College is hard enough as it is. You've got classes to worry about; your roommate has night terrors; you can't figure out what that funky smell is coming from under your bed. The last thing you need is an academic misconduct charge. Frankly, you don't have time to deal with it.
You can't just ignore it, though. Even a minor sanction, like a written warning, can have serious long-term repercussions. If it should show up on your permanent record, it will tell scholarship committees, graduate school committees, and hiring committees that you're not to be trusted. That's not a reputation you want.
So, what do you do if you're facing an accusation from one of your professors? Get help. Make sure you have an attorney-advisor at your side. Not only can they do the heavy lifting involved in your defense, but they'll give you the very best chance of winning your case.
Defining Academic Misconduct at Wright State University
First things first: what are the rules at Wright State University? Only when you know the rules can you avoid breaking them. More importantly, it's essential you have a solid grasp of how Wright State University defines academic integrity if you're going to craft an effective defense strategy.
WSU takes a unique approach to academic integrity. Where most schools publish a list of specific violations—don't cheat, don't plagiarize—Wright State's Code of Conduct offers a list of “recommendations.”
- Be honest at all times.
- Act fairly towards others.
- Practice the same honesty and fairness when you're participating in a group.
- Don't turn in the same work in more than one course.
- Don't collaborate with others unless you have the instructor's express permission.
- Find out what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
- Know your instructor's policies on academic misconduct.
There's something very friendly about this list and how it's written. It makes WSU seem less threatening than other universities. It's obviously meant to establish a level of trust between you and your school.
There's a downside to this friendly tone, though. WSU's description of policy violations is so broad that it can potentially be used to justify virtually any sort of allegation. “Cheating” means something concrete. If your professor accuses you of cheating, you know exactly what you're being accused of. “Honesty,” on the other hand, is an amorphous term. It's not always easy to prove you've been “honest” in every way.
In addition, the last entry on this list is perhaps the most important. It's a reminder that your instructor has almost total authority over you. They define academic misconduct; they decide if you've committed a violation; they decide how to punish you. That's a lot of authority invested in a single individual, and it creates a significant level of risk. You can't be sure that this person will afford you the rights you deserve as a student.
Wright State University's Academic Misconduct Procedures
You should know up-front that WSU's judicial procedures for handling allegations of misconduct are heavily slanted against you. This is yet another reason why it's so important to retain an attorney-advisor before you head into battle.
Again, primary responsibility for identifying and punishing instances of misconduct rests with the faculty. Your instructor is required to meet with you and to hear your side of the story. However, they must complete an Academic Integrity Violation Form and submit it to the Office of Community Standards and Student Conduct even before they've told you about the accusation. That suggests the school doesn't plan to challenge their eventual decision.
In deciding whether or not you are responsible for a violation, your instructor doesn't have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you broke the rules. They only have to prove it is “more likely than not” that you did so, a far weaker standard.
Your instructor can issue a number of academic sanctions, such as
- A warning
- Revision or a make-up assignment
- Lower grade on the assignment up to a zero
- Lower grade in the course, up to an F
In addition, they can recommend you be given a more severe, disciplinary sanction such as probation, suspension, or expulsion. The Office of Community Standards can also decide, on its own, to issue an additional sanction. Finally, if you should be found responsible for a violation, the school charges you a $35 non-compliance fee on top of any sanctions.
You can, of course, dispute your instructor's decision. When you do so, an Academic Integrity Hearing Panel (AIHP) reviews documentation about your offense and decides whether or not to affirm the original decision. Curiously, while they can affirm the decision, they cannot overturn overturn it. Instead, if they have some question as to whether or not it is correct, they must convene an official hearing at which both sides can present their case. In other words, your instructor gets the benefit of the doubt. You must defend yourself.
Joseph D. Lento, Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor
By this point, you probably have a good sense of why you need an attorney to help you prepare your academic misconduct defense. It's no exaggeration to say that your future is on the line, and you're already at a disadvantage in the fight to salvage it. You don't want to take on that fight alone.
Joseph D. Lento is a defense attorney who specializes in advising student clients. In other words, he knows how to construct air-tight arguments, organize evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. Day-to-day, though, he applies those skills to help get justice for students like you. Joseph D. Lento knows the law and particularly how it applies to higher education. He also knows how to communicate effectively with faculty and administrators. 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 is ready to 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.