Academic Misconduct Defense for Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern was founded in 1964 as the Nova University of Advanced Technology. Over the years, they added many programs and expanded beyond their initial graduate offerings. Today, the school is known for its distance education program—they offer a wide array of both hybrid and online programs, in addition to their in-person offerings. Carnegie has classified them as a research university with “high activity.” The school's main campus remains in Fort Lauderdale, California.

When you or a loved one is presented with allegations of academic dishonesty, it's important to get ahead of the accusation. Part of what this looks like is taking time to review the student handbook. In this article, we'll explore key aspects of the academic misconduct process at NSU so that you have a better understanding of your rights and of what you can expect.

Academic Integrity at Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University takes academic honesty very seriously, and its academic standards are designed to reflect this. Some examples of what Nova Southeastern considers violations of academic honesty are:

  • Plagiarism
  • Fabrication
  • Cheating
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty

Nova Southeastern University Disciplinary Procedures

Once an incident report is filed and it's determined that there's a potential violation, the student will receive notice of the allegations. From this point, there will be one of two possible avenues. We'll explore each of these two paths below.

Administrative Judicial Conference

This process is used when a violation doesn't have the possibility of resulting in suspension, dismissal, or expulsion. The conference takes place between a designated discipline officer and the student and is only for discussing the alleged violation. No one else is present except for witnesses—and they are only present during their testimony. A student will respond to the allegations by either accepting responsibility or declining responsibility. Students may present witnesses or provide other evidence in their defense. At the end of the conference, the discipline officer will decide the case and send written notice to the student.

Administrative Judicial Proceeding

An administrative judicial proceeding is very similar to an administrative judicial conference. It begins with the accused student scheduling a meeting with the designated disciplinary officer (after they've received notice of the allegations). Unlike an administrative judicial conference, however, there are other participants present. An individual ‘recorder' is present, and a student may also have an advisor to accompany them. Witnesses are only present during the times when they speak/offer their contribution. These witnesses must have relevant information. Character witnesses are not permitted.

A Student's Rights During the Disciplinary Process

According to the student handbook, students at Nova Southeastern who are facing allegations of academic misconduct have four personal rights.

  1. The right to an advisor
  2. The right to abstain from verbal participation
  3. The right to an impartial process
  4. The right to review any related documentation, to offer witnesses, and to offer information

On page 47 of the handbook, students can find a further explanation of what is included within each of these rights.

Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty at Nova Southeastern University

There's an extensive list of potential sanctions within the handbook; however, here is an overview of some of them.

  • Educational sanctions
  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Final disciplinary probation
  • Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • Temporary suspension

Make sure you understand that the range of sanctions is wide; however, most frequently, schools often pursue more sanctions that are more serious. Expulsion and suspension can impact your eligibility for financial aid, as well.

Is it Possible to Appeal a Decision?

It is possible to appeal a determination of responsible, whether for an administrative judicial proceeding or an administrative judicial conference. The process is similar but different for each of them.

For an administrative judicial conference decision, the student must appeal in writing within five business days of receiving the notice of decision. This appeal is addressed to the Office of Student Conduct and will be heard by a designated appeal officer. This officer will not be the same as the initial disciplinary officer.

For an administrative judicial proceeding decision, a student must write their appeal to the vice president of Student Affairs within five business days of receiving the letter with the determination. The determination will be reviewed by either the vice president of Student Affairs or by a representative chosen by the vice president.

In order for a student to appeal either of these proceedings, their appeal must meet one of three qualifications.

  • The sanction doesn't match the violation, in that it's inappropriately harsh
  • There was a procedural deviation—and that difference would have directly and substantially affected the outcome
  • There is new or relevant evidence that wasn't initially available, and this evidence would substantially change the case's outcome

An appeal decision made by the vice president of Student Affairs is final.

Best Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor for Nova Southeastern University

Allegations of academic dishonesty are a serious concern and should be treated as such. If you or a loved one is facing these allegations, it's a wise idea to consult an attorney-advisor who has extensive experience advising students in similar situations. An attorney-advisor can ensure that you and your loved one are proactively protecting your future. Academic misconduct can follow you beyond your college career—it can impact your employment opportunities, your future earnings, your applications to graduate school, and more. Having an outside perspective is invaluable in helping with this protection.

The Lento Law Firm and Joseph D. Lento understand how to best approach judicial proceedings and conferences. If necessary, they can even negotiate on your behalf. They can bring their many years of experience helping students and their families successfully navigate this process in order to help you and your loved one arrive at the best possible outcome. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888.535.3686 or reach out online to discuss your situation.

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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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