California State University-Northridge (CSUN) is one of the most diverse and well-known schools within the CSU system. The public university, established in 1958, offers over 140 undergraduate and graduate programs in 70 fields. CSUN receives consistent recognition for its musical and acting programs and has thousands of notable alumni. Being part of the CSUN community comes with multiple perks and professional opportunities for graduates. However, a slip in judgment may cause the opposite – including penalties that negatively affect a student's future.
CSUN deals harshly with students who violate its Student Conduct Code and enforces penalties that range from reduced grades to permanent discharge. The university strives to maintain a level playing field for students and rigidly enforces the code to maintain its reputation. However, procedural errors, instructor bias, or even a lapse in judgment should not be the end of a student's academic path. Most importantly, an academic misconduct charge should not affect a student's future career, especially if it's a first offense. Without the help of an attorney advisor, students may not receive the best possible outcome for their case.
Defining Academic Dishonesty at California State University-Northridge
CSUN emphasizes each student’s personal responsibility to maintain principles of integrity and refrain from committing academic dishonesty. The administration holds that students involved in academic misconduct go against Section 41301 Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and may incur sanctions up to expulsion. Below are some examples that lead to disciplinary measures at CSUN:
Cheating is the deliberate use of – or attempt to engage in – unauthorized actions to gain a competitive advantage over one's peers. Examples of cheating include:
- Using unauthorized electronic devices or other methods in an academic exercise
- Copying information from another student's work
- Allowing other students to copy information from tests, quizzes, or homework assignments
- Downloading test questions from third-party websites
- Collaborating with other students to cheat
The fabrication of data or documentation is a serious offense that may lead to the harshest sanctions. Fabrication includes:
- Presenting false data in an academic exercise without performing work
- Falsifying information in a document or certificate
- Tampering with records such as changing grades and placing them on an official transcript
- Plagiarism is when students use the work of another individual without reference or in an unauthorized manner. Examples of plagiarism include:
- Using another person's work, code, formula, or theories without citation
- Self-plagiarizing by using the answers from a previous academic exercise in a new one without informing the professor
- Paying another individual to write essays or a thesis
CSUN's comprehensive student conduct policy stipulates that if students receive disciplinary action, it is for a teachable purpose instead of an adversarial one. However, penalties for false accusations and unfounded allegations are possible, and they are challenging to face alone. The advice of an academic advisor is invaluable to decrease the likelihood of receiving a sanction and losing years of hard work.
Academic Misconduct Process and Sanctions
Faculty members must report a suspected incident of academic dishonesty to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, even if they do not want to implement sanctions. The professor or staff member alleging that academic misconduct took place enforces their sanctions but may also request formal disciplinary action against a student. Sanctions imposed by professors include giving the student a lower grade on an assignment, exam, or course.
The Office of the Vice President for Student affairs handles requests for disciplinary action against a student. The Student Conduct Coordinator reviews all allegations of academic misconduct and may request a disciplinary hearing. After the hearing, the panel proposes sanctions depending on the severity of the infarctions that include:
- Educational or remedial sanctions: Students may need to retake courses or take on additional work to make up for the infarction.
- Disciplinary probation: Students on probation may lose financial aid, special privileges, and even access to university grounds temporarily.
- Temporary discharge: The student cannot attend university for a specific timeframe and may need to retake their courses.
- Expulsion: The permanent discharge of students is for grievous offenses. Students do not receive financial compensation for time lost.
- Multiple sanctions: Students may receive more than one sanction for their violation.
- Loss of academic standing: Students no longer enjoy “good standing” status at the university.
- Withholding a degree: At the university's discretion, the administration may withhold a student's degree.
- Disciplinary Record: CSUN creates a disciplinary record for all students who receive a sanction. The document is open to potential employers and may have professional repercussions for the student.
Students may appeal the decision of a panel under a few circumstances. The appeal goes through if the student provides additional evidence that may change the trajectory of their case. Moreover, suppose the student believes that a procedural error occurred or that the sanctions do not match the alleged violation. In that case, they may also ask for a review of the case.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
College is an exciting time for many students. Still, it also comes with a wealth of responsibilities and personal pressures that place students on edge. To maintain good grades and keep up with their peers, some students make mistakes that cost them time, effort, and in some cases, their degree.
CSUN is particularly strict when it comes to handling allegations of academic misconduct. Although students may believe that they can address the allegations independently, panels also make mistakes or unjustly punish students to set examples for others or simply because panels do not fully understand what should be considered in determining an outcome. An attorney advisor experienced in handling cases of academic misconduct boosts student confidence and helps them face the panel with evidence.
Attorney advisor Joseph D. Lento works with students and their families for the best possible outcome in academic misconduct hearing cases. With unparalleled experience helping students seek justice, advisor Lento knows what's at stake and guides them seamlessly through the process.
An academic misconduct allegation doesn't have to mean the end of a student's academic progress. Call Lento Law Firm today to discuss your case thoroughly and discreetly at 888-535-3686.