Academic misconduct

A page within Student Life


The University and its faculty, staff, and students believe that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education and the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.  The University has a responsibility to promote academic honesty and integrity and to develop procedures to deal effectively with instances of academic dishonesty.  Students are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of other’s academic endeavors. 

Information for Students

University of Wisconsin La Crosse Honor Code

We, the students of UW-La Crosse, believe that academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education. We, as students, are responsible for the honest completion and representation of our work and respect for others’ academic endeavors. We, as students and responsible citizens of the City of La Crosse, will aim to uphold the integrity of the university throughout the La Crosse community. It is our individual responsibility as students to uphold these ethical standards and to respect the character of the individuals and the university.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is an act in which a student:  

  • seeks to claim credit for the work or efforts of another without authorization or citation;  
  • uses unauthorized materials or fabricated data in any academic exercise; 
  • forges or falsifies academic documents or records; 
  • intentionally impedes or damages the academic work of others; 
  • engages in conduct aimed at making false representation of a student’s academic performance; or 
  • assists other students in any of these acts. 

Examples of academic misconduct include, but are not limited to: 

  • cheating on an examination; 
  • collaborating with others in work to be presented, contrary to the stated rules of the course; 
  • submitting a paper or assignment as one’s own work when part or all of the paper or assignment is the work of another; 
  • submitting a paper or assignment that contains ideas or research of others without appropriately identifying the sources of those ideas; 
  • stealing examinations or course materials; 
  • submitting, if contrary to the rules of a course, work previously presented in another course; 
  • tampering with the laboratory experiment or computer program of another student; 
  • knowingly and intentionally assisting another student in any of the above, including assistance in an arrangement whereby any work, classroom performance, examination or other activity is submitted or performed by a person other than the student under whose name the work is submitted or performed. 

There are many ways you can avoid academic misconduct.  Some ways include: 

  • Read your syllabus carefully and seek clarification from your instructor regarding class assignments. 
  • Always assume that you are expected to complete work independently unless otherwise noted. 
  • Plan ahead.  Being rushed for time is not an excuse for academic misconduct. 
  • Don’t share assignments with others.  While you may not have the intention of misconduct, you do not know the intentions of others. 
  • Keep track of sources and properly cite sources as you go. 
  • When taking a test, cover your answers or distance yourself from others to reduce the temptation of looking at the work of others. 
  • Avoid the usage of cell phones during an exam. 

If you have been accused of academic misconduct, your instructor should request a meeting with you to discuss the allegation and allow you the opportunity to respond.  Be honest in this meeting.   

Once the meeting has been conducted, the instructor will make a determination of responsibility and resulting sanction if applicable.  This decision will be emailed to you and you will have the opportunity to appeal the decision and/or sanctions or accept the decision and/or sanctions.   

If you wish to appeal, you must do so within 10 days of the decision being delivered to you.  To appeal a decision and/or sanction, please contact the Assistant Dean of Students in the Student Life Office. 

Any student with a documented disability (e.g. ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Acquired Brain Injury, PTSD, Physical, Sensory, Psychological, or Learning Disability) who needs to arrange accommodations for their meeting, must be registered with the ACCESS Center.  In addition to registering with The ACCESS Center, it is the student's responsibility to discuss their needs with the Student Life Office prior to their meeting so that all efforts can be made to ensure accommodations are met.

You can find out more about services available to students with disabilities at The ACCESS Center website.

If you suspect someone has engaged in academic misconduct, you should report that matter directly to your instructor and/or the Office of Student Life. 

Information for Faculty

Addressing Academic Misconduct

Addressing academic misconduct in courses can be frustrating and a breach of trust between a faculty member and a student(s).

The Student Life office is here to help. Consult with us by calling 608-785-8062 or review the resources below that provide information on the options, policies and procedures, and student rights associated with UWS Chapter 14, Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures.

Faculty Drop Down

If you have a concern about academic misconduct in your course, review the options below to determine next steps:

Here is a succinct step-by-step guide to address academic misconduct:

  • Step One: Gather your evidence.
  • Step Two: Notify the student (preferably in writing) and request to meet.
  • Step Three: Hear from the student.
  • Step Four: Make a decision of responsibility.
  • Step Five: Consider sanctions listed in UWS 14.04.
  • Step Six: Make a decision on the outcome.
  • Step Seven: Notify the student, dean, and Student Life of the decision. (see how to report for more information).
  • Step Eight: Thank you for addressing and navigating the challenge of academic misconduct in your course.

Following the policy, after meeting or offering to meet with the student regarding your concerns, you must notify the student in writing and cc Student Life and the Dean of their college.

Join our restorative justice pilot in response to academic misconduct. This process is facilitated by the student life office and incorporates due process rights for students through a restorative justice philosophical approach. This approach resolves academic misconduct through student accountability to address the harm caused by academic misconduct.

To learn more about this alternative resolution process, contact the Student Life office at 608-785-8062.