Role Of The Instructor And The TA

What exactly is the role of the instructor and what is the role of the TA when cheating arises?

Always defer to the professor, as many of the legal procedures refer to the function of faculty, not the TA. Consider the following statement from the USC Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards website:

When you believe a violation may have occurred in your class, the following steps should be taken:

1. It is strongly recommended that you meet with the student to discuss the incident as soon as possible. This is the student's opportunity to understand that he or she violated the standards for the class as well as the student’s opportunity to provide a response. If a personal meeting cannot be arranged, this may be accomplished through a telephone conversation or through email correspondence.

When a student denies a violation, the student should be allowed to remain in the class and complete course work until a final resolution is reached.

The Student Conduct Code states:

“ If the violation is discovered during the final exam period, the instructor should assign a mark of ‘MG’ until he/she has had an opportunity [to meet with the student]. Likewise, if the instructor’s grade penalty is a grade of ‘F’ for the course, a mark of ‘MG’ should be assigned if the student does not admit responsibility for the violation and accept the grade penalty.” (SCampus section 14.10)

2. When you have determined that a violation has occurred, it is required that you file a report of the incident with Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards. A form is provided for this in Appendix B of the Student Conduct Code located in the current SCampus. Supporting documents such as the exam, crib notes or the plagiarized paper with copy of source material should be included with the report.

3. Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards will send the student a notification letter advising the student of your complaint and of the student's opportunity to discuss the allegation with a Student Judicial Affairs staff member.

You may be contacted by a staff member for further information or clarification prior to the student’s written notification. In either case the reporting instructor will be sent a copy of that notification letter.

4. Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards also notifies the university Registrar that the student may not be allowed to withdraw from the course. If a withdrawal has occurred, the student will be reenrolled.

Refer to section 14.00 of the Student Conduct Code in the current SCampus for a complete description of the process for reporting and reviewing academic integrity violations.

Additional reporting information is available through Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards.

[Note: failure or inability to follow all recommendations in step 1 does not invalidate a student violation.]

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