Student Defense - University of Nebraska Medical Center

Chartered in 1881, the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has a longstanding history in the US and is among the nation's top-ranked schools. UNMC includes a hospital and nine colleges and institutes connected to the medical field. The collective campuses offer graduate and undergraduate programs that are among the most prestigious in the nation. Promoting academic integrity principles, therefore, is necessary to maintain a strong reputation and obtain research grants. Students who violate UNMC's terms risk losing their dream of having a successful medical career.

UNMC's success stems from its dedication to fostering a community of ethical medical students. The lofty standards mean a campus-wide devotion to maintaining consistent academic progress and enforcing ethical conduct. Failure to maintain these standards results in sanctions and the possibility of delayed graduation. Students who face sanctions or allegations of misconduct can benefit from an attorney advisor's support to reach a favorable resolution after a hearing. While an advisor cannot participate directly in a UNMC hearing, they provide invaluable advice that makes a difference in the case outcome.

Honor Code

UNMC's Academic Integrity and Professional Conduct standards emphasize the administration's commitment to fostering a community of accountability. In addition to the sanctions imposed by professors if students violate research or ethical standards, UNMC reserves the right to add further sanctions. Since these actions affect other students' freedom to learn, the university considers ethical misconduct a violation of other students' rights. The administration believes that for students to learn freely, they must have:

“appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, laboratory, on campus, and in clinical settings. Faculty, staff, students and visitors respect the conditions conducive to such freedom by conducting themselves in a responsible manner, abiding by federal and state laws, and adhering to the rules and regulations set forth by the Regents of the University of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska Medical Center”.

A misconduct allegation could lead to multiple sanctions that harm the lives of students. Even if students drop out of a class before a misconduct investigation ends, UNMC still holds them accountable. The student receives a failing grade and a mark on their academic record.

Remediation Options

Being a student in one of the country's leading medical schools has numerous benefits. Still, it also comes with the pressure to perform. Nowadays, students also juggle outside responsibilities, and maintaining good grades becomes difficult. UNMC closely monitors each student's academic performance. A Grading Committee determines each student's result after course completion. If students receive a Fail, the Associate Dean for Medical Education notifies them to develop a remediation plan. Students must register for the program and pay remediation fees.

Students who continue to fail despite remediation must meet with the Student Evaluation Committee. They may face dismissal and won't receive reimbursement. The added time, money, and effort of a remediation plan is taxing on one's mental health and pocket. Still, it may be the only chance medical students have to become physicians in the future.

Permanent Dismissal

As a last resort for the most egregious violations, UNMC may permanently dismiss students from all campuses. The expulsion remains on the student's permanent record.

  • Acceptance chances decrease drastically. Starting over at a new medical school may seem simple, but not when a student has a notice on their record. Medical schools receive thousands of applications annually. They are less likely to choose a candidate with a mark on their transcript, especially for research or behavioral misconduct.
  • Students must start over. With expulsion comes failing or incomplete courses. Medical students now have to start over in a new program, meaning additional years to complete before graduating.
  • Increased likelihood of debt. With a new program comes additional funds. Student loans already range in the tens to hundreds of thousands. It may be harder to receive a loan after having a note of misconduct on your transcript.

With so much at stake, medical students must do all they can to prevent the outcome of permanent dismissal. An attorney advisor understands the challenges that students have and helps students avoid this damaging sanction.

Appeals

The Student Discipline Hearing Board makes sanctions recommendations after a hearing. Students who disagree with the Board's decision may appeal to the Dean within ten business days of receiving the findings. The Dean conducts a review of any new evidence, documentation, and records of the student. The Dean then compares the information with the recommended sanctions.

The Dean can choose to decrease the severity of the sanction after the review. If the Dean's decision is still unsatisfactory, students can appeal to the Chancellor of UNMC. The Chancellor makes the final decision regarding the validity of the sanctions.

Hiring an Attorney-Advisor

A medical school at the caliber of UNMC must impose strict standards to maintain its reputation and obtain research grants. As future medical students have a public trust to keep, maintaining ethical and academic principles is necessary for success. However, some medical students pay the penalty of false or baseless allegations. Even when innocent, if students do not have sufficient evidence and can't defend themselves appropriately, they face losing their degree. If they do not receive permanent dismissal, it takes additional years and thousands of unexpected dollars to graduate.

Students who work with an advisor have a better chance of receiving a fair hearing and positive resolution for their case. Even if charges are accurate, an advisor's strategy and advice potentially decrease their impact and reduce sanctions. Advisor Joseph D. Lento helps students fight back against allegations of academic misconduct and professionalism concerns and allows students to seek justice when their degree is on the line.

The medical field is one of the most competitive in the nation. That's the reason why UNMC takes such a rigorous approach to academic misconduct. Your medical degree takes years of hard work and effort to complete. It's best never to wait until it's too late to make a difference at your hearing.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless medical students across the nation successfully resolve issues that could have derailed their medical career and he can do the same for you. Call attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for a confidential discussion about your options.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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