As the largest public university system in the United States, The City University of New York (CUNY) has established student procedures that include a universal code of conduct and academic integrity standards. Like all other CUNY colleges, the School of Professional Studies expects its students to uphold the university vision to provide “equitable education in a more inquisitive world.”
To enforce equity throughout the school, CUNY administrators penalize students for academic dishonesty. Any student reported to have participated in activities prohibited by CUNY's academic integrity must cooperate with an investigation process to determine if there is a factual basis for the claims. If the school determines the claim to be valid, the student receives disciplinary action.
Academic dishonesty issues can remain on your academic record permanently and affect your future educational and professional endeavors. If you are accused of academic integrity at CUNY School of Professional Studies, read more about how an academic misconduct advisor can help you fight the allegations against you.
Academic Integrity at CUNY School of Professional Studies
CUNY takes academic integrity seriously, and the school encourages faculty members to report any suspected incidences. The reporting faculty member can determine if they prefer to speak with the student about the concern, handle the issue independently, or begin a formal investigation. Independent resolutions may include revision and resubmission of the assignment, a failing grade on the assignment, or a failing grade in the class.
If the student and faculty member resolve the issue informally and the student has never had another academic integrity offense, it does not remain on their record. However, formal investigations can have serious consequences. A CUNY academic integrity officer investigates many types of academic offenses, including:
- Cheating: Copying work, unauthorized collaborations, using unauthorized resources, fabricating or falsifying data, submitting the same work in more than one course, assisting others with cheating, or completing coursework for another student
- Plagiarism: Copying words or images without citations, failing to acknowledge collaborators, or submitting downloaded papers written by someone else
- Obtaining Unfair Advantage: Stealing or reproducing exam materials, stealing or defacing library materials, or intentionally interfering with another student's work
- Falsification of Records and Official Documents: Forging signatures or providing incorrect information on official records or documents
CUNY keeps students and faculty updated on its academic integrity policy by providing copies to all new students and faculty, discussing academic integrity at orientation, and posting them on the CUNY website.
Disciplinary Action for Academic Integrity Violations at CUNY School of Professional Studies
Academic integrity violations begin with a faculty report. Faculty members can complete the form online or in-person to an Academic Integrity Officer, who may be a student or academic affairs official or a tenured faculty member. The Academic Integrity Officer then consults with the faculty member to determine whether they should pursue academic or disciplinary sanctions. If they choose not to pursue disciplinary action or find that the student did not commit the alleged infraction, they cannot impose discipline or keep the allegation on the student's record.
The Academic Integrity Officer can only seek disciplinary action if the student is accused of committing a serious violation, has a history of violating the Policy on Academic Integrity, or the student has withdrawn from the course before the school could impose academic sanctions. Disciplinary sanctions for academic dishonesty could include suspension or expulsion, and CUNY can implement an emergency suspension that prevents you from continuing your studies through the sanctioning process.
Academic Integrity Sanctions at CUNY School of Professional Studies
The process of implementing academic integrity sanctions at CUNY School of Professional Studies depends on the specific circumstances of the case. The three scenarios are:
- The student admits to the allegation and does not contest it
- The student admits to the allegation and contests it
- The student does not admit to the allegation
If the student admits to the allegation and does not contest it, they will typically receive a reduced grade as determined by the instructor who reported them. The grade may apply to the specific assignment or the entire course. In some cases, the Academic Integrity Officer may still choose to seek disciplinary action.
If the student admits to the allegation but contests it, the student can appeal the academic sanction. They must do this in writing within 15 days of the decision, and the president or board committee on student affairs must decide within 15 days whether to accept or reject the appeal. The president or board must also provide a written statement explaining their justification for the decision.
If the student does not admit to the allegation, the Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee will investigate the case. They will provide the student with written notice of the charges and inform them of their right to appear before the Committee. They will also give the student the right to use witness statements or call witnesses to speak on their behalf.
Disciplinary Action for Academic Integrity Violations at CUNY
If the student faces disciplinary action because of the alleged academic integrity violation, they can accept their sanction or follow through with disciplinary proceedings. The process includes:
- Hearing: The Faculty-Student Disciplinary Committee holds a hearing with the student present. The chairperson of the Committee explains the details of the allegations and gives the student a chance to respond. The Committee listens to the student's testimony, questions witnesses, and reviews the evidence.
- Penalty: The Committee reviews the student's past disciplinary sanctions and hears impact statements to determine if the imposed penalty was fair.
- Decision: The Committee deliberates and provides the student with a decision within seven days of the hearing.
If the student chooses to appeal, they can do so within 15 days of receiving the decision.
Your Academic Misconduct Advisor
The CUNY School of Professional Development allows students accused of academic integrity violations to have an attorney present at their hearing if the sanction results in disciplinary action. Trying to manage your case on your own can be difficult, and the consequences can prevent you from reaching your educational and professional goals.
If you are accused of an academic integrity violation at CUNY, an academic misconduct advisor can help you fight for your case and preserve your future. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has years of experience helping students defend themselves against unfair allegations, and he can help you, too. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to get started.