No one said college would be easy. It's not just about the homework and exams, either. You have to balance your coursework with extra-curriculars, you have to figure the whole “adulting” thing out, you have to learn to get along with a roommate, and—oh, yeah—you need a social life, too. No one manages all that stress perfectly all the time. No one. You certainly wouldn't be the first student to give into temptation and try to smuggle a crib sheet into your chemistry exam or copy parts of your freshman comp paper from a website.
Maybe your situation is simpler. Maybe you accept responsibility for what you did, but you feel like the punishment your instructor is trying to impose is just too harsh. Or maybe you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and—appearances to the contrary—you're actually entirely innocent.
Whatever the situation, you don't have to just accept your fate. You can and should fight for your reputation and your academic future. We can help.
Below, you'll find important information about your school's rules and its judicial processes, information that can help you prepare to defend yourself. We'll also tell you, though, how hiring qualified, experienced advisor-attorney Joseph D. Lento can help improve your chances of getting the best possible resolution to your case.
Defining Academic Misconduct at Campbellsville University
All schools have rules, but every school defines academic integrity a little differently. Mercifully, Campbellsville University keeps things short and sweet. The CU Academic Honesty Policy lists just two offenses: cheating and plagiarism. Keep in mind, though, that both of these are very broadly defined.
- Cheating: First up—cheating. You can probably come up with lots of examples of cheating. It's one of those things everyone knows when they come across it. If you're looking for a definition, though, it's the use of unauthorized materials to complete your coursework. “Unauthorized materials” can mean almost anything. Smuggling notes into an exam would qualify. So would Googling answers on your phone or stealing a copy of the exam from your professor's office. So would asking another person to take the exam for you. Basically, if you're getting the answers from someplace other than your own head, and that “someplace” isn't authorized, you're cheating.
- Plagiarism: This one is just as broadly defined. It means submitting—or attempting to submit—another person's work or ideas as your own. We usually think of text when we hear the word “plagiarism.” However, it can apply to any work or idea. That means images, video, music, art, and even computer code. In fact, many professors will charge you with plagiarism if you use an image you found online without giving appropriate credit to where you found it.
When rules are as general as these, you can never know when you might make an innocent mistake. If you're being accused of breaking a rule you didn't know about or completely understand, we can help.
Penalties and Processes
It turns out Campbellsville University's procedures for handling allegations of academic misconduct are just as broadly defined as the rules themselves and with the same consequence. It can be tricky getting justice when it's not clear how to go about defending yourself.
At most schools, including CU, faculty have primary responsibility for identifying and punishing instances of cheating and plagiarism. CU doesn't describe any particular processes for doing this. Nor does it offer a list of possible sanctions. However, sanctions at most schools generally include:
- Verbal warning
- Written warning
- Make-up assignment or re-submission/ revision
- Educational assignment on the nature of academic integrity
- Lowered grade on the assignment in question, up to a zero
- Lowered grade in the course, up to an F
CU maintains records of all accusations, and multiple violations are subject to harsher sanctions. These are typically enforced by administrators rather than faculty and can include:
- Academic probation
- Dismissal from the academic program
- Expulsion from the university
- Revocation of degree
Finally, CU does offer a process for “appealing” classroom treatment, including appealing grades. This process involves submitting your complaint “in writing” to the school's Vice President for Academic Affairs. This official then forwards that complaint to the Academic Council, which determines whether or not the complaint merits a full hearing. However, CU offers no information on how the Council makes this decision. Nor does it provide information on how hearings are conducted or what rights you may have as a complainant.
When a school fails to post concrete information about its judicial procedures, you should always take it as a warning sign. Vague policies mean the school can do or say almost anything and claim it's part of the “policy.” It's crucial in such instances that you have an attorney-advisor at your side, not just to represent you at meetings and hearings but to ensure that your university treats you honestly and fairly.
Joseph D. Lento: Academic Misconduct Attorney
Many students don't fight academic misconduct charges or the sanctions they've been given. You can understand why. There's no way to be sure what's involved in CU's appeals process. Likewise, there's no way to know what standard the school uses to make its decisions in these cases. You don't even know what rights you're entitled to.
Here's what you do know, though: Academic misconduct is a big deal, and that's true no matter what penalty you've been assigned. You see, it isn't about the penalty. It's about the notation that could show up in your permanent record. A notation about misconduct could cost you scholarship money, keep you from getting into graduate school, and even cause you problems when you go to apply for a job. Whatever the situation, then, you should always fight accusations of misconduct. We can help you do that.
Joseph D. Lento is a defense attorney who specializes in academic misconduct cases. Whether you're simply meeting with a professor to discuss their accusation or going before the dean to prove your innocence, Joseph D. Lento can help. Joseph D. Lento has handled hundreds of cases just like yours. He's a skilled negotiator and a tenacious fighter. Don't let your school trample your rights or impose penalties far out of proportion to your offense. If you or your child has been accused of academic misconduct, contact the Lento Law Firm today.
Call 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.