Portland State’s Dean of Student Life Office explains that “Academic integrity is critical to maintaining fair, knowledge-based learning at Portland State University.” As such, Portland State may dole out life-changing sanctions if you stand accused of academic misconduct.
Anyone who faces an allegation of academic dishonesty should:
- Understand possible sanctions against them
- Understand Portland State University's procedures for complaints of academic misconduct
- Hire a skilled attorney-advisor—Joseph D. Lento—to assist them
Academic sanctions can change the trajectory of your personal and professional life for the worse. The Lento Law Firm will fight for you to avoid a harmful case outcome.
What Portland State University Considers Academic Dishonesty
A bulletin issued by Portland State University cites several acts that qualify as academic misconduct. These acts include:
- Purchasing course assignments to gain an advantage
- Selling course assignments
- Performing assignments in the name of another student
- Collaborating with others in a prohibited manner
- Providing unauthorized academic information, such as test answers, to another student
- Receiving unauthorized academic information
- “Other practices commonly understood to be academic misconduct”
Professors generally determine what constitutes a violation of academic integrity. Section XI of Portland State’s Code of Student Conduct and Responsibility states that:
“Course Instructors have the primary responsibility and purview for responding to and reporting academic misconduct by students enrolled in their respective courses.”
Should an instructor file a complaint of academic misconduct against you, then you may face serious consequences.
Potential Sanctions for an Allegation of Academic Dishonesty
Portland State grants each of the following parties the power to issue academic sanctions:
- Department heads
- Program heads
- College heads
The professor for the course in which you are accused of wrongdoing may:
- Issue a failing grade on a specific assignment
- Issue a failing grade in the course (by way of issuing a failing grade on an assignment that causes you to fail the course)
Though this is the extent of instructors' sanctions at Portland State, it may not be the extent of the consequences that you face. Administrators superior to professors, such as department heads, may:
- Expel you from a department or program
- Expel you from a college, department, or school
- Suspend you from a college, department, or school
- Place you on probation
Any of these sanctions will cause harm beyond your academic career. You may have to explain an expulsion, suspension, probationary period, failing grade, or formal reprimand to prospective employers and graduate school entrance boards. As a consequence, you may:
- Be rejected by graduate programs
- Be passed over by prospective employers
- Be unable to pursue your preferred career path
- Earn less money
- Experience less professional satisfaction
- Face greater financial and personal hardship
You must consider both the short- and long-term consequences of academic sanctions. They are significant.
How Does Portland State Resolve Complaints of Academic Dishonesty?
Per the Portland State Student Code, an instructor (or other complainant) has 14 days from the date of alleged wrongdoing to file a complaint. They will submit any such complaint to the Dean of Student Life Office.
A conduct officer will review your case, including any sanctions proposed by the instructor. A Senior Conduct Officer will issue a decision. You have the right to appeal any decision that includes sanctions against you.
How to Appeal Sanctions from Portland State University
Section XII of the Portland State Student Code of Conduct details the appeals process. The university Provost oversees appeals, and you can initiate the appeals process by:
- Submitting a written request for an appeal hearing to the Provost within ten days of receiving the Senior Conduct Officer's decision
- Providing sufficient grounds for an appeal within your letter to the Provost
The Provost or their designee will review your appeal request. They may grant or deny your request for an appeal hearing. If your request is approved, then either:
- The Provost will facilitate your hearing procedures
- The Provost will remand the matter to a “hearing body”
There is some ambiguity in the hearing process. The Student Code of Conduct explains:
“The appeal hearing is informal and does not follow administrative contested case or courtroom procedures, including formal rules of evidence.”
Despite the informality, you should have the chance to:
- Present a general case in your defense
- Present specific evidence in your defense
- Cite witness testimony in your defense
- Respond to allegations against you
You may benefit from the services of attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento, who has represented many other college students accused of academic dishonesty.
Can an Attorney Accompany You to Your Appeal Hearing?
The Student Code of Conduct and Responsibility states that “the Respondent may bring up to two (2) third party advisors of his/her choice as long as the availability of the advisor does not interfere with the timeliness of the hearing.”
Attorney Joseph D. Lento will assist in your defense by:
- Crafting a defense strategy
- Preparing you for your hearing
- Gathering evidence for your case
- Attending your hearing with you
Portland State University limits the role of your attorney-advisor during the hearing, writing that “Advisors are generally not permitted to speak or participate directly in the hearing.” Regardless, Joseph D. Lento will be a strong asset for your defense.
Why Choose the Lento Law Firm as Your Attorney-Advisors?
Portland State is not your advisor—it is merely the school you attend, and its representatives will look out for the school's interests first and foremost. While your attorney-advisor may reach a resolution with Portland State, it's important to remember that the school may not always act in your best interests.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team will serve you and only you. Their primary concerns will be:
- Presenting the strongest possible case in your defense
- Procuring any evidence that exonerates you of the pending allegations
- Ensuring you are completely prepared for any necessary appeal
- Protecting you from academic, personal, and professional harm
A grade reduction, suspension, or expulsion may be just the start of your troubles should you receive academic sanctions. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for more details about how we can help you or your child.