Florida International University takes it upon itself to ensure that all of its accepted students have access to the means they need to succeed. That said, the university's Student Conduct and Honor Code note that this relationship is a two-way street. Students, while using university resources, are expected to respect the efforts of their professors, university staff, and their fellow students. Students who engage in what the university considers to be academic misconduct, subsequently, can face serious consequences.
Professors and other university staff members who suspect a student of engaging in academic misconduct can report that student to the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity. Students, however, have the right to challenge these allegations. The team with Lento Law Firm can help students at Florida International University do just that.
Honor Codes and Academic Expectation at Florida International University
Florida International University outlines its expectations for its students in its honor code. This code primarily makes the university's intentions regarding students' academic success clear, but it also takes the time to define the university's understanding of academic misconduct.
According to Florida International University's honor code, the university defines academic misconduct as:
- Bribing other students to complete university assignments, quizzes, exams, or projects on another party's behalf.
- Accepting bribes from other students to violate the university's code of conduct.
- Cheating on assignments, quizzes, exams, or projects.
- Collaborating with other students without the express permission of a
- university representative.
- Selling class notes, quiz answers, exam answers, or work previously completed for the university.
- Falsifying university records.
- Plagiarizing another person's data, thoughts, or work.
- Self-plagiarizing, or submitting work in one course that another professor already accepted.
- Helping another student engage in academic misconduct.
What to Expect From an Academic Misconduct Hearing
Professors who believe that a student has engaged in academic misconduct are encouraged by the university to reach out to their student before filing a conduct complaint. However, this is not required by the university. Instead, professors can file an Academic Misconduct Report Form with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution as soon as they believe the alleged behavior has taken place.
Students who have these kinds of allegations brought against them will undergo a preliminary behavioral review. If it looks like there's not enough evidence to back a professor's report, then the student will not face any sanctions. However, if evidence appears regarding the allegations, then the student may have to go through the university's hearing process. This involves:
- The issuing of a charge letter detailing the alleged misconduct.
- An informational session for a hearing officer and the accused student.
- A resolution, if the student wishes to admit to the allegations. Alternatively, a formal hearing if the student wishes to challenges the allegations brought against them.
Students who go through the formal hearing process will have the opportunity to present their case to the Hearing Body, which will consist of three students, two members of the faculty, and a hearing officer.
Students who admit to their allegations or who are found to have engaged in academic misconduct will face sanctions. However, if there isn't enough evidence to prove that a student violated the university's code of conduct, then the student can leave their hearing consequence-free.
Florida International University's Academic Misconduct Sanctions
Students at Florida International University always have the opportunity to withdraw from courses taught by professors who've accused them of academic misconduct. Withdrawing from a university course, however, does not mean that students brought up on misconduct charges can avoid university sanctions.
Instead, the SCAI Director will place holds on the records of students who withdraw from their courses until the allegations leveled against them resolve. Only once a case comes to its conclusion will the SCAI Director assign sanctions, if doing so seems appropriate.
Florida International University's sanctions for academic misconduct break down into two categories: course sanctions and university sanctions. Course sanctions include:
- Grade penalties on individual assignments
- Grade penalties in the course as a whole
Whether or not the student has the option to resubmit an assignment or retake an exam in the applicable course will depend on the professor. The university's behavioral sanctions, as assigned by the SCAI director, include:
- A written reprimand placed on the student's permanent record
- Restricted access to university events, clubs, facilities, etc.
- Required ethics workshops, counseling, or community service
- Conduct probation
- Deferred suspension
Students may endure sanctions simultaneously. What kind of sanctions a student takes on will depend on the perceived severity of the allegations leveled against them.
Appealing the University's Sanctions
Students who want to appeal their sanctions can after their cases conclude. These students need to complete an appeal form and submit it to an Appellate Officer with the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Students have seven business days after the conclusion of their hearings to submit this form.
Applicable parties will only consider appeal requests if:
New information about the allegations brought against the student has come to light.
The student believes that the severity of the sanctions does not fit the charges leveled against them.
The student believes that the Student Conduct Board failed to appropriately address the student's rights in a manner that compromised the board's judgment.
Students Can and Should Confer With an Attorney-Advisor
Working through the complexities of academia is difficult enough under normal circumstances. Trying to stay focused on academic responsibilities while contending with accusations of academic misconduct can feel impossible. Luckily, no student has to go through the hearing process at Florida International University alone.
Instead, students and their families can connect with attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. The team at the Lento Law Firm has worked with students all across the United States to challenges allegations of academic misconduct. Students at Florida International University can rely on the Firm to represent them in academic misconduct hearings and to guide them through the process of appeals, if necessary, all the while working towards a fair process and a favorable outcome.
Ready to get in touch with an attorney-advisor? Students and their families can schedule a case consultation with the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686 or by submitting a request via the firm's online form.