The University of Maryland University College rebranded itself in July 2019. Nowadays, students take online courses at the University of Maryland Global Campus. The new name, according to university representatives, not only married the campus to the state of Maryland but reflected its newfound global reach – one that came in handy come 2020.
Just because the university doesn't have a physical campus, however, doesn't mean that it doesn't hold its students to strict academic standards. Students are still expected to act with integrity while completing their assignments, and anyone caught violating university standards – or accused thereof – can face serious consequences.
Reading the Philosophy of Academic Integrity
The University of Maryland Global Campus defines academic integrity in its university-wide philosophy. This philosophy, shared with students before and upon their acceptance, states that students are expected to embody “six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.” On the subject of integrity, specifically, the university identifies two of its most important facets: its success in a culture of collective support as well as the challenges that may keep students from maintaining it throughout their education.
These broad ideas encourage students to stay on the straight and narrow without identifying the specific behaviors that might compromise a student's academic standing. Instead, students can find those specifics in University Policy 150.5. This policy notes that students may face academic and disciplinary consequences if they're suspected of:
- Lying about their academic standing
- Falsifying data necessary for class or professional work
- Omitting essential academic information from university representatives
- Plagiarizing, intentionally or accidentally
- Requesting that another student complete their work for them
- Bribing or accepting bribes related to their academic work
- Inappropriate use of the university's property
- Deliberately putting other students, university representatives, animals, or their environment at risk
- Misuse of university funds
Initiating Investigations at the University of Maryland Global Campus
The University of Maryland Global Campus operates online. The way it addresses student misconduct differs, then, from the way physical universities do.
To kick off the process, the university turns to its faculty, staff, and students. Anyone who believes that a student has engaged in academic misconduct is encouraged to report that behavior. Written reports must reach the Assistant Vice President for Academic Integrity and Accountability (AVP) or an affiliated body within thirty days of the incident in question.
The AVP will immediately inform any student accused of academic misconduct that a complaint has been leveled against them. At the same time, the AVP will bring together an Inquiry Committee. This committee is made up of three faculty members or staff members who have no relationship with either the accused student or the accusing party. These parties will consider the complaint and the evidence presented to them by the person who filed it.
The accused party does have the opportunity to submit evidence regarding their accusations. However, they may only do so if the Inquiry Committee requests their materials.
Consequences for Academic Misconduct at the University of Maryland Global Campus
Academic misconduct hearings at the University of Maryland Global Campus do not take place in person. Similarly, they don't take place all in one day. Instead, an Inquiry Committee can take up to thirty calendar days to discuss allegations leveled against a student. During this time, the student and other witnesses may be called to testify via video chat.
At the end of a thirty day period, an Inquiry Committee can come to three conclusions at the end of their deliberation:
- The student in question didn't violate the university's philosophy of academic integrity.
- The student did engage in questionable behavior but that behavior doesn't violate the philosophy of academic integrity.
- The student did violate the philosophy of academic integrity.
Students found guilty of violating the philosophy of academic integrity may face consequences including but not limited to:
- A letter of reprimand from the committee, attending professor, or AVP
- Forced completion of plagiarism or misconduct seminars
- Removal from a class or project
- Suspension of university rights for a period of time
- Academic probation
- Removal from the student's academic program
- Expulsion from the university
- Financial restitution
Appealing University Sanctions
All students have the option to appeal university sanctions after an academic misconduct investigation. Students must submit their appeals to the university president within thirty dates of learning about their sanctions.
Students must submit their appeals in writing and wait for the university president to determine their sanctions. The president, based on the case and applicable evidence, may decide to:
- Uphold the conclusion of an inquiry as well as its sanctions
- Uphold the conclusion of an inquiry while reducing a student's sanctions if the sanctions seem extreme
- Cite procedural errors on the party of the Inquiry Committee, reducing or eliminating a student's sanctions
- Cite new evidence and reduce or eliminate a student's sanctions
- Dismiss the case against the student entirely
Students do not have the opportunity to appeal decisions made by the university president, meaning that all conclusions and sanctions issued at this point in the investigation process are final.
Carve Out a Career Path With Help From An Attorney-Advisor
Students making their way through college have a lot of stress to deal with. Universities that compound that stress with accusations of academic misconduct make students' lives much more difficult. Instead of trudging through their university's legal jargon on their own, though, students at the University of Maryland Global Campus can reach out to attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm.
The team with Lento Law Firm is well-versed in the art of untangling and explaining universities' legal jargon. Students facing accusations of academic misconduct can schedule a consultation with attorney Joseph D. Lento to discuss their accusations as well as their best course of action.
No student has to let accusations of academic misconduct derail their career plans. To schedule a case consultation with the Lento Law Firm, call 888-535-3686 or reach out via the firm's online form.