Academic freedom is a fundamental right in any institution of higher learning. Dartmouth College believes that integrity is a necessary precondition of this freedom. Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals.
When students compromise the college's rules that maintain academic integrity, they will be accused of “academic misconduct.” Accusations of academic misconduct are serious, and will be punished through the school's disciplinary system. Guilty determinations of academic misconduct can jeopardize a student's college career and affect their professional life down the line.
In this article, we'll address how Dartmouth College handles allegations of academic misconduct and why you need a student defense attorney to assist you through the process once accused.
How Does Dartmouth College Define “Academic Misconduct?”
The various ways in which academic integrity may be violated are described below.
Cheating is the use of unacknowledged materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. The use of computers, tablets, books, notes, calculators, telephones, Apple Watch or similar device, and conversation with others is restricted or forbidden in certain academic exercises. Their use in these cases constitutes cheating. Similarly, students must nor request others (including commercial term paper companies) to conduct research or prepare any work for them, taken an exam/quiz for them, nor may they submit identical work or portions thereof for credit or honors more than once without prior approval of the instructor.
Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsified information may not be used in any laboratory experiment or other academic exercise without authorization from the instructor. It is improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and covertly invent data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses. The student must also acknowledge reliance upon the actual source from which cited information was obtained. A writer should not, for example, reproduce a quotation from a book review or other secondary source and indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.
Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation and must be properly cited in the text or in a footnote. Acknowledgement is required when material from another source stored in print, electronic, or other medium is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one's own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state: “to paraphrase Plato's comment…” and conclude with a footnote identifying the exact reference. A footnote acknowledging only a directly quoted statement does not suffice to notify the reader of any preceding or succeeding paraphrased material.
Information which is common knowledge such as names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc., need not be footnoted; however, all facts or information obtained in reading or research that are not common knowledge among students in the course must be acknowledged. Faculty members may use a variety of means to detect plagiarism including online programs to verify the originality of work.
In addition to materials specifically cited in the text, only materials that contribute to one's general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography. Plagiarism can, in some cases, be a subtle issue. Any questions about what constitutes plagiarism should be discussed with the faculty member.
Denying Others Access to Information or Material/Willful Damage
It is a violation of academic integrity to deny others access to scholarly resources, or to deliberately impede the progress of another student or scholar. Examples of offenses of this type include: giving other students false or misleading information; making library material unavailable to others by stealing or defacing books or journals, or by deliberately misplacing or destroying reserve materials; or altering computer files that belong to another. It is also a violation to damage another person's academic work or property.
Violation of Research or Professional Ethics
Violations in this category include both violations of the code of ethics specific to a particular profession ad violations of more generally applicable ethical requirements for the acquisition, analysis, and reporting of research data and the preparation and submission of scholarly work for publication. Some examples are:
- Violating a canon of the ethical or professional code of the profession for which a student is preparing
- Using unethical or improper means of acquiring, analyzing, or reporting data in a senior thesis project, a master's or doctoral research project, grant-funded research, or research submitted for publication
- Misuse of grant or institutional funds
- Violating professional ethics in performing one's duties as a Teaching Assistant or Graduate Assistant
Dartmouth College's Procedure for Handling Academic Misconduct
Dartmouth follows consistent procedures for academic integrity. These procedures are outlined in the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures handbook.
Reporting Alleged Violations
Any violation of academic honesty is a serious offense and is therefore subject to an appropriate penalty. Faculty may address instances of student academic dishonesty under their authority to evaluate and assign grades, even if the consequences exceed those written below. They may also refer the incident for further action, utilizing University Student Conduct procedures that can document possible repeat offenders and adjust consequences accordingly.
Investigation Guidelines and Procedures
A trained investigator is assigned by the Director of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution or designee. The investigator will make all reasonable attempts to gather all relevant information to determine whether or not the Code of Conduct was violated using the preponderance of evidence standard.
The investigation's report and any written responses will be reviewed within five business days by an Administrative Review Panel consisting of one faculty/staff and two students who trained to review Student Conduct findings.
An accused student found responsible by an Administrative Review Panel may submit an appeal, in writing, via the link provided in the Decision Letter or by a letter sent to the Office of Student Conduct and Dispute Resolution. The written appeal must state the grounds upon which the appeal is based. Students are not able to appeal a decision if they fall into one of the following categories: (1) failed to participate in the investigation and has been issued at a decision in absentia; (2) accepted responsibility and reached an agreement at his/her Conduct Conference; or was issued a warning as a sanction.
Academic Integrity Attorney
An academic misconduct violation can jeopardize the academic and professional goals you or your college student have set. If you value the investment you've made into your education and your professional future, contacting a skilled student defense attorney is a must. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today at 888-535-3686 for more information.