Academic integrity is one of the cornerstones of a college education. If you or a loved one is currently facing charges of academic misconduct, you may or may not realize the severity and potential long-term impact of the allegations.
What is Academic Integrity at Rutgers University-New Brunswick?
Rutgers University updated its Academic Integrity Policy in June 2020. The policy outlines violations of academic integrity as well as the disciplinary proceedings process. Academic integrity is crucial to Rutgers University-New Brunswick. As a value, it is a necessary foundation for an intellectual and ethical educational environment. According to the updated policy, the principles of academic integrity come with requirements such as proper acknowledgment of contributors or sources in all work. The policy also outlines why it's important to follow the principles that they list. In support of academic integrity, all students must write and sign an honor pledge on all exams and major assignments.
What are the Three Levels of Academic Integrity Violations?
At the University of Rutgers, there are three levels of alleged violations of academic integrity. The disciplinary proceedings for each of the three levels are different. The level of a specific alleged instance depends on the specific circumstances of a situation, and the Academic Integrity Facilitator will determine whether the violation falls into Level 1, 2, or 3.
Level 1 violations are the least serious violations and often involve a low amount of premeditation or planning; often, it is the first offense. Additionally, Level 1 violations tend to be violations that are either a small percentage of the coursework or occur on a minor quiz or task.
A Level 2 violation is more serious than a Level 1 violation and involves significantly more planning or premeditation. It may be a second violation of something that would have counted as Level 1 the first time. According to the policy, there is often “clearly dishonest or malicious intent” demonstrated by the student who committed the act. Many Level 2 violations are for major exams or assignments.
According to the policy, “Level 3 violations are serious breaches of conduct, may involve a serious violation of a professional code of conduct, may include extreme cases of dishonesty and maliciousness, violation of law, and/or are likely to cause direct harm to others.” An example might be having someone else take an examination on their behalf or falsifying patient or clinical records. If the alleged Level 3 violation involves a violation of law or a professional code of conduct, the student may be removed from the course, internships, or clinical setting.
What is the Disciplinary Process at Rutgers University-New Brunswick?
If you are facing allegations of a potential academic integrity violation, this chart offers potential options for how your case will proceed as far as process. It's a high-level overview of the process and mostly comprised of yes/no questions.
For a more comprehensive overview, the Procedures for Adjudicating Alleged Academic Integrity Violations is a helpful resource. If the alleged violation is a Level 1 or 2 violation and you are not currently on probation, then the faculty member may decide the case, and handle it. If the incident doesn't meet those qualifications, then only an Academic Integrity Facilitator (AIF) can decide the case (Level 1,2, or 3). The adjudicator of the case has fifteen working days to notify you in writing of the accusation. This notification will include the following information: an allegation has been made, what the disciplinary process is, what your rights are throughout the process, that there are campus advisors who can assist you, and that you cannot withdraw from the course until a decision has been reached, without written permission from the dean. Once you receive this notice, you'll have five working days to respond. The adjudicator would investigate, review all information, and decide, according to a preponderance of the evidence (if it's more likely than not), if the alleged violation took place. You should be notified in writing within 15 days after your initial meeting. If the adjudicator determines that you committed the violation, they will also decide on an appropriate penalty. If the penalty is not a suspension, expulsion, or disciplinary F (XF), then they will report the results to the Office of Student Conduct. You have 10 working days to appeal the finding or the sanction if you disagree with either of them.
If the sanction is more serious (suspension, expulsion, or XF), then the case goes to a University Hearing. The Hearing Board will determine whether or not you did, in fact, violate the academic integrity policy.
How can an Attorney Assist me?
Navigating the disciplinary proceedings at Rutgers University-New Brunswick can be a challenge when you're concerned about your academic future. An attorney can guide you in gathering evidence to support your case. A preponderance of the evidence is not a heavy burden of proof, and so it's important to have someone fighting by your side. An experienced academic misconduct attorney understands how to best craft a defense strategy.
What is the Appeal Process?
There are four possible grounds for an appeal. They are: Unsupported conclusion, procedural error, new information, and disproportionate sanction. If you wish to file an appeal, you can use the online form to do so, but you must do this within ten days of receiving the initial decision. The Campus Appeals Committee will make their determination based on the original recording from the proceeding and any written information that any parties submit. There is no actual meeting with anyone involved in the situation. They will decide one of four things. First, that the finding and the sanction are overturned, either fully or partially. Second, that the finding holds, but the penalty is modified. Third, the finding and sanction hold. Or, finally, that the case will be re-heard.
Experienced Attorney for Rutgers University-New Brunswick
If you are facing an alleged academic integrity violation, all of the time and money that you've spent on your college education could be at risk. If your sanctions include suspension, expulsion, or a disciplinary F, your financial aid and future academic and career endeavors are at stake. Attorney Joseph D. Lento believes in fighting on behalf of his clients and, over the course of many years, has helped thousands of students fight similar allegations. He won't give up. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or fill out our online form to discuss your circumstances.