How a College or University Student May Be Accused of Fabrication or Falsification

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Colleges and universities have written codes and policies pertaining to student action, behavior and conduct. The administrative staff may proceed with their campus disciplinary process when allegations are made. Two types of violations include fabrication and falsification. Several types of misconduct may fall within these categories. A student may be accused of fabricating a statement to campus safety staff. A student might make a false statement to protect friends or organizations that are associated with. There are also forms of research or academic-based fabrication or falsification. It is possible that a student may face allegations although they had no intention of misleading or violating the code of conduct.

Disciplinary Violation Data: Rutgers University 2016-2017[1]


Violations of Academic Integrity


Forging or Misuse of Documents or Identity


Falsely Providing Information to Campus Staff/Authorities


Falsely Providing Information to Non-Campus Staff/Authorities


Research Misconduct

  • Falsification: Existing data may be misrepresented, reported dishonestly or excluded in order to support an erroneous outcome or finding.
  • Fabrication: The creation or invention of false data or findings. These forms of research misconduct clearly differ from current norms or standards.

False or Misleading Statements

A student may make an inaccurate or misleading statement to campus officials or staff. False information provided or the withholding of factual information could result in another individual being wrongly subjected to disciplinary action. Misinformation may obstruct the process of investigating.

Inquiries & Investigation of Research Misconduct

At Eastern Michigan University, their process begins with an inquiry conducted by the Academic Integrity Committee. In this initial phase, the facts are considered to see if the allegation has merit. Inquiries may lead to investigations, the formal process of evaluating the misconduct and determining what types of disciplinary sanctions are fitting.

Unintentional or Inadvertent Errors

A critical element in acts of falsification or fabrication is that they are done with intent. For example, errors in communication between a student and campus staff or authorities may lead to misinterpretation. There may have been an honest mistake; therefore, not considered an act of research misconduct.

Common Types of Sanctions

There are many possible penalties (sanctions) that may be imposed for these acts of misconduct such as:

  • A requirement to undergo counseling
  • A probationary period where a subsequent violation will result in more severe sanctions
  • No longer may reside in campus residence halls
  • No participation in extra-curricular activity
  • Monetary penalties and/or restitution
  • Ineligible for grant or scholarship
  • Suspension or expulsion

Could I Retain an Attorney?

Although the campus disciplinary process is not a formal legal process, an attorney can help. They can assist students in understanding the process and being prepared to make statements and respond to questions. Also, you will develop an effective strategy, have support in making decisions and better understand potential outcomes.

Lawyer Represents Students Facing Allegations of Misconduct

Attorney Joseph D. Lento aggressively defends college and university students accused of misconduct. You may have a limited time to take action, so contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.


About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.