Arizona State University, Tempe places great value on academic integrity. ASU expects its students to uphold high standards of academic conduct, and the consequences of violating the school's Academic Integrity Code can be serious. The penalties can range from a failed paper all the way to permanent expulsion at the Dean's discretion. You may even have graduated already, but if the school finds you guilty of academic misconduct, they could revoke your degree. With your position at the Tempe campus at risk and your future at stake, it is vital that you familiarize yourself with ASU policy and disciplinary procedures.
What counts as Academic Misconduct at Arizona State University, Tempe?
Academic misconduct is a broad term encapsulating a range of actions that seek to gain an unfair advantage in your grades.
Violations of the Academic Integrity Code include the following:
- Cheating on an academic assignment or examination
- Plagiarizing (including self-plagiarism)
- Academic deceit, such as fabricating data or information
- Inappropriate collaboration
- Falsifying academic records
- Aiding academic integrity policy violations
Who Oversees Academic Misconduct?
Arizona State University has a Student Academic Integrity Policy that applies across all its campuses. The Academic Integrity Officer is responsible for ensuring that these school procedures are followed and will work with both you and your instructor to guide you through the investigation and adjudication process.
Generally, the instructor responsible for setting your assessment or examination will pursue the allegation against you. They will have the burden of demonstrating that it is more likely than not that you violated student integrity policy. It is also possible for the Academic Integrity Officer to pursue the allegation in place of your instructor.
Any hearing or appeal will be heard by a College/School Board appointed by the Academic Dean. This standing committee will include faculty members and at least one student. They will try to ascertain whether it is more likely than not that you engaged in academic dishonesty based on the evidence they hear. They will also try to establish the appropriate penalty. They just need to decide by simple majority on these two points.
Ultimately, however, the decision about your case will be made by the Dean. Even if you and your instructor agree on a resolution between you, the Dean may designate a university official to pursue the case on behalf of the university.
Should your case proceed to a hearing, the College/School Board put their recommendations in writing to the Dean, who makes the final decision.
Who Will Assist You through the Disciplinary Process?
The school allows you to have an advisor to help and assist you through the process. Your advisor can be a faculty or staff member, student, or attorney. There are notable benefits to securing an attorney-advisor familiar with college disciplinary procedure and the preparation work for hearings. Your advisor will not be permitted to participate by addressing the College/School Board directly in your hearing or speak on your behalf. However, they will help with that critical work preparing your witnesses and defense ahead of your hearing and will be at your side throughout.
What is the Academic Integrity Process?
Anyone can make a good-faith accusation if they have reason to believe you could be guilty of academic misconduct. They can either report it to your instructor or Academic Integrity Officer, who will then make a judgment call as to whether there is a basis to the claim. If they decide there could be something to the claim, they will notify you and initiate the investigative process.
At the close of the investigation, your instructor will consult with the Academic Integrity Officer to recommend a sanction. You will be informed and have ten business days to appeal the sanction. If you do not file a timely appeal in writing, your sanction will be final. If you do, you could be permitted a private hearing presided over by the College/School Board. It will be a formal hearing, under oath seeking to find whether it is more likely than not that you violated school policy and recommend a sanction.
How will the Hearing Work?
The hearing will proceed as follows:
- Each party makes an opening statement.
- Each party calls witnesses.
- Both sides cross-examine witnesses.
- College/School Board questions witnesses.
- Each party presents a closing statement.
The College/School Board will send a written recommendation to the Dean within five business days of the hearing. The Dean might accept their proposal as it is, make modifications or deny the recommendations. Regardless, the Dean's decision is final. They will lay out their decision in their decision letter.
The only instance that you will be able to appeal at this stage is if you are being suspended or expelled.
What are the Consequences of Academic Misconduct?
If the school finds you have violated academic integrity policy, possible sanctions could include:
- Reducing your grade for your assessment, exam, or course
- Failing you in your assessment, exam, or course
- Withdrawing credit
- Suspending you from the campus for one or more semester
- Expelling you permanently from the university.
- An XE grade and “failure due to academic dishonesty” note on your transcript. (This will also bar you from representing the university in an extracurricular activity or student organization)
The real impact of an academic misconduct finding is much more far-reaching. Generally, an XE grade will remain permanently on your transcript. If the school expels you, your academic dishonesty will remain on your permanent records making it difficult to pursue your education elsewhere. Admission to graduate school could become problematic. You may have already graduated, and someone could still accuse you of academic misconduct after the fact. In this instance, the Dean might convene an ad hoc committee to look at the evidence, and if you don't make a timely appeal, the Dean could decide upon a penalty as severe as stripping you of your degree. Accusations of academic misconduct can imperil your future plans. With every stage of the proceedings being time-sensitive, you must be on the ball with your defense and ensure you do all you can to fight against an unfair outcome.
Why do you need an Attorney-Advisor?
An accusation of academic misconduct can endanger all your academic and professional goals. With your future held at the discretion of a University Dean, you will want the best attorney-advisor you can get. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped countless students across the country to navigate their school's disciplinary procedure. He knows how unfair these college proceedings can be and will tirelessly fight for you. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation today.