Graduating from high school and getting into college is no easy feat. You have worked your entire life to get to where you are, and suddenly you are at risk of losing it all because of an academic misconduct accusation. Who do you turn to? What are the next steps?
It can be incredibly scary to be accused of academic misconduct at the University of North Georgia but don't worry, there are several things you can do to ensure your future stays protected. The University of North Georgia encourages its students to gain the help of a professional advisor – like an attorney. This attorney advisor will review the case, interview witnesses, and gather evidence to help you better advocate for yourself if a hearing is necessary.
Attorney Advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of college students nationwide navigate these allegations. You are not in this alone, call today.
Academic Misconduct at University of North Georgia
The definition of academic misconduct varies from university to university, but the root of academic misconduct is generally the same: any act that provides a student with an academic advantage without permission. At the University of North Georgia, the following acts are considered violations of the university's academic integrity:
- Receiving or providing assistance on an exam, paper, or other academic exercise without permission
- Taking or attempting to take intellectual property without permission
- Selling, giving, or lending course material to anyone unauthorized person
- Fabricating, forging, or falsifying laboratory results or reports
- Using work from another course or previous assignments for a current grade without permission
- Using another's ideas, words, or results without giving them credit (plagiarism)
- Using electronics during or in preparation of a graded assignment without permission
University of North Georgia Academic Dishonesty Procedure
Once a faculty member believes a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, they will first meet with the student to discuss the incident. If, after the meeting, the faculty member still believes the student has committed the act, they will submit a report to the Student Conduct Administrator (SCA). The SCA will review the report and determine the following:
- Which type of academic misconduct has occurred
- The severity of the alleged incident
- If anything else must be obtained or if an investigation should be pursued
- Review previous reports to see if the accused student has been involved in instances of academic misconduct before
Generally, first-time academic misconduct cases can be resolved through an informal resolution process if the student accepts responsibility. The student will be given the opportunity to be heard and, at the end of the mediation, if they accept responsibility, the SCA will impose sanctions. If the accused student does not accept responsibility or believes sanctions should not be imposed, the case will be moved to the formal resolution process.
During the formal resolution process, the accused student will have three days to respond to allegations. This response can include an admission or denial of the charges, as well as any relevant witnesses or documentary evidence they might have in their possession. The SCA will create a summary report that outlines the accusations and includes the accused student's response.
The SCA will draft a hearing panel made up of unbiased faculty members and students who will review the report and deliberate on the accused student's responsibility and any sanctions that might be warranted. Sanctions are determined on a case-by-case basis and might include educational sanctions about academic integrity and/or probation, or academic sanctions, like lowered course grades.
Appealing an Academic Misconduct Decision
Once you receive the University's decision, you have the right to appeal it. This appeal must be made within five days to the Office of Student Integrity. That office will forward it to the Provost, who will review the appeal and determine if the original finding and sanction should be upheld, modified in part or in whole, or remand the case back to the decision-maker for further review.
Appeals are only considered valid if one of the following grounds is cited:
- Procedural errors were present during the time of the hearing
- Substantive errors were present during the time of the hearing
- There is new evidence present now that was not reasonably available during the hearing
Once the Provost makes their decision, it is final and cannot be appealed further.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Allegations of academic misconduct violations can have consequences that affect life outside of campus. For instance, if you are found responsible and sanctioned with suspension or expulsion, those penalties will be noted on your final transcript. When you try to apply to another college to finish your degree or to apply to graduate school to continue your academic career, you will have to explain the notations over and over. Additionally, if you are found not responsible, those false accusations can still cause harm to your reputation that might be difficult to move on from.
If you are accused of academic misconduct at the University of Northern Georgia, it is vital you contact an attorney-advisor as soon as possible. Attorney-advisors, like Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm, will create strategic defenses to lessen any negative consequences you might face. Attorney Lento is a skilled advisor 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.