Founded in 1857 as the first public university in state history, Illinois State University (ISU) generally maintains an on-campus enrollment of around 20,000 students. With so many Redbirds attending Illinois State, the university may not handle an allegation of academic misconduct with the care that you deserve.
If you're facing a suspension or dismissal—two possibilities for those accused of academic wrongdoing—then your personal and professional futures could be very much at stake. Even if you're facing lesser consequences, any demerit on your ISU record could have long-term effects. Hiring an attorney-advisor to negotiate a resolution with your university is, for many, the right decision.
Your attorney will be versed in Illinois State's policies, procedures, and stakeholders in the disciplinary process. Joseph D. Lento and his team will create a case plan tailored to your specific circumstances.
What Does Illinois State Consider to Be Academic Misconduct?
When a student signs their name to any assignment at ISU, they implicitly ensure “that the work is the result of the student's own thought, effort, and study,” per the ISU Faculty Guide. Each faculty member must adhere to ISU's “Ten Principles of Academic Integrity,” which include:
- Establishing clear expectations for what is or is not a violation of academic integrity
- Responding promptly to instances of academic misconduct
- Following the university's established guidelines for handling alleged academic wrongdoing
ISU may sanction students who engage in academic dishonesty. Like most other universities across America, ISU prohibits:
- Collaborating on academic assignments meant for individuals
- Copying other students' work or allowing other students to copy your work
- Fabricating data, stories, or facts
- Using electronic or non-electronic tools to cheat
- Lying about personal circumstances to avoid or re-take an academic assignment
- Engaging in any other academic conduct that skirts ISU's policies
At some schools, faculty have the leeway to handle cases of academic misconduct between themselves and the student. This is not generally the case at ISU. When a professor determines that academic misconduct may have occurred, they must report it to the office of Student Conduct and Community Responsibilities (SCCR). Once reported, the adjudication process will begin.
What Should You Expect If You're Accused of Academic Misconduct at ISU?
ISU's Dean of Students Office details the process for handling alleged violations of academic integrity. The sequence of adjudication generally follows this format:
- The faculty member who alleges misconduct meets with the accused student: This meeting will occur “as soon as possible.” The faculty member may speak with the staff of the Student Conduct and Community Responsibilities office beforehand, and you may choose to speak with an attorney-advisor beforehand.
- The faculty member will file a written report of your meeting: They will file this report with SCCR. If you denied the allegations or refused to accept a faculty member's proposed sanctions, then your case will move to the next step.
- An SCCR staff member will complete a Case Management Conference with the student: During this conference, the staff member will “determine if a disciplinary resolution can be reached.” If you cannot agree to a resolution, or the faculty member who originally alleged misconduct does not agree to the resolution, then you'll generally face a hearing.
- The student will complete their hearing: You may have your attorney-advisor accompany you to this hearing. A formal hearing body, after considering the evidence, testimony, and arguments, will determine if you're responsible for academic misconduct.
The formal hearing body may issue the initial decision on your case. However, you may have the right to appeal the determination of wrongdoing, sanctions, or another aspect of your academic misconduct case.
Appealing a Ruling at Illinois State University
The ISU Dean of Students Office notes that students can appeal decisions issued in misconduct cases, except when they've expressly waived the right to appeal. You or your attorney-advisor may download an Appeals Request Packet and may file an appeal based on:
- Procedural errors
- The emergence of new information in your case
- Unfair sanctions
- A ruling that is not supported by the facts of your case
Appealing is almost always worthwhile. Filing an appeal is generally time-sensitive and dependent on an accurate filing, however, and may be a process best left to an attorney-advisor.
What Sanctions Can You Face for Academic Integrity Violations?
The sanctions you face may depend on the nature of the alleged offense and whether you've been found responsible for student conduct violations in the past. In the case of repeat offenses or offenses that ISU considers serious, you may face suspension or expulsion.
Other possible sanctions for academic misconduct include:
- Failing an assignment
- Failing a course
- Receiving a grade of Incomplete
- Receiving a formal reprimand in your student file
- Withdrawal of financial aid or other university-provided benefits
- Other sanctions that ISU deems appropriate
In a hyper-competitive academic and professional climate, any sanction can have a devastating effect. Even so, the possibility of suspension or dismissal is especially serious.
Hire an Attorney-Advisor to Defend You—Here's Why
Punishments issued by Illinois State University may haunt you when applying to graduate school or pursuing jobs. When a university issues sanctions to those accused of academic wrongdoing, it does not do so lightly—and yet, it may still issue sanctions against you.
You must put forth a capable defense right now, and hiring an attorney-advisor is a logical way to do so. Your advisor will provide general advice and represent you in any hearings and meetings they are permitted to attend.
If you've received sanctions and did not receive due process, then your attorney may file a grievance with the Provost Office on your behalf. Even if you waived your right to appeal, attorney Joseph Lento may negotiate a resolution with ISU’s Office of General Counsel. This office may have broad discretion to settle cases like yours outside of the university's stated disciplinary procedures.
Call the Lento Law Firm Today
The Lento Law Firm makes student discipline defense a priority. Whether you're facing dismissal or simply a letter in your student file, our team will represent you with tenacity and passion. We pay attention to the small details and will explore every avenue to resolve your case.
Don't let an allegation of academic misconduct cloud your future. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or submit your case details online.