Utah Valley University (UVU) is one of Utah's most reputable public universities renowned for its dual-mission model and 100% acceptance rate. The university aims to help students excel academically and professionally through a rigorous curriculum that prepares them for real-life scenarios. As part of its ongoing efforts to integrate students into professional life, principles of integrity are emphasized and enforced. These principles also extend to academic performance and ensuring that students don't gain an unfair advantage over peers.
College students juggle multiple responsibilities as they prepare to graduate and enter the professional world. With the pressure to maintain a good GPA, keep up with peers, and attending to personal commitments, some students buckle under the weight. Academic misconduct becomes a last-resort option to maintain their grades and graduate on time. However, when caught, these mistakes become significant problems that may lead to failing grades, suspension, and even permanent discharge from UVU.
Without the help of an academic advisor, students facing allegations of academic misconduct may have to start over – and delay graduation for years in worst-case scenarios.
Defining Academic Misconduct at Utah Valley University
Academic integrity is a principle of pride at UVU and one of the core values it emphasizes in its students. The Student Code of Conduct outlines UVU expectations involving student conduct, encouraging students to observe high individual standards when submitting their work. Academic misconduct is any action that involves unauthorized and deceptive means to receive a higher grade on an academic exercise. Some examples of this behavior as mentioned in the code include:
Cheating is the intentional act of using unauthorized material or people in an academic exercise. These actions involve:
- Using electronic devices or notes during an exam or quiz
- Copying test answers from another student's paper or vice versa
- Using websites to buy and download test/quiz answers
- Collaborating with other students to perform academic dishonesty
Plagiarism is one of the most common forms of academic misconduct, involving the use of another person's ideas or words without giving credit. Some forms of plagiarism include:
- Using another person's theories, words, ideas, or code and claiming that it is original work
- Paraphrasing an idea or concept without citing the author
- Using published or unpublished work of any kind without explicit acknowledgment of the original author
- Self-plagiarizing by using old academic work from another class and passing it off as recent
- Knowingly helping another student commit plagiarism
- Utilizing an essay mill or paying another person to write an essay or complete an assignment
Fabrication is a severe offense that involves submitting false data and information intentionally. Examples of this offense include:
- Placing invented/false information in an academic exercise or research finding
- Listing a source in a bibliography despite not using it in the academic exercise
- Altering data on a document or certification
- Modifying grades on an official document
- Forging a signature on a certificate
Students who receive an academic misconduct charge have the right to have their voices heard and explain what happened. Depending on the severity of the violation and the sanctions imposed, students may accept their professor's sanctions or ask for a review.
Academic Misconduct Resolution Process
Faculty members who believe a student is engaging in academic misconduct must speak to the student first and understand the issue. If the conversation is unsuccessful and the matter requires escalation, students have a right to appeal with the Department Chair. The Chair goes over the sanctions proposed by the professor and decides on sanctions.
Students who disagree with the Chair may also appeal to the Dean. The Dean reviews the case and makes a final decision regarding the matter. The Student Conduct Office requires a report of all academic misconduct incidents from professors when a violation occurs.
In the Student Code of Conduct, the university maintains that sanctions are for educating the student instead of punishment. Students who believe that their sanctions are disproportionate to the violation can ask for a formal student conduct hearing.
Sanctions range from moderate to severe, depending on the infarction and the number of violations by the student. These sanctions include:
- Receiving a written warning informing the student of their violation
- Establishment of a disciplinary record
- Placement on probationary status, which may incur the loss of privileges and additional sanctions if violated
- Receiving a lower grade on the academic exercise or the course
- Failing the course
- Mandatory personal development workshops or service assignments
- Temporary dismissal from university grounds
- Expulsion from UVU
Students have the right to appeal the decision of the panel within five business days of receiving notice. The appeal must satisfy one of the following four criteria for consideration:
- There is new evidence that can change the outcome of the case
- Discrepancies in the investigation and evaluation process
- The findings do not have the backing of substantial or reasonable evidence
- Sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the alleged violation
The student conduct appeal decision maker handles the appeals process and reviews the sanctions recommended by the panel. The decision maker may amend, add to, decrease or provide an alternative sanction. All decisions by the decision maker are final.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
College students are learning how to navigate life and, at some point, will make mistakes. In some cases, the charges are entirely baseless, with a lack of evidence to bolster a professor's claims. Moreover, some colleges want to set an example for other students and inflict unreasonable sanctions on a student accused of misconduct.
An attorney advisor like Joseph D. Lento understands the pressure of college life and what's at stake when students face sanctions. With unparalleled experience helping students across the nation fight for their right to a fair hearing, attorney advisor Lento is by your side during this troubling time. Don't let the decision of a hearing negatively affect your life. Call Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a thorough and confidential consultation.