The New Jersey City University is a mid-sized liberal arts college of 6,800 undergraduate students in Jersey City, New Jersey. It opened its doors to students in 1929 as a school where future teachers could learn about how best to educate others. In 1968 it expanded its offerings to other liberal arts programs.
As an institute of higher learning, the New Jersey City University has to take instances of alleged academic misconduct very seriously or else it would risk losing its reputation, and potentially even its accreditation. Therefore, New Jersey City University has a strict Academic Integrity Policy, which binds all of the students that take classes at the school. Unfortunately, like most such policies, New Jersey City University's can easily implicate innocent students who have done nothing wrong. Worse, without an attorney to help you defend against these charges, you can quickly find yourself convicted on groundless accusations that you have violated the Integrity Policy.
Three Levels of Academic Misconduct
New Jersey City University recognizes that some instances of academic misconduct are more severe than others. Therefore, its Academic Integrity Policy outlines three levels of violations:
- Level I violations involve a student's ignorance or inexperience with the rules of academic conduct, and typically only include a small portion of the course work, like improper footnotes or minor plagiarism. The penalties for Level I violations are restricted to the course work, are at the discretion of the faculty member for the course, and are not reported to the University's administration.
- Level II violations are more serious, and implicate significant aspects of a course's work, like copying another student's work during a test or plagiarizing major portions of a paper. Penalties for Level II violations are at the discretion of the faculty member and can include a failing grade for the assignment or for the course. These penalties are reported to the school's administration, which can upgrade the violation to a Level III offense if the student has another such incident on his or her record.
- Finally, Level III violations involve pervasive dishonesty on a major component of the coursework, like buying papers to present as one's own or obtaining an upcoming exam's answer key. Penalties for these offenses go beyond just a failing grade for the course, and include suspension or expulsion from school.
Investigation of Alleged Academic Misconduct
If an instructor becomes suspicious that a student in their course is committing a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy at the New Jersey City University, they are supposed to meet with the student without 45 days of the last day of the semester in which the alleged incident occurred. The instructor and the student will discuss what happened, and the instructor will determine whether a violation has occurred during this meeting.
If the instructor determines that no violation has occurred, the matter will come to a rest with this meeting.
If the instructor decides that there has been a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, but that violation is only a Level I offense, then the instructor will discuss the penalties with the student and impose a sanction that the instructor thinks fit. In these cases, no record of the instance will be made, other than the grade reduction, if that is the penalty that the instructor settles on. Therefore, the dean, department chair, or other office administrator will be notified of the incident.
If the instructor decides that there has been a Level II or III offense, then a report of the incident, as well as the penalty imposed, will be sent to the department chair and the Academic Dean. A note of the misconduct will also be added to the student's academic record.
If the instructor determines that the offense is a Level III offense and that appropriate sanctions go beyond the scope of their course, they can recommend probation, suspension, or expulsion to the department chair or the Academic Dean.
A Lengthy Appeals Process
If the student wants to appeal the result of his or her meeting with the instructor, they need to make a written appeal to that instructor within 10 days. If the instructor affirms their original decision, or fails to respond within 10 days of the receipt of the appeal, then the student can make a written appeal to the next level of review, the department chairperson, within 10 days.
If the department chairperson affirms the instructor's decision, then the student can appeal the case to the appropriate Academic Dean within 10 days. This Dean will provide the student with a written decision within 10 days of receiving the appeal.
The student can appeal this written decision to the University Senate's Student Affairs Committee within 10 days of being notified of the Dean's written decision.
The Student Affairs Committee of the University Senate
This Committee is comprised of at least one faculty or staff member from each of the Colleges at the New Jersey City University, and one student from the school.
The Committee can allow the student and the instructor to present their cases, or can elect to decide the case strictly from the written record that has been created from the prior meetings and appeals. Based on the information it has, the Committee determines if there has been a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy and makes an advisory recommendation to the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who then renders the final decision within 30 days of receiving the recommendation.
Final Appeal to the President
Only if the result is a student's expulsion from school can a final appeal be made to the President of the University. Such an appeal has to be made in writing and within 10 days of the decision by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. If properly made, the President will make a final decision within 20 days of receiving the appeal.
New Jersey Student Discipline Attorney Joseph D. Lento
Throughout this process, the skills of a student discipline attorney like Joseph D. Lento can make a huge difference. Contact him online or by phone at 855-535-3686 to get the legal help you need to defend against these charges that can drastically impact your ability to enter the working world on the right foot.