Arizona State University-Skysong (ASU) is a top-tier research university with hundreds of degree offerings serving over 150,000 students. Maintaining its reputation as an R1 Doctoral University means emphasizing principles of academic integrity and fostering an environment that supports principles of honesty.
As part of its efforts to maintain a level playing field for students, ASU created a comprehensive policy to encourage students to act fairly and honestly. The policy defines academic misconduct at ASU, explains the investigation and hearing process, and lists possible sanctions when violations occur.
College students juggle multiple responsibilities while they study, including work and family commitments. For some, a lapse in judgment to improve performance leads to sanctions that threaten their graduation prospects and degree. An Attorney Advisor's guidance after allegations of academic misconduct surface helps increase a student's chances of a favorable case outcome.
Defining Academic Misconduct at ASU
ASU expects students to demonstrate ethical behavior in their research and coursework. Those who do not follow school policy and commit infarctions face punishments that range from a warning to expulsion. The ASU Student Academic Integrity Policy lists these expectations and the possible penalties students face after a hearing. According to the policy, academic integrity falls within five categories: cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, collusion, and falsification of academic records.
Cheating is the act of deliberately partaking in unethical means to receive credit for an academic exercise or test. Actions that ASU considers as cheating include:
- Copying a peer's answers during an exam, quiz, or academic activity
- Using notes or electronic devices to cheat on an exam
- Using websites to purchase exam questions, cheat sheets, and unauthorized study manuals
- Paying someone to write an essay, research paper, or assignment for the student
When students plagiarize, they use another person's work and don't give them credit. Examples of plagiarism include:
- Using the ideas, words, code, art, theories, or any material produced by someone else without providing references
- Self-plagiarizing by submitting work from a former course and presenting it as new
- Paraphrasing or rewording ideas to pass them off as one's work
- Not including all work referenced in a bibliography
As an institution that supports a high volume of research activity, fabricating information and including it in an academic exercise is a grievous offense. Actions that ASU considers fabrication include:
- Using fabricated data in a research exercise
- Deliberately distorting research results and presenting them as accurate
- Falsely claiming the completion of experiments to reach conclusions
Multiple students may work together to perform academic misconduct violations. Examples of how students collude with one another include:
- Saving test questions and distributing them between peers afterward
- Allowing another student to copy off a test or academic exercise
- Unauthorized collaboration on assignments, quizzes, and exams
- Conspiring with other students to perform acts of academic misconduct
Considered a severe offense, the falsification of academic records comes with heavy penalties at ASU. Examples of fabrication include:
- Knowingly providing a false certificate or record to administrators
- Falsifying information on an academic transcript
- Forging a signature on a document
ASU's Process for Investigating Academic Dishonesty
Students or faculty members who believe that a student is engaging in academic misconduct must report it to the Academic Integrity Officer (AIO) violation. The officer reviews the allegations to determine their validity, notifying the student if there are grounds for an investigative process.
The professor then recommends sanctions depending on the infarction. Students who disagree with the sanctions imposed by the professor may file an appeal for a hearing with the Dean within ten business days of receiving notice. Students may remain in class and on-campus during this process, given that they file the appeal promptly. The student also has multiple rights during the disciplinary proceedings.
During the hearing, students can present evidence and provide testimonies from witnesses relating to their case. After the hearing concludes, the board discusses the case details and recommends sanctions to the Dean within five business days.
Possible sanctions after an academic misconduct hearing include:
- A written statement informing them of the infarction and warning them not to commit another offense or face penalties
- Placement on academic probation
- Revoked privileges and restrictions from representing ASU in an extracurricular activity
- Receiving an XE grade on the student's transcript indicating “failure due to academic dishonesty.”
- Temporary dismissal from the campus
- Permanent discharge from ASU
- Revoking an alumni's degree
The Dean sends the student a written decision to affirm, deny, or accept the board's recommendations. The Dean's decision is final unless the student is facing suspension or expulsion. In that case, students may appeal the Dean's decision to the Provost, who makes the final judgment.
An Advisor's Role During the Hearing
Unlike some universities, ASU allows students to have an attorney-advisor present during the hearing. However, the advisor may not participate directly in the hearing and cannot directly address members of the board. Having an advisor present during the hearing improves the student's chances of receiving a fair process and decreases the likelihood of receiving an overly harsh penalty.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Academic misconduct is a severe violation that wreaks havoc on a student's educational path and, potentially, future career. However, some students do not receive a fair hearing, and allegations against them are false or unsubstantiated.
Without the help of an attorney-advisor like Joseph D. Lento, students fall prey to overzealous administrations that may use a student to set an example for others. Regardless of the alleged violation, all students deserve a chance to fight back against charges that delay their graduation prospects.
It can take one allegation to significantly alter a student's educational path and delay their progress. Don't let unfounded accusations, an honest mistake, or a lapse in judgment rob you or a loved one of a degree.
Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to speak to a professional who understands what's at risk.