Getting into college has always been your dream. You've worked hard studying for your exams, joining the clubs and sports that look great on applications, you never expect to be accused of academic misconduct, and if you are, what do you do next? At Kansas State University, accusations of academic integrity violations are taken very seriously so that the university can uphold the rigors of its academic environment. If you or someone you love has been notified that you are under an academic misconduct investigation, the attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help present your case in a way that guarantees you the best possible outcome.
Academic Misconduct at Kansas State University
Every university is different on what exactly constitutes academic misconduct. At Kansas State University, academic misconduct is defined as encompassing the following actions:
- Plagiarism: presenting the words or ideas of another as your own
- Utilizing materials on exams or in other academic exercises without express permission from the professor
- Having someone supply questions and answers from the exam or other academic exercise
- Having another person attempt to take or take an exam or other graded activity for you
- Consenting to take an exam or perform another graded activity on someone else's behalf
- Deliberately falsifying laboratory results
- Revising and resubmitting a quiz or exam for regrading without the professor's permission
- Facilitating academic dishonesty: intentionally or knowingly helping another student violate the Honor Pledge
- Altering exams, papers, lab reports, or other academic exercises before or after such materials were handed to the correct person
Kansas State University Academic Dishonesty Procedure
KSU expects each of its faculty, instructors, and students to report violations of the Honor Pledge whenever they believe they have witnessed such an incident. These reports are made to the Honor and Integrity System Director. If the report is made by another student, the Director will consult the faculty member instructing the course and have them fill out a violation Report.
If the faculty member witnesses a violation, they have two options:
- Notify the student and impost a sanction that would lower the student's grade on the assignment in some way, or
- (a) Conduct their own investigation and identify specific sanctions and then turn it over to the Honor and Integrity System for further investigation or adjudication, or (b) turn it over to the Honor and Integrity System directly.
When the faculty member turns the accusation over to the Honor and Integrity System, the student will be notified. The Honor and Integrity System Case Review Board will review the allegations and make a determination of the sanction (up to an “XF” in the course). If they believe a suspension or expulsion is necessary, they will refer the issue to the Director. Once this report is complete, the alleged violator has the right to review this violation report and contest the accusations within five class days. At this time, the Director will also initiate the investigation and adjudication processes.
The Case Review Board will conduct a formal investigation into the matter and determine if the student is responsible or not and whether any sanctions are warranted. This decision will be made within 15 days of the Case Review Board beginning the investigation. Possible sanctions include anything from a lower letter grade on an assignment or an “XF” in the course to suspension or full expulsion from the university.
Appealing an Academic Misconduct Decision
Students accused of academic misconduct have every right to appeal the decision of the Case Review Board. Appeals must be made within three class days following the written notification of the Board's decision. In some instances, the university may grant an additional three days to make the appeal, but only at the discretion of the Director based on unusual circumstances.
The Director will determine if an appeal is warranted based only on whether there is substantial new information available or a procedural irregularity occurred during the hearing, that might have had an impact on the investigation or adjudication procedure if it had been known prior. The Director will then decide whether to:
- Reconvene the Board to consider the new information
- Appoint a new Board and perform a new review
- Take other action they feel is appropriate given this new information
- Deny the appeal
This decision is final and cannot be appealed further.
How an Attorney Advisor Can Help
Academic misconduct accusations can wreak havoc on your college experience and cause long-term consequences that will affect your life going forward. For instance, if you are forced to retake the course you are accused of cheating in, it will prevent you from graduating on time. Additionally, if you are suspended or expelled, those determinations will be memorialized on your transcripts, prompting all graduate schools to inquire into the incident upon your application. And, for students who are adjudicated not responsible for the allegations, the damage to your reputation is not something you can easily recover from. This is why it is so important to work with an attorney-advisor when you receive notice of the accusations. Attorney-advisors, like Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm, have years of experience helping students across the country who have been accused of violating their university's academic honor code. They work diligently to create a strategic defense that will ensure your case doesn't fall through the cracks. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation. The Lento Law Firm can help.