Rowan University is a college of more than 15,000 students in Glassboro, New Jersey. The school also has a satellite campus in Camden, New Jersey. Just like other colleges in the U.S., Rowan University takes instances of academic misconduct very seriously and has shown itself very willing to dole out harsh punishments for students who violate its Academic Integrity Policy.
Unfortunately, the vague terms that are used in this Policy make it very easy for the University to accuse and punish students who have really done nothing wrong. This makes it critical to have an academic misconduct and student discipline attorney on your side if you are being charged with a violation. With the legal help of Joseph D. Lento, you can fight against these accusations and protect your reputation as you venture out into the professional world.
Academic Integrity at Rowan University
Rowan University's Academic Integrity Policy names four types of violations:
- Academic Misconduct. This includes altering grades, using the same work for multiple classes, and acquiring or distributing tests that have yet to be administered.
- Cheating. This is defined as an act of deception that misrepresents a student's mastery of material on a test or other assignment.
- Fabrication. This is the deliberate use of fabricated information or research, with the intent to deceive.
- Plagiarism. This is the representation of someone else's ideas or words as a student's own.
Additionally, Rowan University recognizes four levels of academic misconduct. These are also outlined in its Academic Integrity Policy:
- Level 1 violations typically involve a minor portion of a course's work and are the result of ignorance, inexperience, or a mistake. Penalties do not exceed a failing grade on the relevant assignment. A second Level 1 offense becomes a Level 2 violation, and a third offense becomes a Level 3 violation.
- Level 2 violations affect a significant portion or aspect of a course. Sanctions do not exceed a failing grade on the relevant course. A subsequent Level 2 violation automatically becomes a Level 3 violation.
- Level 3 violations involve academic dishonesty that affects a significant portion of the coursework, like a major paper or final exam. Level 3 sanctions can go up to suspension from Rowan University.
- Level 4 violations are reserved for the most severe breaches of academic integrity, repeat offenses of lower-level violations, and violations that implicate a student's Academic Integrity Probation.
Academic Misconduct Investigation by Instructor
If a Rowan University instructor believes that a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, they schedule a meeting with the student. This meeting can be in person, over the phone, or even through email. The instructor will fill out a Report of an Academic Integrity Violation (RAIV) form and present it during the meeting. The student has the right to respond to the allegation and review the RAIV form and will be given a copy of the form at the end of the meeting. Signing the form during this meeting means that the student is aware of the allegation and understands the rest of the academic misconduct procedure.
For allegations of Level 1 and 2 violations, the instructor is responsible for determining if the violation occurred and setting a penalty. Appeals by the student go to the Office of the Provost and are heard by the Academic Integrity Review Board.
For allegations of Level 3 and 4 violations, the case will be referred to the Academic Integrity Review Board for a hearing.
Hearings by the Academic Integrity Review Board
The Academic Integrity Review Board has six voting members—two students from a pool appointed by the Student Government Association, two faculty members appointed by the University Senate President, and two staff members appointed by the Office of the Provost—and a Chair: the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. A student can challenge any Board member's place for his or her case, and the Chair will exclude that member from the case if he or she cannot make fair and objective decision in it. An accused student also has the right to an attorney, and the attorney can be present at the hearing.
The Chair of the Board runs the hearing and sets its procedure. However, an accused student has the right to submit a written statement to the Board before the hearing, as well as other documentation that is directly relevant to the case. Additionally, the student has a right to a reasonable access to the case material both before and during the hearing. The student can also call witnesses to present testimony during the hearing with the Board's prior approval, though witnesses cannot be compelled to appear or testify, and what they say can be used against them in a later hearing. Additionally, the accused student cannot question the witness, on their own: only the Board can ask questions.
After the hearing, the Board deliberates in private before making its decision. If the decision is that the student was responsible for violating the Academic Integrity Policy, then the Board will also issue a sanction.
Automatic Appeal to the Provost
If the Board finds a student responsible for violating the Integrity Policy, the case is automatically appealed to the Provost. The Provost then reviews the case and the Board's findings and provides the final decision. This decision cannot be appealed and will be provided in a written notification to the student.
New Jersey Academic Misconduct Attorney Joseph D. Lento
Being accused of academic misconduct at Rowan University is no small matter. The blemish that a conviction can put on your academic record can be enough to impact your first job search out of college and put you behind other candidates in the field. The lasting implications of this setback can be severe.
Having an attorney at your side throughout the investigation and hearing process can be a big help. Reach out to attorney Joseph D. Lento for the legal help you need to defend against charges of academic misconduct by contacting him online or by phone at 215-535-5353.