Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

When You Suspect Academic Dishonesty

Any form of academic dishonesty should be reported to the secretary of the Yale College Executive Committee, Dean Pamela George (32 SSS, 432–2914), either directly or through the student’s residential college dean.

The Executive Committee is the standing committee of the Yale College Faculty for matters of undergraduate discipline. Its chair is a senior member of the faculty, and its membership includes three tenured members of the faculty, three untenured members of the faculty, three undergraduates, the dean of Yale College or his or her delegate, a factfinder, and a secretary who is an assistant or associate dean of Yale College.

It is often a good practice for the instructor to interview the student or students who appear to be guilty of academic dishonesty before referring the matter to the Executive Committee, in order to make absolutely certain that an allegation of academic dishonesty is warranted. If it is, then the instructor should forward the materials supporting a charge of academic dishonesty, accompanied by a cover letter assessing the nature, extent, and gravity of the offense, to the secretary of the Executive Committee. In cases of alleged plagiarism, for example, the Executive Committee needs a thorough identification of the improperly used sources, keyed to the passages in which they appear in the student’s essay, from the instructor. Except in unusual circumstances, an instructor who has alleged dishonesty on the part of a student is not required to attend the student’s interview with the committee, since the documents in the case are almost always sufficient for the committee’s deliberations.

For the sake of consistency, impartiality, fairness, and due process in treating cases of academic dishonesty, it is essential that all such cases be referred to the Executive Committee rather than being settled privately between instructor and student. For more information, see under “General Conduct and Discipline” in the Undergraduate Regulations.