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:

student with backpack

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.

  • When an instructor suspects a student may have plagiarized or cheated, the instructor will invite the student to meet with the course instructor and the department chair (or a designated faculty member). At that time, the student will be given the opportunity to explain what happened.
  • If, after the meeting, the instructor determines to proceed with the charge, the student will receive a letter informing him or her of the penalty imposed.
  • PLEASE NOTE: A student determined to have committed an academic offense may not withdraw from the course.
  • Penalties for an academic offense range from a zero on the assignment (for a first offense) to suspension and expulsion. A record of each academic offense will be held in the Registrar’s Office, and in some cases may be recorded on the student's transcript.
  • The student has the right to appeal the instructor's determination the student committed an academic offense by contacting the Academic Ombud within ten days.
  • If the student does not wish to appeal the determination, the student will receive a letter from the Academic Ombud notifying the student and other relevant parties that the finding and the penalty outlined in the letter mentioned above will stand.
  • If the student wishes to appeal the determination and/or the severity of the sanction imposed, the student must contact the Academic Ombud Services Office within ten days and schedule a meeting with the Ombud. The Ombud will investigate the details and forward the case to the University Appeals Board (UAB) for a hearing. Note: The student has the right, with some restrictions, of class participation and attendance during the consideration of any appeal (see S.R. 6.4.4.B.2).
  • The University Hearing Officer of University Appeals Board (UAB) will schedule a hearing and email notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing to the student.
  • At the scheduled time of the hearing, both the student and the instructor will be given an opportunity to explain their perspectives of the case in the presence of the UAB. After such time, the UAB will deliberate and arrive at a decision.
  • The student will be notified within 24 hours of the UAB's decision by the University Hearing Officer of the UAB, and a written notice will be provided within one week.
  • Note: If the offense is the student's first offense and the penalty imposed is an E in the course, the student 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)
  • A student charged with an academic offense should continue to participate in the course (even if it is difficult to do so). Students may not withdraw from the course, and if a student does so, will be reinstated by the Registrar. On the other hand, if the UAB determines the student not guilty, the student will be allowed to withdraw from the course (even if the University's withdrawal deadline has passed) if the student believes the prosecution of the offense has so disrupted the student's learning that a fair grade cannot be earned.

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.