Oregon State University has committed to providing a top-tier education to each of its students. In order to deliver on that promise, OSU needs to harbor an environment of integrity and honesty among its academic community. As a result, any student who may have an involvement with cheating, plagiarism, or any of the other actions that violate OSU's academic integrity policy is going to receive disciplinary action.
If this is you, you may be wondering if there's any way you can work past this with your head held high. As it turns out, there is—but you do need to get started. Disciplinary cases can move fast, and you'll need to be taking strategic action at every stage.
OSU's Academic Misconduct Policy
Oregon State University starts its academic misconduct section in the code of conduct with the following overarching statement defining punishable behavior:
Any action that misrepresents a student or group's work, knowledge, or achievement, provides a potential or actual inequitable advantage, or compromises the integrity of the educational process.
As this is a general statement, the code of conduct then goes on to clarify specific prohibited actions. These include:
- Cheating, or the use of unauthorized assistance to achieve an unfair advantage in any academic setting
- Plagiarism, or any instance in which a student uses the work, words, or ideas of another without proper citation
- Falsification, or any situation in which a student invents or misrepresents data or information regarding their academic experiences or status
- Assisting, or the practice of helping other students cheat, plagiarize, or falsify
- Tampering, or any interference with an instructor's work or the quality of another student's work
This is not an exhaustive list. OSU may investigate any action which causes an instructor or one of your peers to file an allegation of misconduct. Once an instructor is suspicious or learns of suspicions of misconduct, they will initiate the school's academic misconduct due process.
Due Process at OSU
The academic misconduct disciplinary process begins when an instructor fills out a report of academic misconduct and files it with the university. An independent staff member will review the allegation and decide whether to investigate. If OSU decides that it wants to learn more about what happened, you will receive an email notifying you of the upcoming investigation.
While OSU conducts its investigation, it's a good idea to reach out to a professional attorney, one with lots of experience defending students from academic misconduct charges. You'll also want to put together your own timeline regarding what happened, and gather as much information as you can to suggest your innocence.
You'll meet with a college hearing officer after the investigation is complete to review the information and state your side of the story. After this meeting, you also have the chance to file a written statement in your defense. Using this information, the college hearing officer will determine the likelihood of your guilt. After this, you will receive an ‘outcome letter' that details OSU's decision about your involvement in the alleged event, as well as OSU's recommendations for your sanctions.
What's at Stake in my Academic Misconduct Case
OSU's code of conduct provides information about the possible sanctions in an academic misconduct case. You could expect any of the following outcomes:
- A written warning
- Required educational activities (e.g., an anti-plagiarism seminar)
- Community service hours
- Reduction of campus privileges
- An academic sanction
- A grade reduction
- Removal from your class
However, the true consequences of this situation can last for the rest of your life. OSU will make a note on your transcript about your alleged code of conduct violation. This note will be visible to anyone who requests your transcript in the future—including prospective employers and any future academic institutions you apply to. This will make those people think at least twice before they offer you the opportunities you deserve.
If you disagree with OSU's decision, you do have the option to appeal. Within a short time after OSU notifies you of your punitive measures, you can file a persuasive argument attempting OSU to change its mind. OSU only recommends that you do so if you have new information that was not available during the initial investigation, or if you can clearly demonstrate that OSU did not follow its own regulations during your investigative and adjudicative procedures. You only have one chance to appeal, which makes it doubly crucial that you wait until you have a good basis for doing so. Your student defense attorney-advisor can help you determine whether you're ready to file an appeal, and work with you to make it as likely to succeed as possible.
Need Help with Academic Misconduct Defense at Oregon State University? Give Joseph D. Lento a Call
Whether you're facing a quick adjudicative meeting or a full-scale formal investigation, there's a lot going on. You received a notice from OSU regarding your alleged violations, and then, very quickly, you had to get to work. You downloaded the code of conduct. You squinted at footnotes in OSU's academic integrity policy. You're crossing your fingers and hoping that nothing terrible happens to your future—but it doesn't look good.
That was then. Now, you can work with Joseph D. Lento. With Joseph D. Lento's expertise, you can navigate tough disciplinary situations and manage your school's due process without anxiety. Joseph D. Lento has spent years working with students across the nation to ensure that they get the second chance they deserve. He can do the same for you.
If your future is on the line, don't leave your academic misconduct defense at Oregon State University up to chance. Instead, reach out to the Lento Law Firm for strategic help at every stage of your upcoming process. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to learn more about the services we provide.