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Faculty Policy on Plagiarism

FACULTY POLICY ON PLAGIARISM

While the Honor Code is designed primarily to govern situations in which students observe or detect other students acting inappropriately, the Law Faculty has adopted the following policy to cover situations where a faculty member concludes that a student is guilty of plagiarism:

A. Plagiarism

Plagiarism is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the University of Georgia Law School. Plagiarism is the submission of another's work as one's own. It includes: 1) use of another's exact words without use of quotation marks and acknowledgement of that use in a footnote or endnote; 2) use of another's organizational scheme without acknowledgement of that use in a footnote or endnote; 3) either close paraphrasing of the work of another without attribution or submission of a work which is largely a paraphrasing of another's work without attribution. Each student is obliged to be aware of the policy against plagiarism and lack of awareness of the policy does not excuse a violation of it. No student shall be permitted to graduate while charges of plagiarism are pending against that student.

B. Options for Faculty Member Who Believes Plagiarism Has Been Committed

Upon discovering what is believed to be plagiarism on written work submitted by a student in a course, a faculty member may:

    1. Assign a grade to the written work based on the faculty member's determination of plagiarism. This determination and the explanation thereof shall be expressed in writing and transmitted to the student with a copy to the dean; or

    2. Refer the matter to the Honor Court which will deal with the matter according to its Constitution. A student found guilty of plagiarism by the Honor Court may appeal to the dean for review of the penalty assessed.

C. Institutional Response to a Faculty Member's Finding of Plagiarism

    1. Upon receiving notification from a faculty member of his or her determination of plagiarism, the dean, upon finding probable cause that plagiarism has been committed, shall appoint a committee of five tenure-track or clinical faculty members to conduct a hearing to determine whether plagiarism has been committed by the student. A faculty member who does not feel capable of rendering a fair decision in a particular case shall refuse to serve on the faculty committee.

    2. At the hearing, the faculty member will introduce evidence relevant to the question of whether plagiarism has been committed. The student is entitled to be represented by counsel of his or her choice, to introduce relevant evidence and to confront and cross-examine any witnesses against him or her.

    3. To support a finding of plagiarism at least four members of the committee must find plagiarism beyond a reasonable doubt. A finding of plagiarism by the committee in accord with the procedures established by this policy shall be final and binding on the dean and the student.

    4. The committee shall file with the dean a written report on its proceedings and its findings. If plagiarism has been found by the committee, the report shall include a recommended sanction. The presumptive sanction shall be a one- semester suspension, but the committee may recommend a different sanction, either more or less severe. Such sanctions include, but are not limited to, expulsion, suspension for a longer period, probation or remedial activity.

    5. The final determination of the appropriate sanction for plagiarism shall be made by the dean. It may be more or less severe than any sanction recommended by the committee. This determination shall be expressed in writing and provided to the student within 14 days of the filing of the committee's report with the dean. The committee members and the complaining professor shall receive copies of the dean's determination of sanction. The dean's determination of sanction may be appealed to the provost of the University.

    6. In response to appropriate inquiries, the law school shall make available to appropriate bar officials the written committee report and the dean's final determination of sanction.

D. Decision in Favor of the Student

In situations where:

    1. the dean finds insufficient probable cause to impanel a faculty committee; or

    2. a faculty committee appointed under this policy fails to find plagiarism has been committed; or

    3. the Honor Court fails to find plagiarism has been committed; the dean shall assign to another faculty member the task of entering a course grade for the originally accused student.

E. Definitions

1. "Faculty Member" means any individual assigned to teach a course offered by the University of Georgia Law School.
2. "Student" means any person enrolled in a course offered by the University of Georgia Law School.