Academic honesty is at the foundation of every aspect of academic life at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMass Boston). UMass Boston expects that students only submit coursework that is their own and complies with university policies. If they fail to do so, UMass Boston can charge them with academic dishonesty.
Academic dishonesty is a serious offense that can result in disciplinary records, suspension, expulsion, and revocation of degrees. All hope is not lost if you're accused of academic dishonesty. UMass Boston guarantees students receive a fair investigation of any Code of Student Conduct violations. In this article, we'll review UMass Boston's disciplinary process and outline steps to fight back against allegations of academic dishonesty.
What Does UMass Boston Consider Academic Dishonesty?
UMass Boston's Student Code of Conduct provides an overview of its academic dishonesty policy. UMass Boston considers any work that is not done in an uncompromisingly honest manner a violation of its Code of Conduct.
UMass Boston defines, but does not limit, academic dishonesty to the following acts:
- Submitting an author's work as one's own without properly crediting the author
- Submitting materials or work obtained from another student, individual, or agency without attribution
- Submitting material produced through unauthorized collaboration
- Submitting the same work to more than one course without approval
- Using unauthorized material during an exam
- Obtaining answers to exam questions from another person
- Using unauthorized copies of an exam or notes from an exam
- Giving answers to exam questions to another student
- Taking an exam for another student or having someone else take an exam for you
- Gaining or trying to gain unauthorized access to papers or electronic files of students, faculty members, or staff members
- Failing to adhere to professional standards or ethics or violating the rules when completing any course work
- Misleading an instructor or interfering with their ability to evaluate course work or performance
If a student wishes to appeal a sanction, they must write the provost/vice chancellor for academic affairs within ten business days of the imposition of sanctions.
Academic Dishonesty Procedures at UMass Boston
UMass Boston follows a set of protocols to investigate allegations of academic dishonesty. A faculty member who suspects academic dishonesty must inform the student in writing of the charges and potential sanctions within ten business days of discovery of the violation. The faculty member can also discuss the violation with the student and investigate the incident before formally reporting academic dishonesty. They must then report the violation to the student's college dean or the associate vice provost (AVP) of undergraduate studies.
Once the AVP/dean receives an academic dishonesty record, they must review the case within ten business days. Their formal investigation may include interviews of the parties involved. They will then determine whether or not a violation occurred and what sanctions to impose.
When suspension or expulsion is at stake, an Administrative Review Committee will hold a hearing to investigate academic dishonesty. The Administrative Review Committee will review the evidence and ask the complainant, respondent, and witnesses questions. The hearing also provides students an opportunity to tell their side of the story.
If the university finds a student responsible for academic dishonesty, the student will receive details of the findings and recommended sanctions. Students have five business days to respond to the sanctions. They are also encouraged to submit a community impact statement. The Administrative Review Officers will weigh the community impact statement into their final determination.
What Is at Stake?
UMass Boston students found responsible for academic dishonesty face a wide range of sanctions. The Administrative Review Officers take a student's academic transcript, conduct history, faculty recommendations, and community impact statements into account when determining sanctions.
Faculty members, the AVP, and the college dean may impose sanctions. Faculty members can issue the following sanctions to students who commit academic dishonesty in their class:
- A failing grade on the assignment involved
- Forced withdrawal from the course and a grade of “W” on the student's transcript
- A failing grade in the course in which the violation occurred
- Recommendation of additional sanctions to the AVP/Dean
For more serious or repeat infractions, the AVP or dean may choose to invoke additional sanctions. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, suspension, expulsion, probation, loss of privileges, and disciplinary holds. They can also choose to revoke or withhold a student's degree if the student earned it through a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
How to Challenge Academic Misconduct Allegations
An academic dishonesty violation can threaten the future of even the best and brightest UMass Boston students. If you face an academic dishonesty charge, you must take steps to defend yourself. It's important that you prepare for faculty investigations and administrative review hearings. These proceedings ultimately determine the university's decision and sanctions.
Many UMass Boston students face an uphill battle in academic dishonesty investigations. Few students know how to present a defense, collect evidence, and take the necessary steps to clear their name. The best thing you can do is enlist the services of a student-discipline attorney.
An attorney will guide you every step of the way during this difficult process. Not only can an attorney prepare you for the rigors of a university investigation, but they will work tirelessly to compile evidence on your behalf.
Attorneys will also ensure that university officials do not impede on your rights. UMass Boston requires staff to follow strict protocols when investigating academic dishonesty. An attorney can identify any procedural errors or biases that might impact your case. They can also assist you in filing an appeal, writing a community impact statement, and handling investigation paperwork.
The Best Attorney for UMass Boston
An academic misconduct violation can put your future in jeopardy. Take control of your academic and professional career by enlisting the services of a skilled student defense attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped countless students just like you overcome academic misconduct allegations. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation.