Attorney for Bucknell University Students

Bucknell University is a school that emphasizes how important academic integrity is to the preservation of the intellectual community. Students who are accused of violating the university's rules that maintain academic integrity will be accused of what's known as “academic misconduct” - a charge that puts your academic and professional career in jeopardy.

As a college student at Bucknell University, it's easy to get overwhelmed. You'll be assigned tons of homework, exams, projects, and presentations, leaving you to either sharpen your time management skills and adapt or struggle with completing it all. Unfortunately, the struggle to keep up with studies is the number one culprit behind academic misconduct charges.

In this article, we'll address how Bucknell University defines and handles academic misconduct, as well as why you need a student defense attorney to represent you throughout the school's processes. 

Bucknell University's Honor Code

Bucknell University is an academic community that assumes personal and professional integrity on the part of all of its members.  The school has identified six fundamental values that define academic integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.

The school's Honor Code makes students promise the following:

  • I will not lie, cheat or steal in my academic endeavors
  • I will forthrightly oppose each and every instance of academic misconduct
  • I will let my conscience guide my decision to communicate directly with any person or persons I believe to have been dishonest in academic work
  • I will let my conscience guide my decision on reporting breaches of academic integrity to the appropriate faculty or deans

Academic misconduct is defined as behavior that precludes one's work or that of another from being judged fairly. Since that's a pretty broad definition, Bucknell University's student handbook gives detailed definitions and examples of the actions that constitute academic misconduct for clarification.

Cheating: deceiving by presenting material on an exam or assignment as known when it is not known. Some examples of cheating are:

  • Copying from another student on an exam, homework, lab assignment or computer project
  • Allowing another student to copy from you on an exam, homework, lab assignment or computer project
  • Using any illegitimate source of information, notes or formula sheets during an exam
  • Having someone take a test for you or taking a test for someone else

Fabrication: deceiving by falsifying information or inventing data. A few examples of collaboration are:

  • Inventing or falsifying research data
  • Using data in a laboratory report or paper collected by other students on problems similar or identical to one's own
  • Citing information or material from sources not used
  • Citing books, periodicals and other sources in your bibliography which were not used

Inappropriate collaboration: collaborative work not expressly allowed by an instructor. Here are some reminders to consider in regard to inappropriate collaboration:

  • Assume that collaborative work is not permitted unless explicitly allowed by your instructor
  • If you have collaborated with others in any way, you must clearly indicate with whom you have worked and precisely what they contributed
  • If you're unsure about whether a certain type of collaboration is permissible, ask your teacher

Misuse of computing facilities: violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, trade secret, and copyright violations.

  • Reading or copying computer files or programs without the owner's explicit permission and with or without the owner's knowledge to submit this work as one's own.
  • Using another person's computer logic

Plagiarism: using another person's ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source. It is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have, in fact, borrowed from another. A few examples include:

  • Using a specific idea, detail or illustration pulled from a particular source without reference in a footnote and bibliography
  • Using general background for an assignment from a book, article or other sources that you don't acknowledge
  • Submitting another person's paper, project or homework as your own
  • Paraphrasing without citing your sources
  • Using even a brief phrase exactly quoted from a source without putting it in quotation marks, indenting it or citing it
  • Using material from residence or fraternity files and turning it in as your own work
  • Using information or material from the internet without citing the sources

If you use another person's ideas or expressions without proper citation, you have committed plagiarism. It is important that in rewriting you demonstrate your own synthesis of ideas and fully credit your original source.

Paraphrasing causes students the most difficulty. When you change words in a sentence but the idea remains the same, you still must cite your source. 

Bucknell University's Board of Review Process

This process should be followed in all suspected cases of academic irresponsibility:

  1. An associate dean in each college has been designated to handle all matters relating to academic irresponsibility. Members of the faculty are expected to report possible acts of academic irresponsibility to the associate dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. However, before doing so, the faculty member should gather all the necessary information and evidence regarding this situation. The faculty member may speak directly with the student involved to resolve any questions or discrepancies but may not decide that the student is guilty and impose a penalty. The associate dean is available to discuss the matter with the faculty member before the official charge is made.
  2. Students who witness possible acts of academic irresponsibility by another student(s) are expected to report this to the faculty member who will then investigate. In some circumstances, it may be more appropriate for the student to report to the chair of the department.
  3. When all the necessary information has been obtained, the faculty member will provide the associate dean with a written statement of possible charges and all appropriate evidence.
  4. The associate dean will meet with the student charged and explain the allegation, the evidence and the procedures that will be followed. At all times, the student charged may be accompanied to meetings or hearings by a friend or adviser from the university community, but the adviser may not address the board or question witnesses during proceedings. The faculty member charging the student may also attend the hearing. The chair of the panel will ask the faculty member for questions or comments at an appropriate time.
  5. Following the meeting, the student will write a short statement indicating the sequence of events that occurred before, during and after the alleged act of irresponsibility. The associate dean will write a summary of the meeting with the student and will deliver a packet containing that summary, the student's statement, the faculty statement and all evidence to the registrar. The registrar will call a meeting of a panel of the Board of Review on Academic Responsibility.
  6. Other than the temporary assignment of an administrative incomplete in a course, the official status of the student in the University will remain unchanged pending disposition of the charges. However, in the case of a graduating senior where the matter cannot be resolved in time, graduation might, out of necessity, be deferred.
  7. The board panel will meet with the associate dean and the student and, on the basis of evidence and any other information it may wish to solicit, determine whether a violation has occurred. The board panel will transmit its decision and recommendation for a penalty to the associate dean who will initiate action on behalf of the University. In the event that a board panel cannot meet between semesters and the case needs to be heard (e.g. if the student is graduating or going abroad), the case may be heard by the chair of the board or another board member designated by the chair.
  8. Procedures for Board of Review Hearings: In attendance: Besides the members of the board and the secretary, the student charged with academic dishonesty, the associate dean of the student's college, and, if the student so desires, an adviser chosen by the student. (The adviser must be a member of the University community, may not be a practicing attorney, and is present solely to advise and assist the student. The adviser does not participate in the proceedings or address the board during the meeting, but may confer with the student if it does not disrupt the proceedings.) The faculty member charging the student may also be present.
  • Introductions by board members and statement of confidentiality by the secretary.
  • Reading and signing by the student of a statement acknowledging receipt of the charges.
  • Meeting conducted by the chair.
  • Chair asks the student to recount the events that led up to the charges.
  • Questioning of the student by the board. (The chair may also permit the student to summarize his or her position on the charges after questioning is completed.)
  • Chair asks faculty member, if present, for comments.
  • Faculty member, if present, leaves the room.
  • Student, adviser and associate dean leave when questioning is finished.
  • The Board of Review chair may contact the instructor (or other accusers) for purposes of clarification if needed. If additional information that is material in the chair's judgment is obtained through this contact, the chair shall also convey this information to the associate dean. The chair and the associate dean will then convey it to the student and seek further clarification from the student if the chair deems it appropriate. If the chair believes this additional information would be helpful to the board in its deliberations, the chair will convey it either verbally or in writing to the other members of the board.
  • Consideration of evidence in closed session.
  • Determination of whether the University's policy on academic responsibility has been violated.
  • Determination of penalty, if a violation is found.
  • The secretary transmits the board's action to the associate dean.
  • The associate dean notifies the student of the board's determination and action and transmits the action to the instructor.
  • Action taken by the board is documented by the board secretary and signed by the board chair.
  • The board may modify or adapt these guidelines as appropriate.
  • On occasion, for clarification or questions pertaining to the material submitted, the chair of the board of review may find it necessary to speak with the faculty member bringing the charge and request additional written material
  • The student may appeal the decision to the dean of the college. To do so, the student should present a written statement explaining the reason for the appeal and any evidence not available at the time of the hearing. An appeal must be made within a month of the decision.
  • Academic Integrity Advisor 

    An academic misconduct violation can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you or your college student have set. If you value the investment you've made into your education and your professional future, contacting a skilled student defense attorney is a must. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today at 888-535-3686 for more information.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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