We (professors + TAs) are reporting a few students for cheating on their midterms to the head of undergraduate studies. We had been monitoring their activities pretty closely, since we noticed they had been cheating throughout the semester on their weekly quizzes but felt that evidence was not compelling enough (e.g., 15 minutes, few questions). But with their recent cheating activity on an hour-long exam, we are confident in what we are reporting to the University.

In the event that they are allowed back into lectures for the remainder of this semester, how do we interact with these cheating students? Should we ignore them? I expect there to be some friction between them and us, and I wish to not be too distracted from teaching the rest of the class of students that have been working diligently and honestly.

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    Treat them exactly in the same professional manner you would treat any other student. Catching someone cheating is a professional matter, not a personal matter, and while it might affect your attitude towards the person, that should (generally speaking) be irrelevant in the classroom in any case.
    – Dan Fox
    Nov 24, 2017 at 9:49

2 Answers 2


Just treat them the same as all the others during lectures.

If they want to meet you outside lectures to discuss the issue then you have two options : one: say that the issue is with the Head and the result / decision will be communicated to them, or have a discussion but I would not do this as it could affect the decision process.


At most universities, instructors are expected to report all suspected incidents of academic misconduct. But they do not decide the matter. If the student contacts you, that is what you say: You were expected to make the report so you did, but you don't decide the matter. That is all you say.

If there's a finding of misconduct you will be notified. The usual penalty for a first offense is they get a zero on the assignment. And that's the end of your involvement. You do not alter your behavior toward the student in any other way and you do not discuss the situation with other faculty except possibly any co-instructors or your chair.

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