Office of the Academic Ombud -- A neutral, independent and confidential resource for UK students and faculty

109 Bradley Hall • 859-257-3737 • Confidential FAX 859-257-5346 • Email: ombud@uky.edu

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Academic Integrity:
Cheating and Plagiarism

All incidents of cheating and plagiarism are taken very seriously at the University of Kentucky, and there are specific policies and procedures in place to prosecute them. See S.R. 6.3.0 (pdf) for the exact Senate Rules regarding academic offenses.

  • If you are accused of cheating, you would first meet with the course instructor and the department chair or a designated faculty member. At that time, you will be given the opportunity to explain your side of the story.
  • If the instructor and chair (or designee) want to proceed with the charge, you have the right to appeal the decision by contacting the Academic Ombud within 10 days. Penalties for an academic offense range from a zero on the assignment (for a first offense) to suspension or expulsion. A record of each academic offense will be held in the Registrar’s Office, and in some cases can even be recorded on your transcript.
  • If you are accused of an academic offense and want to appeal your guilt or the severity of the sanction being imposed, you may contact the Academic Ombud Services Office to schedule a meeting with the Ombud.
  • If you do not contact our office within ten days, you will receive a letter from our office notifying you and other relevant parties that the finding and the penalty outlined in the letter mentioned above will stand.
  • If you wish to contest the finding, contact our office within 10 days. The Ombud will then attempt to resolve the case to the satisfaction of all involved parties within 20 days of receiving your written request.
  • If the department stands by the original charge and penalty, you will submit your case in writing to the Ombud and the Ombud will investigate the details and forward the case to the University Appeals Board (UAB) for a hearing. Note: You have the right of class participation and attendance during the consideration of any appeal (6.4.4.B.2)
  • The UAB, a committee of eight members plus the University Hearing Officer, will receive a packet that includes letters from all parties and any relevant information.
  • After the UAB receives the packet of information, you will be placed on the docket to be heard at the next UAB meeting, and you will receive an electronic notice of the date, time and location of the hearing.
  • At the scheduled time of the meeting, both you and the instructor will be given an opportunity to explain your case in the presence of the UAB. After such time, the UAB will deliberate and arrive at an outcome.
  • Within 24 hours, you will be notified of the outcome of your appeal from the University Hearing Officer of the UAB, and a written notice will be provided within one week.
  • Note: If your offense is considered "minor," (that is, the penalty imposed is less than an E in the course) you may admit the finding of an academic offense but appeal the penalty on the basis that it is unduly harsh. The Academic Ombud in this case is given the authority to decide whether the appeal has merit but in making such a decision must proceed with deference to the instructor's traditional autonomy and authority over the course. (6.4.4.A.2)
  • If your instructor has charged you or is considering charging you with an academic offense, continue to participate in the course (even if it is difficult for you to do so), and do not drop or withdraw from it. Dropping or withdrawing does not stop the academic offense prosecution from proceeding. Furthermore, if you are found guilty of the offense, you lose the right to withdraw from the course, and if you have already withdrawn from the course, the Registrar will reinstate you. On the other hand, if you are found not guilty, but you feel that the prosecution has so disrupted your learning that you cannot earn a fair grade, you will be allowed to withdraw from the course, even if the University's withdraw deadline has passed.

For a complete discussion of the role of the Academic Ombud in Academic Offense Appeals see S.R. 6.4.4.A (pdf).

For frequently asked questions and answers regarding the University Appeals Board, click here.