At Rutgers University, all students are expected to adhere to a high standard of academic integrity. However, when violations of academic integrity occur, more often than not, the case involves a student who was not wholly aware that their actions constituted a violation. Nevertheless, they will face scrutiny and potentially a handful of penalties if it can be "proven" that they violated the university's code.
A violation of academic integrity on a student's record is incredibly stigmatizing and could raise eyebrows as the student moves forward in other pursuits, such as graduate school or efforts to obtain new scholarships.
The Principles of Academic Integrity at Rutgers
- cite all sources, results, and ideas that are not one's own
- acknowledge each contributor to a given piece
- do not make use of materials considered "impermissible" for tutoring or aid with an assignment
- report findings and results truthfully, do not suppress information that is not consistent with one's own argument
- do not facilitate academic dishonesty (i.e. letting another student copy one's homework) or otherwise obstruct another student's academic progress
The school recognizes the following types of academic violations. While many schools cite plagiarism, cheating and fabrication as the three distinct areas of policed behavior, Rutgers adds facilitation of dishonesty and academic sabotage to its repertoire, defining in more meticulous detail the types of offenses it prohibits so as to avoid confusion.
Plagiarism - copying, paraphrasing, or outright submitting the work of another, acquired through research or by purchase, as one's own in the pursuit of academic credit for it
Cheating - the use of information, aids, and sources that are prohibited in the completion of an assessment or examination
Fabrication - creating or inventing facts, results or statistics to match one's own argument in a submitted assignment
Facilitation of dishonesty - coordinating with another student to allow their work to be referenced or copied from without the approval of s professor
Academic Sabotage - occurs when a student impedes obstruction or otherwise hinders another student academic progress. this also includes the theft or defacing of books or other materials owned by the University
Other potentially criminal academic violations include the falsification of a university transcript, forging of a change of grade form, or theft of examination answers.
Academic Integrity Violations at Rutgers University
- Non-separable violations - These are considered the least serious rung of violations, and are usually characterized by an absence of intent, premeditation or awareness on the part of the student that an academic violation occurred. If you have been accused of an academic violation at Rutgers it is in your best interest to have the accusation reduced to this level, if not entirely thrown out. this includes in proper citation as well as minor plagiarism on an insignificant assignment. This may also include unauthorized collaboration with another student on an assignment.
- Separable Violations - Comparatively far more serious than non-separable violations, these are "characterized by substantial premeditation or planning and clearly dishonest or malicious intent on the part of the student committing the violation." A second non-separable violation will be considered a separable violation. Other examples include allowing someone else to take a test for you, plagiarizing on an assignment that was a substantial part of one's grade, or using unauthorized materials such as a cell phone for aid during an examination. Separable violations entail degree of malicious intent, or so administrators must believe/be able to prove.
Penalties for Academic Integrity Violations at Rutgers
Non-separables and separables, because of their distinct degrees of severity, warrant two entirely different scales of punishment. The penalties for non-separable violations are comparatively lighter, while the penalties for separable violations have far steeper consequences.
Non-separable violation penalties include:
- Student must take a seminar or workshop for no credit, exploring academic integrity
- Student must complete an essay pertaining to the provisions of and need for a strong academic integrity policy
- Student will be required to complete a different assignment in lieu of the original, which will be more difficult
- Student will receive no credit on initial assignment
- Student receives an F on the assignment
- Student will fail the course
- Student is given a disciplinary warning or put on probation
Separable violation penalties include:
- Disciplinary F (XF) final grade for the course in question
- Restrictive probation
- Student will be dismissed from a departmental/school honors program.
- Student will be denied admission to certain research programs or internships
- Discharge from positions held on the basis of academic merit
- For graduate students, loss of departmental or graduate program endorsements for fellowship support or employment opportunities
- Student will be dismissed from their graduate program
- Expulsion from Rutgers, permanent mark of disciplinary expulsion on academic transcript.
If a faculty member makes an allegation of academic misconduct, the school's chief academic officers will review suspected violation. If the student accepts responsibility, sanctions and penalties will follow. Assuming the student is refuting the claim, especially for separable violations, whoever has the designation of academic integrity facilitator in the case will conduct the preliminary review of an offense. Students who deny responsibility for a separable offense will see the case reviewed by a University Hearing Board, who will then make a finding as to whether or not the student is guilty of the violation. Their determination may be appealed before an Appeals Committee.
If a student is found responsible for a separable or non-separable academic integrity violation, he or she may contest a finding and/or sanction. The appeal must detailedly address the finding, the sanction, and any significant errors in the disciplinary process. It must be submitted within 10 working days of a student's notification of the determination.
New Jersey Student Defense Attorney
Navigating the confusing terminology and red tape for academic integrity violations can be difficult for any student, especially with the added pressure of knowing their academic future could be at stake in some way. If you are currently facing an accusation that you violated some tenant of Rutgers' academic integrity policy, immediately contact student defense Joseph D. Lento. Joseph Lento will be able to apply his courtroom skill to your case, reviewing the details of your alleged infraction as well as the minutia of the school's policy in order to build a compelling argument in your favor. You drastically increase your chances of a positive outcome in your case when you hire a student defense attorney. Contact Joseph D. Lento to see how he can help.