When you graduate from high school, you have so many plans for college. There are clubs you want to join, friendships you want to make, and parties you want to attend. What you never expect is for those dreams to be squashed out by an academic misconduct allegation. At Rowan University, academic integrity is their top priority, so accusations of academic misconduct are taken very seriously. If you or someone you love has been accused of violating the university's academic integrity policy, working with an attorney from the moment you are notified of the accusations will ensure you receive the best possible outcome. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of college students navigate these allegations. Call our Firm today.
Academic Misconduct at Rowan University
Academic misconduct tends to be defined differently from school to school, despite the basics being the same. At Rowan University, academic misconduct includes the alteration of grades, distribution of unadministered tests, and the unauthorized submission of work for more than one class. Other instances of academic misconduct include:
- Cheating: misrepresenting your mastery of material on an exam, paper, or other academic exercise
- Deliberately using invented information or falsifying research or other findings
- Plagiarism: using another's ideas, words, or results without giving them explicit credit
Rowan University Academic Dishonesty Procedure
Violations of academic integrity are classified into four levels at Rowan University.
Level 1 violations are the simplest violations and usually occur because of the student's ignorance or inexperience. Instructors will review the incident and impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- Making up the assignment at a more difficult level
- Being assigned no credit for the work
- Attending an academic integrity seminar and/or workshop
- An assignment that will increase the student's awareness of academic integrity
These incidents are more serious in nature but usually involve neglect or intent to deceive a significant aspect of the course. Second level 1 violations automatically become level 2 violations. These matters are also adjudicated by the instructor, who will determine responsibility and any necessary sanctions. Sanctions might include:
- The reduction of a grade of an assignment
- A failing grade on an assignment
- Lesser sanctions the instructor believes are appropriate
Level 3 offenses involve dishonesty on a larger portion of the work in question. Again, if the student has previously been found responsible for a level 2 offense or two level 1 offenses, the new offense will be heightened to level 3. These matters are adjudicated by the Academic Integrity Review Board and will include such sanctions as:
- A failing grade in the course and Academic Integrity Probation
- The imposition of lesser sanctions the Board believes are appropriate
The most serious breach of academic integrity involves a level 4 violation. These offenses include forging a grade change form, stealing exams, having someone else take an exam for you, or plagiarizing a senior thesis and will be adjudicated by the Academic Integrity Review Board. The Review Board will determine whether the student is responsible for the allegations and what sanctions to impose. Sanctions will include:
- Suspension from the university for at least one semester with a note of “Disciplinary Suspension” on the accused student's transcripts
- Lesser sanctions the Board deems appropriate
- Expulsion from the university and a permanent dismissal noted on the student's transcripts. (This is imposed for the most egregious of offenses.)
During the review board's hearings, accused students have the right to receive written notice of the allegations, have access to case materials prior to and during the hearing, work with an advisor to help them prepare for the hearing, and call witnesses or present evidence to state their case.
Appealing an Academic Misconduct Decision
Every level of an offense provides for an appeals process. Students should appeal to the Office of the Provost within five business days. The appeal will be heard by the Academic Review Board. The Board will review the appeal and determine whether the adjudication should be upheld, the sanction imposed lessened, or if the entire matter should be reviewed further.
Generally, appeals are only considered valid if one of the following grounds is cited:
- Substantial new evidence is available that wasn't available during the hearing
- There were procedural irregularities while the case was handled
- The finding of responsibility wasn't consistent with the facts that were presented during the hearing
Additionally, the appeals decision is final and cannot be appealed further.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Academic misconduct allegations can have long-lasting consequences that reach beyond the boundaries of your campus life. For instance, if you are found responsible and receive a failing grade in the course, your GPA will decrease. This decreased GPA could prevent you from getting into, or staying in, the major of your choice. It could also prevent you from joining Greek life or participating in sports. Additionally, punishments of suspension and expulsion will need to be explained on future education applications, making it harder to recover from these allegations than you might have expected.
That is why working with an experienced attorney-advisor as soon as possible is so key. Attorney-advisors, like Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm, have unmatched expertise when it comes to college academic misconduct. They will be able to advocate on your behalf much more effectively than if you were to go at this alone, alleviating negative consequences in the process. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule your consultation.