Academic Misconduct at the University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus

If you've been accused of academic misconduct at the University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus, you have the right to get all the information you can about the hearing procedures and what will happen next. You also need to be able to get information about the make-up of the hearing board so that you can best prepare your defense.

Academic integrity is one of the most important cornerstones of the University of Pittsburgh's philosophy. The school expects its students to handle themselves to the utmost level of honesty and integrity when dealing with all of their academic pursuits.

How Does the University of Pittsburgh Define Academic Misconduct?

There are several different types of academic misconduct that a student can be accused of at the University of Pittsburgh. Some of those include if:

  • The student refers to materials resources that have not been authorized by faculty members.
  • The student receives some sort of assistance from someone during an academic evaluation in a manner that was not authorized by the faculty member in charge of the course.
  • The student takes the test for another student
  • The student passes off someone else's work as their own work. That someone else could be a fellow classmate or even an essay writing service.
  • The student could refuse to cooperate if they're asked to do so in the investigation of a misconduct allegation against a fellow student.

What Happens When a Student Is Accused of Academic Misconduct at University of Pittsburgh?

If a faculty member suspects that a student has committed some form of academic dishonesty, they will reach out to the student to let them know about the allegations.

At this point in the process, the teacher and the student may decide to work out a resolution. If they do, the matter is considered closed. At that point, both parties will sign a written agreement and submit it to the office of the Dean.

The Dean's office will keep a record of the situation that will be signed by both the students and the faculty member. The information in these records will not be added to the student's permanent file, and they'll be destroyed when the student graduates.

If, on the other hand, the faculty member and the student are not able to come to a resolution, the faculty member will file a written statement of charges with the university. If the allegations occur during the student's last semester at the school before graduation, their degree could actually be withheld until the matter is resolved.

If no resolution is made between the student and the faculty member, a hearing will be held in front of the university's Academic Integrity Hearing Board.

What Are Your Rights With Regards to the Hearing?

Students have several rights available to them when it comes to academic misconduct hearings at the University of Pittsburgh. Some of those rights include the following.

  • The student will be considered innocent until found guilty
  • The student will have the right to a fair and honest hearing and resolution.
  • The student can choose to have either a private or public hearing
  • The student can decide to not testify on their own behalf
  • They have the right to only have information relevant to the specific incident at hand presented at the hearing.

Who Makes the Decision at the Hearing?

The Academic Integrity Hearing Board will make the decision regarding your alleged academic misconduct at the hearing. The board is composed of a mixture of students and faculty.

What Is the Appeals Process Like At the School?

If the school has ruled against you in an academic misconduct hearing, you have the right to appeal. You can ask to have the Dean's final decision reviewed by the school's Provost. The Provost may decide to accept the advice of the University Review Board, or the student may decide to appeal the decision to the University Review Board directly. The University Review Board will make its recommendation to the Provost. Regardless of whether the student reached out to the Provost directly or indirectly through the University Review Board, the Provost's decision will be viewed as final.

What Are Some of the Sanctions That Could Be Imposed Against You?

Some of the sanctions that could imposed against you if you're found guilty of academic misconduct include the following:

  • You could be expelled from the school and have no opportunity for readmission. If you're in the middle of your school career, you could be looking at years of wasted time.
  • You could be suspended from the school for a certain period of time. The length of the suspension is totally at the discretion of the school.
  • You could get a reduced grade or a failing grade in the class in which the academic misconduct took place. For people who need those grades to get accepted into specific graduate schools, this could be devastating.

How Can Getting Legal Counsel Help?

Even though legal counsel is not permitted at academic misconduct hearings at the University of Pittsburgh, students are allowed to use a non-attorney representative that comes from within the university community. This non-attorney representative cannot be a law student, however. This can make it difficult when presenting your evidence and knowing exactly what your rights are.

You should not accept unreasonable constraints on defending yourself, and not only is there no preclusion from having an attorney helping you in a manner appropriate to the circumstances, it would be misguided not to have such help. Having a legal representative working on your behalf in a behind-the-scenes capacity who has experience dealing with these types of matters and knows exactly how you need to approach your case and potential hearing can make all the difference in your case's outcome.

Reach Out for Help

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have unparalleled experience advising students across the United States who are facing academic misconduct allegations or other struggles with their school administration. With an attorney working on your behalf, you have a better chance of protecting your rights and interests during an investigation and planning a successful defense for a hearing. There are many things that you can do alone in life, but defending yourself in a situation where you could lose your entire academic career is not one of them. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 so that you can get the advice you need.

Contact Us Today!

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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