Princeton University is a prestigious institution with a deep-rooted history and ivy league standing. Admission to the university is incredibly competitive, and there is a rigorous Honor Code to which all accepted students must adhere. Within the code, students will find provisions of academic regulations. If you have been accused of academic misconduct at Princeton University, you are probably incredibly concerned about how the accusation could affect your academic standing after having gained admission to a university of such prestige. For additional details concerning the definitions of academic misconduct at Princeton, you are advised to directly consult the student Honor Code. Furthermore, if you have been accused, securing a student defense attorney can drastically increase your chances of a favorable outcome. This page provides an overview as to how the school defines academic misconduct, as well as unique insights into how a student defense attorney can help your case.
For any suspected violation of the school honor system, the Undergraduate Honor Committee has jurisdiction over the alleged offense. This covers violations for written examinations and tests. Other violations, such as those pertaining to schoolwork, essays, term papers, reports and the like are the concern of the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline. Any uncertainty as to which committee you will answer to can be clarified by the Dean.
Student Acknowledgment of Original Work
Bespeaking the seriousness with which the university handles plagiarism, there is a requirement that every student write and sign their name beside the statement: "This paper represents my own work in accordance with University regulations."
Transcription or Publication of Course-Related Materials
Arguably a unique consideration for Ivy League universities, the content of course related materials may be of particular interest to third parties, and for that reason, it is considered sensitive, privileged information. Students are not to publish or transcribe materials from their courses, or they could face penalties. Students may not be entirely aware of this provision, nor be aware that their actions violated it. With the prevalence of social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram, a student may be accused on this count if they post photo or video of course material and it is brought to the attention of the University, who may then misconstrue the action.
Princeton University prohibits “any tutoring service or facility other than that regularly authorized by the Office of the Dean of the College.” This can undoubtedly cause confusion for students, as it may not be immediately clear whether the form of tutoring they seek out is sanctioned by the University.
All outside sources consulted in the completion of an assignment must be properly acknowledged. Students may not remove quotations, paraphrase, translate or otherwise reuse the work of another individual without proper attribution."Outside source" refers to any work by any person other than the student (see section 2.4.6 and section 2.4.9).
Unauthorized Multiple Submission
Where applicable, students may be tempted to submit the same assignment, in whole or in part, more than one time. Most schools do not take kindly to this endeavor, and many expressly prohibit it, including Princeton. If a student has just cause to submit the same assignment more than once, they must obtain authorization from the relevant instructors.
All citations must show the real and truthful source from which the information was obtained.
Students may not submit information or data in their assignments that has, to their knowledge, been altered or changed in some way. This includes “the submission for re-grading of any academic work under the jurisdiction of the Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline.”
Attempt to Gain an Unfair Advantage
The following provision, although somewhat unclear is made in the school's official code: “The deliberate misrepresentation—explicit or implicit—of information regarding the preparation, presentation, or submission of work in fulfillment of an academic requirement, where such misrepresentation is made to an instructor in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage.”
Violation of Examination Procedures
Students must follow any and all examination procedures specified by their instructor when taking in-class assessments.
Procedures for Academic Integrity Violations
The Faculty-Student Committee on Discipline or the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School has jurisdiction over academic integrity violations of this nature.
If there is an allegation of an infraction, an assistant or associate dean will begin by conducting an investigation into the incident. All documents pertaining to the investigation will be accessible to the student. They may submit statements and other written materials that they think will help determine what happened.
Notice and Conduct of Hearings
The student will be informed in writing of their charge, as well as the date and time of the hearing when they will appear before the committee. Students may bring an advisor to the hearing to accompany them, but university policy states that this adviser must be a member of the University community.
The student will be able to present and explain their side and point of view at the hearing. They may also request that anyone who has pertinent information about the incident present it at the hearing. The student is permitted to make a closing statement and then is excused while the committee deliberates.
Pending the committee's decision, after investigation and a hearing, the student is permitted to remain in their on-campus residence and use school facilities. It is critical that students facing such accusations are aware: In cases adjudicated prior to the last day of classes, if the final decision is a separation from the University (i.e., suspension, suspension with conditions, or expulsion), the student will normally not earn credit for the semester in which the infraction occurred.
Students who are dissatisfied with a hearing outcome are granted the right of appealing a decision and/or penalty to the dean of the college. Students have ten working days to file an appeal. The judicial committee considers appeals based only on questions of procedural error or unfairness. Typically, a successful appeal is based on two grounds at Princeton University:
- There exists substantial relevant information that was not presented and reasonably could not have been presented to the committee.
- The imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct.
After a review, the dean of the college may decide to schedule another hearing or recommend that a penalty may be altered. If the appeal does not contain convincing grounds for any of these alternatives, the dean will affirm the original finding and penalty. The dean's decision is final.
New Jersey Student Defense Attorney
The university explicitly states: “The only adequate defense for a student accused of an academic violation is that the work in question does not, in fact, constitute a violation.”
A student defense attorney may be indispensable as you move forward in the investigation and hearings for this integrity violation. Your academic future may suffer greatly if you are not proactive in fighting the charge. Contact student defense attorney Joseph D. Lento immediately for a consultation of your charge.