Boston College is the first institution of higher learning to operate in the city of Boston. As one of America's more historic universities, Boston College places great value on academic integrity. The university's academic integrity policy includes the following statement:
“The pursuit of knowledge can proceed only when scholars take responsibility and receive credit for their work. The educational process requires that individuals present their own ideas and insights for evaluation, critique, and eventual reformulation. Presentation of others' work as one's own is not only intellectual dishonesty, but also undermines the educational process.”
Boston College students must maintain these academic integrity standards in their work. Failing to do so can lead to an academic misconduct violation. These accusations can harm your academic future. If you face academic misconduct allegations at Boston College, you must know what you're up against. Here is what you need to know about the investigation process and how an attorney can assist you.
Boston College Academic Integrity Violations
Boston College considers any dishonest act committed in an academic context an academic integrity violation. Although academic integrity violations encompass many behaviors, they fall into three primary categories.
Boston College considers any fraudulent or dishonest presentation of work cheating. Examples include:
- Using unauthorized aid during exams
- Fabricating, altering, or misrepresenting data
- Falsification of official records, papers, or reports
- Copying information from another student's work
- Altering or destroying another student's work
- Unauthorized cooperation in completing assignments or exams
- Using purchased essays or papers
- Submitting the same work in multiple courses without permission
- Dishonesty in requests for deadline extensions, make-up exams, or other course materials
Boston College prohibits taking someone else's words, ideas, or data and presenting them as your own. Students must follow proper paraphrasing, footnoting, quotation, and citing procedures to acknowledge source material.
The Boston College academic integrity policy defines collusion as “assistance or an attempt to assist another student in an act of academic dishonesty.” Although some instructors allow collaboration, students must get instructor approval to collaborate on all coursework.
Boston College encourages faculty members to discuss academic integrity violations with students. If they decide to take action, the instructor must send a letter of notification to the associate dean of the school or college of the course in which the incident occurred. This letter includes facts about the incident and proposed penalties against the student.
The associate dean will notify the student of the allegation and give them a chance to respond. They will also send academic integrity violations to the Committee on Academic Integrity for review.
The Committee on Academic Integrity holds disciplinary hearings for code of conduct infractions. During the hearing, students can respond to the allegations, present witnesses, and provide evidence in their defense.
Once the committee makes a decision, the associate dean will notify the student of the board's findings and recommended sanctions within ten business days.
Penalties for Academic Integrity Violations
Boston College considers the severity of the offense and the circumstances of the violation to determine sanctions. The committee may recommend a harsher punishment if they find the student has previous violations or committed a premeditated act. In general, the more serious the offense the harsher the sanction for the student.
The minimum penalty is a warning that goes on the student's file until they graduate. Academic integrity violations also go on the student's conduct record, which exists for a minimum of seven years after the incident. Other possible sanctions include grading penalties, probation, suspension, or dismissal from the university. Suspensions and dismissal notations go on the student's academic transcript. These notations can make it difficult to pursue other academic programs or graduate and professional schools.
Boston College Student Rights
It's important to know your rights during disciplinary proceedings. The Boston College Code of Conduct provides the following rights during all code of conduct procedures:
- Inform students of any charges of misconduct
- Provide students with an opportunity to respond to the charges
- Allow students to hear evidence in support of the charges
- Inform students of the outcome of conduct proceedings
- Allow students to present evidence disputing the charges
During your hearing, the committee will either find you “responsible” or “not responsible” for violating the Code of Conduct. The committee must follow the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof when making their decision. This means that they can only hold you responsible if it is more likely than not that you committed the violation.
Right to an Advisor
In addition to other rights, Boston College students also have the right to use an advisor of their choice during any conduct hearing. Advisors may not ask questions or interject on your behalf during proceedings. However, they can provide you with counsel and help you prepare for your hearing.
An advisor can also identify potential grounds for an appeal of your hearing. Boston College allows appeals if students can prove the university committed a violation of procedure that negatively impacted your case. You may also file an appeal if you can provide new evidence that is likely to alter the result. Appeals must be submitted promptly, no later than ten days from the board's decision.
Although there are many choices for an advisor, your best bet is to hire a student defense attorney. They can ensure that you gather relevant information and evidence for your hearing. An experienced attorney can also help you avoid potential pitfalls that negatively impact your case. They can also review procedural policies and identify errors that can lead to an appeal or dismissal.
Your Boston College Academic Misconduct Attorney
It's not an exaggeration to say that an academic integrity violation can have life-changing consequences. If found responsible, your academic career and your future will suffer. If you face academic integrity charges at Boston College, you should consult an attorney right away.
Joseph D. Lento has spent years earning a reputation as being one of the best academic misconduct attorneys in the country. He has helped students in a wide range of academic misconduct cases to dismiss charges and reduce sanctions. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.