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Southern Oregon University

Academic Standards/Grading Grievance Policy

The maintenance of academic standards is a joint responsibility of the students and the faculty at Southern Oregon University. Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are dependent upon individual and collective conduct to permit the pursuit and exchange of knowledge and opinion. Faculty have the responsibility to create an atmosphere in which students may display their knowledge. This atmosphere includes an orderly testing room and sufficient safeguards to inhibit dishonesty. Students have the responsibility to rely on their own knowledge and resources in the evaluation process.

  1. Academic dishonesty is defined as cheating, plagiarism, or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses;

  2. Plagiarism is defined as knowingly submitting the language, ideas, thoughts, or work of another author as one's original work, or allowing one's work to be used in this fashion;

  3. Cheating is defined as:
  1. Using unauthorized information during an examination verbally, visually, or by unauthorized notes, books and other materials;

  2. Obtaining or providing information concerning an examination in advance of that examination;

  3. Taking an examination for another student or arranging to have someone else take an examination for you;

  4. Altering or changing:

(i) Test answers after that test has been submitted for grading;

(ii) Grades after the grades have been awarded; or

(iii) Other academic records, after those records have become official.

Procedures: The faculty member who suspects a student of academic dishonesty should confront the student with the accusation. In the event that the student disputes the allegation of academic dishonesty, then the incident should always be referred to the chief academic affairs officer or designee. The academic decision should then be deferred pending finding on the allegation. If the student admits to the misconduct, then one or more of the following sanctions will be imposed by the instructor.


Administratively withdraw the student from class. This action must have the approval of the chief academic affairs officer or designee and is subject to appeal through Grievance Procedures in OAR chapter 573, division 30, "Model Rules of Procedure Applicable to Contested Cases";

Award a failing mark on the test or paper; or

Require the student to take another test or resubmit the paper;

The academic sanctions described above may be employed alone, or in concert with disciplinary procedures. Refer to Refer to the Student Code of Conduct OAR 573-076.


The faculty member may refer the incident to the chief student affairs officer or designee   where the disciplinary process will be followed to determine what, if any, disciplinary sanction is appropriate;

Faculty will notify the chief student affairs officer or designee of academic action taken so a record can be maintained.