Misconduct Charges at Chamberlain University’s Illinois Campuses

Chamberlain University is a national for-profit school with a college of nursing and a college of health professions. Chamberlain's nursing college offers bachelor's, master's, and doctor of nursing degrees that help graduates qualify as registered nurses and for other professional nursing certifications. Chamberlain's health-professions college offers master's degrees in public health and social work. Chamberlain University maintains Illinois campuses in downtown Chicago, northside Chicago, and Downers Grove.

For-profit institutions fill important niches within the higher-education market. But as public reports document, for-profit institutions can face criticism for sharp practices associated with their profit-making interest. An example is this recent story on the bankruptcy of one national for-profit-college chain. The story reports that the for-profit school had to repay the federal government millions for loan funds it drew down without the enrollment to support the draws. Unfortunately, some for-profit schools misuse funds and abuse student interests for financial gain and to conceal operating problems.

For-profit schools should also not be manipulating their student-misconduct policies for their own financial interests. Drawing federal funds for enrolled students is one thing. Educating students well while respecting their procedural rights and their interest in graduating is another thing. Don't let Chamberlain University ignore its own policies and procedures, while treating you unfairly in a misconduct proceeding. Know your rights as a student at Chamberlain University. National academic-misconduct attorney and advisor Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm wants to educate you about legal rights and personal interests surrounding academic-misconduct charges.

Misconduct Policies at Chamberlain University

Chamberlain University's Illinois campuses, in Chicago and Downers Grove, follow the university's nationwide student codes of conduct. Chamberlain University has both an academic-misconduct code and student-conduct code in its student handbook and a further Title IX policy addressing sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Student misconduct raises significant concern throughout higher education, including at Chamberlain University. Academic misconduct within higher education comes in different forms with a long history. Read more here for additional context about college academic misconduct.

Misconduct Forms at Chamberlain University

Academic Misconduct. The Student Code of Conduct within Chamberlain University's student handbook defines these traditional forms of prohibited academic misconduct for which the university may initiate disciplinary proceedings, in a non-exhaustive list that includes a broad “other” category:

  • copying, defined as any act of taking information from another student by any means to obtain an advantage for one's self, conveying information to another student for that student's advantage, or representing another's work as one's own;
  • plagiarism, defined as the intentional or unintentional act of representing someone else's work as one's own;
  • collusion, defined as two or more students actively cooperating on any assignment when the instructor has not expressly permitted such activity, or any individual representing another student or being represented by another person for purposes of taking an examination, authoring a paper or assignment, or fulfilling the other student's obligation in any way;
  • alteration of records, defined to include forging signatures, changing the time or content of any completed examination or assignment while representing it as the original;
  • aids used for assignments or examination without authorization;
  • unauthorized use of proprietary materials;
  • bribery for undue academic advantage; and
  • acts of dishonesty, defined as misrepresenting fact for purposes of academic advantage or furnishing false information in connection with assignments.

Professional Misconduct. Chamberlain University's student handbook includes a separate Professional Conduct Policy that lists these additional forms of prohibited student conduct, among other violations of law:

  • disruption of teaching, research, administration, or other university activities;
  • failure to follow directives during the administration of an exam;
  • physical or verbal abuse, threats, and intimidation coercing any university student, faculty, or staff member;
  • theft or other damage to or destruction of university property or property of university students, faculty, or staff;
  • bullying or cyberbullying, defined as abusive or aggressive conduct intimidating another and a reasonable person;
  • hazing, defined as any action or situation created to place another in fear, fright, or distress over bodily harm, danger, or mental discomfort, associated with group membership;
  • provocative or aggressive conduct that communicates derogatory statements about a group or race, inflammatory statements about a personal, political, or religious view, or profane language;
  • gambling at university functions or using university equipment;
  • drug possession, distribution or sale, except as law and university policy expressly permit;
  • alcohol possession, distribution, or sale, except as law and university policy expressly permit.

Title IX Violations. Any college or university receiving federal funding must comply with federal Title IX including its new regulations effective August 14, 2020. Read more here about those recent Title IX interpretive changes. The current federal interpretation limits Title IX's reach to only these three forms of sexual misconduct, each of which Chamberlain University's Title IX policy also prohibits:

  • sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking;
  • quid-pro-quo harassment (attempting to trade favors for sex); or
  • unwelcome conduct so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to deny equal access to education based on sex.

Misconduct Procedures at Chamberlain University

College or university procedures can be just as important as definitions of student misconduct, when determining the truth of disputed allegations. Procedures are important to the reliability and fairness of the outcomes. Consider the following outline of Chamberlain University's student-misconduct procedures, first as to academic misconduct, then professional misconduct, and then as to Title IX violations.

Academic Misconduct. Chamberlain University's student handbook permits the involved instructor to address student academic misconduct, imposing a sanction up to failing the course. The instructor may also refer academic misconduct to a Hearing Panel for a review about which the Hearing Panel notifies the student of the charge and at which the Hearing Panel invites the student to attend. The student may present evidence at the Hearing Panel review with the assistance of an attorney-advisor who may not speak for the student. A student found to have committed academic misconduct may request an administrative review, in the nature of an appeal.

Professional Misconduct. Chamberlain University's student handbook provides that a conduct administrator receives complaints about student professional misconduct. If the conduct administrator cannot resolve the complaint to the complainant and student's satisfaction, then a Professional Review Committee hears the charge. The Professional Review Committee follows procedures like those above for Hearing Panels on academic misconduct, except that the student may also submit questions for any witnesses. The student may appeal an adverse decision.

Title IX Procedures. A college or university receiving a complaint about Title IX forms of sexual misconduct must follow federal Title IX regulations to determine whether misconduct occurred. Significantly, Trump Administration 2020 changes to those federal Title IX procedures guarantee the accused a hearing at which the accused has the right to attend and cross-examine the accuser and other witnesses to expose false allegations.

Chamberlain University's Title IX policy preserves these and other federal Title IX rights. The procedures are like those above for academic misconduct and professional misconduct, except that the accused student has the right to cross-examine witnesses at the hearing. Hearing occurs before a three-member Decision-Maker panel chosen by the university's Title IX coordinator. The accused student may have an attorney-advisor attend, although the student questions the witness, not the advisor. The panel applies a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard. Appeal from an adverse decision is possible.

Misconduct Sanctions at Chamberlain University

Chamberlain University treats academic misconduct as seriously as other colleges and universities to comply with federal Title IX regulations and to preserve the integrity of its programs and degrees. Chamberlain University's student handbook and Title IX policy together list these potential misconduct sanctions:

  • denial of admission;
  • rescinded admission;
  • warning;
  • probation;
  • loss of privileges;
  • fines and restitution;
  • additional training;
  • restriction on contact;
  • suspension from enrollment;
  • enrollment termination;
  • revocation of degree.

An Attorney-Advisor's Role

Misconduct charges of any type can frighten, distract, and depress a student. Students facing misconduct charges often don't have the time, skills, and resources to navigate disciplinary proceedings and successfully defend against charges. Some students believe that a charge means a violation. Avoid these errors if you face any kind of misconduct charge at Chamberlain University's Illinois campuses. Don't let a for-profit university ignore its own procedures and pursue your suspension or dismissal while keeping your tuition and loan proceeds.

Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm is a national academic-misconduct attorney and advisor with the skill and experience to successfully defend against Chamberlain University academic-misconduct charges. Chamberlain University's procedures, while limiting the role of an attorney advisor, provide protections that enable Joseph D. Lento to help you assess allegations, identify evidence to present, identify how to challenge the complainant's evidence, and analyze and appeal adverse findings, to defeat false or exaggerated charges.

Let Joseph D. Lento's skilled advocacy expose and defeat groundless misconduct charges. Don't underestimate the value of an experienced attorney advisor. And don't underestimate the potential impact of misconduct charges. Student-misconduct violations affect reputation, education, and career. Hundreds of college and university students nationwide have retained Joseph D. Lento at the Lento Law Firm to defend and defeat academic-misconduct allegations. Joseph D. Lento has the expertise to help you navigate and defeat a misconduct charge at Chamberlain University. Call 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation or use the online service.

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