Students at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities are expected, upon admission, to strive for academic achievement while on university grounds. In doing so, the university expects its student body not only to work hard in the classroom but to uphold its tenets of honesty and integrity, as well.
Failure to do so in the eyes of the university can see a student reprimanded by an attending professor, college dean, and academic committee. The penalties for the deliberate violation of the university's honor code can see a student fail a course or suffer expulsion.
Facing down an academic misconduct charge can feel like a lonely process, but it doesn't have to be. Students accused of academic misconduct have the opportunity to discuss their case with an academic misconduct advisor.
What is Academic Misconduct at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities?
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities defines academic misconduct as including the following behaviors:
Cheating on Assignments or Exams
The university understands behavior defined as cheating to consist of:
- Using unapproved materials in-person or through an online medium while completing an assignment or exam.
- Collaborating with one or more parties without the approval of a professor or applicable supervisor during an assignment or exam.
- Requesting that another student complete an assignment or exam under a false name.
- Bribing another student to complete an assignment or exam under a false name.
- Procuring the answers to an assignment or exam without the approval of an appropriate supervising body.
University officials take the matter of plagiarism in the classroom quite seriously, to the point where the belief that a student has plagiarized their work may result in an immediate suspension, if not expulsion. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities understands plagiarism as:
- The deliberate, word for word use of another person's materials without proper citations.
- The representation of another person's thoughts or ideas as one's own without proper citation.
- Paraphrasing another party's ideas or quotes and representing said pieces as one's own thoughts.
Note that these acts of plagiarism, in the eyes of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, are not confined to the written word. Students who misuse another party's computer code, graphic design, data tables, images, musical interpretations, and other productions without appropriate citations may face severe consequences. Even accidental plagiarism can see a student meeting with their professor to discuss a case of academic misconduct.
Students are also discouraged from reusing passages or entire papers that they may have written over their years at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities or other, comparable institutions. Should a student submit a paper that they have already turned in to another professor, that student can be brought up on charges of self-plagiarism. The matter of turning in a piece of work with previous thoughts and student papers that are appropriately quoted falls under a professor's discretion and is unlikely to be considered self-plagiarism on such a level as to require the university's intervention.
Depriving Another Student of Essential Materials
Students are prohibited from obscuring public course information from one another, depriving one another of class notes, or otherwise preventing their peers from receiving the materials they need to succeed in a University of Minnesota, Twin Cities course.
Interfering With Another Student's Work
Students are encouraged to support one another throughout their academic careers at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Should one student attempt to sabotage another in the classroom or outside of it, that student may face consequences both within the course in question and within their department.
What Options Do Students Accused of Academic Misconduct Have?
Students accused of academic misconduct can come to non-hearing resolutions regarding their behavior. Alternatively, they may have to undergo the University of Minnesota's judicial process, at which time the University Senate Student Academic Integrity Committee or the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs may comment on the nature of the case and elaborate on appropriate reprimands.
Non-hearing resolutions to academic misconduct cases involve:
- The filing of an academic misconduct report on the part of a professor, teaching assistant, fellow student, or other supervising body who claims to have witnessed said misconduct with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs within two weeks of the act occurring.
- The filing party or another party in a suitably supervisory position can then opt to award the student in question a penalty grade, after which the student will not be able to withdraw from the course in question.
Alternatively, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs may assign a consequence involving extracurricular behaviors on the student's behalf.
Cases Involving Academic Hearings
The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and the attending professor or supervisory body will determine whether or not the case in question requires a hearing. Academic misconduct cases that go to hearings will involve:
- An initial and informal meeting between the Chancellor, support staff, and professor in question dis-including the student and an attending advocate or attorney-advisor. The student in question and any attending parties will be updated as to the meeting's conclusion – involving the identification of witnesses and an elaboration on whether or not the accused violated the Student Conduct Code – via documentation at a later date.
- Should a hearing commence, the accused will stand before the aforementioned parties to be judged on their own report as well as on the report of their peers.
- Attending supervisory bodies will vote to determine whether the student in question is in violation of the Student Conduct Code or not.
Students who believe that their behavior has been misjudged may file an appeal within fourteen days of the university's decision.
Working With an Academic Integrity Attorney-Advisor
If a student is accused of academic misconduct and wants to discuss their options with an expert, they can reach out to the Lento Law Firm and Joseph Lento. The Lento Law Firm can help students address their charges or file case appeals. To schedule a case consultation, students can call 888-535-3686 or fill out an online contact link.