San Diego State University is part of the California State University System. San Diego State University students must follow the rules and procedures set by the CSU Chancellor's Office.
If a San Diego State University student breaks the CSU Student Conduct Code, they face potential consequences. Academic misconduct, such as cheating or plagiarizing, is a common Student Conduct Code violation. Even a first-time academic misconduct offense can jeopardize your academic career. You may face course failure, probation, suspension, and expulsion. Even worse, a disciplinary panel may ultimately decide your fate — whether or not you committed an infraction.
If you're a San Diego State student accused of academic misconduct, you need to know the CSU disciplinary process. In this article, we'll review how San Diego State handles academic misconduct and how an attorney can help you challenge allegations.
What is Academic Dishonesty?
You might already have a definition for academic misconduct in mind. The only definition that matters is the one in the CSU Student Conduct Code. California Code of Regulations 41301, Title 5 prohibits academic dishonesty, including:
- Cheating that is intended to gain unfair academic advantage
- Plagiarism that is intended to gain unfair academic advantage
- Furnishing false information to a university official, faculty member, or campus office
- Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a university document, key, or identification instrument
- Misrepresenting oneself to be an authorized agent of the university or one of its auxiliaries
You can find specific examples of these forms of academic dishonesty on the San Diego State University website. In general, any act that creates an unfair advantage can lead to disciplinary action.
San Diego State University students who commit academic dishonesty face academic and punitive sanctions. Academic sanctions impact student grades. Punitive sanctions affect not only student records but also their status at the university.
How Does San Diego State University Punish Academic Dishonesty?
San Diego State University students who violate conduct standards face penalties written in California Code of Regulations Section 41301, Title 5. Here are some of the punitive punishments provided in this article:
- Loss of financial aid
- Disciplinary probation
- Administrative hold
- Withholding of degree
- Record of discipline on student transcripts
Students also face academic sanctions from faculty members. Academic sanctions may include a grade reduction, assignment failure, or course failure.
San Diego State University faculty must submit an academic dishonesty incident form to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities. This document includes an overview of the offense, the academic sanction, and a recommendation on whether the university should take additional action.
What Does the Investigation Process Look Like for Academic Dishonesty?
A Student Conduct Administrator reviews academic dishonesty allegations and begins an investigation. The administrator has 40 working days to review the complaint and decide whether to charge the student with a Student Conduct Code violation. The administrator then notifies the student of their decision.
The notification must include a description of the alleged conduct, proposed sanction, and other key details. If the student agrees with the administrator's findings, the university closes the case. The student must serve all sanctions. The violation goes on their permanent student transcript.
If the student disputes the charges and sanctions, they can request a hearing conference. The hearing provides the student with an opportunity to challenge the allegation and reduce or eliminate the sanctions.
What Happens at a Student Conduct Hearing?
The CSU Executive Order 1098 provides the rules and procedures for student conduct hearings. Conduct hearings allow the university to learn more about the alleged violation and make a final sanction decision.
A Hearing Officer conducts the hearing. The Hearing Officer asks the complainant, respondent, and witnesses questions to determine whether the violation occurred. The Hearing Officer makes findings based on the preponderance of the evidence, which states that it is “more likely than not” that a student violated the Student Conduct Code. After the hearing, the Hearing Officer will submit a written report on their conclusions and recommended sanctions to the president.
The president reviews the Hearing Officer's report and makes a final decision on sanctions. They can reject recommended sanctions or add new sanctions as they see fit. The president will then issue a final decision letter to the student within ten working days.
How Can I Prepare for a Student Conduct Hearing?
If you face an academic misconduct allegation, you must take action right away. A student conduct hearing can have life-changing consequences that negatively impact your academic and professional career. The best way to prepare for a student conduct hearing is to use a student discipline attorney.
The CSU allows students to use an advisor of their choice to accompany them during meetings, conferences, interviews, and disciplinary hearings. Although an advisor cannot make statements during hearings, they may prove vital to your success. They can review the case and university rules before advising you on how to proceed.
Attorneys can also prepare you for disciplinary hearings. Not only can they help you prepare formal statements, but they can also compile evidence on your behalf. Universities do not always follow their own rules and procedures. If San Diego State University officials violate CSU rules, your attorney can identify grounds for an appeal.
Failing to prepare for disciplinary hearings can have grave consequences. You need the experience and knowledge of an expert by your side. Although disciplinary hearings are not court-like trials, an attorney can prove invaluable to your case. If you want to protect your student record and your future, you should use an attorney as your advisor.
Next Steps to Challenging an Academic Misconduct Charge
Are you dealing with academic dishonesty allegations? We're here for you. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is one of the nation's preeminent student discipline advisors. He has helped countless students fight back against accusations and regain control of their academic life. Call Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for the help you need.