As the intellectual and cultural center of CSU, California State University Fullerton (CSUF) offers innovative educational experiences that meet the demands of an ever-changing professional landscape. CSUF offers 109 graduate and undergraduate degree programs that cater to its 41,000 students from multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds.
With notable alumni that include astronauts, celebrities, and sports legends, it is clear that graduating from CSUF opens many doors and opportunities. However, with an academic misconduct or dishonesty charge, students face sanctions that can delay graduation and have far-reaching consequences academically and professionally.
College is a life-changing experience for students, and most look forward to starting their professional path after graduation. However, with the pressure to perform and personal responsibilities to attend, some students may buckle. An honest mistake, however, shouldn't be the end of a student's educational path. With support from an attorney advisor, students have a better chance of success, decreasing the impact of harmful sanctions that threaten graduation.
Definition of Academic Misconduct at CSUF
CSUF expects students to conduct themselves professionally and ethically, both on and off-campus. According to CSUF University Policy Statement 300.21, academic dishonesty is any action that allows a student to gain an unethical competitive advantage against their peers.
CSUF assigns a Student Conduct team to promote principles of academic integrity and ensure that students understand their rights and responsibilities. Some examples of academic misconduct listed in the Policy Statement include:
Any act that allows a student to gain an unethical advantage over their peers is cheating. Some examples include:
- Copying information from another student's academic exercise
- Using unauthorized notes or electronic devices during an exam or quiz
- Allowing another student to copy information from one's exam, homework, or quiz
- Performing an academic exercise in the place of another student
Students may collaborate with other students to perform an act of academic misconduct. Examples of unauthorized collaboration include:
- Working with other students on a test, take-home exam, or academic exercise without asking permission
- Taking on multiple segments of an assignment with others and submitting it as the work of a sole student
- Working with others to facilitate cheating
- Allowing another person to complete an academic exercise and claiming it as one's work
Falsifying documents is a grave offense that involves altering information on official documents and presenting it as accurate. Some forms of falsification include:
- Tampering with an official transcript
- Submitting forged certificates or documentation to the CSUF
- Forging a signature
- Asking an instructor to go over a test score after the student alters their answer
- Fabricating all or part of data in an assignment
- Plagiarism, whether intentional or by accident, is one of the most common forms of academic misconduct. Examples of plagiarism include:
- Using the words, ideas, or intellectual property of another individual without giving credit
- Paraphrasing another person's idea and claiming it is one's own
- Self-plagiarizing by submitting previous work for another class to a current instructor and claiming it's recent
- Paying another person to write an essay or thesis
In addition to the above forms of academic misconduct, CSUF also penalizes those who try to assist others wishing to commit academic dishonesty. Moreover, students caught in an attempt to perform academic dishonesty may also face sanctions.
Addressing Academic Misconduct Violations at CSUF
If a professor believes that a student is engaging in academic misconduct, they must have evidence to support their claim. The professor meets with the student and tries to resolve the issue before escalating the matter to the administration.
Students who commit a grievous academic misconduct offense and those who have multiple previous infarctions meet with the Student Conduct Administrator. The Administrator sends students notice of a scheduled hearing.
After careful review of the evidence, the Hearing Officer heads the investigation process and submits their recommendation to the President or Vice President. Students receive notice of the President's decision in writing. Possible sanctions include:
- Written warning: Students receive a written notice notifying them of their violation and possible future sanctions should they recommit an offense.
- Disciplinary Probation: Students on probation lose most of their on-campus privileges and must not re-offend during this period or risk more substantial sanctions.
- Attending Seminars: Students committing particular offenses may attend an educational seminar to discourage similar behavior in the future.
- Suspension: In some cases, students may receive a temporary discharge from campus and must redo their coursework.
- Expulsion: The permanent discharge of a student is for especially severe violations and is a last-resort option.
- Note on Permanent Record: Expelled students receive a notation on their permanent record that can cause obstacles when attempting to re-apply at another college.
In addition to the above sanctions, CSUF creates a student file for every individual committing a violation. Students have the chance to appeal in writing to the Academic Appeals Board after receiving notice of the hearing's decision. Students must state why they believe their case warrants an appeal and present any new evidence or witnesses that may change the outcome.
The Academic Appeals Board reviews the latest evidence and makes a final decision regarding the sanctions. The Board may choose to reject the sanctions, approve them, or modify them depending on the outcome. The Board removes all documentation about the alleged violation from the student's record if students are innocent.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Universities have a responsibility to maintain an excellent reputation to attract more students and grant opportunities. However, in their attempt to level the playing field, an overzealous hearing process may destroy a student's future. An academic advisor like Joseph D. Lento understands what's at stake and helps students around the nation receive a fair hearing. An advisor understands the investigation process and assists students by gathering evidence that helps them fight for a reasonable case outcome.
If you are a student or the parent of a student facing allegations of academic misconduct at CSUF, don't wait until it's too late to take action. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a thorough and expert consultation.