As one of the premier Universities in the United States, Weber State holds students, faculty, and staff to a high standard of honesty and integrity. The university recognizes all students as adults pursuing higher education and expects them to behave like adults. The faculty and staff do not tolerate any form of academic misconduct. The Weber State Student Code (PPM 6-22) details what the institution considers academic misconduct, as well as the policies faculty and administrators follow when a student is accused. The code also covers the rights of an accused student and the potential sanctions.
Maintaining Academic Integrity Is Vital
Any university must have a solid reputation for complete honesty and integrity. Anything less can call into question the value of an education and degree earned at that institution. Graduate schools and potential employees would be that much harder to impress. If the faculty don't have complete trust in students, their courses may lack creativity and have less educational value, even for honest students. Every student should take the time to read and comprehend the Weber State University Student Code.
Defining Academic Misconduct
The Weber State University Student Code lists the following as acts of academic misconduct:
Cheating includes, but is not limited to:
- Copying from another student during an exam, test, quiz, or assignment without permission for collaboration.
- Making use of materials or procedures, or engaging in behavior, not authorized by the proctor of a test.
- Proctoring one's own exam.
- Collaborating with another student or students without permission.
- Obtaining, buying, selling, or soliciting an entire or any part of an exam knowingly and without authorization from the proper official.
- Bribing another person to obtain any part of or all of a test.
- Giving or receiving any unauthorized information about a test.
- Substituting for another student or allowing another to substitute for you during an exam.
Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement
The code defines plagiarism as presenting the words or ideas of another person or group without proper acknowledgment through the use of citations and/or quotation marks. This includes borrowing or purchasing a paper. Any student infringing on U.S. copyright law by making unauthorized copies of protected material is committing academic misconduct.
Collusion is unauthorized collaboration with another person to complete an assignment offered for credit.
Falsification is intentionally and without authorization creating or altering information and presenting it as fact in any academic exercise.
Buying or selling unauthorized information about a course or exam.
Use of Unauthorized Material
The use of any unauthorized resources in preparing for or completing any academic exercise constitutes academic misconduct.
Weber State University Academic Misconduct Policy
A professor who suspects a student of committing an act of academic misconduct may warn the student verbally or in writing. The warning will inform the student that any continued misconduct may result in more serious disciplinary actions. Upon determining that a student has cheated, the professor will give that student a failing grade of E for the course. The instructor will also file a detailed report of the incident with the Dean of Students which will be added to the university's database.
Rights of a Disciplined Student
Any student who has been accused and disciplined for academic misconduct may file a petition in protest of the decision. There are three levels of the petition process: informal, formal, and due process.
Level 1: Informal
At the informal level, the student first meets with the faculty, department chair and/or the dean of the college. If the student has been disciplined for serial misconduct, the Dean of Students may run an investigation and meet with the student to discuss the allegations. The person in charge of making the decision will then inform the student of that decision in writing. The student then has the right to go to the next level.
Level 2: Formal
The student can file a formal petition by completing the petition form within 10 working days of receiving a written decision or 20 days of a verbal decision. The Student Review Committee receives and reviews the petition. All parties involved in the incident are allowed to respond to the evidence. The committee will then render a decision. The student may then go to level 3.
Level 3: Due Process
Within five working days, either party may request a Due Process review. A Due Process Officer will go over the case to determine if it was prejudicial. The office then makes a final decision. At this point, the student's petition options have been exhausted.
Consequences of Academic Misconduct
As mentioned before, the professor may give the student a failing grade for the course. The student would then not get the credits toward a degree from that course, and it would have a severe impact on that student's GPA. The disciplinary action will be a part of that student's record permanently. This could harm their chances of getting into grad school or securing a job. More serious discipline is also possible. The university may also place the student on academic probation or suspension. Scholarships and financial aid may be revoked. The student may lose on-campus housing or other privileges. In extreme cases, the ruling body may decide to expel the student. All of these punishments can derail an academic career.
Being accused and/or disciplined for academic misconduct is a serious matter. Don't allow hard work and tuition dollars to be wasted by a moment of poor judgment or an honest mistake. You are entitled to and should have an advisor and representation during the petition process. You need an attorney, but not just any attorney. You need someone with experience representing students in your situation. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686. Attorney Joseph Lento has been fighting for students for years. He has the knowledge, skill, and experience you need, and he has helped countless students across the United States including at Weber State. Don't go it alone.