These 15 FAQs provide general information about what Deakin students can expect of an Academic Integrity Meeting/Hearing.
Students who receive an academic integrity allegation are given the option of attending a meeting as part of their response to the allegation. This is a meeting between a student and members of a Faculty Committee in which the academic integrity allegation is discussed. This kind of meeting is sometimes called a ‘hearing’.
DUSA Advocates encourage students to attend academic integrity meetings if possible, either in person, by phone or via video conference. The meeting allows you to share further information about your case and for you to answer any questions the committee may have.
Most students wear the kind of clothes they usually wear to university. Neat casual clothes are fine.
Academic integrity meetings are usually attended by a committee made up of two or three academic staff members from your faculty and a secretary who will take notes throughout. One of the academic staff members will have the role of chairing the meeting. You can bring a support person too.
Note: Some meetings about assessment tasks worth less than 10% of unit marks are attended by just one academic staff member and a secretary.
The unit chair (or teaching staff in the same unit) who referred the matter to the Faculty Committee will not be at the meeting. This could be a conflict of interest. As the committee is made up of staff from your faculty, it is possible that a previous or current lecturer you know from another unit may happen to be sitting on the committee for the meeting.
Yes, you can take a support person to your meeting. This person can be anyone who is not a practicing lawyer. DUSA Advocates often accompany students to meetings. If you want an Advocate at your meeting, please request this from your Advocate.
You will have a separate academic integrity meeting to the other students. If the other students also decide to attend their meetings with the committee, those meetings are likely to happen immediately before/after your meeting.
This depends somewhat on the details of the allegation and whether or not you agree with the allegation. A DUSA Advocate can give you advice on how to best prepare in your individual case. Generally, it can be helpful to:
- Read over your written submission and consider the main points you want to highlight to the committee,
- Work out if there is any further/new information that you want to explain, and
- Talk to your Advocate shortly before the meeting (if pre-arranged with the Advocate).
You may find it helpful to make some brief notes which you can then have in front of you during the meeting, so you remember to tell the committee the key points you wish to make.
It can also be helpful to allow some time to gather your thoughts before the meeting.
When you first enter the meeting, the committee will introduce themselves. The chairperson will explain the meeting process. It is likely they will ask you to explain in your own words, or elaborate on your written submission, about what led to the allegation.
The committee members may ask you some questions to clarify the facts of the situation. You will be given time to answer the committee’s questions and provide some additional information if required.
Once you have shared all the information you would like the committee to take into consideration and the committee has asked all their questions, they will ask you (and your Advocate) to leave the room whilst they deliberate. If the meeting happens via Zoom/phone, the committee will deliberate in a virtual break-out room.
Then you (and your Advocate) will return to the meeting with the committee, and you may be informed of the outcome at this time. However, in some cases the committee won’t provide the outcome at the end of the meeting. They will email you the outcome within 5 university working days of deciding the outcome.
The questions asked will vary depending on the details of the case and what you stated in your written submission to the committee.
In general, the questions are likely to cover: what happened, why this happened, your understanding of academic integrity, whether or not you have breached academic integrity in this instance and in what way, whether there were any personal circumstances impacting you at the time, and how you will avoid breaching academic integrity in the future (if relevant).
A DUSA Advocate can advise you on the kinds of questions you may possibly be asked in your individual case.
The Advocate will listen carefully to the questions the committee asks and the answers you provide. The Advocate may prompt you to share relevant information, or they may add information that it is in your best interests for the committee to hear. An Advocate is there to support you and they only share positive details that are in your favour.
It can be stressful to talk about an allegation and it is OK to cry during the meeting. You can take time within the meeting to take a few deep breaths before you feel able to speak again, or you can ask for a break during the meeting if needed. If you have a DUSA Advocate present as your support person, they can also speak on your behalf for part of the meeting if you wish.
An academic integrity meeting at Deakin is different to a court hearing. There are no lawyers or judges involved. The university staff present at the meeting are required to determine whether you have breached a particular part of the university’s Student Academic Integrity Policy/Procedure, not whether you have broken a law. Most academic integrity meetings have an educative focus.
If you believe you have not breached academic integrity, you will have the opportunity to explain this in detail to the committee. The committee’s aim is to get to the truth of what has happened, not to make you admit to things you have not done.
The duration of academic integrity meetings varies, but they commonly go for around 20 minutes. The duration depends on a number of factors such as how much information you have to share, how much information you’ve already provided in a written submission, how many questions the committee has, and how long the committee deliberates for.