College Academic Misconduct – Missouri State University-Springfield

Missouri State University is a community of scholars dedicated to developing educated persons who accept responsibility for their actions. Missouri State expects all students to practice personal and academic integrity, contribute to the educational process, and treat everyone with civility.

Students at Missouri State who choose not to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity can expect repercussions from the University. In addition, students may have an academic misconduct note in their university record, which could make pursuing graduate school or internships more difficult.

If you are a Missouri State student facing an allegation of academic dishonesty, know that the future of your education may be at stake.

Academic Integrity at Missouri State University

Missouri State has a set of Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures that applies to all students. These policies state what constitutes academic dishonesty and the process for handling suspected cases of academic misconduct. Also, faculty members are must include course-specific policies on academic integrity for their courses, complete with potential consequences for infractions.

Examples of Academic Integrity Violations

Academic dishonesty may vary from one class to another, as faculty members at Missouri State are allowed to set different standards of conduct. However, some behaviors are prohibited regardless of course-specific policies. Examples of these behaviors include:

  • “Using or attempting to use unauthorized technology, materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise
  • Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information (including research data) or any citation in any academic exercise”
  • Violating ethical guidelines for attributing credit and authorship in research endeavors
  • Use of published or unpublished work or sections of a work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment
  • “Unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in” selling term papers

Academic Integrity Procedures at Missouri State University

At Missouri State, instructors may handle instances of academic dishonesty directly with students. If the student and professor cannot come to a resolution, the matter escalates. Missouri State has an Academic Integrity Council (AIC) and Academic Integrity Panel (AIP) to oversee the administration of the University's academic integrity policies.

Reporting

Anyone at Missouri State may report a suspected act of academic misconduct. They can report to the responsible instructor if it occurred in a specific course or to the instructor's department head. The AIC will also accept reports of alleged academic dishonesty.

Meeting with Instructor and Department

If a professor accuses a student of academic dishonesty, the two meet to discuss the incident. The student can present relevant evidence and explanation at this meeting, and the professor may choose to drop the allegation.

If the instructor does not drop the allegation, they must make a formal report to their department head and the AIC. A student can either accept or appeal this allegation. If they accept, the instructor can impose a sanction. Students who want to appeal must send an appeal request to the department head within five days of the professor's allegation report. The department head will meet separately with the student and the professor and make a decision regarding the appeal.

Hearing

If the student or professor disagrees with the department head's decision, either may request an academic integrity hearing. The request must fall within 15 days of the department head's decision, and both parties will receive notice of the time and date of hearing four days prior.

An AIP composed of AIC members will hear the case. The accused student and accusing professor may both submit documents or ask for witness approval before the hearing starts. At the hearing, both the student and professor may have assistance from an advisor of their own choosing, however, the advisor cannot speak on their behalf. Both parties may present evidence and question witnesses, as well as answer questions posed by the panel.

The AIP will make a decision at the end of the hearing and notify the student, professor, department head, and AIC.

Appeals

Students can request a review of the panel's decision by submitting a written appeal within 15 days of the decision. The case will go before five members of the AIC (none of whom served on the original hearing panel,) and students and professors will have the opportunity to make a written response for the review process. The review panel cannot reduce teacher-imposed sanctions, but it may reduce sanctions imposed by the original hearing panel.

The review panel can also overturn the original decision and call for a new hearing.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty at Missouri State University

Sanctions for academic integrity violations at Missouri State can come either directly from teachers or be imposed by the AIC.

Teacher Sanctions

  • Denying credit for an assignment or exam
  • Requiring additional assignments or exams
  • Lowering a student's course grade
  • Issuing a failing course grade
  • Issuing a failing course grade of “XF,” which denotes failing due to academic dishonesty

Professors may only impose sanctions if they include them in their course policy statements.

Academic Integrity Council Sanctions

  • Lowering a grade
  • “XF” grade
  • Revoking privilege to hold office in a student organization
  • Revoking privilege to participate in intercollegiate activities
  • Required service to the University or community
  • Recommendation to Provost for suspension or dismissal
  • Recommendation to Provost that a degree already granted be revoked

Students may receive sanctions from both a teacher and the AIC.

How a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Help

If you are accused of academic dishonesty at Missouri State, you can bring an advisor with you to your hearing and your advisor can help you through all stages of the investigation. Throughout the process, your advisor can help you gather relevant evidence, present your arguments in your favor, and coach you on how to conduct yourself at your meetings and hearings.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of college students nationwide with academic misconduct issues and can help you too. Contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888.535.3686 to help protect the future of your education.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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