West Virginia University's main campus in Morgantown, WV is nestled alongside the Monongahela River. This public university has a longstanding record of its students receiving prestigious fellowships and scholarships, such as the Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright. As such, it should come as no surprise that the institution values academic integrity and honesty. The first line of the Mountaineer Creed, in fact, references this: “As a Mountaineer, I will: Practice academic and personal integrity.”
If you or a loved one is facing allegations of academic misconduct at WVU, you should not underestimate the importance of addressing them immediately and finding support in navigating the disciplinary process. Here's a brief overview of some helpful information.
The Disciplinary Process at West Virginia University
At WVU, there are different procedures depending on whether the case is addressed via the Course-Level Process or the Conduct Process. The Office of Academic Integrity (OAI) is responsible for overseeing the procedures.
The course-level process is generally used for less serious concerns, and subsequently, the most a sanction could be is course failure. Your initial charge notice will arrive via your Mix email and describe your allegations. When this occurs, you are given a chance to meet with the OAI to respond to the allegations. There will be a case manager who handles the allegations against you. You may respond or accept responsibility. It's generally best not to accept responsibility from the start but rather to meet with the case manager.
Once your case manager reaches a decision, they will send you a notice of outcome via email that “states a) whether or not you were found responsible; b) whether sanctions will be applied; and c) whether (and how) you can appeal.”
The conduct process is a bit more stringent. You will receive an email notice, just as with the course-level process; however, you must meet with the case manager. This meeting is where you respond to the allegations. The meeting might also include the authorized reporter. If two attempts to meet are missed, the case manager concludes that you are responsible. If you fail to make those meetings, you may also have a hold placed on your account. Once responsibility is determined, sanctions, if applicable, will be decided by the case manager, perhaps, with the input of the instructor.
Exempted Programs at WVU
Although the above outlines most of the procedures that are available, certain programs follow their own internal process. Many of these programs are for graduate work. If your program is within the: School of Medicine, School of Dentistry, School of Pharmacy, or College of Law, you will want to find your exact program and explore the listed academic dishonesty resources.
What Are Possible Consequences or Sanctions for Academic Misconduct?
WVU's sanctions range from failing grades on an assignment to more severe sanctions such as: “Failure of the Course with Exclusion from Further Participation, Probation, Deferred Suspension, Suspension, Dismissal from an Academic Program, and/or Expulsion.” The most challenging component of these sanctions is not the immediate action but rather the potential long-term impact.
Is There a Long-Term Impact Due to Academic Misconduct at WVU?
If you're found responsible for the alleged academic misconduct, the incident will be on your official student record. The length of time depends on the level of sanctions that you receive. Any sanctions up to (and including) deferred suspension can be disclosed to an outside party for up to seven years. If your sanction is expulsion or suspension, there is no limit on how long that information will follow you.
More serious sanctions may also be recorded on your academic transcript. This includes the “Unforgivable F (UF), suspension, and expulsion,” and in very serious instances, “a separate transcript notation may also be applied.”
These records can negatively influence graduate and employment applications.
What is the Appeal Process at WVU?
Similar to the disciplinary process, the appeal process will depend on which process the university used for the allegation. If the case was resolved through the Course-Level Process, there is one page detailing the process. A student will submit a written appeal (with a pre-determined timeline listed in the notice) to the Office of Academic Integrity. They, in turn, will forward the letter to the Dean of the relevant school or college. The Dean will decide within ten calendar days after receiving the appeal.
If the case was resolved through the Conduct Process, the process is different. The student may submit a written appeal following the timeline in their outcome notice, however the OAI will forward the letter to the Provost of WVU, and a response will be remitted within 30 calendar days.
Although the appeal processes are distinct, the grounds for appealing are the same. According to the WVU Policy on Student Academic Integrity, they are: “claims that the decision (1) was arbitrary, capricious, or prejudiced academic evaluation; (2) was clearly unreasonable based on the information presented by the Authorized Reporter; (3) reflects discrimination based on any criteria prohibited by the University; (4) shows an unreasonable severity of the penalty; (5) contained demonstrable prejudice in the decision-making process; or (6) failed to consider additional or new information that was not available throughout the process.”
Best Academic Misconduct Attorney Advisor for West Virginia University
When you or a loved one faces academic misconduct allegations at WVU, there is a lot at stake. Whether your sanctions are as serious as expulsion, or “only” suspension, they will stay on your school record. The fact that these will follow you can both impact immediate aspects, such as financial aid or the ability to participate in extracurricular activities, and also long-term aspects as you apply for internships, graduate school, or professional employment. Do not take action until you've taken the time to speak with an experienced academic misconduct attorney-advisor. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of students at West Virginia University and across the United States overcome the challenges associated with academic misconduct. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online for help.