At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the policy uses the language of “academic integrity infractions” to refer to instances of academic misconduct or dishonesty. Whether or not students have read the guidelines, by “virtue of its publication,” they are held responsible for knowing about academic integrity and how to avoid infractions. If you or a loved one is currently facing allegations of an academic integrity infraction, you should consider working with an attorney-advisor who can assist you as you navigate this challenging time.
What is a Violation of Academic Integrity at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
According to Article 1, Part 4 of the Student Code, there are six main categories of academic integrity infractions. Each category offers more specifics around what may fall under that type of offense. The code is clear to state that the examples it offers are not exhaustive, and academic integrity infractions may surpass what the code explicitly states. Here are some examples of what they include:
- Cheating: At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, cheating covers a wide range of actions. This includes using unauthorized materials or study aids, as well as submitting work that is substantially the same to more than one professor or class. If you work with another individual and your professor has not given you express authorization, this also qualifies as cheating. Finally, the last example they offer is that of allowing others to prepare any part of your work or conduct any portion of your research for an assignment.
- Plagiarism: Plagiarism offenses can potentially fall into four different buckets. Copying, direct quotations that are not appropriately cited, paraphrasing that does not have immediate acknowledgment, and finally, borrowed facts of information.
- Fabrication: What this means is that you cannot falsify or invent any information that you use or present in an academic setting. This could look like falsifying lab results or changing your answers for an exam after your professor has graded it.
- Helping someone else in the act of academic dishonesty: Taking an exam for someone else is an academic integrity infraction. Another example could be allowing someone else to copy your work or stealing a quiz or exam or prompt from a faculty member in order to give it to someone else.
What is the Process for Academic Integrity Findings and Appeals?
Contrary to many Universities, an allegation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign begins with an instructor notifying a student in writing that they believe an academic integrity infraction took place. A student has 10 business days from the date of the notice to craft and submit a written Response. This Response is essentially the student's defense and should be taken seriously. It may include any pertinent information such as statements from witnesses, timelines, etc. If the instructor, after investigating the case, determines that an infraction has occurred, then they will find for the violation and choose a sanction.
If the student does not agree with the instructor's decisions, they have 5 business days to respond in writing with a request for an appeal. There are very specific grounds for appeal that must be present, and the student has the burden of proof for establishing one of them.
The Procedures for an Appeal Hearing vary based on whether or not it occurs at the departmental level or the college level. The student and the instructor may be present at the hearing but are not required to attend. The only people allowed to be present at a hearing are the committee members, the student, the instructor, and their advisors. Within five business days of the hearing, the committee will provide the departmental executive officer or dean of the college with a written report that includes a summary, a statement of whether or not the burden of proof was met for the appeal, and a recommendation.
From there, the dean or executive officer will make a final decision.
What are the Potential Consequences or Sanctions of an Academic Integrity Infraction?
The possible consequences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign vary depending on which category they fall into. The three main categories increase in severity as the number increases. A Category 1 sanction, then, is any sanction that the instructor and the student agree upon in writing. If a student agrees to accept a Category 1 sanction, this also waives their right to an appeal of the academic integrity infraction finding or of the sanction.
A Category 2 violation can range from a written warning to reduced or failing grades for the assignment or course. Additionally, there may be educational sanctions, such as attendance at a workshop or class on academic integrity.
Finally, a Category 3 violation can result in a failing grade for the course or a failing assessment for the degree requirement. A combination of sanctions can be imposed per the instructor's recommendation. Additionally, an instructor can recommend suspension or dismissal from the University. If a student chooses to appeal the sanctions, then the highest Category is used to determine where the Contestation goes.
The University encourages its instructors to exercise discretion and take into consideration mitigating factors. For example, while ignorance is not a component of deciding whether or not an infraction took place, it can be a factor in evaluating what sanctions are most appropriate. Similarly, if an offense is a repeat offense or violation, then that fact would also be taken into consideration in choosing sanctions.
Best Academic Integrity Advisor
If you are facing charges of academic integrity infractions at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, it's critical that you speak with an attorney-advisor as early in the process as possible. An experienced attorney-advisor will be able to help you draft a written statement if your instructor alleges a violation. You've spent years working hard to get to college, and to study while there. It's important not to lose all of that time, energy, and expense. Joseph D. Lento has successfully defended thousands of students over the course of many years. Contact the Lento Law Firm today or call us at 888.535.3686 for a consultation.