McGill values academic integrity and mastering the art of scholarship, which is fundamental to achieving our mission of the advancement of learning. This web page, which is a resource for instructors, is intended to promote academic integrity at McGill by providing information about acknowledging intellectual indebtedness, the meaning of integrity, how to foster it, and the consequences of breaching it.
If you suspect that a student has committed an academic offence, you may be tempted to handle the problem "locally." However, according to McGill's Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, instructors do not have the authority to impose penalties for violations of the Code.
Dealing with academic dishonesty on your own: violates McGill regulations, denies students their rights to due process, and may lead to a successful student appeal on grounds of a procedural technicality.
If you suspect dishonest work, your only option is to refer the case to the disciplinary officer in the student's faculty. If you are a teaching assistant, you should report the incident to the course instructor, who should report it to the disciplinary officer. This helps ensure that accurate records are kept and that repeat offenders receive the penalties that they deserve. Generally, reporting a case of cheating simply involves writing a letter to the appropriate disciplinary officer describing the incident and providing pertinent evidence.
Instructors may sometimes feel sorry for cheating students, but keep in mind the students who are doing their work honestly; cheating tilts the playing field and undermines the value of their work, the academic integrity of the University, and the value of the degrees we offer.