Faculty and OSSJA


Student Support and Judicial Affairs and the members of the Campus Judicial Board work with faculty to uphold the academic integrity of our campus. At UC Davis, faculty, students, and OSSJA share responsibility for promoting academic integrity under our Code of Academic Conduct. Adopted in 1976, the Code builds upon a previous student-run honor system that had existed for more than 60 years. Under the Code, students must behave honestly, fairly, and with respect for others in all their academic endeavors. Faculty are expected to encourage honest work, set clear standards, take steps to prevent academic misconduct, and report suspected violations.

The UC Davis faculty has an outstanding record of promoting academic integrity and reporting suspected violations. In fact, more than 200 faculty make referrals to Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA) each year. Centralized reporting ensures both impartial and consistent administration of student discipline -- and that repeat violators are identified and sanctioned appropriately.  In 2014-15, OSSJA received over 1000 reports of alleged academic misconduct.

Although dealing with academic misconduct is an aspect of teaching that most faculty would rather avoid, research shows that cheating proliferates when faculty ignore it. For that reason, OSSJA has created this website and other materials containing suggestions about how faculty can work with students to create a classroom environment that fosters academic integrity, handouts for students that define and explain how to avoid plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration, tips for preventing cheating and how to confront it when it happens, and guidelines and a referral form for reporting incidents.

At UC Davis, reporting suspected violations does not involve a lengthy or time-consuming process. An OSSJA staff member meets with the accused student, consults with the reporting faculty, and then recommends a proposed resolution. Usually, the student acknowledges the violation, accepts the sanctions, and signs a written disciplinary contract. The very few cases that cannot be resolved informally are heard and decided by student-faculty disciplinary panels. Neither faculty nor any student witness need testify at a formal hearing unless they choose to do so.

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Role of Faculty under the Code of Academic Conduct

The Code of Academic Conduct highlights the faculty's critical role in ensuring academic integrity. The Code places shared responsibility for upholding academic integrity on all members of the UC Davis community -- students, faculty, and administration. OSSJA was created to administer the student discipline system. Under the Code, faculty responsibilities include:

  • Encouraging honesty and integrity in students
  • Informing students of ethical, scholarship and conduct standards
  • Using test and assignment formats that discourage cheating
  • Reporting all alleged violations to OSSJA and telling students how to make reports

In addition, faculty participate in policy-making regarding conduct standards, and in the disciplinary process. Faculty also serve on all formal hearing panels for cases of suspected academic misconduct.