Student Misconduct at the University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix is a for-profit online university with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. As an online-only university, the University of Phoenix offers accessibility for students seeking an alternative to in-person learning. The school offers degrees and courses for over 300 occupations to its roughly 100,000 full-time students.

Since the University of Phoenix is an online college, it offers an affordable alternative to other schools. Students pay average annual prices of $15,818 to attend the school on a full-time basis.

Despite its convenience and affordability, the University of Phoenix is not immune to the scrutiny of other for-profit schools. Many students and academics criticize the school for its low retention and graduation rates. In 2017, just 1% of students completed their 4-year program on time. The university also settled a $190 million lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission. The lawsuit involved false advertising over the school's relationship with companies that offer employment opportunities to students.

Many University of Phoenix students have also fallen victim to unfair policies and procedures that lead to their dismissal. National student discipline attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help you understand the university's misconduct policies and investigation process.

Misconduct Policies at the University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix prohibits forms of misconduct in its Student Code of Conduct. In general, the university expects students to conduct themselves ethically, honestly, and with integrity in academic matters. The Student Code of Conduct states that students face disciplinary action for the following violations.

Academic Dishonesty. The University of Phoenix prohibits any forms of academic dishonesty. They define academic dishonesty as behavior that threatens the integrity of the academic community. Although the university can punish any academic integrity violation, the Code of Conduct lists the following examples of academic dishonesty:

  • Plagiarism: Representing another's words or ideas as one's own
  • Self-plagiarism: Submitting the same work in multiple courses without permission
  • Fabrication: Falsifying or inventing information, data, or citations
  • Unauthorized assistance: Using materials or information to complete an academic exercise without permission
  • Copyright infringement: Acquiring or using copyrighted works without legal permission
  • Misrepresentation: Falsely representing a situation to justify an absence, makeup exam request, or special circumstance
  • Collusion: Helping or allowing students to commit academic dishonesty

Conduct Code. The Code of Conduct also includes a list of prohibited acts that constitute a misconduct violation. Sanctions for an academic integrity or conduct violation include counseling, loss of academic credit, suspension, action plan, or expulsion. Code of Conduct violations include the following:

  • Threats that violate the personal safety of others
  • Harassment of university members
  • Sex discrimination or sexual harassment
  • Stalking or persistently pursuing another person
  • Disruptive behavior that interferes with the educational process
  • Violation of codes of ethics or conduct
  • Failure to comply with reasonable requests from university faculty, officials, or investigations
  • Carrying weapons at university events or locations
  • Using, dealing in, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Failing to maintain confidentiality or privacy requests
  • Falsifying, altering, or inventing information on university financial aid or investigation documents
  • Violating computing and communication rules
  • Hazing
  • Violating university federal, state, or local laws and regulations

Title IX. Like other schools that receive federal funding, the University of Phoenix must comply with Title IX regulations. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The university's Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination policy prohibits sexual harassment and misconduct. If a harassment allegation violates Title IX rules, it will launch a Title IX investigation process. Sexual harassment includes sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other sexual verbal or physical conduct. Sanctions include warnings, suspensions, expulsions, withholding diplomas, revocation of degrees, and other actions.

Misconduct Procedures at the University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix follows the same disciplinary process for all Code of Conduct violations unless it involves sex discrimination or harassment.

The university investigates conduct violations through a fair and impartial process. During investigations, the university may remove students from classes, campus events, and other university functions. Students receive notifications of conduct violations and have 10 days to respond. They can either acknowledge guilt or deny the accusation.

If the student denies the violation, the university will launch a campus investigation. An ethics committee will review the evidence, make findings, and recommend a result to the campus director of academic affairs. They must only find a student responsible using a preponderance of evidence standard, meaning it is more likely than not that the violation occurred. Students can speak to the committee to defend themselves. After the investigation, the campus director will decide the student's responsibility and sanctions.

If allegations involve Title IX violations, the university will follow the Title IX grievance process. The university's Title IX Coordinator will conduct an investigation, gather related evidence, and collect statements from witnesses. The investigation also includes a live hearing, which allows students to refute the accusations. The university must presume that a student is not responsible for the alleged misconduct unless there is a preponderance of evidence proving the allegations. The Equal Opportunity, Harassment,