According to the University of Iowa's Code of Academic Honesty, your school takes honesty very seriously. Your school expects you to do hard work, and that your work meets the high standards your teachers set before you.
Importantly, this code also sets up an expectation of student adherence to this code, stating that “any student who registers for courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has, in essence, agreed to…the College's Code of Academic Honesty.”
If you're currently looking at a notice from your school that the university will shortly be investigating you for academic misconduct, this agreement can suddenly feel scary. What's going to happen? What's at stake? Can you really do anything to make this better?
At the Lento Law Firm, it's our mission to help you do exactly that. Here's what you need to know.
Examples of Academic Honesty Violations at the University of Iowa
The University of Iowa's codes of conduct, written to help preserve the school's atmosphere of academic honesty, contain several examples of offenses that could merit university attention. (The website notes that their list is not comprehensive and that many of their examples may overlap.) These examples include:
- Cheating. This might look like using notes on an exam, talking during an exam, looking at the exam in front of another student, working on the exam after the instructor has announced that time is up, reproducing an exam so other students can study it, or otherwise going against the instructions or guidelines set by the instructor
- Plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs when a student uses another person's ideas or words without acknowledging that they're doing so. It can be accidental or on purpose. This includes copying facts or graphs, copying homework or exam answers, or failing to use citations properly—for example, without quotation marks, with incorrect sources, or with improper paraphrasing
- Unauthorized Collaboration. This occurs when students work together on assignments or help each other on assignments when this type of action is against the guidelines set by the teacher.
- Willful Misrepresentation. This may be more of an issue for students in the sciences but can apply to any student. This occurs when a student makes up, fabricates, dishonestly adjusts, omits, or otherwise misrepresents data, pertinent quotations, or other important information. This type of misconduct can also extend to the way a student talks about their academic performance, any documents that the student submitted to the school during application and matriculation, and occasions where students forge signatures or use university letterheads improperly.
- Facilitating the Academic Dishonesty of Others. Whether a student fully writes a paper for a friend or just looks the other way when another student cheats, that student is guilty of facilitation. The university will reprimand this behavior as well.
If the university learns that a student has allegedly performed any of these actions, the university will work to learn what happened. This may include a formal or informal investigation.
If the alleged infraction is relatively minor, the instructor in question may simply award a grading infraction. In this case, the alleged perpetrator and the instructor may be able to come to a successful resolution informally. For example, the instructor may accept a revised assignment or provide ways for the student to make up for a failing grade.
In more severe violations of the university's academic honesty policy, the school will become more involved. After the university's investigation and resultant decision about what occurred, the university will provide recommendations for sanctions against the student.
For a first offense, the subject of an academic misconduct investigation must take an academic integrity seminar. This seminar is not associated with any college credit. It does include homework, and the student must pay $100 for the course. The student cannot register for the next semester's classes until they take this seminar. However, if the student completes this exercise successfully, there will be no note made regarding academic misconduct in the student's transcript.
A second offense nets the student different, more severe punishments. The student will be suspended. This suspension will last for two semesters, after which the student can come back to the University of Iowa. If the student goes on to act in a more academically honest manner, the school will remove any notations from the student's transcript. After the third offense, the student is expelled with a permanent notation on their transcript.
This tiered response may be more lenient than many universities, but there remain concerns with how sanctions can affect a student. Taking a non-credit course will generally be less burdensome than other potential sanctions, but for students who may be burning the candle on both ends, additional obligations may be difficult to meet on top of a student's regular workload. More concerning is the fact that getting suspended for a year will assuredly throw a wrench in your plans. Additionally, despite the prospect of no transcript notation if a student has no further academic misconduct issues upon returning to school, a suspension will still appear on a student's transcript in the "abstract" in the sense that there will be a one-year gap which will need to be explained. This can result in diminished future academic and professional opportunities. If the school does leave a notation in your transcript, that can make your future more difficult than it needs to be. That's why you need to work, now, to make sure that none of this happens to you.
A Student Defense Advisor Ready to Help You at the University of Iowa
If the University of Iowa is sending you scary-sounding documents and alerting you that discipline may be in your future, it's time to take action. Academic misconduct violations may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but they can impact your entire future. At the Lento Law Firm, we believe that you should have access to all of the opportunities you've worked hard for. Academic misconduct allegations should not stand in the way of your future.
Joseph D. Lento provides strategic, effective defenses for students across the nation who need help fighting their academic misconduct charges. He can help you navigate your school's policies, prepare for hearings, draft documents, and more. Your future at the University of Iowa and beyond is important. Call upon Joseph D. Lento to help protect it. Reach out to the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.