To maintain its status as one of the nation's premier educational institutions, Kent State University holds students, faculty, and staff to a high standard of integrity and honesty. Anything less would jeopardize the reputation so carefully built over the years. As such, the university takes accusations of academic misconduct very seriously. Indeed as stated on the Kent State website, “Academic honesty is the academy's most cherished value.” New students take the Kent State University Honor Pledge:
In support of Kent State University's standards of excellence, honesty, integrity and academic accountability, I pledge, on my honor, to conduct myself at all times in accordance with university rules that prohibit cheating, plagiarism, or any other form of academic dishonesty... students and faculty have an ethical responsibility to ensure that the content of student work is original or cites appropriate sources for all programs at the university.
Academic Integrity Is Important
Any institution whose honesty and integrity may be called into question will suffer a diminished reputation. As such, a degree earned at that university will have less value. Graduate programs and potential employers will tend to take a lesser view of any candidate who has a degree from such a school. For these reasons, Kent State will seek out, investigate and discipline any form of academic misconduct.
Forms of Academic Misconduct
The university considers dishonesty of any kind in the completion of any course assignment to be an act of academic misconduct. Some specific examples include, but are not limited to:
The Kent State University Official Policy Register defines cheating as an intentional misrepresentation of the source or nature of academic work performed to accrue credit. The register also considers aiding another in such misrepresentation to be cheating. More specifically:
- Before taking a test, exam, or quiz, obtaining partial or whole copies of the exercise.
- Using without authorization textbooks, notebooks, or any other information pertaining to the material covered by the exam, test, or quiz.
- Seeking and obtaining confidential information about any exam, test, or quiz, other than that provided by the professor.
- Providing information to or receiving it from another student during an exam, test, or quiz.
- Presenting any material or data gathered by someone else as one's own.
- Falsifying facts, information, or experimental data.
- Substituting for another student during an exam or allowing someone to substitute for you.
- Aiding another in committing any of the above acts.
- Using a significant portion of any coursework that was already submitted to another class without notifying the professor of the present class.
- Attempting to postpone or avoid taking an exam, test, or quiz through the use of falsified information.
The KSU Official Policy register defines plagiarism as presenting the words, ideas, or work of another as one's own or using it without proper citation and employing quotation marks around specific words of another. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
- Directly copying words, sentences, and paragraphs from another without properly citing them.
- Copying photographs, illustrations, drawings, figures, recordings, or any nonverbal material without crediting the owner.
- Presenting as one's own any draft or final form of a paper written by another.
Kent State University Academic Misconduct Administrative Policy
The Kent State administration has a detailed policy that involves several steps that a professor and the university will take upon suspicion of cheating. The accused student also has the option to appeal at any step along the way as well as have an advisor present at any hearing. Here are the steps that may be taken in the process:
The Professor Discovers Possible Academic Misconduct
The professor will notify the suspected student and set up a meeting to discuss the accusation. The instructor will allow the student to explain. Should the professor determine that the student did not cheat or plagiarize, the process ends. Should the professor not accept the explanation and decide that the student has indeed violated the academic misconduct policy, the professor has several options for sanctioning the student.
Plagiarism School or Coursework Sanctions
The professor and student can agree to have the student attend plagiarism school in which the student will attend a class that will detail what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. The professor may also sanction the student with coursework to be completed as punishment and to make up for the failed exam. The professor can also recommend other sanctions that may impact the student's degree or refer the case to the Academic Hearing Panel. In any case, the professor will file a form with the Office of Student Conduct. The information will be entered into the university database.
The Role of the Office of Student Conduct
Upon receiving an academic misconduct form, the Office of Student Conduct will determine whether the student has any prior incidents of academic misconduct. If not, the office will schedule a hearing with either the dean or department chair, who will either impose sanctions or submit the case to the Academic Hearing panel. If the student does have a prior record, the case will automatically go to the panel.
The Academic Hearing Panel
At this point, the potential consequences become quite serious. The panel will hear from both sides and decide if it should impose degree sanctions. In an unfavorable hearing, the student can appeal one final time to the provost. The provost will then make the final determination as to whether or not the accused committed the act. Sanctions are then imposed.
The university may impose several sanctions on a student who is in violation of the academic probation policy. These range from mandatory attendance in plagiarism school, all the way to expulsion and loss of the opportunity to earn a degree.
National Academic Misconduct Defense Attorney
An accusation of academic misconduct should be handled as the serious matter that it is. The potential sanctions can destroy an academic career. Don't let a mistake or one bad decision ruin years of hard work. Hire an advisor who has the skill and experience to represent you throughout the grueling hearing process. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney who has successfully defended countless students across the country and he will fight for you all of the way.