will not be reportable outside of Penn.
In all cases, it is Penn's policy that instructors always have the power to assign a student the grade that the student’s work has merited.
For more details about the OSC’s mission consult their website.
For more details about procedures in academic integrity cases see: Charter of the University of Pennsylvania Disciplinary System.
Step 1: Make a report by either calling the Office of Student Conduct (215 898 5651) or submitting a report via OSC's website.
A representative of OSC will contact you to discuss details before they begin the investigation. Here is more information about how to make a report and what materials OSC expects.
Step 2: After the initial report
OSC will contact the student and conduct a further investigation.
Consult with OSC about allowing the student to complete the remaining coursework for the semester. (Generally students are allowed to complete this work.)
Submit an “incomplete” for a grade if the issue is not resolved by the end of the semester. (Instructors in the College can assign a grade of “ii” which will not become an F until the end of the next regular semester in which the student is enrolled or the instructor assigns the student an F.)
Step 3: Disciplinary Process
The student selects an advisor from a list of faculty and staff from the Penn Community who have agreed to serve in this capacity.
The OSC will conduct a thorough, impartial investigation.
If the OSC finds that there was no violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, the matter will be dropped and the faculty member should give the student a grade based on his or her work in the course.
If the OSC finds that the student has violated the Code of Academic Integrity, then the OSC will impose sanctions. Faculty will assign a grade.
98% of cases are resolved at this step.
Step 4: Disciplinary Hearing
This part of the process rarely happens. There are a handful of disciplinary hearings on academic integrity a year. Here are the numbers from 2016.
A disciplinary hearing is held only if the student does not agree to the OSC’s findings and sanctions.
The disciplinary panel consists of 3 standing faculty and 2 students from the Honor Council.
Faculty members or TAs may be asked to attend a disciplinary hearing and give testimony as witnesses, although the hearing is not a trial.
The disciplinary panel may decide in favor of the student or may impose sanctions through the Provost.
Should the student continue to contest the results, he or she can appeal.
After the disciplinary process
Results are confidential, although the faculty member who reported the violation and the Dean of the students’ school will be notified of the results.
The OSC can impose a range of sanctions from a warning for minor infractions to expulsion for major and repeated infractions.
If a student is found responsible, for violations that merit a sanction above a Letter of Warning Penn creates a disciplinary record which can be shared (including graduate schools and security agencies), although in most cases the student has to agree to make this record public. (Conduct violations are reported in the same way.)
The results of this process will only be reported on a student’s official transcript if a hearing committee orders that notation as part of the student’s sanctions.