Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct issues are the responsibility of the Office of the University Provost, specifically the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. This includes consultation, disciplinary referrals, educational outreach, and faculty assistance requests. Please direct all questions and referrals regarding academic misconduct to Michael Baily, Director of Student Academic Ethics, CAB 111, (615) 898-2533.  All other disciplinary matters should still be directed to the Office of Student Conduct.

The referenced information and procedures relate to academic integrity and misconduct as stated in University Policy 312, Academic Misconduct, revised June 5, 2017.



What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic misconduct may consist of acts of plagiarism, cheating, or fabrication.

  1. Plagiarism: The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one's own without proper attribution. This includes self-plagiarism, which occurs when an author submits material or research from a previous academic exercise to satisfy the requirements of another exercise and uses it without proper citation of its reuse.
  2. Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or aids in any academic exercise or test/examination.
  3. Fabrication: Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.

Why is Academic Misconduct So Important?

An education at Middle Tennessee State University is a very valuable resource. By committing an act of academic misconduct, a student not only cheats him/herself, but the university as a whole. The risks associated with misconduct greatly outweigh the "reward" of a better grade. It just isn't worth it.

What Happens if I Commit Academic Misconduct?

Students found responsible for committing an act of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly, through participation or assistance, are immediately accountable to the instructor of the class. In these instances, the faculty member has the authority to assign an appropriate grade for the exercise or examination, or to assign an F in the course, as is proportional to the nature and extent of academic misconduct. Outside of the grade penalty, there are numerous potential disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed for those found to have committed academic misconduct. These penalties include, but are not limited to: verbal or written reprimand, probation, suspension, or expulsion from MTSU.

If you receive a letter notifying you of an allegation of academic misconduct, do not ignore it. It truly benefits you to be involved in the investigatory process.

The Process

Once there is a suspected case of academic misconduct, the student, department chair, and Coordinator of Academic Misconduct are contacted. The student and coordinator then have a meeting. Depending on the outcome of the meeting, the case either ends or is presented to a committee. For more detail regarding the investigatory process, see Policy 312 and T.C.A. ยง 4-5-101.

Helpful Resources