Academic Conduct

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Class Attendance

In order to attend a given class, a student must be registered for that class for credit or audit. Exceptions to this policy are at the discretion of the instructor of the course. See Validating Enrollment for regulations concerning attendance to validate students' enrollment in a class.

Students are expected to attend class meetings as scheduled. Each instructor sets their policy with respect to class attendance, and excuses for absence from class are handled between the student and instructor. The instructor is expected to announce their policy at the beginning of the course.

Additional information regarding discretionary accommodation for disability and religion are available at

Veteran Attendance

Students who receive benefits from the Veterans Administration are required by the V.A. to attend class regularly to maintain their V.A. eligibility. If the instructor knows that a student receiving V.A. benefits is not attending class, the instructor is obligated to notify the Office of the Registrar and a notification will be forwarded to the Veterans Administration. More information about veteran benefits is available at

Field Trips/Curricular-Related Activities

Trips away from campus as part of a course are often appropriate educational experiences. They may not, however, take place during the first or last week of the semester, nor may they extend over more than two consecutive class days (Monday -Friday); these regulations may be waived only by special permission of the dean of the college in which the course is offered. Students should consult with instructors whose classes will be missed. If a mutually satisfactory agreement between the instructors and the student cannot be reached, the student cannot be required to attend the curricular-related activity or be penalized by the instructor for missing the curricular-related activity.

Special fees are often charged to cover the costs of field trips. Field trip fees are noted in the Schedule of Classes.

Excusable Absences for Non-Curricular Reasons

Students who miss class for non-curricular reasons are responsible for completing all assigned course requirements in a timely manner. Instructors should provide timely opportunities for students to make-up or replace missed scheduled examinations and/or assignments resulting from an excusable absence. While instructors are free to change the format of make-up examinations or assignments, students will be evaluated by the same standards as other members of the class.

In all cases, the person responsible for the event or activity should provide participants with a letter explaining the proposed absence and its duration including travel times for off-campus events and activities. Students must provide this documentation to instructors at least 10 days in advance of the activity or event, except when such notice is not possible.

Course instructors retain final authority regarding student absences and how they impact course grades and the acceptability of a student’s work toward passing their course. If a student must miss, for any reason, a portion of a course that, in the considered opinion of the course instructor, is critical to the student's ability to meet the course objectives, the instructor must recommend alternative actions to the student, which may include dropping the class.

Extra-Curricular Activities as a Representative of the University

Students may seek to or be asked to participate as an Iowa State University representative in non-credit events (competitions, conferences, presentations, programs, and performances) scheduled by academic or athletic units of the university at times that conflict with scheduled classes.

Instructors shall excuse students who miss class while representing Iowa State University in official department-or university-sponsored activities, including:

  • academic or professional conferences and workshops

  • intercollegiate athletic, academic,and judging competitions

  • musical, theatrical, dance and other artistic performances

  • presentations or programs given to external audiences

Other Extra-Curricular Activities

Instructors will determine whether other absences not officially sponsored by a unit of the University (e.g., conference attendance, job interviews), will be treated as excused.

Military Service

Instructors shall excuse absences due to Veteran or military service obligations (including service-related medical appointments, military orders dictating appointments, and National Guard Service obligations). When a student's military or veteran obligations are for more than two weeks, the student should meet with their advisor to discuss the situation and academic options and work with their instructors to discuss potential accommodations. University procedures are in place for such situations and should be followed. In all instances, students have a responsibility to communicate with their instructors to ensure they are continuing to meet course expectations and requirements. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to utilize the ISU Veterans Center and review information at

Court Appearances

Instructors shall excuse absences due to officially mandated court appearances including jury duty.


Academic misconduct is any action or attempted action that may result in creating an unfair academic advantage for oneself or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for any other member or members of the academic community. Such behavior is disparaging to the university and students found responsible for academic misconduct can face a number of disciplinary sanctions such as a disciplinary reprimand, conduct probation, deferred suspension, suspension, or expulsion.. Instances of academic misconduct ultimately affect all students and the entire university community by degrading the value of diplomas when some are obtained dishonestly, and by lowering the grades of students working honestly.

Examples of specific acts of academic misconduct include but are not limited to:

  1. Obtaining unauthorized information. Information is obtained dishonestly, for example, by copying graded homework assignments from another student, by working with another student on a take-home test or homework when not specifically permitted to do so by the instructor, copying coursework posted by another student at an online academic warehouse (Course Hero, Chegg, Study Blue, etc.), or by looking at your notes or other work during an examination when not specifically permitted to do so.

  2. Tendering of information. Students may not give or sell their work to another person who plans to submit it as their own. This includes giving their work to another student to be copied, giving someone answers to exam questions during the exam, taking an exam and discussing its contents with students who will be taking the same exam, giving or selling a term paper to another student, or posting coursework created by an instructor at an online academic warehouse (Course Hero, Chegg, Study Blue, etc.).

  3. Misrepresentation. Students misrepresent their work by handing in the work of someone else. The following are examples: purchasing or downloading for use a paper from a term paper service or online academic warehouse; reproducing another person's paper (even with modifications) and submitting it as their own; having another student complete any form of course work (draft form or for credit), or having someone else take their exam.

  4. Bribery. Offering money or any item or service to a faculty member or any other person to gain academic advantage for yourself or another is dishonest.

  5. Plagiarism. Unacknowledged use of the information, ideas, or phrasing of other writers is an offense comparable with theft and fraud, and it is so recognized by the copyright and patent laws. Literary offenses of this kind are known as plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a person does not credit the sources from which they borrow ideas, whether these ideas are reproduced exactly or summarized. The method of documentation will differ depending on whether the sources are written, oral, or visual. Ethically, communicators are responsible for providing accurate, detailed information about their sources. Practically, audiences need this information to comprehend and evaluate a message's content. 

Academic misconduct is considered to be a violation of the behavior expected of a student in an academic setting as well as a student conduct violation. A student found responsible for academic misconduct is therefore subject to appropriate academic penalty, to be determined by the instructor of the course, as well as sanctions under the university Student Code of Conduct. If an instructor believes that a student has behaved dishonestly in a course, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Arrange for an opportunity to meet with the student and discuss your conclusions.
  2. Allow the student to provide their side of the story, and ask if they admit or deny responsibility for the misconduct.
  3. If they deny responsibility, do not yet assign a grade for the assignment or course (leave grade as N for grade processing).
  4. If they admit the misconduct, you may assign a grade according to your discretion and what you may have outlined in your syllabus.
  5. Refer the case and information to the Dean of Students Office, including related materials such as emails, exams, essays, & websites.
  6. When an outcome is determined by the Dean of Students Office, both the student and the instructor will be notified and apprised of the disciplinary process conclusions.

If a student either admits dishonest behavior or is found responsible for academic misconduct by the Office of Student Conduct or the Student Conduct Hearing Board, sanctions are imposed based on the severity of the misconduct, and might include any of the following:

  1. Disciplinary Reprimand: An official warning followed by the written notice to the respondent / recognized student organization (RSO) that their conduct is in violation of university rules and regulations.
  2. Conduct Probation / Conditions: A more severe sanction than a Disciplinary Reprimand. It is a period of review during which the respondent /RSO must demonstrate the ability to comply with university rules, regulations, and other requirements stipulated for the probation period.
  3. Deferred Suspension: A suspension, but which is deferred subject to a definite or indefinite period of observation and review. If a respondent/RSO is charged with a violation of the Student Code of Conduct or order of a judiciary body while on Deferred Suspension, a Deferral Revocation Heading may be held, and if found responsible, suspension may be recommended to the Dean of Students.
  4. Defined Length Suspension: The student is dropped from the university for a specific length of time. This suspension may not be less than one semester or more than two years. Reinstatement may be contingent upon meeting the written requirements of the SCHB at the time the sanction was imposed. A hold will be placed on reentry until reinstatement is granted under the procedure provided.
  5. Indefinite Suspension: The student is dropped from the university indefinitely. Reinstatement may be contingent upon meeting the written requirements of the SCHB specified at the time the sanction was imposed. Normally, a student who is suspended indefinitely may not be reinstated for a minimum of two years. A hold will be placed on reentry until reinstatement is granted under the procedure provided.
  6. Expulsion: The student is permanently deprived of their opportunity to continue at the university in any status.
  7. Transcript Notation: When a student is sanctioned with an expulsion, suspension or revocation of admission, a written notation will be placed on the student's official transcript.

Educational sanctions are often also assigned.

Course and academic outcomes (grades) related to incidents of academic dishonesty are determined and assigned by faculty pursuant to their course policy and/or college-specific policy.

A student accused of academic misconduct has the option to stay in the class or to drop the class if the drop is made within the approved time periods and according to the regulations established by the university. 

Student records concerning academic dishonesty are maintained in the Dean of Students Office for a period of seven years, after which the file records are purged. These student records are subject to state and federal laws and regulations guiding confidentiality of student records. However, when the student is expelled, suspended, or their admission is revoked, a notation will appear on the academic transcript that the student has been dropped due to disciplinary action and is not eligible to enroll. In the event that an instructor is uncertain how to handle an incident of suspected academic dishonesty, the Office of Student Conduct is available to consult with the instructor in deciding a proper course of action to be taken.

Response to Classroom Disruption

Should any student officially enrolled for credit or audit in a class disrupt the instructor's ability to ensure a safe learning environment, control the class agenda, and/or deliver the approved curriculum, the instructor has the right to ask that the disruptive action cease immediately. The instructor may find it useful to include general guidelines about disruptive behavior on the course syllabus; and in the event of a classroom or learning environment disruption, the instructor may, if they find it necessary, explain to the student and the class why the particular action is deemed disruptive. The responsible student should cease the disruption and utilize non-disruptive means for expressing disagreement or concern. If the disruption continues, the instructor can pursue various forms of intervention as discussed in more detail in the Faculty Handbook.

Additional guidance and resources for managing classroom disruption are available from CELT

Course Ownership

Ownership of Course-related Presentations

The presenter owns course-related presentations, including lectures. Individuals may take written notes or make other recordings of the presentations for educational purposes, but specific written permission to sell or post the notes or recordings for sale or subscription must be obtained from the presenter. Selling notes by students without the required permission is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

Recording and Transmission of Classes

Recordings and transmission of classes may take place for a variety of legitimate reasons, including providing educational opportunities for those who cannot attend classes on campus, assisting students with disabilities that impair classroom note taking, and giving the instructor feedback on their classroom performance.

Because the lectures of faculty represent their intellectual labors, individuals are expected to obtain permission to make recordings of lectures and other classroom interactions. Recordings may be used for the purposes of the particular class, although in some cases, and with permission of faculty, the recordings may be preserved and used for other classes as well.