- The staff at CSA make every effort to protect the faculty member's and the student's rights.
- CSA can make sure that disputes over integrity are settled in a fair and prompt manner.
- CSA keeps an internal record of cases, so they know when a student has multiple infractions.
- Relatively minor infractions of Penn's Code of Academic Integrity and many first-time offenses will not be part of a student's permanent records reportable outside of Penn.
When instructors suspect a student of violating Penn's Code of Academic Integrity, they may report the student to the Center for Community Standards & Accountability. CSA is responsible for adjudicating such cases if need be and determining any sanctions for the student. In this process, CSA seeks to serve an educational, not punitive, mission.
In all cases, it is Penn's policy that instructors always have the power to assign a student the grade that the work has merited.
Why consider reporting a case to CSA?
The Reporting and Disciplinary Process
Make a Report
Make a report by submitting a report via CSA's report a case or request a consult website or calling CSA (215-898-5651). You may also consult with CSA staff about a case prior to deciding to report.
A representative of CSA will contact you to discuss details before they begin an investigation.
After the Initial Report
CSA will contact the student and conduct a further investigation.
Consult with CSA about allowing the student to complete the remaining coursework for the semester. Generally, students are allowed to complete this work.
Submit an "incomplete" for a grade if the issue is not resolved by the end of the semester.
In very rare cases, a disciplinary hearing may follow. The disciplinary process begins with CSA conducting an investigation.
In that process, the student selects an advisor from a list of faculty and staff from the Penn Community who have agreed to serve in this capacity.
If CSA finds that there was no violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, the matter will be dropped and the faculty member should give the student a grade based on his or her work in the course.
If CSA finds that the student has violated the Code of Academic Integrity, CSA will impose sanctions. Sanctions may range from a warning for minor infractions to expulsion for major and repeated infractions. Faculty will assign a grade.
98% of cases are resolved at this step.
A disciplinary hearing my follow in very rare cases. A disciplinary hearing is held only if the student does not agree to the CSA's findings and sanctions. There are only a handful of disciplinary hearings on academic integrity a year.
For a hearing, the disciplinary panel consists of three standing faculty and two students from the Honor Council. Faculty members or TAs may be asked to attend a disciplinary hearing and give testimony as witnesses, although the hearing is not a trial.
The disciplinary panel may decide in favor of the student or may impose sanctions. Students who continue to contest the results, may appeal.
After the Process
The process results are confidential, although the faculty member who reported the violation and the Dean of the students' school will be notified of the results.
If a student is found responsible of a serious or repeated violations, with a sanction above a Letter of Warning, Penn creates a disciplinary record which can be shared (including with graduate schools and security agencies), although in most cases the student has to agree to make this record public. The results of this process will only be reported on a student's official transcript if a hearing committee orders that notation as part of the student's sanctions.