Bucknell University Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures

Bucknell University's “Academic Irresponsibility” Policy

In Bucknell University's code of conduct, academic misconduct is divided into several categories that constitute academic misconduct. They include the following.

  • Inappropriate collaboration: students are not to collaborate on assignments unless permitted by an instructor. If a collaboration in any form did ensue at any time in the course of an assignment, it must be clearly indicated with whom a student has worked with and to what capacity have this person or people contributed. Prior to collaborating, students should ask what type, if any type of collaborations are permissible.
  • Cheating: occurs when a student uses deceptive measures by presenting material on an exam or assignment as mastered when it is not. Examples of cheating includes (but is not limited to): copying from another student, or allowing another student to copy you, within the duration of an exam, using unauthorized sources of information, notes, or formulas during an exam, having another person take your exam, or being a stand-in exam taker for another person.
  • Plagiarism: defined as the act of using somebody else's ideas, phraseology, metaphor, etc. in your work without acknowledging the source. Basically, it's to give off the impression that you conceptualized or wrote something original, when in fact you borrowed it from another person. Plagiarism is oftentimes accidentally committed due to ignorance or misinformation in regard to properly citing sources, or recognizing when to cite sources. Some examples of plagiarism are (but not limited to): Using a specific detail, illustration, concept drawn from an outside source without reference in a footnote or bibliography, submitting another person's paper, project or assignment as one's own, paraphrasing without citing sources etc.
  • Fabrication: refers to being deceptive by falsifying information or inventing data. A few examples of fabrication are (but are not limited to): citing information or materials from outside sources that were not used, using data in an assignment collected by others in a similar or identical fashion to them.
  • Misuse of computing facilities: defined as violations of authorial integrity. An example of this would be reading or copying files or programs from a computer without an owner's explicit permission to submit work of one's own, or allowing another person to complete and submit coursework on one's respective online profile.

It's important to note that academic misconduct charges are acquired based upon the work that's been turned in, not the work that you intended to turn in. Despite your intentions, or your plea of a genuine mistake, an instructor may feel the need to still submit a complaint, and this inclination will be validated. Academic misconduct matters are mitigated and sanctioned solely for a violation, your intentions are not guaranteed to be considered.

Although I've provided terms and definitions of the various forms of academic misconduct in this article. It is recommended that you read your school's policy yourself. An informed respondent is a respondent fit for victory. You should know the ins and outs of your school's academic responsibility guidelines before making any decisions.

Procedures

Firstly, when an instructor has suspicions that you may have violated school policy, they must report this suspicion to you in a meeting. This meeting should be “confidential” and should occur before official charges have been made. During the course of this meeting, an instructor should inform notify you of plans to submit a claim, and give you an opportunity to respond to this information. After this discussion, an instructor may walk away feeling that a complaint isn't necessary because the discrepancies and misunderstandings have been resolved, or he or she may wish to proceed with the process. If an instructor decides to do the latter, he or she will provide a written statement of the possible charges to the Associate Dean.

It is the duty of the Associate Dean to meet with you and explain the allegation, the evidence, and the procedures that are to be followed. Following this meeting, you will be expected to write a short statement indicating your version of events. A packet containing your statement and the statement of an instructor will be sent to the Registrar, who will call a meeting of a panel of the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility.

Board of Review Hearing

The next phase of the process is a board of review hearing. Essentially, these hearings are intended to incite meaningful discussion about these charges, the people involved, and the circumstances of this case to come to a fair resolution. In attendance are the respondent, the complainant, witnesses, and board members.

Throughout the course of a hearing, both sides will get to tell their sides of the story, by presenting evidence, making statements, and answering relevant questions the board may have regarding the alleged academic misconduct. After both sides are heard, members of the panel will deliberate based on what they heard and determine if a violation has been found and recommended sanctions.

Sanctions

There is a wide range of sanctions that may be utilized in the event of a violation. The board may assign the following list of penalties for sanctioning.

  • The grade of “F” on an assignment.
  • A grade of one or more levels below the actual grade earned in a course.
  • A grade of “F” for a course.
  • Disciplinary dismissal from the University for at least one semester at the end the semester in which the violation occurred.
  • The immediate disciplinary dismissal from the University for the remainder of the current and following semester.
  • Permanent dismissal, or expulsion.

Appeal

Students who feel like a determination and/or sanctions are unfair or unjustified have the option of appealing this decision. An appeal is a request for the school to reconsider a decision is made. In order for this request to be granted, it must be based on reasonable “grounds,” not mere dissatisfaction with a determination and/or sanction. At Bucknell University, an appeal must be submitted in writing within one month of the decision. To determine which grounds effectively apply to your case, you should contact a student defense attorney.

Pennsylvania Student Defense Attorney

Allegations of academic misconduct are serious and should be taking seriously. If you have prior violations under your belt, or have been accused of serious charges, you do not have the luxury of lollygagging. One thing you can do to maximize your chances of prevailing against an instructor or institution is to retain a student defense attorney. A legal professional can help you build a case that is effective and compelling, as well help you successfully appeal a guilty determination.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has over 15 years of experience helping students who have been in your shoes achieve favorable results. He can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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