Accusations of Academic Misconduct at Northeastern University
Northeastern University's Honor Code and Code of Student Conduct state that students are required to uphold values of “honesty, integrity, and respect” while they are taking classes through the university. The Code of Student Conduct goes on to define those behaviors more specifically, encouraging students all the while to complete their own work in class, to engage with materials wholeheartedly, and to avoid circumstances that may lead to accusations of academic dishonesty.
Northeastern University's Stance on Academic Integrity
Northeastern University goes on to define its understanding of academic misconduct as including:
- The fabrication, misrepresentation, or falsification of data or information related to an academic assignment
- Plagiarism, including self-plagiarism
- Unauthorized collaboration
- Purchasing pre-written assignments
- Sabotaging another student's work
- Forging signatures on university documents
- Selling academic materials without the express permission of the university
- Stealing academic materials
- Facilitating academic dishonesty
How Does Northeastern University Maintain Academic Integrity?
Students, faculty, and other supervisory bodies who believe a student has engaged in academic misconduct are expected to present their findings to the university. These parties are required to file official charges with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.
That said, the act of filing official charges does not mean that the student in question will be brought forward to a hearing or similar meeting with university representatives. The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution bases each case of supposed academic misconduct on a student's existing disciplinary record. Some students will only have complaints kept on their files, while others may be brought forward to face sanctions for their behavior.
If a student's complaint is “information only,” then the student will not have to explain their supposed behavior before a board. That student will, however, have an opportunity to appeal the complaint with OSCCR staff or other university officials.
Consequences for Academic Misconduct at Northeastern University
The sanctions placed against students accused of academic misconduct will vary based both on the student's existing disciplinary record and the nature of the act they are accused of engaging in. Sanctions can include:
- Written warnings
- Failing grades on the assignment in question or within the course as a whole
Student Hearings Through Northeastern University
Students accused of academic misconduct whose cases result in a hearing can expect the following:
- The supervisory body that believes the student engaged in academic misconduct must file a report with the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. This report will detail the name of the student, a description of the alleged behavior, and the names of any applicable witnesses or parties involved in the incident.
- The Director of the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution will either review the case themselves or appoint a designee to look over the report. This party will then determine whether the allegation could result in a written warning, meriting an administrative meeting, or more severe sanctions, which would require the Student Conduct Board to meet.
- If the alleged accusations merit a written warning, then the student will receive a hearing notice but meet with the supervisory body and a representative from the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution to discuss the behavior in question.
- If the student's behavior is deemed worthy of a sanction, then the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution will bring together at least five bodies from the Student Conduct Board to address the filed report.
- The student will receive notice of a hearing courtesy of the Student Conduct Board.
- The student will receive an invitation to a pre-hearing, during while they will have the opportunity to review the allegations brought against them and better understand what their hearing may entail. At this stage, students may accept responsibility for the allegations or may contest that responsibility. Students who accept responsibility can work with the Student Conduct Board to determine what sanctions may be appropriate to wield against them. Students who contest responsibility will be notified of a new hearing date.
- Students will have a set amount of time to reach out to witnesses and to gather written documentation regarding the event in question. All information regarding the case must be presented to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution within two business days of the hearing taking place.
- At least five parties representing the student body and staff will oversee the presentation of facts on the part of the accusing body and the student on the date of the hearing. This board will then discuss the cases set forth and determine whether or not the student involved should have sanctions brought against them.
- The student involved in the case will receive a decision letter noting what sanctions, if any, the university opts to apply against them.
Note that failing to appear at either an Administrative Hearing or a Student Conduct Board Hearing will result in the rescheduling of that hearing or the implementation of sanctions based on the attending parties' existing information regarding the act in question.
Appealing Disciplinary Action
Students have five business days after the conclusion of their hearing to appeal the decision made by the Student Conduct Board if they believe any of the following interfered with the board's decision:
- Procedural error
- A lack of information surrounding the case or the discovery of new and relevant information
The student may also request that the board review the issued sanctions in light of “extraordinary circumstances,” as defined by said student, an attending advisor, or another university representative.
Contesting Accusations of Academic Misconduct with Professional Help
No student or family have to endure accusations of academic misconduct alone. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help students at Northeastern University understand their rights and present their case to the Student Conduct Board or to an Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution representative. The Lento Law Firm has helped thousands of students across the nation successfully resolve academic misconduct cases and they can help you.