Academic Letter to File

Understanding an academic letter to file sent to you by a faculty member

An academic letter to file is a warning from an instructor regarding a specific incident of academic misconduct in that instructor's course. This is one option of resolution in academic misconduct cases.

The outcome of an academic integrity violation can vary widely based on the severity and nature of the allegations. Instructors decide how to handle violations of academic integrity on a case-by-case basis. Below are the three options instructors may use. These options can be used in conjunction with one another.
1. Academic action within the class
  • Instructors may determine an academic consequence that is appropriate.  Examples include redoing the assignment for a reduced grade, failing the project or assignment, a failing grade in the course, and termination of participation in the research project. 
  • When an instructor chooses this option, they should submit documentation to the OSCCS in the form of either a letter to file or a formal complaint (outlined below as option 2 or 3). 
2. Faculty letter to file
  • Faculty letters to file can be done in conjunction with academic actions within the subject. 
  • Faculty letters to file are maintained as internal records only.  If a student has subsequent alleged violations, letters to file would be reviewed as part of the determination about how the newer case would be resolved.
  • Students who receive a faculty letter to file may submit a reply for the file or request that the Committee on Discipline (COD) review their case.
3. Committee on Discipline (COD) complaint
  • A complaint can be submitted in conjunction with academic action within the course. 
  • A complaint will be reviewed by the COD Chair and resolved according to COD rules.
Please note an instructor may choose more than one option (for example, an instructor may take academic action within the class and submit a faculty letter to file).