University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Academic Integrity Advisor

We're all inspired by something. Very few scholars had the luxury of having original ideas, and even the greatest scholars used their predecessors' achievements as a foundation for their work. It is when students fail to acknowledge the contributions of others or engage in an unauthorized method to complete academic work that University of Michigan, Ann Arbor students begin to cross into “academic dishonesty” territory. 

Regardless of whether you intentionally engaged in academic dishonesty or not, the consequences of doing so at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor are harsh, to say the least. Students found guilty of such allegations have learned (the hard way) that the repercussions imposed by the institution will not only affect a student's college career but can affect their professional life down the line as well. 

In this article, we'll address how the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor handles allegations of academic dishonesty and why you need a student defense attorney to assist you throughout the disciplinary process.

How Does the University of Michigan Define “Academic Dishonesty?”

As described in our Community Standards of Academic Integrity, “academic dishonesty may be understood as 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.”

Examples of academic misconduct include but are not limited to the following:


Cheating is committing fraud and/or deception on a record, report, paper, computer assignment, examination, or any other course requirement. Examples of cheating include:

  • Obtaining work or information from someone else and submitting it under one's own name.
  • Using, or attempting to use unauthorized notes, or study aids, or information from another student or student's paper on an examination.
  • Communicating answers with another person during an exam.
  • Altering graded work after it has been returned, and then submitting the work for regrading.
  • Allowing another person to do one's work and submitting it under one's own name.
  • Using electronic devices (e.g., phones, watches, calculators) that prove answers or other unauthorized information for exams.
  • Taking an exam for another person or having someone take an exam for you.
  • Fabricating data which were not gathered in accordance with the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data and failing to include a substantially accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected.


Plagiarism is representing someone else's ideas, words, statements, or other work as one's own without proper acknowledgment or citation. Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying word-for-word or lifting phrases, special terms, or definitions from a source or reference (whether oral, printed, or on the internet) without proper attribution.
  • Paraphrasing, that is, using another person's written words or ideas, albeit in one's own words, as if they were one's own thoughts.
  • Borrowing facts, statistics, graphs, or other illustrative material without proper reference, unless the information is common knowledge, in common public use.
  • Submitting substantially the same paper for two or more classes (or the same class) in the same or different terms (i.e., self-plagiarism) without the expressed approval of each instructor.

Unacceptable Collaboration

Collaboration is unacceptable when a student works with another or others on a project and then submits written work which is represented explicitly or implicitly as the student's own individual work. Examples of unacceptable collaboration include:

  • Using answers, solutions, or ideas that are the result of collaboration without citing the fact of collaboration. 
  • Discussing/providing/taking solutions or answers with/to/from other students, when instructions are for students to complete that portion of the work independently.

Falsification of Data, Records, and Official Documents

  • Fabrication of data
  • Altering academic records, or documents related to academic records
  • Misrepresentation of academic status, including attendance
  • Forging a signature of authorization or falsifying information on an official academic document, grade report, letter of recommendation/reference, letter of permission, petition, or any document designed to meet or exempt a student from an established class, College, or University academic regulation.

Aiding and Abetting Dishonesty

Providing material or information to another person which allows for these materials or information to be used improperly. This includes both deliberate and inadvertent actions.

Unauthorized or Malicious Interference/Tampering with Office Property

Unauthorized or malicious interference or tampering with faculty, administrative, or staff offices, including computers, is considered an academic offense and, as such, is subject to College judicial procedures and sanctions.

Classroom Disturbances

Classroom disturbances can also serve to create an unfair academic advantage for oneself or disadvantage for another member of the academic community. Some examples of actions that may violate the Community Standards of Academic Integrity include:

  • Interference with the course of instruction or an exam to the detriment of other students.
  • Disruption of classes or other academic activities in an attempt to stifle academic freedom of speech
  • Failure to comply with the instructions or directives 

University of Michigan's Procedure for Resolving Cases of Academic Dishonesty

Students accused of academic infractions will endure the following disciplinary phases:

Initiation of Allegation

Any allegation of academic dishonesty will be directed to the dean of the school in which the respondents hold or held appointments. The dean will then determine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that the allegation is sufficiently credible, and if true, would constitute academic dishonesty. 

If it is determined that there are reasonable grounds for such allegations, the Inquiry Committee will be appointed to examine the allegation.


The Inquiry Committee will interview the instructor and respondent to further understand the allegations and to come up with a determination. Normally within 60 days after receiving charges, the committee will prepare a written report for the dean setting forth its conclusions and the evidentiary basis for those conclusions. 


The Investigation Committee is responsible for doing the work to prove that academic dishonesty did, in fact, occur. This means impounding any materials which the committee believes are relevant, hearing the testimony of both sides, and assessing evidence submitted by both sides. An investigation usually lasts no longer than 120 days.

Report of Investigation

Upon completion of its investigation, the Investigation Committee will prepare a written report consisting of the following three parts:

  1. A summary of the substance of the documents, the testimony, and other forms of evidence which the Investigation Committee relied upon in reaching its conclusion
  2. A statement of the Committee's findings of fact and the conclusions it has drawn from those facts
  3. The Committee's recommendation, if any, as to what actions the Dean should undertake.


Any person accused of academic misconduct who believes that the allegation was improperly reviewed, may appeal in writing to the provost.

Any appeal shall be delivered to the provost by the date that is 30 calendar days after the date of the dean's notice to the respondent. Additional time may be provided by the provost in his or her discretion, and only upon prompt application and for compelling reasons.

In considering such an appeal, the provost will limit his or her review to determining whether appropriate procedures and standards were applied.

Academic Integrity Attorney for University of Michigan Students

An academic misconduct violation can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you or your college student have set. If you value the investment you've made into your education and your professional future, contacting a skilled student defense attorney is a must. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today at 888-535-3686 for more information.