The University of Maryland consistently ranks as one of the top public universities both nationally and worldwide. As a highly regarded school, the University of Maryland puts great emphasis on academic integrity.
The University of Maryland commits to maintaining its principles of academic honesty and truth. During new student orientation, all incoming students must sign an honor pledge promising to protect the university's values and showcase academic integrity.
Students must also sign this pledge on all coursework worth at least 20 percent of their course grade. It states: “I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination.” Students who fail to uphold their pledge face strict consequences that can damage their academic standing and reputation.
This article will discuss how the University of Maryland responds to academic integrity violations and how a student defense attorney can help guide you through the process.
The University of Maryland Code of Academic Integrity
The University of Maryland prohibits students from partaking in any act of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty is a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity, which upholds the principle of academic honesty at the university.
According to the Code of Academic Integrity, the following behaviors committed by students are academic dishonesty:
- Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in an academic course or exercise that attempts to gain an unfair advantage
- Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in an academic course or exercise
- Unauthorized falsification, citation, or invention of any information in any academic course or exercise
- Representing the words or ideas of another as one's own
- Reuse of one's work in multiple courses without prior permission (self-plagiarism)
Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
- Knowingly helping or attempting to help another student violate academic integrity standards
Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Conferences
University of Maryland students accused of violating academic integrity standards are subject to disciplinary proceedings. During these investigations, the school reviews evidence to determine whether or not a violation occurred.
If the alleged act does not constitute suspension or expulsion, students may use a Disciplinary Conference to resolve the case. Handled by the Director of Student Conduct, Disciplinary Conferences determine if a student is guilty of academic dishonesty. There must be clear and convincing evidence to support the allegation.
During Disciplinary Conferences, University of Maryland students have the following rights:
- A written notice of charges at least three days before the conference
- Access to the case file before and during the conference
- Ability to respond to the evidence
- Opportunity to call witnesses on their behalf
- Assistance from an advisor, advocate, or support person
Although an advisor may be present during the conference, they cannot present evidence on the student's behalf. Advisors, such as an attorney, must also be hired at the student's own expense. If a student fails to attend the Disciplinary Conference, the Director of Student Conduct will proceed with the case and notify the student of the determination and sanctions.
In more serious academic integrity matters, the University of Maryland can choose to conduct an Honor Review. Honor Reviews are confidential investigations reviewed by the Honor Board. During the Honor Review, both parties present arguments and cross-examine witnesses.
If a majority of the Honor Board determines academic dishonesty occurred, they will decide on a sanction for the student.
Consequences of Academic Dishonesty
University of Maryland students that commit academic dishonesty face a wide range of punishments. Although the consequences vary from case to case, the most common punishment for academic dishonesty is the grade of “XF.”
An “XF” grade carries the same weight as an “F” as well as additional baggage. An “XF” goes on a student's transcript and indicates that they failed due to academic dishonesty. Students with “XF” on their record may not participate in extracurricular activities or hold office in a University organization. Since this designation goes on student transcripts, it can also impact their ability to transfer schools or get accepted to graduate programs. “XF” grades typically appear on transcripts for at least 12 months, and students must file a petition to remove them from their record.
Although an “XF” grade is the most common sanction for academic dishonesty, the Director of Student Conduct may impose other sanctions depending on the facts of the case. Here are some additional punishments for academic integrity violations:
- Rescinding a previously awarded degree
- Expulsion from the University
- Suspension from the University
- Letter grade reduction for the assignment
- An “F” grade for the course
- Zero on the assignment
University of Maryland students have the right to appeal academic dishonesty charges. If you've been found guilty of academic dishonesty, you may be able to reduce the sanction or remove the charge altogether.
To file an appeal, you must provide notice of their intent to file to the Director of Student Conduct within three business days after the determination. You must also include a written argument within seven business days supporting their appeal. If you fail to meet the designated deadlines, the university will reject the appeal, and the sanction will be final.
The University of Maryland determines the following to be grounds for an appeal:
- Substantial procedural error
- Disproportionate sanctioning
- Arbitrary/capricious decision
- New evidence
Utilizing an Advisor
Since the university provides students the right to an advisor, it's crucial that you enlist the services of an attorney with expertise in academic dishonesty cases. Attorneys can guide you through every step of the investigation process and provide you with knowledge that is instrumental to your case. They can outline a defense, prepare you for your hearing, and work to achieve a positive determination.
Attorneys can also help you appeal university decisions and sanctions. They can identify errors in the case and infringements of your rights while ensuring that you meet all the necessary deadlines. Although you have many options for an advisor, an experienced attorney gives you the best chance for a positive outcome.
Are you a University of Maryland student accused of academic misconduct? We are here for you. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has fought relentlessly on behalf of thousands of students to reduce their sanctions and protect their rights and futures. He will use his years of experience and acute legal know-how to get you the results you need. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.