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Disclosure of a Student's Record

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as well as University regulations and departmental policy, prohibits the disclosure of a student’s records to unauthorized persons. More Information

When posting grades, you may not use the student's full or partial student identification number. Using even a portion of the student identification number when posting grades can raise confidentiality concerns. Privately, confidentially and randomly assigned, unique identification numbers are permissible, if the posting is not ordered by name. It is best to use a system by which students can access only their own scores.

When distributing students’ exams, papers, grades, etc., take care that the student’s grade does not appear on the exterior of the exam or paper; use envelopes if necessary. Do not allow any student access to other students’ grade information; do not pass your grade book around the class for students to view their, and their peers’, grades.

Changing an Erroneous Final Grade

Complete a Form 350 (available from the CS Graduate Secretary) promptly. The form requires a reason for the change. The department head (normally through the assistant to the head) must approve the correction. Grade changes cannot involve "W"’s (withdrawal from the course).

Work done after the end of the semester can not be used as a basis for changing a grade. The removal of an incomplete (see section below) is not a change of grade. The "I" remains on the record along with the indication of its removal.

The prospect of a student's being dropped from the University, not graduating on time, or suffering other undesirable consequences external to the course is not a valid basis for changing a grade. The grade must reflect the student’s performance in the course relative to the criteria used for all students in the course. Students do not earn grades for having personal problems.

The Incomplete "I"

Graduate assistants may not give or agree to give an "I" without the prior approval of the course supervisor or, if none, the assistant to the head of the department.

To qualify for an "I" in a course, students must have been prevented from completing the course by circumstances beyond their control, have a passing grade at the time their work was interrupted, and not need to repeat the course to complete it. You may save yourself time and trouble later by announcing at the beginning of the course that giving an incomplete (as well as giving make-ups) requires genuinely serious and documented circumstances.

Students will occasionally ask for an "I" in lieu of an "F". This is not a legitimate use of the "I".

When you give an "I", you must specify what the student must do to complete the course and you should give the student a copy of the form on which you report those conditions to the department.

The student may elect to repeat the course, but you cannot restrict the student to that alternative. You should, however, require that the student complete the missed parts of the course by a certain reasonable date, generally the sooner the better. This puts a definite limit on your obligation to the student and avoids awkward situations such as an unfortunate student's asking for "Project 5, Test 3, and the final examination" three years after taking the course. By then, you may have left the University, and the course may have been significantly changed.

If the student does not complete the course by the date that you specify, you may either submit the appropriate grade or do nothing. In the latter case, the student may remove the incomplete by repeating the course within the period permitted by the University. If you intend to allow that option or a restricted version of it, you ought to include that as an alternative when you give the incomplete. 

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Academic Dishonesty

You will probably discover students cheating, typically copying programs or answers to test questions.

If you have a strong indication but not clear proof of cheating (such as two program outputs that are improbably similar) and the course supervisor has not instructed you otherwise, discuss the matter with the students involved to let them know that you are concerned about the matter and that a second occurrence will likely result in disciplinary action. Make and keep notes of the meeting and possibly provide the students involved with a memorandum stating your position. Preserve all evidence.

If you have clear proof of cheating:

  1. Collect and preserve all evidence: programs, tests, witness’s statements, etc. Coordinate your actions with the instructors of other students involved.
  2. Avoid making public statements that might embarrass the student. Unless the course supervisor instructs you otherwise, call the student in for a private conference. Present the facts to the student and ask for the student’s explanation of them. Avoid emotional accusations. You have facts that lead you to a conclusion. Can the student reasonably interpret those facts in a way that leads to a different conclusion?
  3. If after the discussion with the student, you believe that you still have a solid case, discuss the matter with the course supervisor and determine the penalty. The supervisor must approve. There is a strong sentiment among the faculty that the penalty for significant cheating be failure of the course. For minor infractions, a zero on the assignment, test, or quiz or a reduction of final grade may be appropriate; however, if the zero penalty does not extend beyond the items on which the student cheats, the student who does not know the answer has nothing to lose by cheating.
  4. Inform the student of the penalty and that the case will be reported to the Dean of Students.
  5. Inform the Office of the Dean of Students of the facts and of the penalty you are imposing and state what you want that office to do. This may range from merely filing to a request that the case be adjudicated. Adjudication resulting in conviction might deter the student from involving you in a grade appeal later because it confirms your charge of cheating. A report form is available at www.purdue.edu/odos/osrr/reportofacademicdishonesty.pdf
  6. Send a copy of the report, without accompanying documentation, to the assistant to the head of the department.

You should ask the Office of Dean of Students to act on the case, if

  • the offense is unusually serious in nature or in magnitude
  • the offense warrants a penalty above what you can impose
  • the case requires further investigation, or
  • the student does not accept the penalty.

For more information, call the Office of the Dean of Students at 494-1747 or stop by room 207, Schleman Hall.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Purdue University prohibits discrimination against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran. 

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Students with Disabilities

Be sensitive to the special needs of the disabled, but treat them as much as possible the same as others. Expect them to meet the same standards of performance as other students.

If you need advice on dealing with students with learning or other disabilities, call the Disability Resource Center (DRC) (494-1247) in the Office of the Dean of Students. Specialized staff will be able to assist you.

Conflict of Interest

If you learn that a relative, friend, roommate, business associate, or any other person of interest to you has registered for a course to which you are assigned as a graduate teaching assistant, you must report the actual or potential conflict of interest in writing or by e-mail to your supervisor and to the assistant to the head promptly. ("Course" includes all sections that are in any way coordinated.) Your supervisor must arrange your duties to avoid opportunities for wrongdoing. This serves for the protection of all parties involved.

Failure to disclose a conflict of interest is a serious breach of ethics and a basis for both termination of employment and disciplinary action.

If you discover a strong mutual attraction between yourself and one of your students, you may not act upon it until you and the other party are no longer in an instructor-student, grader-student, or similar relationship.

You may not work as a tutor or in any similar capacity for the benefit of a student enrolled in a course in which you are assisting, unless the material involved is unrelated to the course. ("Course" includes all sections that are in any way coordinated.)

You must not only be above reproach: you must be above suspicion. Otherwise put, you must be ethical and appear ethical.

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It is the policy of Purdue University to maintain the campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students, free from all forms of harassment. In providing an educational and work climate that is positive and harassment-free, faculty, staff, and students should be aware that harassment in the workplace or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated.

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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2017 1:52 PM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739

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