Academic integrity is at the core of academic institutions. Colleges and universities are environments that foster and thrive upon independent thought and original works. Therefore, it is essentially the duty of instructors to maintain this ideal environment by preserving and maintaining academic integrity. To do so, instructors are obliged to report any suspected incidents of academic misconduct to school authorities and to initiate the academic misconduct process to mitigate such matters.
If you are a student at Duquesne University who has been accused of academic misconduct, it's important you understand the gravity of your situation. Schools and institutions perceive academic misconduct as one of the most serious violations one could ever get. For students who wish to continue their education, or want careers in academia, law, politics, or other careers where integrity is valued, a record tainted with an academic misconduct charge is a serious disadvantage.
This is why it's important for you to understand what you're up against. Recognizing the magnitude of your situation, and the potential sanctions that could be imposed will help you make wise decisions. You must also think about what a finding of responsibility means for academic and professional future. For students who value the investment they've made in an education at Duquesne University, are invested in their degree program, or are concerned with the implications of this charge on their academic record, retaining a student defense attorney is a must.
To help you get a comprehensive understanding of your school's processes, I've provided an overview of Duquesne University's academic integrity policy, and the institution's processes for mitigating these matters.
Duquesne University's Academic Integrity Policy
Academic integrity at Duquesne can be summarized briefly. It is the pursuit of knowledge and understanding in ways that are honest and forthright. This principle should be upheld whether in a classroom or outside of it, in all aspects of academia. Any actions that fall outside the parameters of academic integrity is considered academic misconduct. According to Duquesne's code of conduct, a breach of academic integrity may include (but is not limited to) the following variety of ways:
- Cheating: is a form of deception intended to invoke academic merit. Cheating on quizzes, tests, exams, or projects may include giving, receiving, or using unauthorized assistance or materials. Cheating may also include student possession without permission of tests or other academic material belonging to a member of the university faculty or staff.
- Plagiarism: is referred to as using the phraseology, metaphor, concepts, or words of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. Buying term papers written by an organization or another person is considered plagiarism. It also includes the submission of work submitted for credit in another course without the permission of an instructor.
- Deceit in academic matters: anytime it can be proven that a student has operated deceitfully in an academic setting for merit, this act is considered academic misconduct. Furnishing or withholding false information from an instructor, official, or office, for example, is an example of deceit in an academic matter.
- Misuse of documents: A student may misuse a document multitudes of ways. This form academic misconduct includes forging an instructor's signature onto a document, improperly using a University document, or mutilating or destroying tangible assets like books, electric data, journals etc.
- Assistance in the violation of academic integrity: If you facilitate academic dishonesty by another person you can be charged with academic misconduct.
If a student is suspected of violating school policy, and this instance is minor, it will be handled by an instructor. Basically, an instructor will meet with a student, notify him or her that there is evidence of academic misconduct, and offer a recommended sanction. Course-level sanctions consist of reducing a grade for that specific assignment, giving a student a “0” for that particular assignment, or failing the student altogether. Any actions that warrant more severe punishments, will be reported to the Office of the Provost for mitigation.
Once reported to the Office of the Provost, a student has the option of either accepting the sanctions administered by the provost or partake in a university-level review of his or her case.
At the university-level hearing, the objective is to determine whether a student is responsible for the said violation. A panel of three faculty members, and two students - chosen from a pool of elects - will be the objective parties to make this decision. After both your side and the side of your instructor has been heard, the panel will deliberate and come up with a finding of guilt or innocence and a recommended sanction.
Students who feel as if they have been falsely accused or inappropriately sanctioned have the option of appealing. An appeal is a request for a school to reconsider its decision based on reasonable grounds. Students at Duquesne University have five business days from a hearing to request an appeal. A student defense attorney can help come up with effective grounds that are applicable to your case and will maximize your chances of your appeal being granted.
Pennsylvania Student Defense Attorney
Students facing harsh sanctions like a program withdrawal, suspension, or expulsion as a result of academic misconduct charges should retain a student defense attorney. Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping students who were once in your position achieve a favorable outcome, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.