The state of New York is currently home to more than 230 colleges and universities, which require that students adhere to high standards of academic integrity. Students that are accused of cheating, plagiarism, or other academic misconduct are subject to an investigative and disciplinary process that can result in suspension or dismissal. During these proceedings, students are typically able to choose an advisor to assist, support, and accompany them. Students are strongly encouraged to retain a knowledgeable attorney-adviser to serve in this critical role.
Common Examples of Academic Misconduct
- Cheating: Students may wrongfully use notes or electronic devices during an examination, may attempt to submit a paper used in a previous course again, or attempt to view another student's exam to copy their answers.
- Plagiarism: This is often viewed as a form of fraud that uses material from a source as if it were one's own. For example, a student may copy text from a source and include the material in a paper without making any reference or citation.
- Falsification or Misrepresentation: A student may attempt to alter grades or other academic records. It could involve creating a letter of recommendation with a faculty or staff member's falsified signature.
- Collusion: Also referred to as “collaborative” cheating, where two or more students conspire to violate rules of academic integrity. For example, one student compensating another to complete an assignment on their behalf.
Overview of the Disciplinary Process
Schools each create policies and procedures regarding how allegations of academic misconduct are handled. Typically, the matter is investigated and evidence is gathered to evaluate if the accusations have merit. The schools generally have an independent panel of faculty, staff, or students that closely review the evidence and hear from the accused before making a ruling.
Sanctions and Consequences
The majority of schools do allow students to appeal adverse rulings, which should be pursued with assistance from an attorney that is familiar with this area of practice. When allegations are proven, the administration may impose penalties that include suspension or expulsion from the institution. If a suspension occurs during an academic term the student is likely to lose credit for any coursework and monies paid for tuition, fees, or campus housing (when applicable). The student will be unable to participate in student organizations or athletics, and any student employment terminated.
Students that are dismissed from the college or university are permanently separated from the institution and lose any scholarship benefits. The student's records and transcripts will contain information regarding the disciplinary violations, which can pose challenges for those seeking admission to a different school, graduate programs, etc.
Importance of Retaining Seasoned Advisory Representation
Allegations of academic misconduct against a student can result in devastating ramifications for your future. Institutions of higher education today are operating in a highly competitive market and many are facing substantial budgetary challenges. Faculty members and administrators assigned to handle disciplinary concerns are often overwhelmed with managing their responsibilities and may hastily proceed without considering the accused student's proper procedural rights. Having support and assistance from an experienced attorney-adviser is the best course of action for achieving a positive outcome.
Lawyer for Students Accused of Academic Misconduct
Are you a student at a college or university in New York that has been accused of academic misconduct? The Lento Law Firm provides effective representation for those facing these challenges. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.