Students, faculty, and staff at California State University, Chico (Chico State) are committed to fostering excellence in learning, which can only take place in an environment based on academic integrity and honesty. Chico State considers academic dishonesty as a serious offense that diminishes the quality of scholarship, the university's academic reputation, and the long-term value of a degree from Chico State.
To promote academic integrity among students, the university prohibits all forms of dishonesty in academic endeavors and will impose severe punishments on those students found responsible for academic misconduct. If you are accused of academic dishonesty at Chico State, you could be facing probation, suspension, or even expulsion. There's too much at stake not to take the allegation seriously, even if you are innocent.
At Lento Law Firm, we help students defend themselves when facing academic misconduct allegations. We've put together this helpful guide to academic dishonesty at Chico State to help you understand more about your situation.
Academic Dishonesty at Chico State
Chico State has a Policy on Academic Integrity (EM 18-011). This policy lists examples of academic dishonesty so students can understand what it is and what behavior is prohibited. It also states the responsibilities of all students and instructors concerning academic misconduct. Procedures for handling reports of suspected academic misconduct are in a separate policy, the California State University system's Student Conduct Procedures.
Examples of Prohibited Behavior at Chico State
- Cheating: Intentional fraud or deception for the purpose of improving a grade or obtaining course credit
- Unauthorized collaboration: Working with others on assignments without the permission of the instructor
- Unauthorized electronic device use: Using electronic devices including but not limited to cell phones, tablets, laptops, or similar devices during an examination when not explicitly permitted by the instructor
- Plagiarism: The use of someone else's work, including words, ideas, projects, and/or any other material, without citing the source
- Self-plagiarism: Re-use of a student's original work, in part or its entirety, without the express permission of the course instructor
- Misuse of sources: Carelessly or inadequately citing ideas and words borrowed from another source
These behaviors are specifically prohibited by the Policy on Academic Integrity at Chico State, but they do not comprise an exhaustive list of academic integrity violations that students may face disciplinary action for.
How Does Chico State Handle Academic Integrity Violations?
At Chico State, there are two processes for dealing with suspected incidents of academic misconduct. The first is covered by the Policy on Academic Integrity, and the second is covered by the California State University Student Conduct Procedures.
Policy on Academic Integrity
The faculty at Chico State should report suspected incidents of academic misconduct to the Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities (SCRR) office. Faculty members may either report the action or refer it. If it's a report, the report stays on file, and the SCRR office takes no administrative action unless the student has multiple reports or referrals on file. If the faculty member decides to refer the suspected academic misconduct, the conduct process starts.
California State University Student Conduct Procedures
Once the SCRR receives a referral for an academic integrity violation, it initiates the student conduct process, which proceeds in four phases: Investigation, conference, hearing, and final decision. Throughout the conduct process, students accused of academic dishonesty have a right to have an advisor of their choosing present with them at all meetings, conferences, and hearings. The advisor cannot participate but may consult privately with the student.
The SCRR office investigates the complaint of academic misconduct to determine if the student should be charged with a violation and whether the university should implement an interim suspension. Investigations may take no longer than working 40 days.
After the investigation is complete, the SCRR office schedules a conference with the accused student to discuss the charges and proposed sanctions. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the charges and may resolve the matter without having to go to a hearing. Both parties must agree to and sign the proposed resolution for it to be finalized.
If the conference does not result in a resolution, the SCRR office schedules a hearing within ten working days of the conference. The student may question witnesses and present evidence in their favor. There is no hearing panel, only a hearing officer who will hear the arguments and make a decision. After the hearing is over, the hearing officer submits their findings in a report to the campus president within ten working days.
The hearing officer's sanction recommendations are subject to approval by the university president. The president may choose to:
- Impose the recommended sanctions
- Adopt a different sanction or sanctions
- Refer the matter back for further findings
There is no opportunity for students to appeal or provide a statement to the president for consideration. The decision is final.
What's at Stake for Students Found Responsible for Academic Misconduct?
Faculty have the right to impose academic consequences on students found responsible for academic dishonesty, such as lowering a grade or failing a student in a course. The university may additionally impose administrative sanctions, which include:
- Oral reprimand, possibly including educational and remedial sanctions
- Disciplinary probation
- Suspension from Chico State
- Expulsion from the entire California State University system
- Withdrawal of an academic degree
How a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Chico State is very strict when it comes to allegations of academic misconduct. Rather than trying to take on your university alone, you should have the guidance of an advisor who's experienced with academic misconduct cases. An advisor will know how to hold your university administrators to account and help you prepare your defense.
Joseph D. Lento works with students and their families for the most favorable outcomes in academic misconduct cases at universities and colleges across the US. If you want to keep your college education safe, contact Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686.