Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I do if I think a student has violated the University’s Honor Code?
    You should begin by gathering as much information as you can and consulting with any designated officials in your department, if necessary (e.g., department chair, undergraduate director, graduate director.) Then file the incident report through the Office of Academic Integrity’s website. We also encourage you to meet with the student or send them an e-mail notifying the student they have been reported to our office.
  1. How long does the process take?
    The length of the process can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether the student requests a panel hearing. If at any point in time you are in need of an update, please call or e-mail the OAI at 803-777-4333 or average case time to resolution is 22 days.
  1. What if my student who reported the alleged violation wishes to remain anonymous?
    That may be possible, if that report leads to additional information. However, you should not make any promises to maintain anonymity.
  1. May I simply fail the student without going through the Honor Code process?
    No. Simply assigning a failing grade or imposing a grade penalty for a suspected violation without initiating the Honor Code process may leave you in an untenable position. If you believe a violation has occurred, the student should have the opportunity to address the charge and avail themselves of the due process afforded by the University’s Honor Code. You must report the suspected violation to the Office of Academic Integrity.Also, it is important to report suspected violations to discourage serial violations. The University must maintain accurate records of violations so that appropriate sanctions can be applied for subsequent offenses.
  1. What are the possible sanctions for a violation of the University of South Carolina Honor Code?
    Penalties range from educational interventions to suspension for a definite period of time (not less than one semester) to permanent expulsion. Combinations of penalties are possible. For most first offenses of the Honor Code, the sanctions are designed to be educational in nature and help students learn from mistakes.The above are non-academic penalties. The professor of the course may exact a grade penalty of his or her choosing, including assigning an F grade for the course or assignment.
  1. What are typical grade penalties that I should consider?
    The OAI believes that you are the subject matter expert within your classroom. This is why our office refrains from enacting any type of grade penalty. Based on faculty reports, the most common grade penalty is failure of the assignment. Additional penalties might be failure of the course or decreasing the student’s final grade in the course one-letter grade lower than what they earned. The OAI is happy to discuss potential outcomes with you, although the final decision rests with you as the faculty member.