Academic Integrity Attorney-Advisor - Syracuse University

Accusations of academic misconduct through Syracuse University hurt students as attendees and as alumni. Luckily, it is possible to overcome these accusations with a little help.

How Syracuse University Defines Academic Integrity and Misconduct

In 2017, Syracuse University released its updated academic integrity policies through the University's Center for Learning and Student Success. In this document, which was slightly updated in July 2020 when the Academic Integrity Office became part of the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), the University defines its pillars of academic integrity to include:

  • Source crediting
  • The independent completion of student work
  • Honest communication between students, staff, and faculty
  • Adherence to understandings of academic integrity, including the refusal to sell written assignments, bribery of other students, and the general sale of academic services beyond basic tutoring

This guide notes that students who fail to properly cite their sources, complete work on the behalf of others, fail to communicate appropriately with their peers and staff, or who seek to sell or purchase unapproved academic goods may face accusations of academic misconduct.

Put another way, the University understands incidents of academic misconduct to include:

  • Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism and accidental plagiarism
  • Unapproved cooperation between students on assignments, or incidents where one student will submit an exam or assignment under another student's name
  • Lying to peers, staff, or faculty about one's state of being, life circumstances, or other conditions
  • Purchasing or selling unapproved academic materials

University Consequences for Academic Misconduct

Syracuse University notes that should a student be accused of academic misconduct, that student will undergo the following:

  1. A professor, fellow student, or other involved body may report the supposed incident of academic misconduct to an Academic Integrity Coordinator affiliated with that party's School or College.
  2. Faculty members affiliated with the aforementioned School or College may interview the student believed to have engaged in academic misconduct to better understand the situation.
  3. Should those parties believe that the student in question engaged in academic misconduct, the School or College may gather together an academic integrity subpanel helmed by the academic chair to engaging in an academic hearing.

While investigations into a student's behavior are ongoing, that student may not drop the course in which they are accused of engaging in misconduct and cannot receive a grade for that course in general or individual work assigned by an attending professor.

Students' academic misconduct cases will be judged by impartial representatives from their School of College provided that the faculty members who interviewed them previously believe there to be a case at hand. Should the allegation be seen through to its resolution, then the student in question may face any of the following consequences:

Level One Violation

A level one violation through Syracuse University sees a student receive a Letter of Reprimand from the School or College which they are affiliated with. In this letter, students will be made aware of the academic misconduct they are believed to have engaged in and be warned about worsening consequences should this behavior occur again.

Professors in this stage are also given leave to assign accused students a grade sanction. This means that the accused student may fail the course in which they were accused of engaging in misconduct. That failing grade cannot be dropped and will have a permanent impact on the student's grade point average.

Level Two Violation

Students who receive Level Two Violations for the behavior they are accused of engaging in may receive Academic Integrity Probation as appropriately-dictated by the panel involved in the case. So too many attending professors implement a grade sanction against the student.

Level Three Violation

If a student receives a Level Three academic integrity violation, that student may be suspended or expelled from Syracuse University. To what degree those consequences are enacted will depend on the student's college and the academic integrity panel involved in the hearing. Once again, the professor of the course in which the student is believed to have engaged in academic misconduct may also implement a grade sanction against that student.

Note that students who are assigned any of the above consequences must also attend academic integrity training through the Academic Integrity Office.

Appealing an Integrity Panel Decision

Students involved in an academic hearing who do not agree with the decision issued by an attending panel may write and submit a request for an appeal within seven business days of the panel's final decision on the matter. A submitted appeal must detail:

  • The appearance of new evidence in the student's case, or
  • Failure on the part of one or more bodies involved in the case to abide by required procedures

The Academic Integrity Office addresses all submitted appeals. Those that are approved may go back before an integrity panel, during which a second hearing will begin. No parties who participated in the first hearing may join in for the second hearing, and all members of the hearing panel will be appointed by the student's school or the College Academic Integrity Coordinator.

Appeal cases resolve only when the original hearing's declaration is either upheld or overturned, or the Academic Integrity Office denies the student's appeal. Note that appeals concerning a course's failing grade may only move forward if the attending professor did not note that such consequences were possible in their syllabus. All other appeals shall be judged for validity by the Academic Integrity Office.

Overcoming Accusations with Help From An Advisor

Accusations of academic misconduct through Syracuse University don't just have consequences immediately after they are issued. Students accused of academic misconduct who don't have the means or knowledge to properly respond to those accusations may face difficulties finding their place in the job world after they've graduated.

That's where Lento Law Firm can help. Attorney Joseph D. Lento works with students and their families after students are accused of academic misconduct so that all parties involved can better understand why the accusations were leveled, what consequences they may involve, and how best the accused may formulate a proper response and an opposing argument when falsely accused.

To schedule a consultation regarding an academic misconduct accusation at Syracuse University, call 888-535-3686 or fill out an online contact link.

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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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