Based out of Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida works to help students achieve their academic and career goals. The university fosters an environment of academic success, but not without putting several behavioral guidelines into place.
The University of Central Florida outlines its expectations for its students in the Student Rules of Conduct. The Rules of Conduct define academic misconduct on the University of Central Florida campus as consisting of:
- Unapproved collaboration between students.
- Unauthorized possession of classroom materials, including copies of an exam's answers, unreleased project rubrics, and so on.
- Sharing of any of the aforementioned documents.
- Selling course materials without authorization.
- Completing another student's work under a false name or otherwise misrepresenting one's self in the classroom.
- Self-plagiarizing, or multiple submissions of the same assignment to different instructors.
- Knowing aiding another student in instances of academic misconduct.
The Student Rules of Conduct are upheld and regularly assessed by the Golden Rule Review Committee. This committee consists of seven students chosen by the Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Services. These students can propose changes to the above definitions of academic misconduct, meaning that the definitions noted here are subject to change.
The Academic Misconduct Hearing Process
Instances of academic misconduct at the University of Central Florida are handled by the Office of Student Conduct and representatives from an accused student's department. To address concerns of academic misconduct, the appropriate parties will take the following steps:
- Professors who believe a student has engaged in academic misconduct must file an Academic Misconduct Report Form. This form details the behavior in question as well as any evidence of student involvement that the professor may have on hand. Professors have ten business days to file a report with the Office of Student Conduct heads after an instance of academic misconduct comes to light.
- Professors are also required by the university to meet with students who they believe engaged in academic misconduct. Students, with this in mind, will know when a professor is filing an AMR form.
- The Office of Student Conduct will share the AMR form with the professor's department head upon its submission.
- Students, at this stage, have the opportunity to accept responsibility for the alleged academic misconduct. Students who accept responsibility will be required to attend an Academic Integrity Workshop. These students do not have to go through the hearing process unless the allegations leveled against them are particularly severe.
- The university will launch a conduct review process against students facing severe accusations or students who refuse to accept responsibility for their alleged behaviors.
- The student, attending professor, and other applicable bodies will come before an Academic Integrity Panel to address the allegations. All involved parties will present evidence defending their arguments. After considering the evidence, the Academic Integrity Panel will determine whether or not the accused student needs to face university sanctions.
- The Office of Student Conduct will release a student's sanctions or the lack thereof, depending on the panel's decision, within fourteen days of the academic hearing.
Students interested in appealing the decision made by the Academic Integrity Panel have the opportunity to do so. These students must submit a written appeal to an attending appellate officer with either the Provost or another designated party within seven days of hearing of their sanctions. The receiving party will only consider a student's appeal if:
- New evidence comes to light regarding the student's alleged behavior.
- The student believes that the hearing proceeded unfairly or inappropriately.
- The sanctions leveled against the student seem disproportionate to the student's alleged conduct.
Sanctions for Academic Misconduct at the University of Central Florida
The sanctions a student may face in an academic misconduct case at the University of Central Florida will vary based on the severity of the accusations leveled against them. These sanctions can include:
- Educational Sanctions – students may face educational sanctions for their behavior prescribed by professors or the heads of their applicable departments. These sanctions can include a failing assignment grade, a failing course grade, a dropped course grade, community service, reflective papers, and so on.
- “Z” Designation – the University of Central Florida places a “Z” designation on the transcript of students who violate the university's academic code of conduct. These designations do not impact a student's grade point average.
- Disciplinary Warnings – disciplinary warnings may be verbal or written but aim to discourage a student from engaging in code-violating behavior in the future.
- Disciplinary Probation – students facing disciplinary probation may be denied access to certain parties of campus, university facilities, leadership positions, university events, and good standing within the eyes of the university.
- Deferred Disciplinary Suspension – students facing deferred disciplinary suspension may have engaged in behaviors worthy of suspension but under circumstances that allow the attending panel to lessen that student's consequences.
- Disciplinary Dismissal and Expulsion – students accused and found guilty of engaging in severe instances of academic misconduct may be dismissed from either their department or the University of Central Florida as a whole.
- Delayed Conferral of Degree – the University of Central Florida may inform a
- student that they must wait a particular amount of time before they may receive their degree after being accused or brought up on charges of academic misconduct.
- Degree Revocation – the University of Central Florida may deem it appropriate to revoke a degree awarded to a graduate student if it appears that said student engaged in academic misconduct before receiving said degree.
Contending with Academic Misconduct Allegations
Accusations of academic misconduct are harrowing for several reasons. They disrupt a student's day-to-day life and put that student's academic career and professional opportunities at risk. No student, however, has to face these kinds of allegations on their own. Instead, they can connect with attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. Attorney-advisors can help students and their families better understand the accusations leveled against them. In turn, these parties can help students find their footing during an informal or formal hearing. Ultimately, an experienced attorney-advisor can work towards ensuring a fair process and a favorable outcome.
Students and families who want to schedule a case consultation with the Lento Law Firm don't have to wait. Reach out via the firm's online form or call 888-535-3686.