Faculty Scholarly Misconduct Policy


Eastern Mennonite University fosters a culture where faculty members care about the integrity of their own work. As competent educators and professionals, EMU faculty members model academic integrity for each other and for their students. Honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility are characteristics of the community of learning our mission statement calls us to be.  When breaches of integrity occur, this policy establishes a responsive process that respects the rights of individuals while upholding the integrity of our learning community.

At EMU, scholarly integrity includes

  • honesty in documenting one’s professional credentials
  • honesty in producing one’s own work
  • honesty in creation of syllabi
  • honesty in representation of research results, facts or opinions
  • honesty in use of technology and publicly available information
  • honesty in acknowledging sources used in research reports, publications, conference papers and other presentations
  • honesty in establishing and maintaining the appropriate parameters of collaborative work
  • care in the protection of human subjects
  • complying with generally understood and accepted standards of professional conduct


When there is alleged scholarly misconduct by a faculty member, a report must be submitted by any concerned person in writing to the appropriate dean and/or provost setting forth, in reasonable detail, the nature of the alleged misconduct.  The report must also state what efforts were made to resolve the complaint by negotiation, if applicable.  The provost, in consultation with the Provost's Council, determines whether scholarly misconduct appears to have occurred and whether an investigation is warranted.  If an investigation is deemed warranted, the provost will inform the faculty member of the concern in writing and describe the allegation.  When appropriate, the identity of the person providing the report may be held in confidence by the Provost's Council. The Provost's Council may, when appropriate, resolve a situation itself or decide to initiate the formal process described below. The dean who supervises the faculty member of concern is the point person for the process.  The process is as follows:

  1. The faculty member in question provides a written response to the allegation.
  2. An investigation committee is formed.  The faculty member in question submits names of three nominees from among EMU faculty.  The faculty member may not nominate any person over whom the faculty member exercises any kind of supervisory authority or if there is any other relationship with the faculty member that constitutes, or that creates the appearance of, a conflict of interest.  The dean selects one person from the list and one other who was not nominated by the faculty member, and who will serve as committee chair.  The dean may not nominate any person over which the faculty member exercises any kind of supervisory authority or if there is any other relationship with the faculty member that constitutes, or that creates the appearance of, a conflict of interest.  The two appointed members select a third.  Efforts should be made to ensure that more than one program or school of the university is represented on the committee.  The provost gives final approval of the committee membership.
  3. The committee hears from the person making the original report and examines any evidence.
  4. The committee hears from the faculty member in question and examines any evidence he/she may provide.
  5. Both parties may invite additional witnesses or support persons, but may not bring attorneys to the hearing. The parties shall be permitted to examine the witnesses.   The committee proceedings will be governed by principles of due process and procedures for ensuring the impartial consideration of all pertinent facts.  Hearings will be closed to the public and the committee may require that witnesses be excluded from the hearing prior to their testimony.  In addition, public statements about the case, except as necessary to inform the parties about the date and time of the hearing and similar matters, are not permitted until the proceedings have been finally terminated, including any appeals.
  6. The committee drafts a report to the dean.  The report should state whether or not misconduct has occurred, provide factual details, and offer the committee’s judgment regarding the severity of the misconduct.  When possible, the report should be informed by restorative justice principles and if appropriate, mediation or other alternative dispute mechanisms may be recommended.  The draft report is presented and discussed at a meeting of the committee, the dean, and the faculty member in question.  The faculty member may submit a written response to the draft report within five working days of the presentation.
  7. The committee drafts its final report and recommends outcomes and/or remedial action if any.  Remedial actions may include but are not limited to:
    1. Remediation or reparation where possible, which may include apology, counseling, or other remediation.
    2. Academic censure (via a report to the academic council and its attachment to the council’s official minutes).
    3. Demotion/salary reduction.  Demotion may be in rank or steps.
    4. Ineligibility for administrative or academic committee appointments for a selected period of time.
    5. Suspension with or without pay.
    6. Reassignment of duties.
    7. Termination of employment.
  8. The dean receives the report of the committee, decides on the action to be taken, and implements the action.
  9. The faculty member in question may appeal the decision to the provost.  A final appeal may be made to the president.  A request for appeal in either case must be made within ten business days of receipt of the decision.  A written appeal must be submitted within twenty business days of receipt of the decision.

Responsible Party

The provost is responsible for this policy.

Policy Review

This policy is reviewed every five years.

Policy Distribution

Employee Handbook

Reviewed by Faculty Senate, October 11, 2010
Approved by Academic Cabinet, October 20, 2010
Revised and approved by Provost's Council, April 30, 2020