Georgian Court University is a Roman Catholic college in Lakewood Township, New Jersey. The school was founded in 1908 but was a women's college until 1976, when male graduate students were allowed to matriculate. Georgian Court was not completely co-ed until 2013. The school now has more than 1,500 undergraduates and more than 500 graduate students.
Just like other schools in New Jersey, though, Georgian Court University takes academic misconduct very seriously and issues harsh sanctions for students who have been found to violate the school's code of academic conduct. This code is codified in Georgian Court's Student Handbook. Having an attorney at your side if you have been accused of violating these rules can make a huge difference, and can prevent your academic record from receiving the kind of blemish that can imperil your first steps into the professional world after graduation.
Faculty Investigations of Potential Academic Misconduct
Faculty members at the Georgian Court University serve as the school's front line and act as investigators into any potential instances of academic misconduct or dishonesty. Whenever a Georgian Court faculty member sees or hears of what might be academic dishonesty, they will inform the student and attempt to set up a meeting to discuss the alleged violation.
If the meeting occurs, the faculty member will review the evidence of the violation with the student and determine if a penalty should be issued. At this meeting, the instructor and the student sign a form stating that the meeting took place, that describes the violation being charged, and that includes any penalty the faculty member issued. Within 10 working days of the meeting, this form will be circulated to the faculty member's dean, with copies being sent to the faculty member's department chair, the Office of the Provost, as well as the chair of the student's major. Evidence of the violation will also be sent to the faculty member's school dean. If any penalty is issued, the faculty member has to report it to the dean of the school where the violation occurred.
If the meeting does not occur, the faculty member will inform the student, in writing, of the allegation and penalty, and notify the student that the dean of students and the school dean will receive reports of the violation.
If the school dean finds that the student being charged has already been found to have violated Georgian Court's academic policy before, he or she can choose to exact an institutional penalty. These institutional penalties can include:
- Academic support or tutoring
The school dean has to notify, in writing, the charged student of any institutional penalty being issued within 10 working days.
Appealing a Violation of the Academic Policy
Georgian Court students who have been found to have violated the school's academic policy can appeal their conviction by submitting a letter of appeal to the dean of students within 10 working days of being notified of their violation. This letter of appeal can challenge the charge or the penalty that has been served.
After receiving the letter of appeal, the dean of students convenes an Academic Integrity Panel. This Panel has to include:
- At least one full-time faculty member from each school at Georgian Court University
- One student from each Georgian Court school, and
- One at-large full-time faculty member selected by the other members of the Panel.
This at-large Panel member serves as the Panel's chairperson, sets a time and place for the Panel's hearing, and hears evidence relevant to the charge, but can only cast a tiebreaking vote.
Hearing by the Academic Integrity Panel
The hearing should be scheduled within three weeks of the date the Panel was created.
At the hearing, the student facing the allegation can be accompanied by an advising member of the faculty or staff and can call witnesses. However, the student is not allowed to bring an attorney to the hearing.
If the appeal is for the accusation or penalty by the faculty member, then the faculty member can either be present to explain the evidence being presented, or can choose not to attend. The Panel can, however, compel his or her presence.
If the appeal concerns an institutional penalty initiated or recommended by the school dean, then the dean can choose to be present and explain the evidence or can choose not to attend unless the Panel compels his or her presence.
After hearing the evidence, the Panel can find for the student and recommend that either the charge be erased or that the penalty be reduced. On the other hand, the Panel can recommend to confirm the violation and uphold the sanction, as well.
Within two working days, the chairperson of the Academic Integrity Panel reports the Panel's findings and its recommendation, in writing and via email, to the student, the provost, the school dean, and the dean of students.
The Panel's decision is final unless the recommended penalty is suspension or expulsion.
Appeals from the Panel
When the penalty is suspension or expulsion from Georgian Court University, it is the provost who has the final say on the matter. Students who want to appeal from the Panel's recommendation to expel or suspend them from school can notify the Office of the Provost within 10 working days of the Panel's decision that they want to present their case for a penalty reduction.
The Office of the Provost can then take into consideration the recommendation of the Panel, as well as the input of the student, before making his or her final decision within 20 working days of receiving the Panel's recommendation.
New Jersey Student Discipline Attorney Joseph D. Lento
Having an instance of academic misconduct on your record can be a blemish that is difficult to overcome as you move out of college and into the working world.
Contact him online or call his New Jersey law office at (888) 535-3686 if you have been accused of committing academic dishonesty at Georgian Court University.