“Cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty” are all violations of the UH Student Conduct Code, but it is left to departments to decide what procedures to put in place to detect and respond to these violations.

Here are some issues and procedures to consider.

Find out what happened: It is important to determine who copied from who and under what circumstances. Sometimes a students asks for help, and the other student just gives the program over as a aid, but the one who asked just hands it in as is without the other knowing. Sometimes  students steal assignments from others, in other cases both are working together. There are a lot of situations. Finding out what happened is usually determined through a meeting with the DFC, discussed below.

How is it handled? If the case is at the 100 or 200 level, we usually give them a warning the first time, then the second time we refer them to the VC of Student Affairs. For upper level courses, a first offense warning may not be appropriate.

Procedurally, the best approach is to set up a meeting with the DFC (Department Faculty Specialist, currently Gerald Lau), the student(s) in question, and the professor in charge of the class.  At this meeting, the students are given a chance to explain what happened.  After that meeting, the DFC and the faculty member review what happened and make a decision on how to proceed.  The students can be informed via email within a day or two.

Note that if you come across a student who has cheated, it is important to get the DFC involved so that an incident report can be put in the student’s file.  This is useful because there are incidents of students who are “serial cheaters”, and if each professor deals with the student individually, the chronic nature of the cheating may not become apparent and cannot be dealt with explicitly.

What are the consequences for their grade: In the past, professors have given either an F for the assignment or an F for the class. This is the professor’s call and depends upon what was stated on the syllabus.