Connecticut is home to approximately 44 colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions. Many students are looking ahead to long-term goals and are making substantial investments of time and money. Students who are accused of violating the school's policies of academic conduct may have their educational goals hindered. Disciplinary penalties may include a period of suspension or even dismissal from the institution. The disciplinary investigation typically leads to a hearing where the accused may defend against the claims. If the student is unsuccessful in efforts to defend themselves, the remaining option may be to file an appeal. Those considering an appeal should definitely speak with an attorney. The Lento Law Firm is able to represent students in appealing these rulings and provide you with an opportunity for a favorable outcome.
What are Examples of Academic Misconduct?
- Using a “cheat sheet” during an exam
- Communicating with others in efforts to cheat on an exam
- Having another person take your exam
- One of many potential forms of “collaborative” cheating
- Submitting a report or paper written by someone else
- Plagiarizing someone else's work or ideas
Student Records & Transcripts May Reveal Misconduct
The Federal Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) was put in place to prevent unauthorized disclosure of student records and transcripts. Those who are seeking to transfer to another college or enter a graduate school program should be aware that these records will be revealed to the other school. This is merely one example of how evidence of disciplinary action can adversely impact your future.
Institutions are empowered to devise their own method for appealing disciplinary rulings. Normally an appeal must be presented in writing to an assigned administrator or department. This critical document should be clear and may contain a sequence of facts and convincing arguments. Common contentions include that the process did not adhere to the school's written procedure or that the sanctions imposed are excessive. Often the possibility of having success in an appeal hinges exclusively on this written document.
Each school will have specific policies regarding the submission of an appeal and these policies must be followed for an appeal to be valid. At the University of Connecticut, for example, a ruling may be appealed to the Provost within a five day period. The appeal does not lead to another hearing. Appeals may be considered under the following circumstances:
- A procedural error allegedly occurred that impacted the outcome
- New information or relevant evidence was found that was not addressed in the hearing
- That the sanctions imposed are inappropriate based on the nature of the violation(s)
If the Provost deems it necessary, a matter may be referred back to the hearing board for additional review.
Appealing With Legal Assistance
Those pursuing an appeal of a violation of academic misconduct should retain legal representation. This is critical because the formal appeal document must be highly impactful and show that the appeal is worthy of consideration. There is also likely to be a very limited amount of time for filing. Your attorney may also engage the disciplinary administrators in negotiations that could lead to more favorable outcomes such as reducing the severity of sanctions.
Connecticut Student Academic Disciplinary Defense Attorney
Students in Connecticut faced with harsh sanctions following violations of academic misconduct may want to consider legal counsel. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience necessary to successfully appeal findings according to a school's appeals process. Contact the office today for a consultation at (888) 535-3686.
- Eastern Connecticut State University
- Central Connecticut State University
- Southern Connecticut State University
- Western Connecticut State University
- University of Connecticut
- Asnuntuck Community College
- Capital Community College
- Charter Oak State College
- Gateway Community College
- Housatonic Community College
- Manchester Community College
- Middlesex Community College
- Naugatuck Valley Community College
- Northwestern Connecticut Community College
- Norwalk Community College
- Quinebaug Valley Community College
- Three Rivers Community College
- Tunxis Community College
Federal-Level Military Academy
- United States Coast Guard Academy
Private Colleges and Universities
- Albertus Magnus College
- Connecticut College
- Fairfield University
- Goodwin College
- Hartford Seminary
- Holy Apostles College and Seminary
- Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts
- Mitchell College
- New England Baptist College
- University of New Haven
- Paier College of Art
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer at Hartford
- Sacred Heart University
- St. Vincent's College
- Trinity College
- University of Bridgeport
- University of Hartford
- University of Saint Joseph
- Wesleyan University
- Yale University
- Lincoln College of New England (formerly Briarwood College)
- Lincoln Technical Institute
- Post University
Regrettably, an academic misconduct finding of responsibility can derail an accused student's academic and professional goals and some students and parents do not recognize this concern until it may be too late. If a student is found responsible for academic misconduct charges, in addition to the short-term consequences such academic and disciplinary sanctions, there will be long-term consequences. Internships, graduate school opportunities, and employment opportunities can all be adversely impacted by a finding of responsibility.
For these reasons and more, it is critical to properly address such concerns as early as possible in the disciplinary process. There are times, however, that it necessary to appeal an adverse outcome, and Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have unparalleled experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients at universities and colleges in Connecticut and throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as an academic misconduct advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Connecticut and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected at all stages of the academic misconduct disciplinary process, including the appeal stage - Contact National Academic Misconduct Advisor Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.