Academic Affairs

Academic Honesty Guidelines

The process outlined below is meant to guide faculty members in addressing and responding to alleged violations of the academic honesty policy. The designated dean of academic discipline (DDAD) or their designee, such as the the Deputy DDAD, is the point person in assisting faculty members to address violations of the academic honesty policy. For more questions regarding the academic honesty policy, please reach out to the DADD or review the Code of Academic Honesty section of the Student Handbook.

  1. All the members of the Illinois Tech community (faculty, staff and students) can report possible violation(s) of the academic code of conduct. However, the approach each stakeholder can take will vary.
    • Course Instructors:
      • The first step when a course becomes aware of a possible violation(s) of the academic honesty policy is to thoroughly review all the relevant materials and meet with the students under question. While reviewing these materials, the instructor may (but is not required to) obtain advice or guidance on possible sanction(s) from the office of the DDAD by sending them an email at They should not discuss specific details or identify the student with other faculty or staff members other than the chair of the major’s department, the DDAD designated staff, and Academic Grievance Committee members, should that become necessary.
    • Teaching assistants, graders, tutors, supplemental instructors and/or bystanders/witnesses:
      • These stakeholders should immediately bring this to the attention of the instructor teaching the course, so they can follow the instructor workflow outlined above.
      • If the violation occurs outside the classroom, they should bring this to the attention of the DDAD via form submission and indicate that they are looking for additional guidance from the office on the perceived violation. The DDAD’s office will then work with the instructor or relevant stakeholders to follow the process outlined here.
  2. The instructor/faculty member schedules a meeting with the alleged student(s) to discuss the alleged violation. The possible violations of the academic honesty policy include:
    • The misrepresentation of any work submitted for credit or otherwise as the product of a student’s sole independent effort, such as using the ideas of others without attribution and other forms of plagiarism.
    • The use of any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations
    • The acquisition, without permission, of tests, answer sheets, problem solutions, or other academic material, when such material has been withheld from distribution by the instructor.
    • Deliberate and harmful obstruction of the studies, research, or academic work of any member of the Illinois Institute of Technology community
    • Making a material misrepresentation in any submission to or through any office of Illinois Tech to a potential employer, agency, professional society, meeting, or organization, which includes, without limitation, any unauthorized access to Illinois Tech’s digital or electronic systems for the purposes of altering or seeking to alter, or submitting or seeking to submit false, misleading, or inaccurate information
    • The intentional assistance of others in the violation of the standards set forth in the Code of Academic Honesty
  3. During the meeting with the student(s), faculty members should address the following:
    • The nature of the complaint
    • Why the issue(s) is a violation of academic honesty.
    • Evidence of the violation – the students under question have the right to see the evidence, so faculty members should be ready to present it to them.
    • The opportunity for the student to address the complaint.
  4. Based on the discussions in the meeting with the student(s), the faculty member should make a determination based on the evaluated evidence, observations and notes from the meeting with the students and guidance and consultation with the DDAD, if any. The faculty member can make the following sanctions:
    • Warning – a written warning to the student noting this incident and a statement that further violations will lead to more serious consequences.
    • Reduction in grade for the assignment or exam involved or for the course may be applied 
    • Failure of assignment
    • Dismissal from course (*requires written support of the DADD*)
  5. Faculty members communicate the final sanctions with the student. This can be done either during the meeting (if evidence supports sanctions immediately) or after the meeting (if further investigation or processing is required) via email or another meeting about the determination.
  6. Faculty member submits the “Academic Honesty Reporting Form” after the determination is made. 
  7. DDAD or designee will issue citation(s) for student(s) involved in the incident. The office of the DDAD will also explore awarding further sanctions on students with one or more prior violations.
  8. Optionally, students may contact the DDAD or deputy DDAD to request more information, offer clarification or defend their position. This may happen over email and/or meeting(s) with student(s).
    • Notes from any such contact will be made available to the office of the dean of students and/or academic grievance committee, as and when required.
  9. A student who believes that his or her record is factually inaccurate must inform the vice provost for student affairs and dean of students ( within seven calendar days of the date they become aware or should have become aware of such inaccuracy.
  10. If a student has been found to have committed one or more prior violations under the Code of Academic Honesty, the DADD may forward the complaint to be heard by the Academic Grievance Committee.

Flow Chart

Academic Honesty Process Flowchart

Please see the Student Handbook for more information on Code of Academic Honesty.

The Academic Honesty Reporting Form is located online. Please read the process overview and view the flowchart below prior to filling out the form.

Illinois Tech’s mission is “to provide distinctive and relevant education in an environment of scientific, technological, and professional knowledge creation and innovation.” As part of that mission, we believe it is vital to prepare students to critically and productively engage with new and innovative technologies—such as generative artificial intelligence—in order to be leaders and innovators in the future. This guideline on academic honesty and generative AI is intended to provide guidance for both students and faculty on engaging with generative AI productively, while still maintaining a rigorous and honest academic environment.

General Policy: Academic Honesty and Learning Objectives are Directly Related

In general, the academic honesty policy defines what is academic honesty/dishonesty and the process of reporting. Determination of what is and is not allowed in a specific course, although having many things in common with other courses, is, by definition, somewhat specific to that course. This means that each syllabus needs to clearly define what the learning objectives are and be clear as to what is and is not allowed in terms of “outside” resources to demonstrate proficiency with that learning objective. The learning objective may be to develop a skill or expertise, and the course work is a product that demonstrates proficiency. Therefore, misrepresentation of proficiency by (getting either directly or indirectly someone else’s) product is dishonesty. It cheats the student of their needed personal development, and it is academic dishonesty, which results in disciplinary action.

In a nutshell, the academic honesty policy is specific to the learning objective(s).

One example of sample language on this theme for the syllabus could be:

“One learning objective is to become proficient in a programming language. Contributing course work that is not your own to get course credit is dishonest and a misrepresentation of your skills development. This will not only lead to academic honesty discipline, but it may also mean that you will carry a sense of dissatisfaction with you through your entire professional career because you haven’t learned the fundamental skills that you need to thrive”.

Tips for Instructors

The following have been demonstrated to be helpful for the instructor:

  1. On the first day of the course (or “syllabus day”), explain why the skills acquisition and learning objectives of the course matter to the student for their lives right now and for future professional development, and how cheating diminishes their life-work satisfaction and their professional contribution.
  2. Having defined the learning objectives, explain what is and is not allowed (e.g., working together or not, using repositories of other people’s work or not, using tools such as ChatGPT or not, etc.) or the limitations on the use of various resources.
  3. Create at least one assignment that embraces the use of generative AI. This helps the instructor develop an understanding of what the benefits and opportunities are. It also demonstrates to the students as they go through the assignment what the limitations of the tool are relative to their own intellectual and developing expertise.

    Example: Here is some sample language for a course and or syllabus (please see the Center for Learning Innovation’s guide for additional resources on syllabus language):

    “For this writing assignment, students will specifically use ChatGPT to generate the text of the assignment. Students must: 1. Submit the prompt texts and the raw generated response. 2. Submit the finished assignment in its final formatted version. 3. Submit their edited document (with tracked changes) so that the marked text is clear as to what they did to get to the second step.”
  4. For academic honesty complaints, the evidence from a detection tool alone is not decisive. There must be a conversation with the student so that they can explain themselves (and this is also, per our current rules, a requirement). Maybe the student has a point that the instructor hasn’t thought of before. However, if from this conversation it is made clear to the instructor that the student’s knowledge of the work and the learning objective is not on par with the submitted product in question (and keep in mind to allow students for whom English is not their primary language or a strong point, time and grace to explain themselves), then together with any other evidence, these may be fully valid grounds for an instructor to report the student’s apparent academic dishonesty. This will be objectively reviewed, and if these steps have been followed, the instructor’s decision is normally supported by the administration and by a grievance committee composed of peers and students if there is a significant infraction and/or a repeated pattern with that individual.
  5. Before getting to the fourth step, it is worth having a low-stakes, low-pressure check in with the student—rather than accusing them outright, if possible—by asking them to explain the assignment with open questions. Consider encouraging your students to use one of the many plagiarism checkers (SafeAssign, or Illinois Tech’s ChatGPT detector) to compare similarities to other homework assignments in your course or beyond. It is better to see where the student is coming from before putting them into a state of fear and stress with a direct accusation, and better for the instructor to check their target before engaging! Of course, after this has occurred, the instructor should be clear and direct about the issue without undue angst, communicating their intended actions.

    For more information and resources on teaching and research with generative AI at Illinois Tech, please see the following faculty guides: Teaching and Generative AI; Assigning Writing and Generative AI; Sources, Research, and Generative AI; Detecting Text Written by Generative AI.