Faculty Resources

Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct
Academic Accommodations
Resources for Instructors
Problem and Complaint Resolution Resources


Academic Integrity and Academic Misconduct

Please make clear in class, on your class website, and in your syllabi (if you have not already done so) your policies on collaboration, citation, and other issues that relate to academic integrity and misconduct. Your statement should include resources for students regarding how to properly cite others’ work or recognize collaboration, perhaps the library’s resource page, as well as the academic sanctions you would expect to impose if there is academic misconduct in the class. You may wish to refer to the UC Santa Cruz Academic Misconduct Policy for Undergraduates, which details the disciplinary processes surrounding undergraduate student academic misconduct. For graduate students, please consult Academic Integrity for Graduate Students for campus policies and processes about graduate academic misconduct.

It is important that all faculty who suspect academic misconduct, learn and document the facts. The reporting process differs for undergraduate and graduate student conduct. For undergraduates, if convinced of misconduct, submit a Report of Undergraduate Academic Misconduct to the appropriate college provost, including any student comments. The instructor of record is responsible for determining academic sanctions; college provosts are responsible for determining disciplinary sanctions. Without a report form, there is no record of the alleged misconduct or a way for college provosts or chairs to be made aware of patterns of dishonesty.

Questions regarding the undergraduate student academic misconduct policy can be directed to the Council of Provosts Analyst, Tiffany Burns (9-2271 or copanaly@ucsc.edu)

For graduate students, the instructor is responsible for the initial determination of the academic consequences of academic dishonesty. An instructor or advisor who has evidence of academic misconduct of one of their students has discretion to decide whether that misconduct is sufficiently serious to warrant formal action. The instructor initiates the process by making a formal request for a meeting with the student to discuss the charges, evidence of misconduct and the academic consequences. If the student refuses to meet with the instructor, that refusal shall be reported to the Dean of Graduate Studies, and shall be taken as prima facie evidence of guilt. Questions regarding the academic misconduct policy can be sent to the Graduate Division via vpdgs@ucsc.edu.

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Academic Accommodations

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to equal educational access and supporting students with academic accommodations. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) values the partnership with faculty in support of eliminating barriers that students with disabilities experience. Accommodation and instructor resources can be found on the DRC website. The DRC can work with instructors regarding referrals for students experiencing disability-related barriers, provide consultation on how to best serve students with specific learning needs, and can share ideas about improving course design that eliminate the need for many individual accommodations.

Here are a few important updates for instructors:

  1. In 2018-19, the DRC published and distributed the “Instructor Handbook: Practices for Fostering Access, Equity, and Inclusion for Students with Disabilities,” which is available online. The handbook clarifies procedures for accommodations and provides information about campus compliance to ensure that legal and policy requirements are met. Feedback is being accepted through a Google.form. Based on feedback, an updated version is anticipated next year.
  2. Improved efficiency is coming soon: The DRC will soon be sending instructors a consolidated Accommodation Report for each course and will eliminate the DRC Accommodation Letters that were inconsistently delivered by students. This change is a result of hearing from faculty about how challenging the hard copy letter process has been. It created opportunities for lost letters, public disability disclosures, and difficulty with a consistent delivery process. The notification process change is anticipated to happen by Spring 2020. More on that soon.
  3. Leveling out in growth of DRC-affiliated students: As anticipated, the percentage of DRC student affiliates is now consistent with national averages (approximately 11%) for students requesting academic accommodations. We had anticipated this growth pattern based on national averages/data, UC Campus Climate Survey data (23% of respondents identified as having a disability), the expanded definition of disability in the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the increase in faculty referrals to the DRC. However, we anticipate we will now see these numbers leveling out and remaining consistent.
  4. We are seeing more students with multiple complex disabilities that have episodic impacts on classroom participation. It is not uncommon for students to have a chronic medical condition and significant mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These conditions may impact a student’s ability to consistently be present in the classroom. Support services are provided by DRC as well as Counseling and Psychological Services. Resources are available online with recommendations on effective strategies for responding to students in distress, including the "See, Say, Do Something" referrals provided by the Dean of Students Office.

There are times when the DRC will need to consult with the instructor of record in order to appropriately identify the best accommodation. For example, an accommodation that requests a modification to the attendance policy for a course cannot be fully determined without speaking with the instructor about the fundamental nature of attendance in a course. Only the disciplinary expert, you as the instructor of record, can determine what is essential to the core course learning outcomes. DRC-identified accommodations should not fundamentally alter course learning outcomes. The DRC will work in a consultative process with instructors to document what is essential in a course and how to best accommodate a student’s disability-related barrier. Clearly stated course learning objectives in the course syllabus helps to streamline the ADA required Interactive Process consultation.

Thank you for supporting student equal access. Careful consideration of managing privacy is important. As a reminder, disclosure of disability information violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). More about confidentiality can be found in the DRC Instructor’s Handbook on page 18-19. Here’s a few tips that might help:

  • Please use “BCC” when sending emails to groups of DRC-affiliated students. This helps protect individual privacy and meets policy requirements by not sharing disability information with others.
  • While email may be simplest, if you need to make an announcement related to students with DRC accommodations in the class meeting itself, be sure to refer to students with accommodations in the aggregate (even if there is only one such student in the class).
  • Do not ask DRC students to collectively stay and speak with you after class as this requires them to self-identify in front of their peers.
  • Consult with the DRC if you have questions about managing privacy concerns.

The DRC stays abreast of innovations and best practices by attending annual conferences sponsored by the Association on Higher Education and Disability. DRC staff have the latest subject area expertise available to Association members regarding legal aspects of disability in higher education. We utilize an in-house consultation model to ensure that we are consistently following best practices within the field of Higher Education and Disability.

Please feel free to call 831-459-2089 during regular business hours (M-F 8 AM to 5 PM), email DRC director, Rick Gubash <rgubash@ucsc.edu> or the DRC Service Coordinators <drc@ucsc.edu> if you need assistance.

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Resources for Instructors

The Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL) supports instructors in creating effective and inclusive learning environments by providing professional development opportunities, sharing teaching resources, and building teaching and learning communities. CITL has a full website with a digital library of teaching resources, as well as short video resources on inclusive teaching and extensive resources on designing courses and syllabi to promote student engagement and education equity.

For 2019-20, CITL has developed sample syllabus language on topics including accessibility and DRC accommodations, academic integrity, and Title IX, as well as comprehensive lists of key campus resources to support students that can be included in your syllabus.

CITL can provide confidential consultations to any instructor on campus interested in information about course design and delivery, working with teaching teams, or any other topic related to instruction. CITL is also available to visit and observe classes, advise on classroom conflict resolution, or read and discuss Student Experience of Teaching survey results in advance of a personnel review.

CITL offers 90-minute workshops for any instructional group on campus, such as faculty members at department meetings and graduate student instructor and teaching assistant groups, on topics including Universal Design for Learning and Inclusive Teaching. Additional workshops being offered in 2019-20 include Supporting International Students and Multilingual Learners, Mentoring Graduate Students, Fostering Academic Integrity, Rubrics and Assessment, Course Learning Outcomes and Course Design, Supporting Students Facing Academic and Personal Challenges, and Documenting Teaching for the Academic Personnel Process. To schedule a workshop or for more information, please email citl@ucsc.edu.

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Problem and Complaint Resolution Resources

The Problem and Complaint Resolution Resources website is a resource for Faculty and Academic Personnel, Staff, Undergraduate Students, and Graduate Students. It directs parties with concerns to information and resources that can help address a wide range of concerns. The website is designed to help members of the campus community identify appropriate resources, gain additional information, and contact those who can provide assistance. It may be useful for you in your capacity as faculty and you may also want to share it with students who have problems or complaints.

The Faculty and Academic Personnel Page includes links to the following topics:

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