As a public institution focused on scholarship and research, the University of Washington holds academic integrity as a foundational value. If you or a loved one is navigating challenges of academic misconduct at the University of Washington, it's important to be aware of a few things immediately. First, the allegations of academic misconduct should be taken seriously. There are potential long-term effects that can impact a student's future studies and career, especially if the University notes the academic offense on the student's transcript or permanent academic record.
What Is Considered An Academic Offense At the University of Washington?
The parameters for what constitutes academic misconduct at the University of Washington are set by the state legislature and outlined in detail. According to Chapter 478-121 WAC, eight types of activity may be labeled academic misconduct. Many of the potential offenses that they list are the usual suspects such as cheating, plagiarism, and unauthorized collaboration.
Cheating, is defined as including but not limited to “(a) The use of unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations, or completing assignments; (b) The acquisition, use, or distribution of unpublished materials created by another student without the express permission of the original author(s); (c) Using online sources, such as solution manuals, without the permission of the instructor to complete assignments, exams, tests, or quizzes; or (d) Requesting, hiring, or otherwise encouraging someone to take a course, exam, test, or complete assignments for a student.”
Plagiarism includes submitting or presenting someone else's words, ideas, research, and so forth as one's own. Often, universities and colleges stipulate that self-plagiarism falls into plagiarism, however for UWA, that behavior is identified purely as submitting the same work in separate courses without the professors' explicit permission.
Perhaps most surprising, is that academic misconduct includes recording a class or presentation without the instructor's explicit permission. If a student has an approved disability accommodation, that waives this section.
The Student Conduct Policy for Academic Misconduct and Behavioral Misconduct provides a comprehensive overview, complete with links to pertinent documents, if you find yourself in need of reviewing the school's policies.
How Is Academic Misconduct Reported?
If a faculty member suspects academic misconduct, the University of Washington expects that the faculty member will report it to the relevant Dean's Representative of the school or college where the student is enrolled.
The Community Standards & Student Conduct has an online reporting tool and also provides extensive instruction as to the reporting process. The good news is that their process is specially designed to ensure “a student's due process rights, creates consistency in the process, and accountability for any additional misconduct by the student.”
The expectation is that the faculty member will provide documents as evidence of the allegation. It might be useful to check out the evidence, as you can also gather components of it for your own attorney-advisor.
What Does The Disciplinary Process Look Like At the University of Washington?
When an individual files a report of an alleged academic offense, it is received by a conduct officer. The conduct officer then initiates a fact-finding process with the sole goal of uncovering whether or not a violation of the Student Code did, in fact, take place. This can include interviews with the involved parties and interviews with potential witnesses or reviews of other relevant information. The Conduct Officer will determine whether or not a full adjudicative proceeding needs to occur.
If a hearing does need to occur, then a Hearing Officer will be selected to conduct the full hearing. Whether there is a full hearing or purely a brief adjudicative process, at the conclusion, the Conduct Officer will write up an initial order that outlines the student's offense, the conclusions of the investigation, and the proposed sanctions.
If a student desires an administrative review of the decision, they have 21 days to request that from receiving the initial order. Requests must be made in writing, or the order becomes final.
There are several reasons you can request an administrative review, and the University of Washington lists them here.
What Are Potential Consequences For Violations?
There is a range of possible sanctions when you are facing academic misconduct charges, and the penalties depend on the severity of the alleged incident. A student might receive a failing grade for an assignment, for a class, or an official reprimand. Other potential sanctions include probation, suspension, and expulsion. With such a range of consequences, it's important to tackle academic misconduct charges from the start, rather than waiting until the last minute to approach them.
What Is The Role Of An Attorney-Advisor?
According to WAC 478-121-243, if a student elects to have an advisor, including an attorney, accompany them to the proceedings, it is permissible. An attorney-advisor with extensive experience assisting in academic misconduct allegations will be able to decide how to best structure a defense for you or your loved one. At a school like the University of Washington, where much of the proceedings are governed by state legislation, it's especially helpful to have someone who understands the laws. At the actual hearing, whether it's a brief adjudicative proceeding or a full adjudicative proceeding, your attorney-advisor “may not disrupt or interfere with any aspect of the proceeding, as determined by the hearing officer or reviewing officer(s).”
Best Academic Misconduct Attorney-Advisor For University Of Washington
If you're currently under investigation for academic misconduct charges or allegations, it's best not to wait to reach out to an attorney-advisor. You want to ensure that your academic future and all of your hard work at college is not negatively affected. Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have significant experience helping countless students and their families across the United States navigate this challenging time. It's key that you not respond to any allegations before consulting with an experienced academic misconduct attorney-advisor. Joseph D. Lento brings heart, dedication, and expertise to every case he faces. Call us today at 888.535.3686 or contact us online for a consultation.