The University of Connecticut Creed establishes community standards. To live by the creed, students must exercise academic integrity. The University of Connecticut holds students accountable for acts of academic misconduct. Being accused of academic misconduct is no laughing matter. Not only will the university conduct a formal investigation into the allegations, but they may also deliver strict sanctions.
Academic misconduct is a breach of the Student Code of Conduct. Conduct violations can lead to failing grades, temporary suspensions, and permanent expulsions from the university. You don't need to panic if you face an academic misconduct allegation. An attorney can help you dispute the charges, prepare you for your investigation, and get your academic life back on track.
The University of Connecticut Student Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct preamble states that the “spirit of inquiry” lies at the heart of the university. The university requires students to create an environment of mutual trust and respect. Academic misconduct is in direct contradiction with this policy.
UConn defines academic misconduct as dishonest or unethical academic behavior, such as cheating and plagiarism. The community standards website includes the following examples of academic misconduct:
- Providing or receiving unauthorized assistance on academic work
- Attempting to bribe, threaten, or improperly influence university members in academic matters
- Doing academic work for another student
- Using the same or substantially the same course work in multiple courses without permission
- Knowingly assisting other students in committing academic misconduct
How the University of Connecticut Handles Academic Misconduct
The University of Connecticut requires instructors to report academic misconduct allegations to the Office of Community Standards within five business days of discovery. They must also inform the student in writing of the allegations and academic consequences imposed.
Students have five business days to respond to the instructor or the university will automatically impose the recommended sanctions. If the student and instructor come to a mutual agreement, the instructor will notify Community Standards. If the student wishes to dispute the sanctions or allegations, they can request an academic integrity hearing. The hearing determines whether or not the student is responsible for academic misconduct.
What Is an Academic Integrity Hearing?
An Academic Integrity Hearing Board made up of faculty members, students, and a nonvoting chairperson conduct academic integrity hearings. The hearing decides whether or not the student is responsible for the alleged violation.
The board holds academic integrity hearings within 15 business days of notifying students of the proceedings. During the hearing, the board questions relevant parties including the student, complainant, and witnesses. The student and complainant also have a chance to question each other and witnesses. They may also present information and personal statements about the violation. The hearing does not use formal rules of procedure like those found in court.
The board will determine if the student violates the Code of Conduct. If found responsible, the student must accept the sanction imposed by their instructor. The board can also impose additional sanctions based on the nature of the offense, the student's conduct history, and impact statements made during the hearing. The board determines responsibility if it is more likely than not that the student violated policy.
Can Students Appeal Hearing Board Decisions?
Although Academic Integrity Hearing Board decisions are binding, students can still push back against their findings. University of Connecticut students can appeal the board's decision to the Provost or designee within five business days of notification of their decision.
The University of Connecticut Student Code of Conduct provides the following grounds for an appeal:
- Error in the hearing procedure that substantially affected the decision
- New evidence or information material to the case that was not known at the time of the hearing
- To determine if additional sanctions imposed by the board were appropriate for the violation based on the student's conduct history and/or the significance of the violation
Since students must submit appeals within five business days, it's critical to contact an attorney right away if you wish to appeal. An attorney can review your case and determine if you have grounds for an appeal.
What are the Sanctions for Academic Misconduct?
Instructors make decisions on academic consequences for misconduct. Academic sanctions can range from failure on academic assignments to course failure. Sanctions imposed by the board can be much more severe. The Code of Conduct includes the following examples of sanctions for conduct violations:
- Loss of privileges
- Removal from housing
- Educational initiatives
How an Attorney Can Help
If you are a University of Connecticut student accused of academic misconduct, the best thing you can do is consult an attorney. The university allows support persons, such as lawyers, to attend disciplinary hearings. Disciplinary hearings may not be the same as court trials, but there are plenty of reasons to have an attorney by your side.
Few students know how to challenge academic misconduct allegations. Attorneys can review the facts of your case and advise you on how to proceed. They can also review school policies and hold the university accountable for complying with their rules.
Many students have faced unfair treatment and biased decisions during disciplinary proceedings. Attorneys will fight to protect your right to due process. For example, the university must notify you of the hearing within a reasonable time, so you have time to prepare. Your attorney will identify any violations of your rights that might impact your case.
You don't have to challenge your university all on your own. An attorney can use their legal expertise to create a roadmap to success. With your future at stake, you must not take an academic misconduct allegation lightly. Using an attorney gives you a fighting chance to protect yourself and your future.
Your Student-Discipline Advisor
The right attorney can make all the difference in the result of your academic misconduct case. If you're serious about fighting conduct violations, you need to use a seasoned attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent many years defending students in disciplinary proceedings around the nation. He can help you reduce sanctions, fight violations of your rights, and overturn decisions. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case today.