Getting through college can be a challenge even for the brightest of students. Accusations of academic misconduct make that process even harder.
Understanding Tulane University's Definition of Academic Misconduct
Tulane University offers two presentations of its academic integrity honor code to students. The simpler of the two is available through the Office of International Students & Scholars. This code breaks down the university's expectations regarding academic integrity as students':
- Use of appropriate citations and research methods
- Deliberate independent work
- Commitment to single-person test-taking
- Understanding of the concept of intellectual property versus that of common knowledge
The full Student Honor Code elaborates on these ideas, identifying academic misconduct at Tulane University as incidents including:
- The use or reception of unauthorized testing or other academic materials.
- Collaboration between students or other parties on out-of-class work, including take-home exams.
- The use of electronic devices during exams or quizzes unless those materials are permitted by an attending instructor.
- The misuse of another person's intellectual property, or the passing of that property off as one's own work.
- Self-plagiarism, or the submission of a previously-graded assignment to a professor without that professor's explicit permission.
- The selling of previously-completed papers, notes, or similar materials to other students.
- The falsification of data or other academic information.
- The deliberate sabotaging of another student's work.
- Modification of one's own academic records or the records of another student.
- The facilitation of academic dishonesty.
Instances of academic misconduct are defined by Tulane University's Honor Board, made up of both students and instructors.
Responding to Accusations of Academic Misconduct
The process through which representatives at Tulane University will address accusations of academic misconduct includes the following steps:
Reviewing the Behavior in Question
An instructor or other supervisory body will bring their concerns regarding a student's behavior to the Honor Board.
Specifying the Charges
The Honor Board will consider the accusations and determine whether or not the case in question requires them to bring together a case against the student. If the accusation gains ground, then the board will determine ahead of time what violation, specifically, the student is accused of and what sanctions that student may, in turn, face.
Accusing the Appropriate Party
The board will issue a letter to the student who has been accused of misconduct. After the student receives this letter, they have five business days to either accept responsibility for the behaviors leveled against them or to request a hearing.
Students who accept responsibility for the behaviors they are accused of engaging in will have sanctions applied to their Tulane University record by the Honor Board.
Should the student in question choose not to take responsibility for the behaviors they are accused of engaging in, then the student has the right to reach out to an attorney-advisor. Tulane University notes that an advisor may not have an attorney-client relationship with the student in question but that the student may request the advisor's guidance when facing the accusations leveled against them.
Scheduling a Hearing
Should the student in question not accept responsibility for the behaviors they are accused of, then the Honor Board will set a date for an academic hearing. This hearing will take place within fifteen business days of initial communications with the student regarding their applicable accusations.
Attending the Hearing
Respondents – the accused party involved in the case – are not required to attend their hearings to have those hearings completed. Failure to appear on the part of the respondent will result in the hearing's uninterrupted procedure with no penalty applied to the party in question.
However, the complainant must either appear at the hearing, either in person or via phone call, or otherwise send a proxy in their place. Hearings without complainants present will be canceled or rescheduled.
The Consequences of Academic Misconduct at Tulane University
Sanctions applied to parties accused of academic misconduct at Tulane University will vary based on the severity of the perceived misconduct. These sanctions are the responsibility of the Faculty Chair of the Honor Board. Sanctions can include:
- A letter of reprimand detailing the accusations leveled against the student and what sanctions may befall them if similar behavior comes to light.
- Educational requirements, including courses on plagiarism or other honor code violations.
- The lowering of an assignment or course grade. Students may not have the opportunity to withdraw from courses in which they have been accused of academic misconduct. If the opportunity does arise, that student may be forced to take a “WF” on their final transcript.
- Honor Board Probation, including but not limited to notification that the student in question is not in good academic standing for up to two semesters.
- Suspension for a set or indefinite period of time, during which the student may be required to meet certain behavioral requirements.
- Expulsion from the university with that expulsion noted on the student's transcript.
- The revocation of any degrees previously awarded by Tulane University and any of the colleges therein.
Note that Honor Board Probation can prohibit a student from:
- Studying abroad
- Serving as a student officer with a university-affiliated organization
- Participating in University-sponsored activities
- Transferring academic credit to another university
- Pledging to a Greek organization
- Graduating from Tulane University
Challenging Academic Misconduct Accusations with an Attorney-Advisor
Accusations of academic misconduct have lasting consequences not only on a student's academic career but on the opportunities that may be available to them in their years beyond school. No student or family should have to face down those kinds of life-changing accusations alone.
That's where the Lento Law Firm comes in. Students facing accusations of academic misconduct at Tulane University can reach out to the Lento Law Firm to schedule a case consultation. Together with an attorney-advisor, they can face their accusations and best work out a productive path for the future.
To arrange a case consultation, call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or fill out the firm's online contact link.