When you get into college, you never imagine you will be facing an academic misconduct proceeding in the future. Instead, you are dreaming of the classes you will take and the friendships you will form. So, when you are accused of academic misconduct, it can come as quite a shock. Suddenly, your dream of graduating from college is hanging on by a thread. Who do you turn to for help? What steps should you take next? Fordham University seeks to foster original thought and academic integrity. As such, suspicions of academic misconduct are adjudicated quickly. Unfortunately, this means that ill-prepared students run the risk of incurring more severe sanctions than necessary.
All college students are afforded the opportunity to work with an attorney-advisor from the moment they learn of these claims. Attorney-advisors work tirelessly to gather evidence, question witnesses, and build strategic defenses that are sure to get the best possible outcome for your case. The Lento Law Firm has helped hundreds of college students navigate allegations like these. You do not have to weather this storm alone; call today.
Academic Misconduct at Fordham University
At Fordham University, students are expected to uphold the University's code of conduct, which includes statements on academic integrity. They define academic integrity as “the pursuit of scholarly activity in an honest, truthful and responsible manner.” A violation of academic integrity would constitute academic misconduct.
While the definition of academic misconduct varies from university to university, it generally encompasses any behavior that gives a student an unfair advantage over other students. At Fordham, it includes:
- Plagiarism: using another's ideas, words, or results without giving them credit
- Cheating: using course materials, information, or devices during an exam or assignment without permission
- Allowing another student to copy from you
- Falsification: making false statements that mislead others
- Unapproved collaboration with another student
- Submitting a paper or project to more than one course without explicit permission
- Submitting work previously done in high school or another school without permission
Fordham University Academic Dishonesty Procedure
Instructors must report claims of academic misconduct as soon as they become suspicious of it. The instructor will then contact the student and schedule a meeting to discuss the issue, as well as any sanctions they are going to impose on the accused student.
The student will be asked to sign an Academic Integrity Violation Report and either acknowledge they have committed academic misconduct and accept the sanctions offered by the professor or indicate that they wish to challenge the claim and punishment. If you do not sign this report and indicate either option, it will be assumed that you are acknowledging acceptance of the punishment.
After this meeting, the Academic Integrity Violation Report will be sent to the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee (AIC). If the student chooses to challenge the claim, they must also notify the AIC chair in a separate written statement within two weeks. Once the chair gets this declaration, they will appoint a second person to review the Academic Integrity Violation Report and the declaration letter. They will submit their evaluation to the AIC chair, who will then schedule a case review with the other AIC members.
The AIC will review the student's letter, any evidence or testimonies available, the second individual's evaluation, and the Academic Integrity Violation Report to determine if the student did, in fact, commit academic misconduct. In instances where they determine that the student did commit academic misconduct, this decision will be sent to the student, the instructor, and the associate dean of the department the course is under. They will also determine which sanctions should be imposed.
If this is a student's first offense, the student will receive an F on the assignment or examination. In addition, the instructor has the power to also fail the student from the course altogether. When this is a student's second offense, they will receive an F for the course and be subject to suspension or expulsion from the college. And finally, if this is their third offense, they are found guilty of, they will receive an F for the course and be expelled from the University.
Appealing an Academic Misconduct Decision at Fordham University
Once you receive the University's decision, you usually have the right to appeal it. The decision letter will explain the specifics for an appeal, so make sure to follow those directions exactly. Generally, appeals have to be made in a short time frame, must be in writing, and must include a specific ground. His appeal must be made within five days to the Office of Student Integrity. Grounds for appeals tend to be:
- There were procedural errors that affected the outcome of the case
- There is new evidence present now that was not reasonably available during the hearing that would affect the outcome of the case
- The sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the facts at issue
Typically, the University will review the appeal and determine whether to uphold the original decision, revoke it, or amend it in some way. Whatever the decision, it is final and cannot be appealed further.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Claims of academic misconduct violations can have serious consequences that affect life outside of campus. For instance, if you are found responsible for committing academic misconduct and sanctioned with suspension or expulsion, those penalties will be noted on transcripts. When you try to apply to another college to finish your degree or to a graduate school to continue your education, you will have to explain those notations to any admissions officer who inquires. This is especially true if you hope to attend law school one day. Law schools are particular about their applicants' past as it plays a key role in predicting their character in the future. I
If you are accused of academic misconduct at Fordham University, it is vital you contact an attorney-advisor as soon as possible. Attorney-advisors, like Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm, will create strategic defenses to lessen any negative consequences you might face. Attorney Lento is a highly skilled student defense attorney who has worked with hundreds of students across the county who have been accused of academic misconduct. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule your consultation.