Franklin & Marshall College Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures

Franklin & Marshall College's “Academic Honesty” Policy

According to Franklin & Marshall's student handbook, each member of the institution's community is bound by ideals academic integrity. This entails proper scholarly conduct and intellectual honesty. The institution claims that it upholds an expectation of transparency and forthrightness in all academic endeavors and their origins.

The handbook proceeds to mention that a breach of academic integrity is regarded as academic misconduct. The behavior that constitutes academic misconduct comes in many forms. This includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

Unauthorized aid. This consists of making use of prohibited materials, study guides, or other assistance in an academic exercise. Here are some examples of unauthorized aid.

  • Accessing prohibited material during an examination
  • Obtaining test questions before an exam is given
  • Looking up solutions to homework problems online
  • Obtaining the solution to a problem from a classmate
  • Collaborating on work that is assigned individually etc.

Plagiarism. This form of academic misconduct is defined as reproducing the work or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. The following actions can be regarded as plagiarism.

  • Claiming authorship of a piece of writing or artwork created by someone else
  • Making use of ideas obtained from other sources (including classmates) without clearly acknowledging the source
  • Incorporating verbatim passages or elements from an existing work into one's own work without quotation marks or otherwise clear indication of authorship

Falsifying information. Making false statements or fabricating information an academic exercise is considered academic misconduct. The following examples are regarded as falsifying information.

  • Inventing data or sources for an assignment
  • Lying to obtain an extension or other favorable consideration
  • Submitting work completed in another class for credit without the express permission of the instructor

Unethical interference. This action consists of interfering with or undermining the work others to gain an unfair advantage. Some common examples of unethical interference are:

  • Inappropriately limiting other students' access to relevant materials
  • Tampering with other students' submissions or grades
  • Purposely undermining the success of collaborative work
  • Interfering with other students' scholarship by creating inhospitable work conditions

Facilitating misconduct. This act consists of helping others commit acts of academic misconduct. Here are some examples of facilitating misconduct.

  • Completing another student's work
  • Providing a solution or other prohibited material to another student
  • Lying to help another student gain advantage or conceal wrongdoing


Each member of the college community (student, faculty, or professional staff) is encouraged to report any suspicions of academic misconduct to the college. In the event that a member - usually an instructor - has suspicions of this behavior, he or she must be prepared to go through a number of processes.

The Initial Confrontation

Once an instructor holds a suspicion of academic misconduct, he or she must confront the student. It is preferable that this confrontation be in person, rather than by any other means. During this meeting, an instructor must express his or hers suspicions of prohibited behavior, the evidence that supports this suspicion, and intentions to file official charges. A space and time must then be given for the student in question to provide an explanation. If after listening to this explanation, an instructor is still convinced that school policy has been violated, he or she is obligated to to refer to the Student Conduct Committee for corrective action.

Unlike most other schools, Franklin & Marshall skips the steps of a student admitting responsibility or challenging a statement and a trial immediately is scheduled and commenced.


Hearings are intended to provide a fair process that enables to college to have a reasonable opportunity to obtain facts and evaluate evidence. Although the format of a hearing may resemble a trial - Student Conduct Committee panel members that are reminiscent of a jury, and a voting system to come up with a determination - it does not have the same technical features as a trial. Here are how the workings of a hearing will ensue:

  1. The Senior Associate Dean of the College will meet with the accused student to discuss the alleged misconduct prior to the hearing. At this pre-hearing interview the student will be advised of the charges against him or her, and his or her responsibilities and procedures in the process.
  2. The student and instructor will be given a chance to make a statement and can call witnesses to testify on their behalf
  3. The committee will deliberate in private after a hearing to evaluate the evidence. In making its final decision, it will review all of the information and determine, based on the preponderance of evidence, whether or not is is more likely than not that the accused student is in violation of any part of the Student Code.

If a decision indicates that a student is found “responsible,” he or she will be subject to the recommended sanctions. If not, the charges will be withdrawn.


The purpose of an appeal is to get the school to reconsider its decision. However, in order for an appeal to be granted it must be based on reasonable grounds, rather than mere dissatisfaction. A student has five working days to file an appeal.

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If you been accused of academic misconduct at Franklin & Marshall, you need the help of a student defense attorney. Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping students who have been in your predicament. Contact him today for help.

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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.