Dealing With Academic Misconduct at Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix

You may not realize it, but you want your school to maintain a strict honor code. After all, you don't want to show up at your first interview as a graduate from a school with a reputation for cheating. There's strict, though, and then there's unreasonable.

Schools have become increasingly paranoid about academic misconduct in the last several years. They're more likely to accuse students of breaking the rules, and they're more likely to assign harsh penalties in response. The thing is, schools do sometimes get it wrong. They accuse innocent students; they punish students who may have done nothing more than making an honest mistake; they enforce sanctions that are sometimes well beyond the nature of the offense.

What can you do if you wind up accused? You can fight the allegation. You can fight the sanction. And you should. You don't want to take on these fights alone, though. When you question your professor, you question the entire university, and the university may not take it well. Make sure when you go into battle, you have help. A qualified, experienced attorney-advisor gives you the best chance to win your case and salvage your academic career.

Defining Academic Misconduct

Defending yourself starts with knowing the rules. Of course, knowing the rules is important to avoid mistakes in the first place. It's also crucial, though, to explaining why you're innocent. Only when you know exactly what you've been charged with can you hope to prove you didn't do it.

Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix, is ultimately governed by Arizona State University system policies. The ASU rules regarding academic integrity are extensive and include fourteen separate kinds of violations.

  • Any type of academic deceit
  • Using any type of unauthorized resource to complete your coursework
  • Possessing any type of unauthorized academic materials
  • Acting as a substitute for another student
  • Using a substitute to complete your coursework
  • Depending on others to such an extent that your coursework does not fully represent your abilities as a student
  • Offering any kind of unauthorized help to another student in relation to their academic work
  • Plagiarism
  • Using online materials without proper citation
  • Letting someone else turn your work in as their own
  • Claiming credit for work done by someone else
  • Signing an attendance log for another student
  • Misrepresenting your work in an internship, clinical activity, etc.
  • Attempting to influence or change an academic evaluation

When you're dealing with this many rules, it's not always easy to remember everything, and even the best of us can make mistakes. That doesn't mean you deserve a harsh penalty for “cheating.” An attorney-advisor on your side can make sure you're treated fairly.

Sanctions and Procedures

What happens if, despite your best efforts, you find yourself accused of misconduct? Who gets to level such accusations? What options do you have in terms of defending yourself? What punishments might you face if you're ultimately found responsible?

At Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix, accusations usually originate with faculty. A faculty member who suspects you of cheating doesn't have to meet with you and hear your side of the story. They can simply assign you either

  • A reduced grade on the assignment, up to an F
  • A reduced grade in the course, up to an F

In addition, they can recommend

  • A grade of XE in the course, indicating on your transcript that you have committed academic misconduct

Finally, faculty must submit a record of their findings to the college Dean and the Provost. Both of these officials have the power to act on an instructor's recommendations or even to assign more severe sanctions such as suspension and expulsion.

You do have the right to ask the College Board to review the matter, should you dispute the allegation, the sanction, or both. This involves filing an official appeal with the Dean. The Dean then appoints members to an ad hoc committee that presides over the proceedings. Both you and your instructor have the right to present your full case before this committee, including evidence and any witness testimony. The Board then deliberates and determines whether or not you are responsible for a violation and, if relevant, what penalty you deserve. The Board's decision is final, though it must be approved by the Dean.

How Can Joseph D. Lento Help?

Students don't always contest the charges against them, even when they are entirely innocent. Why not? Some are convinced that they can't win, that their school is bound to side with their instructor, and that there's no point in bothering to complain. Others don't want to go through the hassle of a formal appeal—of collecting evidence, talking to witnesses, writing statements, and organizing presentations. Some figure that a minor sanction is no big deal anyway.

Here's the problem with ignoring charges and sanctions: those charges and sanctions can cost you down the line. Of course, if you're accused again, you may face even more severe sanctions like expulsion. Even a warning, though, can be a big deal if it shows up in your academic record. If you accept responsibility for misconduct, you could lose scholarships. You might have trouble applying to internships or graduate school programs. You might find yourself trying to explain your dishonesty to a hiring committee.

You can't afford to take any accusation lightly. You must fight for your reputation and your academic future.

Joseph D. Lento can help. Joseph D. Lento is a fully-licensed, fully-qualified defense attorney. He knows how to construct air-tight arguments, organize evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. He's just as comfortable making those arguments in front of school administrators, though, as he is making them in front of judges. In fact, he spends more time on college campuses than in courtrooms.

Joseph D. Lento knows the law and particularly how it applies to higher education. Whether you've been charged with something big, like coordinating a large-scale cheating conspiracy, or small, like forgetting to cite a source in a paper, Joseph D. Lento can help you get the very best possible resolution to your case.

If you've been accused of academic misconduct, contact Joseph D. Lento today to find out what he can do for you. Call 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.

Contact Us Today!

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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