When you or a loved one faces allegations of academic misconduct, your first instinct might be that although it's serious, the process will be fair and everything will work out. This approach, however, could have dire consequences further down the line for you or your loved ones because schools are often quick to judgment without appropriately recognizing an accused student's rights and interests. If found responsible, academic dishonesty can potentially impact scholarships, admissions to graduate programs, and even future employment opportunities. This guide will offer an overview of the Academic Integrity Policy and procedures at UNC-Greensboro so that you best understand the process and what is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome.
The Academic Integrity Process at UNC-Greensboro
At UNC-Greensboro, the Academy Integrity Policy, at its core, is about the principles that comprise academic integrity. Their Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities offers as the foundational principles honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. At new student orientations, students sign a statement that they agree to abide by the Academic Integrity Policy. Additionally, when a student turns in any major assignment, they must sign the Academic Integrity Pledge; failure to do so is considered an admission of violating the Academic Integrity Policy.
The Student Policy Handbook contains UNC-Greensboro's official policy, however, you must log into your school account in order to access the document.
What is the Academic Integrity Violation Procedure?
Here is an overview of how UNC-Greensboro addresses concerns of academic integrity. We'll go further in-depth for the different steps.
- Faculty member notifies the student that they are going to proceed with an allegation of an academic integrity violation.
- The faculty member will schedule a faculty-student joint conference between the student and themselves.
- If the faculty member and student agree on culpability, then the faculty member will report the academic integrity violation to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
- If the faculty member and student disagree about responsibility, then the violation will proceed to a hearing panel.
- Depending on the decision that the Hearing Panel renders, a student may file an appeal.
Faculty-Student Joint Conference at UNC-Greensboro
When your faculty member reaches out with notification of an allegation of suspected academic misconduct, they have to provide you with notice of your rights, per school policy. This includes the fact that you have the right to postpone the conference by up to two days and that you are under no pressure at all to admit guilt or responsibility.
During the conference, the faculty member will fill out a form based on their conversation with you. In the end, if they believe that facts don't support the allegation, then the allegation will be dismissed. If, on the other hand, the instructor does believe that facts substantiate the allegation, they will decide on a sanction—if you agree with the finding, then the instructor will complete that portion of the Academic Integrity Violation Form. If you do not agree with the finding, then your instructor will fill out the form and send it to the OSRR within five days. This will begin the hearing panel process.
The Academic Integrity Hearing Panel Process at UNC-Greensboro
The description of the hearing process at UNC-Greensboro is detailed and lengthy. Here are some key points to know.
- You will be assigned a student advisor by the Student Attorney General and sent a copy detailing the hearing procedures (and rules around the presentation of evidence) by the OSRR.
- You must present any written evidence, as well as a list of witnesses you plan on calling on during the hearing no later than three business days prior to the hearing.
- The evidentiary standard is a “preponderance of evidence,” and the burden of proof is on the instructor.
What Sanctions Might UNC-Greensboro Assign for Academic Misconduct?
Expulsion and suspension can only be determined as possible sanctions by a hearing panel. In the case of an initial offense, with no prior history, grade-related sanctions, regardless of whether or not a panel is involved, are decided by the relevant faculty member. If the offense is a second offense, then suspension or expulsion is mandatory.
Additionally, there is a wide range of potential “educational experiences,” which includes:
- Watch a plagiarism video and write a reflection
- Watch the online Library Tutorial
- Attend and participate in the Making Better Choices Seminar
- Interview a professional who is in the field you are studying, as it pertains to ethics, and then write a reflection paper
- Attend Greek Week events in September
- Submit your next assignment (or a number of future assignments) through Turnitin.com
- Write a reflection paper about your experience
- Perform community service in an approved location
- Create a handout for other students that details plagiarism and offers resources where they can learn more about citation requirements
- Any other educational experiences the instructor may recommend
What Is the Appeal Process?
You may only file an appeal based on concerns surrounding your right to due process. Section 17 in the Student Code of Conduct details the guidelines and requirements, more specifically. Overall, however, a due process violation would come down to a violation in one of two areas: procedural standards or substantive standards. Procedural standards have to do with errors or omissions in the process itself, whereas a substantive standard is more about the content of the information or sanction.
Students have three business days from when they receive the notification of the decision to file a request for an appeal. When they do so, they must cite one of the specific parameters outlined in Section 17. If they do not include this information, the appeal will be automatically dismissed. The appeal is filed through the online appeal form, which you have to sign in to access.
The appeal is conducted based on reviewing information from the initial proceedings and will not include a second hearing. The official who reviews the appeal will send a notice to the student with one of four possible outcomes:
- Uphold the decision
- Overturn the decision
- Adapt or change the sanction imposed
- Remand for a new hearing
If the student wishes to appeal the appeal decision, they may appeal to the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs (again, within three business days).
Attorney-Advisor Assistance for Academic Integrity Violations at UNC-Greensboro
Don't try to navigate these allegations on your own. Speak with an attorney-advisor before taking any steps with the school. Make sure that you have someone who is helping look out for your best interests. Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have worked with countless students across the nation as they faced allegations at their universities and colleges. Let them bring their experience to your circumstances to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Call 888.535.3686 or contact them online.