Boston University's Academic Code of Conduct's foundation rests on the idea that academic integrity is vital in a community of learning. All manner of work must be conducted honestly and truthfully. This ethical standard is key to understanding academic dishonesty because actions considered misconduct break the community's trust. If you've been accused of academic misconduct at Boston University, it's important that you consider retaining an attorney-advisor who can assist you with your school's investigation.
What Is Considered An Academic Offense At Boston University?
Although there are many examples of what may be considered academic misconduct, a good summary comes from this portion of the code, which states: “Violations of this Code involve attempts to be dishonest or deceptive in the performance of academic work in or out of the classroom, alterations of academic records, alterations of official data on paper or electronic resumes, or unauthorized collaboration with another student or students.”
Some of the academic misconduct is more intuitive, like plagiarism or cheating on an exam or assignment. Other examples though, such as using research from one class for another class, could fall under “Submitting substantially the same work in more than one course.” Another less obvious offense is behavior that qualifies under “Conduct in a professional field assignment that violates the policies and regulations of the host school or agency” or “Conduct in violation of public law occurring outside the University that directly affects the academic and professional status of the student, after civil authorities have imposed sanctions.” It's vital that you read and understand your school's Code of Conduct for this reason.
What Happens If There's A Suspected Violation?
When there is a suspected violation, the designated Associate or Assistant Dean will meet with the faculty member who suspects a violation and the involved student. Each college or school within Boston University will select one faculty member who acts as a “Designated Academic Integrity Representative,” or DAIR. This individual may also be present at the meeting if the faculty member or student requests their presence. Their role is not one of arbitrator or representative for either party; they act as resources for all involved.
The next steps depend on a few things. Is this a first offense? Has the student admitted to academic misconduct? If the instance is a first occurrence, and the student has admitted to it, a faculty member may propose a grading penalty to the Dean. If the Dean approves the grading penalty and the student agrees to it, they will sign an Agreement for Resolution Form, which admits responsibility for academic misconduct. A student does not have to sign this form and instead may elect to have the case heard by the Academic Conduct Committee.
What Happens If The Academic Offense Is A Repeat Offense or Is Disputed?
If the academic offense is of a serious nature, a repeat offense, or the student chooses not to sign the Agreement for Resolution Form, then the Dean will refer the charge and evidence to the Academic Conduct Committee, and a hearing will take place. The Dean's office is responsible for emailing the student with a twelve-day notice, at minimum, of when the hearing will occur. The email also will have information about the actual hearing procedures. If there is a valid reason, the student may request rescheduling the hearing. Additionally, it's possible to submit a written statement (by the student) or other documents and evidence to the Academic Conduct Committee at least seven days prior to the hearing's date.
Section V.E of the Academic Code of Conduct walks through the hearing procedure and is worth reviewing if you are in a situation where you are considering a hearing with the Academic Conduct Committee. After the hearing concludes, within 14 days, the Dean will send an email to the student's university account of the Committee's final recommendation, the judgment, and associated penalty.
What Are Potential Consequences For Violations?
If you sign an Agreement for Resolution Form, you will receive a letter of reprimand from the Dean and the grading penalty on your internal record. The form and the letter will not be listed on your official transcript; however, you may be required to disclose that information when you apply to graduate school, the bar exam, or other licensing exams.
If the charges go to a hearing and the Academic Conduct Committee decides on penalties, they may include a reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension for one to three semesters, or expulsion. Other sanctions may be employed, such as removal from a professional program, completion of an academic integrity workshop, or revocation of a degree.
What Is The Role Of An Attorney-Advisor?
According to Boston University's Academic Conduct Code V.C.4. “…the student may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice. At the discretion of the committee chair, the advisor may be allowed to make a brief statement on behalf of the student. The advisor may not otherwise participate directly in the hearing.” Although an attorney-advisor would have limited participation in a hearing, they will be able to advise you on a plan of action when facing possible disciplinary action. An experienced attorney-advisor can also make sure that all of the relevant information is gathered for your hearing.
Best Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor for Boston University
If you are facing misconduct charges or allegations at Boston University there is a lot at stake. If the University finds you guilty, you could many consequences both from a disciplinary and academic standpoint, in addition to potentially lose financial aid awards, impacting your debt, not to mention the potential profound implications both in the short and long-term with respect to both academic and professional goals. Your future studies could also be affected if you sign an Agreement for Resolution Form and every decision needs to highly calculated. It's important that you not take action until you've spoken with an experienced Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor. Joseph D. Lento has advised countless students over the years across the nation. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us today for help.