Faculty have complete control over assigning student grades, and as such may exercise their judgment in making grading decisions in response to academic misconduct, plagiarism, or cheating. The official reporting to the University of academic misconduct, however, goes beyond A-F grading, in the form of a special "FF" grade submitted to the Registrar's Office. An FF grade remains on the student transcript, even if the class is retaken, as a marker of academic misconduct. Faculty exercise their own discretion on when to assign an FF grade to a student.
FF Grade Process and Appeals
The steps in the integrity and appeals process are governed by USF Regulation 3.027, which can be viewed here: https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation3027
- The process begins with the instructor of record deciding, based on the above published policy, whether the student misconduct constitutes a Level 1, 2, 3, or 4 infraction. In some cases, individual departments or Colleges may have internal policies that administrators must be notified even before the student. As such, it's best to check with your Chair about local policies first.
- Next, the instructor notifies the student by email that an FF grade will be administered at the end of the semester, indicates the level of severity on the four-point scale, and informs the student of their right to appeal and provides the link to the policy.
- Then the instructor uses the Refer Students button inside the Canvas course to officially report the grade sanction (including sanctions less than a FF grade). This is the only time the instructor must report it; assuming appeals are upheld, the conversion to FF will take place without the instructor's further action. At the end of the term, the instructor enters an F grade using the normal eGrades process.
- Note: students are forbidden by policy to drop the class after being informed of the FF decision; if a student does drop, the faculty member or chair should contact the Registrar's Office to seek reinstatement.
- If a student wishes to appeal the grade, the process will be followed as described in the official policy.
- After the appeal is completed (or the required 15-day window for appeal is expired), the Office of Undergraduate Studies will coordinate with the College dean's office to be sure the appeal is finished, then initiate the change of grade.
Here is one department's step-by-step process from the faculty lens (note that you may need to make adjustments based on your own context/college): https://www.usf.edu/arts-sciences/departments/psychology/documents/psychology-academic-integrity-violation-referral-process.pdf
Flowchart of Process and Appeals
Students may appeal ANY grade sanction due to academic integrity. This flowchart outlines the appeals process.
Reports of Academic Misconduct Not Resulting in FF Grade
Faculty may decide to impose a different sanction than a FF, or impose no sanction at all. In both instances, instructors need to notify the university that academic misconduct was detected, so that it can be centrally tracked (and officials can ensure that if a student does violate integrity a second time, it will be noticed). This reporting is done through the "Refer a Student" button within Canvas, which leads to a survey where the information can be communicated.