This is an archived copy of the 2012-13 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.wvu.edu.

Academic Policies and Procedures

Page Contents:

Official Program Designations

  • Degree Program. A degree program is an area of study approved as such by the West Virginia University Board of Governors and the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and listed on the official HEPC inventory of degree programs, e.g., English, social work, and physical education. The degree is represented by the official degree designation, e.g., master of arts (M.A.), master of science (M.S.), and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.). The degree program completed would be listed on the student’s diploma.
     
  • Major. A major is a field of study within an approved degree program, having its own curriculum. A degree program may have more than one major. The major may be included on the student’s transcript.
     
  • Area of Emphasis. An area of emphasis is a specific subject area of study that has defined course offerings within an approved degree program and major. Normally, a minimum of six and no more than 12 credit hours would be expected for an area of emphasis within a graduate degree. Areas of emphasis completed would appear on the student’s transcript, but would not be included on the diploma.
     
  • Certificate Program. A certificate program is a coherent, specialized curriculum designed for students in search of a specific body of knowledge for personal/career development or professional continuing education. The certificate program is not attached to a degree program, although credit hours earned in a certificate program may be applied to a degree if they are deemed appropriate by the degree program. The awarding of a certificate upon completion of the program is not contingent upon completion of a degree program. The certificate would appear on the student’s transcript and the University may issue an official certificate of completion.C

Credit Limitations

Credit toward a graduate degree may be obtained only for courses listed in the graduate catalog and numbered 400–799. No more than 40 percent of course credits counted toward any graduate degree may be at the 400-level. No residence credit is allowed for special field assignments or other work taken off the WVU campus without prior approval. Graduate credit is obtained only for courses in which the grade earned is A, B, C, P or S. Courses taken as audits or courses in which the grade earned is D, F, or U may not count toward a graduate degree.

Credit Loads

Graduate students are strongly recommended to limit their credit loads if they are also involved in extensive research, teaching, or service activities or who hold outside employment. Nine credit hours per semester is the minimum load to be considered a full-time graduate student. In general, persons working full-time for the University or another employer are advised to enroll for no more than six hours of coursework in any one term. Recommended credit loads may be lower for employed graduate students in some academic colleges, schools, and departments.

Graduate students are not permitted to take more than 16 hours in any one term and no more than 12 hours during the summer term. Credit overloads must be approved for students by their college and by the Office of Graduate Education and Life. Some school or college dean’s offices may also choose to monitor overloads in their academic units.

Degree Progress

Students seeking master’s or doctoral degrees are expected to enroll regularly and make steady progress toward their degree objectives.

Master’s degree students are permitted to continue in a program for a maximum of eight years under their original application. Students who have been inactive for two or more years are required to apply for, and be accepted for readmission. The application fee is assessed for reapplication.

At the doctoral level, the number of years involved in attaining or retaining competency cannot be readily specified. The doctoral student’s competency is generally assessed and verified through the qualifying examination in a reasonable period of time after acceptance into a program. Because the qualifying examination attests to the academic competence of the student and is the formal mechanism for admitting the student to candidacy, it cannot precede the conferring of the degree by too long a period of time. In general, doctoral candidates are allowed no more than five years in which to complete the remaining requirements after being admitted to candidacy.

Experiential Learning Transcript

Each academic unit has a policy of general applicability controlling the allocation of credit for ad hoc experiential learning. No credit shall be granted for ad hoc experiential learning that is not sanctioned by an approved policy. At a minimum, each discipline shall adhere to accreditation standards of that discipline with respect to credits given toward student advancement based on experiential learning. There should be an equivalence in quantity and quality of ad hoc experiential learning effort and conventional academic effort for a set amount of credit within a discipline. Credit awarded for experiential learning will be posted as transfer work to West Virginia University with the course number of three zeros (000).  The course prefix will vary by department granting credit. Credits applied to a student’s record through experiential learning will count in degree (or earned) hours.  No formal grade will be entered.

Required Student Information

The University must have current information (name, address, telephone number, email, major, and advisor) about students enrolling for classes in order to communicate with students and maintain permanent records. When individuals do not enroll in classes for substantial periods of time, it is costly and time-consuming to continue to maintain their records on active status. For these reasons, the Office of Admissions and the Office of the University Registrar periodically deletes degree and non-degree student records from active status. Students who return after this deletion must reactivate their records by reapplying.

Advising

Academic and scholarly advising varies by graduate program across the University. Each graduate academic unit has one or more graduate advisors, and every graduate student is assigned an advisor at the time of admission or shortly thereafter. This advisor may be the student’s thesis or dissertation advisor. The advisor and student typically meet before the first semester of enrollment to formulate a plan of study and to form a graduate advisory committee as appropriate.

Records

The Office of the University Registrar maintains the official records of grades earned and degrees awarded. The schools and colleges maintain records for monitoring student progress and are responsible for certifying students for graduation. Among the records maintained by the academic units are plans of study (subject to the school/college dean’s approval), graduate committees (subject to the school/college dean’s approval), etc.

Required Minimum Enrollment

If a graduate student is using University libraries, research facilities, or consulting with graduate committee members, the student must enroll for at least one hour of graduate credit so that the University can receive credit for its contribution to graduate study, attest to student status, and guarantee the protection to which the student is entitled. Students who take courses intermittently may be excused from such continuous enrollment if they are not using University facilities or consulting with faculty while they are not enrolled. However, students formally admitted to candidacy for graduate degrees are required to register for at least one credit hour each semester as a condition of their continued candidacy. By pursuing a degree, such persons by definition are utilizing University services, facilities, and other resources, including faculty expertise; this situation continues in cases where students have completed all required coursework and are working on a thesis or dissertation. Candidates for graduate degrees who fail to maintain continuity of enrollment may be dropped from candidacy. Registration for one credit of 799 Graduate Colloquium will satisfy this University requirement.

Enrollment During Final Term

All graduate students must enroll for at least one credit hour (e.g., 799 Graduate Colloquium) during the term (or summer) of graduation. Graduate students will be required to register by the normal registration deadlines.

Full-Time and Part-Time Classification

A student is classified as full-time or part-time for any given enrollment period. A graduate student is classified as full-time if enrolled for nine or more hours in the fall or spring terms or six or more hours altogether in the summer.

Enrollment Regulations of Non-Degree Students

Non-degree students are normally adults taking classes for enrichment purposes, public school teachers taking classes for certification renewal, or students taking classes as prerequisites for admission to degree programs. Since these students have not made a commitment to a degree program, are not subject to time limits, and may enroll on an irregular basis, the University policies concerning active/inactive status are more liberal than those for degree students. Non-degree students may enroll in any course in the University for which they have the prerequisites and permission from the academic unit. However, some departments that cannot accommodate non-degree students may restrict enrollments to majors only or require permits.

A non-degree graduate student may accumulate unlimited graduate credit hours. If the student is later admitted to a degree program, the faculty of that program will decide whether any credit earned as a non-degree student may be applied to the degree. Under no circumstances may a non-degree student apply more than 12 hours of previously earned credit toward a degree.

Advising of Non-Degree Students

Each dean establishes a mechanism to advise non-degree graduate students who intend to take the majority of their coursework in the dean’s school or college. The mechanism may be the designation of a faculty member to advise non-degree students or the assignment of non-degree students to an advising office or center. Non-degree students who express an interest in programs in two colleges may be assigned to either by the Office of Admissions. It is expected that the assigned advisor will consult the other unit for information to assist the student. Students with no specific interest should not be admitted to graduate study. Courses taken under the audit option are counted toward attaining full-time enrollment status.

Auditors

Students may enroll in courses without working for a grade or for credit by registering as auditors. Change in status from audit to credit or from credit to audit may be made during the registration period. Attendance requirements for auditors are determined by the instructor of the course being audited. It is the prerogative of the instructor to strike the name of any auditor from grade report forms and to instruct the Office of the University Registrar to withdraw the auditor from the class if attendance requirements are not met. Auditors are required to follow the same admission procedures as students taking the course for credit.

Joint Graduate/Professional Programs

Any student who is in a professional program such as MD, DDS, JD, PharmD, etc. would be eligible to take graduate courses so long as the student meets normal requirements for admission to the course (e.g. course pre-requisites, appropriate major code if courses are limited to certain majors, etc.). 

Absences

  • Importance of Class Attendance — At WVU, class attendance contributes significantly to academic success. Students who attend classes regularly tend to earn higher course grades. Excessive absences may jeopardize students’ grades or even their ability to continue their courses.
     
  • Attendance Policies — Instructors must set attendance policies that are appropriate for the goals and instructional strategies of their courses. Instructors may include attendance records in determining the final course grade. All attendance policies that affect students’ grades must be announced in writing within the first week of class. Moreover, instructors are responsible for keeping accurate enrollment records, and for keeping accurate attendance records when attendance is used in grading. Attendance policies thought to violate the statement on student attendance should be discussed with the instructor, then with the department chair, and finally the college dean, if necessary.
     
  • Class Absences — Students who are absent from class for any reason are responsible for all missed work and for contacting their instructors promptly, unless the instructors’ policies require otherwise. However, instructors cannot require documentation of student illness from any medical provider as part of an attendance policy, since medical conditions are confidential and frequently not verifiable.

West Virginia University Policy on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that states that: (a) a written institutional policy must be established and (b) a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available. The law provides that the institution maintain the confidentiality of student educational records.

West Virginia University accords all the rights under the law to students who are declared independent. No one outside WVU shall have access to nor will WVU disclose any information from students’ educational records without the written consent of students, except to personnel within WVU and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, persons or organizations providing students’ financial aid, accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, persons in compliance with judicial order, organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, education agencies or institutions for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive testing student aid programs, and improving instruction, and persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students and/or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the act.

FERPA also permits disclosure of information from students’ educational records, without the written consent of students, to parents of a dependent student of such parents, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. West Virginia University considers all students as “dependent” for purposes or disclosure of information to parents unless the students specifically notify in writing the Office of The University Registrar that they are not a dependent of their parents for federal income tax purposes. Students need to give such written notification only once.

The West Virginia University Policy on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act explains in detail the procedures to be used for compliance with the provisions of the act. Copies of the policy can be found in the offices of all deans and directors. The offices of the deans and directors can inform students as to the locations of all education records maintained on students by West Virginia University.

 

Research Policy Guidelines

Research Involving Animals or Human Subjects

Any graduate student who conducts research with experiments using animals must have a protocol approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee before starting the research. Information about procedures and protocol forms may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Any graduate student who conducts research involving human subjects must have the approval of the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects before starting the research. Information about procedures and approval forms may be obtained from the Office of Sponsored Programs, 886 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-6845, (304) 293-3998.

Research Integrity at West Virginia University

Integrity in research and scholarship is an obligation of all who engage in the acquisition, application, and dissemination of knowledge. Research and scholarly work by West Virginia University faculty, staff, and students are governed by Policy and Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Scholarship at West Virginia University. This policy can be found at osp.research.wvu.edu/policies_and_regulations/institutional_policies/misconduct .

All members of the University community are obligated to report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in research. Reports should be made to the University’s research integrity officer, WVU Office of Research (304) 293-2867. Regular reviews of the status of research integrity at WVU are conducted by the Research Integrity Policy Committee.

University Patent Policy

West Virginia University is committed to supporting faculty members and staff in all matters related to patents based on discoveries and inventions created solely or jointly by them. This policy encourages and aids research at the University, provides financial compensation and professional recognition to inventors, and protects and serves the public interest.

The University recognizes that discoveries and inventions may, and frequently do, include equities. The use of University facilities, equipment, personnel, supplies, or services, the particular assignment of duties or conditions of employment, the possible claims of a cooperating agency, as in research supported from extramural funds, and other situations may give rise to complex rights involving the inventor, the University, and a sponsoring agency. Such rights must be evaluated and an agreement reached on their appropriate disposition. Policies and procedures involving the rights and obligations of the University, its sponsors, and its inventors with respect to inventions resulting from research, development, or other work performed at the University are overseen by the Office of Technology Transfer and can be obtained at http://www.wvu.edu/~research/techtransfer/policy .

Final Grade Appeal Procedures (Not Involving Charges of Academic Dishonesty) including Dismissal from an Academic Program

Students have the right to appeal final course grades which they believe reflect a capricious, arbitrary, or prejudiced academic evaluation, or reflect discrimination based on race, sex, age, handicap, veteran status, religion or creed, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. The grade appealed shall remain in effect until the appeal procedure is completed or the problem resolved. This procedure provides a mechanism whereby a student may appeal a failing grade or a grade low enough to cause the student to be dismissed from some program or to require the repetition of a course. Grade appeals that do not meet this classification are not precluded.

Procedure

  • Step 1 - The student shall discuss the complaint with the instructor involved prior to the mid-semester of the succeeding regular semester, whether the student is enrolled or not. If the two parties are unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily, if the instructor is not available, or if the nature of the complaint makes discussion with the instructor inappropriate, the student shall notify the chairperson of the instructor’s department or division (or, if none, the dean). The chairperson or dean shall assume the role of an informal facilitator and assist in their resolution attempts. If the problem is not resolved within five academic days from when the complaint is first lodged, the student may proceed directly to Step 2.
     
  • Step 2 - The student must prepare and sign a document that states the facts constituting the basis for the appeal within five academic days from when the original complaint was lodged. Copies of this document shall be given to the instructor and to the instructor’s chairperson (or, if none, to the dean). If, within five academic days of receipt of the student’s signed document, the chairperson does not resolve the problem to the satisfaction of the student, the student will forward the complaint to the instructor’s dean (see Step 3).
     
  • Step 3 - Within five academic days of receipt of the complaint, the instructor’s dean shall make a determination regarding the grade, making any recommendation for a grade change to the instructor involved. If the instructor involved does not act on the dean’s recommendation, or if the student disagrees with the decision of the dean, the dean will refer the case to a representative committee, appointed by the dean, for final resolution. This committee shall consist of three or more faculty members, including at least one person outside the instructor’s department.
  1. Upon receiving an appeal, the committee will notify in writing the faculty member involved of the grade challenge, which shall include a statement of the facts and evidence to be presented by the student.
  2. The committee shall provide to the faculty member involved and the student making the appeal written notification of their right to appear at a hearing to be held before the department, college, or school representative committee, together with the notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
  3. The administrative procedure is not adversarial in nature; the formal rules of evidence do not apply.
  4. The final decision of this committee shall be forwarded to the instructor and to the dean involved. If the decision requires a change of grade, the instructor shall take action in accordance with the committee’s decision.
  5. If the instructor does not act within five academic days, the dean shall make any necessary grade adjustment.
  6. In the case of grade appeals, the dean functions as the president’s designee; therefore, implementation of this decision shall end the appeal procedure.

Uniform Academic Suspension Regulations

Students failing to maintain satisfactory academic standing or progress towards their degree as delineated by the letter of probation may be suspended from their degree program. Academic suspension normally follows a sanction of probation, above, in cases where students have been counseled regarding academic stipulations and fail to attain those stipulations. Normally, students are suspended at the end of a semester or summer school session and are notified formally by the department and/or the dean of the college or school of academic suspension.

Academic suspension identifies the status of a student who has failed to meet the departmental minimum standards and who has been notified formally by the department and/or the dean of the college or school of academic suspension. Suspension from the University means that a student will not be permitted to register for any classes, including those in summer sessions, offered by the University for academic credit until the student has been officially reinstated. The normal period of suspension is a minimum of one academic semester, but will not exceed one calendar year from the date of a student’s first suspension. A student who has been suspended for academic deficiencies and who takes courses at other institutions during the period of suspension cannot automatically transfer such credit toward a degree at WVU upon readmission. Students are not eligible for readmission if they earn lower than a 2.75 at other institutions while on suspension from WVU. After one semester of satisfactory performance, the appropriate transfer credit will be entered into the student’s record and certification that the conditions of suspension have been met; a student who has pre-registered and is subsequently suspended shall have his or her registration automatically cancelled.

Reinstatement After Suspension

During the semester immediately following the effective date of suspension, suspended students may petition in writing for reinstatement. The college or school petitioned shall establish the terms of reinstatement for successful student petitions. After one calendar year from the effective date of suspension, any student who has been suspended once shall, upon written application, be reinstated to the University and to the college or school in which the student was previously enrolled, unless the student petitions for admission to another college or school. The college that reinstates the student removes the student’s suspension restriction in the Office of the University Registrar and accepts the student.

A suspended student who is reinstated under the provisions above will be placed on academic probation. Each college or school shall have the right to establish requirements or performance expectations.

After the second or any subsequent suspension, a student may be reinstated to the University provided that a college or school agrees to reinstate the student. After a student has been reinstated, he or she must apply for readmission through the Office of Admissions.

Academic Probation-GPA

Graduate students with a cumulative grade point average below 2.75 may be subject to probation by the dean of their college or school. Individual academic units may designate an even higher GPA for students to remain in good standing. The College of Law maintains specific policies for academic standing in the Student Handbook available at http://law.wvu.edu/academics .

A letter of probation delivered by the graduate program to the student should outline the reason for the sanction as well as delineate academic benchmarks for the student to attain in order to have the probation sanction removed. Students may request review of the sanction of academic probation by the academic official who imposed it at any point in a semester. Academic probation, which is not recorded on a student’s permanent record, constitutes a warning to the student that standards are not being met. If academic progress or benchmarks are not attained in accordance with the letter of probation, the student may be suspended by the program (see below).

Academic Probation-Other

Graduate students may also be placed on probation by the dean of the college or school by failing to maintain acceptable performance beyond the GPA, for example, through unacceptable research progress. A letter of probation delivered by the graduate program to the student should outline the reason for the sanction as well as delineate performance benchmarks for the student to attain in order to have the probation sanction removed. Students may request review of the sanction of academic probation by the academic official who imposed it at any point in a semester.

Academic probation, which is not recorded on a student’s permanent record, constitutes a warning to the student that standards are not being met. If academic progress or benchmarks are not attained in accordance with the letter of probation, the student may be suspended by the program (see below).

Removal of Academic Probation

At the conclusion of the semester in which a student was placed on probation, the academic program shall review the academic record of the student and the probation letter. If the stipulations set forth in the letter of probation have been met, the student is removed from probation. If the stipulations have not been met, student standing is reassessed by the program and the student may be suspended by the academic unit.

Appeal of Suspension

Imposition of academic suspension based on grade point average, failure to meet the conditions previously specified for removal of academic probation, or failure to meet the conditions of admission may be appealed under the following conditions.

  • The student may appeal individual final course grades and, if successful, may be reinstated;
  • The student may make an appeal to the appropriate dean based on erroneous calculation of the grade point average or on erroneous calculation of the time period within which a grade point average must be achieved. The decision of the dean, as the president’s designee, is final.

Students have the right to appeal academic suspensions based on requirements or standards other than grades or grade point average that they believe reflect capricious, arbitrary, or prejudiced academic evaluation, or reflect discrimination based on race or color, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, age, disability, ethnicity, or political affiliation (procedure, above). At the dean’s discretion, suspensions may remain in effect until appeal procedures are completed. The student shall discuss the complaint with the dean within 30 calendar days of the action taken.

Academic Dismissal Regulations

Academic dismissal can result from repeated failure to make academic progress and/or to meet probationary terms set forth in writing by the student’s college or school. A student who is academically dismissed from the University will not be permitted to register for any classes, including those in summer sessions.

After five calendar years from the effective date of academic dismissal, any student who has been dismissed shall, upon written application, be considered for reinstatement to the University, with the terms of reinstatement to be established by the college or school entered. Failure to meet these terms will result in permanent academic dismissal.

Students returning to a graduate program may need to have their coursework re-validated by the program if courses were taken more than eight years prior to the planned date of graduation after re-instatement.

Appeal of Dismissal- Failure to Meet Academic Standards

A decision to dismiss a student for failure to meet academic standards (as distinguished from academic dishonesty) may be made only after the student has been counseled by the appropriate departmental committee or representative, with counseling to take place as soon as possible after discovery of the problem. After the student is given a reasonable opportunity to correct deficiencies, formal review of the student’s status by the appropriate departmental or program committee will be held to determine whether the student shall be retained or dismissed. The student may provide the committee written documentation of his or her efforts to correct deficiencies.

Academic Integrity and Dishonesty

The academic development of students and the overall integrity of the institution are primary responsibilities of WVU. Academic dishonesty is condemned at all levels of life, indicating an inability to meet and face issues and creating an atmosphere of mistrust, disrespect, and insecurity. In addition, it is essential in an academic community that grades accurately reflect the attainment of the individual student. Faculty, students, and administrators have shared responsibilities in maintaining the academic integrity essential for the University to accomplish its mission.

For the detailed policy of West Virginia University regarding the definitions of acts considered to fall under academic dishonesty and possible ensuing sanctions, please see Board of Governors Policy 31 at bog.wvu.edu/policies and the Student Conduct Code at http://www.studentlife.wvu.edu/judicial.html . Note: The University is evaluating the process of academic dishonesty prosecution and appeal and students should contact the Office of Student Life/Student Judicial Affairs for current procedures at http://www.studentlife.wvu.edu/judicial.html .

Responsibilities

The integrity of the classes offered and research and scholarship undertaken by any academic institution solidifies the foundation of its mission and cannot be sacrificed to expediency, ignorance, or blatant fraud. Students should act to prevent opportunities for academic dishonesty to occur and in such a manner to discourage any type of academic dishonesty. Faculty members are expected to remove opportunities for cheating, whether related to test construction, test confidentiality, test administration, or test grading. This same professional care should be exercised with regard to oral and written reports, laboratory assignments, and grade books.

Deans and department chairpersons are expected to acquaint all faculty with expected professional behavior regarding academic integrity, and to continue to remind them of their responsibility. Deans and department chairpersons shall assist faculty members and students in handling first-offense cheating allegations at the lowest possible level in the University, and with discretion to prevent damage to the reputation of any person who has not been found guilty in the prescribed manner.

Each member of the teaching faculty and all other WVU employees, including but not limited to assistants, proctors, office personnel, custodians, and public safety officers, shall promptly report cases of academic dishonesty to the appropriate supervisor, department chairperson, or dean of the college or school concerned, and to the Office of Judicial Affairs, Office of Student Life.

Academic Dishonesty Defined

WVU expects that every member of its academic community shares the historic and traditional commitment to honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is defined to include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

1. Plagiarism is defined in terms of proscribed acts. Students are expected to understand that such practices constitute academic dishonesty regardless of motive. Those who deny deceitful intent, claim not to have known that the act constituted plagiarism, or maintain that what they did was inadvertent are nevertheless subject to penalties when plagiarism has been confirmed. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, submitting, without appropriate acknowledgment, a report, notebook, speech, outline, theme, thesis, dissertation, or other written, electronic, visual, or oral material that has been copied in whole or in part from the work of others, whether such source is published or not, including, but not limited to, another individual’s academic composition, compilation, or other product, or commercially prepared paper.

2. Cheating and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, papers, and projects, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Obtaining help from another student during examinations.
  2. Knowingly giving help to another student during examinations, taking an examination or doing academic work for another student, or providing one’s own work for another student to copy and submit as his or her own.
  3. The unauthorized use of notes, books, or other sources of information during examinations.
  4. Obtaining an examination or any part thereof without authorization.

3. Forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Forging or altering, or causing to be altered, the record of any grade in a grade book or other educational record.
  2. Use of University documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud.
  3. Presenting false data or intentionally misrepresenting one’s records for admission, registration, or withdrawal from the University or from a University course.
  4. Knowingly presenting false data or intentionally misrepresenting one’s records for personal gain.
  5. Knowingly furnishing the results of research projects or experiments for the inclusion in another’s work without proper citation.
  6. Knowingly furnishing false statements in any University academic proceeding.

Process to Initiate a Charge of Academic Dishonesty

To initiate and process a charge of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, cheating, and academic fraud, and/or to begin the process of issuing an Unforgivable F, the instructor must do the following:

1. Notify the student in writing of the charge and the penalty and schedule a conference within five academic days of discovering the infraction. West Virginia University Under graduate Catalog

2. Meet with the student to discuss the issue, to review all relevant materials, and to complete the Notification of Academic Misconduct (NAM) form (http://facultysenate.wvu.edu ) as soon as possible but no longer than five academic days following the discovery of the violation.

3. Responsibility/Resolution

  1. If the student accepts responsibility for both the charge and the sanctions, he or she signs the NAM, and the case is closed. Within five academic days of resolution of the case, faculty should make three copies of the NAM form: one for the student, one for faculty records, and one for the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (84 Boreman North, P.O. Box 6430).
  2. If the student does not accept responsibility as charged, he or she may appeal to the chair of the department. If the student and chair reach a resolution, the chair should make three copies of the NAM form: one for the student, one for departmental records, and one for the Office of Student Judicial Affairs (84 Boreman North, P.O. Box 6430). These copies should be distributed within five academic days of resolution of the case.
  3. If the student and the chair do not reach a resolution, the student may appeal to the Student Conduct Board, which is comprised of members of the University Committee on Students Rights and Responsibilities. This appeal must be initiated within five academic days of the student’s meeting with the chair.

4. If the student appeals to the Student Conduct Board, a panel of three faculty and two students or any odd number with faculty comprising the majority will be convened, the case will be examined, and a decision will be reached.

5. If the student disagrees with the decision of the Student Conduct Board, he or she may appeal to the provost, whose decision is final.

Appeal Procedures for Cases Involving Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, cheating, and dishonest practices in connection with examinations, papers, and projects, as well as forgery, misrepresentation, and fraud. Some cases of forgery, misrepresentation, or fraud that occur outside the context of courses or academic requirements may be referred directly to the Office of Student Life/Judicial Affairs by any member of the University community. In such cases, the Office of Student Life/Judicial Affairs will arrange a hearing following the procedures outlined in the BOG Policy 31.

An Unforgiveable F (UF) is a University sanction levied as a result of a violation of the Student Conduct Code Article III (B) 1. Thus, the appeal process for a UF as well as for other cases involving academic dishonesty is different than a standard grade appeal (see above), which follows academic channels that end with a decision by the dean of the college involved. This sanction can be given only after a student has gone through the University student conduct process.


Military Credit/Leave

Awarding Course Credit to Students Called to Serve in the Military (Updated July 28, 2010)

  1. Students who withdraw from the University for military service up to and including the 12th week of the semester will receive a full refund of their fees and be administratively withdrawn from their classes. No course grades or credit will be awarded.
  2. Students who leave the University for military service after the 12th week of the semester should work with the designated contact person in their home college (usually the academic associate/assistant dean). The student may also contact the Office of the University Registrar (304-293-5355). The contact person will assist the student in reviewing the student's eligibility for credit for their courses on a course-by course basis with the instructors.
  3. The contact person will work with the student's instructors to gather grade information for the student. If the course in not in the student's home college, the contact person can work with his/her counterpart in the appropriate college. Several outcomes are possible:
    1. If the course is substantially complete and the student has done passing work, the student should receive the grade earned at that time. It is anticipated that this would be the outcome in the majority of the courses. NOTE: Students who receive orders with suffcient advance notice are expected to notify their professors of their upcoming deployment date and meet with their professors to come to an agreement on what regular course assignments they can reasonably complete prior to the deployment date (the details of this arrangement should be included in a contract initialed by both the instructor and the student; contracts must be placed in the student's file.) Students should not be penalized for not completing assignments, quizes, test or exams due after their deployment date.
    2. If a critical competency has yet to be covered in a competency-based course, the instructor should award a grade of "I" and work with the student to develop a plan to complete that critical part of the course. To alleviate confusion at a later date, the plan should be in writing and signed by both the instructor and the student. Students called to active duty for a relatively short duration that includes exam week may arrange for an "I" with provision to make up the final exam after completing the period of duty.
    3. If the student choosed to withdrawl from the course. the contact person will work with the appropriate University Office to provide an administrative withdrawl.

Leave for Military Drill

Many students at West Virginia University choose to serve in the military while pursuing their degrees. West Virginia University is a "Veteran Friendly" institution and recognizes its obligations to our students who serve in the military. Although there is a university expectation that all students will attend all of their classes, the choice to serve in the military where two week training sessions may be mandatory should not negatively impede academic progress. The following section outlines the appropriate steps to follow should you miss class due to call ups for military service training during a semester. A typical call up is 1-2 weeks.

If you are a student with the potential for being called to military training during the course of the semester or academic year, we recommend that you review the syllabi for specific attendance policies for each course prior to the beginning of every semester. In addition, we strongly encourage you to meet with or have substantial email contact with all of your course professors and/or instructors no later than the Monday of the first week of class in order to address the class attendance policy and the impact a short-term military leave will have on your ability to succeed in the class for the semester. Any agreements between you and your professors should be agreed upon by the end of the first week of class. Share this information with your academic advisor so the appropriate notes are made in DegreeWorks.

In the rare case that an unresolved issue arises due to absences from a course because of military obligation, the West Virginia University process for final grade appeal is outlined under the "Final Grade Appeal Procedures" in the West Virginia University Undergraduate Catalog.

In the spirit of WVU, faculty make every effort to allow students who are members of the Armed forces to make up test and assignments that may be missed during the semester if it can be proven that the student was called up for military training; and if missing the coursework will not irreversibly impact the students' ability to master the subject matter in question within the terms of the semester.