If you've received a troubling notice from the University at Buffalo saying that your school will be investigating you for academic misconduct, you might be worried about what's going to happen next. Is this going to affect your grades this semester? Are people going to find out? What will this do to your longer-term plans?
Academic misconduct violations are serious matters. You need to take action now to resolve them in the best way possible. However, the good news is that if you're able to take that action, you may be able to work towards a favorable outcome.
The University at Buffalo's Academic Misconduct Policy
The University at Buffalo's academic integrity policy makes it very clear that the University considers the following actions punishable:
- Aiding in Academic Dishonesty
- Submitting Previously-Submitted Work
- Falsifying Academic Materials
- Misrepresenting Documents
- Purchasing Academic Assignments
- Selling Academic Assignments
This is only a partial list. The University at Buffalo will consider the student's past history of conduct as well as the nature of the alleged incident before deciding on a course of action. If the University realizes that the incident was serious or the evidence points to apparent student guilt, the University will move forward with the investigation, adjudication, and disciplinary recommendations.
What Happens if an Instructor Suspects You of Academic Dishonesty?
The University at Buffalo can only proceed with an investigation or an adjudication if they are aware of what could be happening. This generally happens when a student or an instructor reports suspected academic misconduct to the University. Typically, a student who suspects another of misconduct will relay their concerns to an instructor. Once an instructor suspects a student of misconduct, this is what will happen:
- The instructor will send the student an invitation to a consultative resolution meeting within 10 academic days of noticing the possible infraction.
- The consultative resolution meeting will happen in person or via video call. In this meeting, the instructor will speak to their concerns and allow the student to provide more information. If the student does not attend the meeting, the instructor can determine sanctions as they see fit.
- After the meeting, the instructor will provide further disciplinary recommendations to the student via email.
- Then, the University at Buffalo will place a hold on the student's account. This prohibits you from dropping any classes that you're currently in.
- After that, the University's Office of Academic Integrity will send the student an official letter about the sanctions, the appeal process, and any remediation required.
Depending on the seriousness of the alleged infraction, the instructor can choose to recommend several different types of discipline. The most common include:
- A written warning provided to the student and placed in their permanent file
- A required revision of the assignment, exam, or project in question—with more constraints or supervision, if necessary
- A reduction in grade for the class
- A reduction in grade for the assignment in question
- A failing grade in the course
- A temporary or permanent transcript notation of academic dishonesty, pending approval by the Office of Academic Integrity
- A probationary period
- Suspension from the University
- Expulsion from the University
- Any other reasonable or appropriate sanction, as the instructor deems necessary
Do I Need a Student Defense Attorney to Help Me With My Case?
Working with a student defense attorney is the most helpful thing that you can do to protect your future and your good name. It's also crucial that you work with an external, experienced attorney that you can trust. Why?
When you begin to work through your school's adjudicative process, the University at Buffalo may offer you in-house representation so to speak. While this may seem like a generous offer, it's one you should decline. A school advisor will not have the niche experience you need, and they will always prioritize their loyalty to the school over their loyalty to you.
As you're fighting this academic integrity violation charge, you need to remember that your future success is hanging in the balance. You need to make sure that you're working with the best—and someone who has the expertise you need to ensure a fair process while working towards avoiding permanent disciplinary repercussions. A student defense attorney who has done this before, hundreds of times, will know precisely how to guide you through the coming weeks. They can help you draft documents, prepare for hearings, handle the appeals process, and more. Further, they can help you avoid the stress of attempting to handle this on your own—while managing everything else that's going on in your life.
Don't try to tackle this alone. That will hurt both you and your future. Instead, rely on a professional to get you where you need to be. At the Lento Law Firm, it's our privilege to help students like you work towards a better outcome.
A Student Defense Attorney Ready to Help You at the University at Buffalo
You might be confused about your academic misconduct allegations. You might feel frustrated, angry, and scared. That's all understandable—you're in a strange position. However, you're not in a hopeless one. There are steps you can take to keep your reputation clean and your future secure. You just have to act quickly before the University at Buffalo sanctions you with disciplinary action that could affect your future.
At the Lento Law Firm, it's our mission to ensure that students who need a second chance have the support they need. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced, empathetic, and skilled student defense attorney who helps students like you all over the nation. He can help you through your school's investigation, any adjudicative processes the University at Buffalo pursues, and more. Don't stress over your misconduct allegations; reach out and start strategic action today. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn more about how we can help you.