Purdue University - Academic Misconduct

Purdue University's Code of Honor sets forth its expectations for incoming and existing students. In this code, the university notes that it wants to drive students to “search for truth and to endeavor to communicate with each other.”

The code elaborates on this idea, establishing as it does the university's expectations for students in terms of their academic behavior. Students attending the university are expected to complete their own work, to avoid situations that would compromise the integrity of their work, and to conduct themselves with integrity in the classroom and as university representatives.

Students who fall short of this honor code may find themselves accused of academic misconduct and vulnerable, in turn, to the consequences set forth by the university and its offices.

What is Academic Misconduct at Purdue University?

According to Purdue University’s Code of Student Conduct, the university understands academic misconduct, referred to as academic dishonesty, to consist of cheat, plagiarism, or knowingly informing the university and its representatives of instances of academic dishonesty.

The university elaborates on its understanding of academic dishonesty, noticing that incidents have included:

  • Taking exams or attending classes under the name of another student
  • Bribing other students to complete work under a false name
  • Seeking out or otherwise receiving the answers to exams, essays, quizzes, assignments, and other course documents without express permission
  • Collaborating on assignments, exams, and other coursework without express permission
  • Falsifying data
  • Purposefully sabotaging the work of another student

Purdue University and Plagiarism

Plagiarism takes on many definitions, but Purdue University understands it to include:

  • The use of another party's ideas, thoughts, or data without accreditation.
  • The presentation of another party's ideas, thoughts, or data as one's own without appropriate credit.
  • Submitting an essay, exam, or another course document written by another party as one's own work.

Purdue University's definition of plagiarism does not include a discussion of self-plagiarism. The practice, however, is decried by several peer universities and may be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

What Does Purdue University Administration Do to Students Accused of Academic Misconduct?

If a supervisory body believes that a student engaged in academic misconduct, Purdue University allows that body – provided that they are a professor or otherwise in the appropriate position to act – to take individual punitive measures. These measures can include:

  • Awarding lower or failing grades to accused students
  • Requiring the student to repeat an assignment or take on additional work
  • Awarding a lower grade for the course in total

That said, sanctions can extend beyond those mentioned here depending on the severity of the accusation and the student's academic history.

Supervisory Parties' Responsibilities Academic Misconduct

While professors, instructions, teaching assistants, and other supervisory bodies may enforce sanctions of their own against a student believed to have engaged in academic dishonesty, Purdue University also requires those parties to undertake certain practices.

Filling Out Academic Dishonesty Report Forms

All parties who believe a student has engaged in academic dishonesty must fill out an Academic Dishonesty Report Form. This form details all parties engaged in the act of dishonesty, the act itself, and any other pertinent information in addition to the submitter's relationship to the student.

Holding a Conduct Conference

Purdue University’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities considers all Academic Dishonesty Report Forms and determines, in turn, which to bring forward. Should a student's case merit university attention, then that student will be invited to a conduct conference.

Conduct conferences see a party of nonpartisan staff brought forward to consider both the accusations brought against the student and the student's stance on said accusations. In these situations, students have the opportunity to defend themselves either on their own or with assistance from an advisor-attorney.

Establishing Possible Sanctions

As mentioned, Purdue University can issue sanctions beyond those presented by a student's supervisory bodies. These can include:

  • Written warnings – the student will receive a paper document and a digital document describing the incident that occurred and discouraging any similar behavior in the future.
  • Disciplinary probation – the student will have limited time placed on their university-approved behaviors, including the use of campus materials.
  • Probation suspension – the student will be removed from the classroom in which the academic misconduct is believed to have taken place for a set period of time.
  • Educational sanctions – professors may apply the aforementioned sanctions at their leisure provided said reactions were stated in their syllabi and match the act of dishonesty in severity.

Purdue University will suspend or expel a student accused of engaging in academic misconduct, provided that the student in question is believed to have engaged in academic misconduct to the point where such sanctions are fitting to the allegations and appropriate considering the student's disciplinary history.

In all cases, however, students may appeal the sanctions of their cases if new evidence regarding their accusations comes to light.

Purdue University's Student Rights

Purdue University makes it explicitly clear that all of its students are entitled to certain rights if they find themselves involved in an academic dishonesty case. These rights include:

  • Receive the details of a charge in writing
  • Remain informed of the circumstances surrounding the charge
  • Conduct fair conference
  • Receive information regarding witnesses involved in the charge
  • Name witnesses who may defend their position in the case
  • Remain silent without that silence serving as an admission of responsibility for the behavior in question
  • Receive a written account of the conference's conclusions

If a student believes that their rights have been violated at any point during an academic dishonesty case, they may reach out to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Contact a Legal Advisor

Accusations of academic misconduct are no small matter. These accusations can ruin a student's grade point average and make it more difficult for them to pursue the career they're most interested in after graduation.

Students and their families, luckily, are not alone in facing these accusations. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help accused students facing an academic misconduct case through the disciplinary process - all the while protecting their rights and fighting on their behalf. To schedule a case consultation and discuss potential in-university options, parties involved in academic misconduct cases can call 888-535-3686 or fill out our online contact link.