Have you received an allegation of an academic integrity breach from Deakin University? Our experienced and professional Advocacy team are here to help you.
How can DUSA Advocates help me? We can:
- Listen to you
- Assist you to understand the allegation and the evidence the Academic Integrity Committee has provided
- Support you to consider your options (including whether to admit/not admit to the allegation, and whether to accept the Standard Outcome or request a review)
- Advise you about aspects of Deakin policy that are relevant in your individual case.
If you wish to provide a written response to the Committee/attend a review meeting, we can:
- Suggest types of supporting documentation you could provide
- Review your draft written response and provide confidential feedback
- Attend your review meeting as your support person.
Contact us today to arrange a free Advocacy appointment for individualised advice and support. There’s lots more information below to help you too.
What is a breach of academic integrity standards?
Deakin University defines academic integrity as “part of the moral code of academia” and involving “using, generating and communicating information in an ethical, honest and responsible manner”. (Student Academic Integrity Policy, s6).
Examples of breaches include: Plagiarism, Contract cheating, Collusion, Impersonation, Falsification, fabrication or misrepresentation of data or information, Academic fraud, Non-compliance with instructions or requirements in an invigilated or supervised assessment, File-sharing, Promoting ways to breach academic integrity, and Reuse of previous work.
I have received a notice alleging an academic integrity breach. What should I do?
Read the allegation notice and attached documents carefully.
Consider making an appointment with a DUSA Advocate to discuss the allegation and talk through your options.
The allegation notice will propose a Standard Outcome. Different breach types have different Standard Outcomes. These can be found in Schedule A: Outcomes for Student Breaches of Academic Integrity. The allegation notice will give you the following options:
- Admit to the alleged breach and accept the proposed Standard Outcome, or
- Request a review
If you request a review, you can:
- Admit to the alleged breach and present difficult personal circumstances that were impacting you at the time you breached academic integrity and ask for a Mitigating Circumstances Outcome, or/and
- Not admit to the alleged breach and present information to show you did not breach academic integrity standards (or you did not breach the specific academic integrity standard that is alleged).
You can also request to attend a review meeting.
- Please note that if you have accepted the Standard Outcome and would then like to request a review after the 5 day response timeframe, this is not possible. If you are unsure about your options, we recommend attending an appointment with a DUSA Advocate to discuss your circumstances.
Students generally need to respond to the allegation within 5 working days. Information about how to respond and the due date will be provided in the allegation letter.
What happens if I don't respond to the allegation letter?
- The Academic Integrity Committee will apply the Standard Outcome stated in the allegation letter.
(Note: If your allegation involves other students, please read important information under My allegation involves other students)
What happens if I am late in responding to the allegation letter?
The Committee may accept a late response from you if:
- You submit it within 10 working days after the allegation was sent to you, and
- You provide supporting material/documents to show how exceptional circumstances prevented you from responding within 5 working days. You are welcome to contact DUSA Advocates for support and to discuss your options.
What should I include in my written response to the Committee?
- If you are not admitting to the allegation or if you want the Committee to consider your personal circumstances, you will need to attach a response letter and usually also supporting documents/materials to support the statements you have made in your response letter.
- DUSA Advocates have a Written Submission Template that you can use as a guide for writing your response. DUSA Advocates can suggest relevant supporting documentation/evidence and provide feedback before you submit to the Committee. If you would like a DUSA Advocate to review your Written Submission, please contact us as soon as possible.
I’m not able to collect my supporting documentation by the due date. Can I submit them late?
- DUSA Advocates recommend you complete the Academic Integrity Allegation Online Reply Form by the due date and you email the Committee Secretariat to explain why you are not able to submit the supporting documentation on time. Let them know the date you could provide the supporting documents and ask if this would be acceptable. You can find the contact details for the Committee Secretariat in the allegation email you received.
What are mitigating circumstances?
These are defined in Schedule A: Outcomes for Student Breaches of Academic Integrity (p. 6):
Mitigating circumstances are “exceptional circumstances outside the student’s control faced by the student that impaired their decision-making ability”. Examples include: “severe and acute mental distress” and “being the subject of blackmail or other coercion”.
- If you request a review and can show mitigating circumstances to the Committee, you may receive a Mitigating Circumstances Outcome instead of a Standard Outcome.
- If you think you may have Mitigating Circumstances, DUSA Advocates recommend you provide supporting documentation of your circumstances. Contact DUSA Advocates for individualised advice about supporting documentation you could provide and the various possible outcomes.
What are exacerbating circumstances?
These are defined in Schedule A: Outcomes for Student Breaches of Academic Integrity (p. 6):
Exacerbating circumstances are “circumstances where a student’s actions are determined to be unethical beyond the nature of the breach in student academic integrity standards”.
Examples include: “the theft of information or devices from another person or student, repeatedly breaching academic integrity, blackmail or coercion, or managing or leading a business or organisation with the purpose to help others breach academic integrity”.
- If you request a review and the Committee determines there were Exacerbating Circumstances involved in your breach of academic integrity, you may receive an Exacerbating Circumstances Outcome instead of a Standard Outcome.
- Contact DUSA Advocates for individualised advice about the various possible outcomes.
What happens at a review meeting?
Review meetings usually happen via Zoom video conference. They are attended by either a single-member or a four-member Academic Integrity Committee (and secretariat). You will have the opportunity to talk about your case and the Committee will ask you some questions. You may also ask questions. If you have a support person at your review meeting, they may also be allowed to speak too. Have more questions about review meetings? You can find our Academic Integrity Review Meeting FAQ page here.
Can I take someone to the review meeting with me?
Yes, you can. DUSA Advocates often accompany students to review meetings. We can also provide advice about what to expect at the meeting. If you want an Advocate at your meeting, please contact us as soon as possible to arrange this.
When will I know the outcome?
If you attend the review meeting, you may be told the outcome at the end of your meeting.
In some cases, the Committee needs further time to deliberate or to gather further information before deciding the outcome. The Committee will email you an outcome letter within 5 working days.
What are the possible outcomes of an allegation of academic integrity breach after I request a review? And how will the Committee decide which outcome I get?
There are several possible outcomes:
- The allegation is substantiated, and the Standard Outcome is applied.
- The allegation is substantiated, and the Mitigating Circumstances Outcome is applied.
- The allegation is substantiated, and an Exacerbating Circumstances Outcome is applied.
- A different breach to the one originally alleged is substantiated and the relevant Standard Outcome or Mitigating Circumstances Outcome or Exacerbating Circumstances Outcome (for that breach type) is applied.
- The allegation is dismissed (not substantiated).
Each type of breach has a different Standard Outcome, Mitigating Circumstances Outcome and Exacerbating Circumstances Outcome.
The Committee will consider the information and evidence you provide to them. They will decide whether the allegation is substantiated on the balance of probabilities (whether it is more likely to have occurred or not occurred). If they find a breach has occurred, they will determine what type of breach it is and whether to apply the relevant Standard Outcome, Mitigating Circumstances Outcome or Exacerbating Circumstances Outcome. To learn about the different possible outcomes, see Schedule A: Outcomes for Student Breaches of Academic Integrity and contact DUSA Advocates for individualised advice.
My allegation involves other students. Does this change the process?
Yes, it may do. If any student involved in the alleged breach requests a review, the allegations against all involved students are reviewed by the Committee (even if you have already accepted the Standard Outcome). If this happens, you will be given the opportunity to respond in writing and/or attend a review meeting. The Committee will consider the other students’ responses alongside your own response. Your outcome may change as a result. DUSA Advocates can provide you with advice and support throughout this process.
Can I appeal the outcome?
It depends on the circumstances. If you are eligible to appeal, you will have 20 working days from the date of being notified of the outcome to lodge an appeal to the University Appeals Committee. Find out more about the appeals process and eligibility here.
Will the University keep a record of the allegation?
The Office of the Dean of Students will keep a record of the allegation, investigation, and outcome. The allegation itself will not be recorded on your academic transcript.
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