Plagiarism; cheating; classroom disruption, destruction of school property, and fabrication of data: These weren't the types of activities you ever envisioned being involved with. Even now, as you're figuring out how to navigate life as a subject of an academic misconduct investigation at Northern Arizona University, you might not understand what really happened—or what needs to happen before you can breathe easily again. You're stressed, you're confused, and you're hoping this will all be over soon.
Unfortunately, it may be a while before that occurs. In the meantime, there's a lot that you need to do. Here's the information that you need to know in order to work towards a favorable outcome.
What is Academic Misconduct at Northern Arizona University?
Northern Arizona University states on its academic integrity page that it expects honest, ethical conduct from every member of its academic community. In order to guide this expected behavior, NAU does have an academic integrity policy that details both expected and punishable behavior, as well as the ways that the school will investigate if a student breaks any stated rules.
NAU's academic integrity policy begins with an overarching statement of student responsibility, which includes the following expectations:
- NAU students must not misrepresent their own work in any way—or take action to cause others to misrepresent their work.
- NAU students must not try to increase their grades through unfair or fraudulent means.
- NAU students must not violate the school's academic integrity policies or any policies that are outlined in a specific teacher's syllabus.
- If any NAU student is witness to any perceived violation of the university's academic integrity code, that student needs to report the violation to an instructor as soon as possible.
As this is a very general view of academic integrity, the policy goes on to give more specific examples of punishable behaviors, which include:
- Facilitation (of the cheating of others)
- Obtaining an unfair advantage over others
Once Northern Arizona University becomes aware that a student may have been involved in academic misconduct, your school will take steps to learn what happened and mete out appropriate punitive measures.
How does Northern Arizona University investigate academic misconduct?
The academic misconduct disciplinary process at Northern Arizona University begins with an instructor. If your instructor (or another faculty member) suspects that you have violated the school's academic integrity policy, they will begin by sending you an email. This email will contain specifics regarding your alleged violation as well as an initial recommended sanction. At this level, the types of sanctions you can expect may include:
- A written warning
- A grade reduction
- A failing grade for the assignment in question
- A failing grade in the course
Upon receipt of this email, you have the right to accept the sanction without dispute or pursue an alternative outcome. In order to dispute either the violation or the proposed sanction, you'll need to reply to your instructor's email within three business days and request a meeting to discuss the allegations.
At this meeting, you will have the chance to tell your side of the story to your instructor. At the end of this meeting, your instructor may re-evaluate their recommendations. If so, the issue will be considered resolved. If not, either party may escalate the issue to the chair of your academic department.
This will initiate the University Academic Integrity Hearing Board Process, which includes oversight by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. With this level of formality, NAU will complete an investigation into the alleged incident, which includes a review of your complete student file. This route will also include a formal hearing, at which you will have a chance to present all evidence that supports your innocence.
What is the appeals process like at Northern Arizona University?
If you need to resort to an appeal at the end of your school's disciplinary process, you do have the ability to do so. Here's what's involved in filing an appeal:
- After Northern Arizona University has issued a recommendation for disciplinary action, you may file an appeal with the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
- You will need to demonstrate that NAU deviated from its stated due process, that the school did not apply its policies to you, or that you have new information now that was not available during the initial investigation.
- You will need to put together a written statement addressed to the Vice Provost that demonstrates a persuasive argument towards your intended outcome.
- The Vice Provost will review the information and provide a final, binding decision.
- After this process resolves, NAU will consider your disciplinary process complete.
Call Joseph D. Lento if You're a Northern Arizona University Student in Need of Strong Defense
You've worked hard for your college education. You're excited for your future, and the benefits of having a college degree. Now, this academic misconduct allegation stands in the way. Suddenly, your future seems like it could be in jeopardy.
That's why you need to work now to protect your future. Regardless of the veracity of your academic misconduct allegation, if Northern Arizona University places a note on your permanent record, you'll have a hard time securing key opportunities in the years ahead.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help you make sure this doesn't happen. For years, Joseph D. Lento has been the go-to resource for worried students and parents going through situations similar to yours. He can help you go through your school's code of conduct, figure out a strategic defense, prepare for your hearing, and more.
Don't struggle through this alone. Rely on a professional to help you work towards a successful outcome during this stressful time. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn more about how we can help you.