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

109 Bradley Hall • ombud@uky.edu • 859-257-3737 • University Senate Rules

student with backpack

Academic Integrity:
Cheating and Plagiarism

All incidents of cheating and plagiarism are treated very seriously at the University of Kentucky, and there are specific policies and procedures in place to handle them. See Senate Rules 6.3.0 and 6.4.0.

  • 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 the student's action constitutes an academic offense, 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. If the student withdraws from the course, the Registrar will reinstate the student in the course.
  • Penalties for an academic offense range from a zero on the assignment or failure in the course 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 that 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 will stand.
  • If the student wishes to appeal the determination and/or the severity of the sanction imposed, the student must contact Academic Ombud Services 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 for a hearing. Please note: The student has the right, with some restrictions, of class participation and attendance during the consideration of any appeal. See Senate Rule 6.4.4 B.2 .
  • The University Hearing Officer of University Appeals Board 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 University Appeals Board*. After such time, the University Appeals Board 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, 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. See Senate Rule 6.4.4 A.2 .
  • A student appealing the determination of 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, the student will be reinstated by the Registrar. On the other hand, if the University Appeals Board determines the student is 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 Senate Rule 6.4.4 A .

*The eight members of the University Appeals Board committee consists of at least five members of the U.K. faculty and at least one student.