Any student accused of breaching the rules of academic integrity (plagiarism, cheating on exams etc.) will receive an email from the Associate Dean asking the student to attend an interview. The student is also directed to Ombuds Services for assistance.

The Ombudsperson is responsible for explaining the process to the student. Our staff also ensures the student is treated fairly. The Ombudsperson usually attends the interview.

Here is a one-pager that helps to describe the process…


  • When you receive a letter from the Dean’s office they are asking you to come explain questions they have about your assignment, essay or exam. It usually has to do with footnoting (or lack of) or something that happened during an exam.
  • All professors are told to send anything suspicious to the Dean’s office. Professors are told not to discuss the matter with the student.
  • The Associate Deans will meet with you and will show you what is in question. You then explain your work or what happened in an exam.
  • The Associate Deans are very approachable.
  • You can ask that a representative from Ombuds Services attend the interview.
  • The Associate Deans will listen to your explanation and then you leave the meeting. The Associate Deans then discuss it among themselves and make a decision as to whether rules have been broken and if a penalty is warranted.
  • They then send you a letter or email informing you of their decision. Their decision can range from no penalty to an F in an assignment to F in the exam to an FND for the course.
  • If this is a second offence, the penalties could be more serious.
  • A letter of reprimand is the letter with the final decision. It is kept in a confidential file. There is nothing on your transcript. This information is only for Carleton – no other university or employer has access.
  • The letter is destroyed when you graduate.