Virginia Commonwealth University requires all community members to engage in conduct that reflects the school's creed. To abide by the VCU creed, students must demonstrate academic and personal integrity and uphold academic freedom and freedom of intellectual inquiry.
Students who violate the VCU creed face disciplinary hearings and sanctions that jeopardize their future. Academic misconduct and other integrity violations can lead to course failure, suspension, and expulsion from the university.
Are you facing academic misconduct charges at VCU? Here are some essential things to know. In this article, we'll review VCU's academic misconduct policies and procedures. We will also outline steps to take to defend yourself against academic misconduct allegations.
Virginia Commonwealth University's Academic Misconduct Policy
The VCU Student Code of Conduct defines academic dishonesty as furnishing false information to staff, faculty, or information offices. The VCU Honor System provides details on the university's adjudication process and standards for academic dishonesty allegations.
The VCU Honor System prohibits the following forms of academic misconduct:
Gaining or attempting to gain an unfair advantage in an academic exercise. Examples include copying course work, possessing unauthorized materials, submitting the same work for credit in multiple courses, and unauthorized collaboration with other students.
Causing or attempting to cause someone to believe something that is not true. Examples include altering data, signing attendance on behalf of other students, forging documents, altering grades, or making false statements to justify missing classes.
Coercing another person to commit academic misconduct through intimidation, blackmail, extortion, bribery, or other means.
Assisting or attempting to assist others in academic misconduct. Examples include unauthorized distribution of academic materials, purchasing or selling papers or exam answers keys, allowing someone to copy your work, and completing work for another VCU student.
Falsely claiming ownership or misrepresenting the origins of work on an assignment. Plagiarism occurs when students fail to cite the words, ideas, facts, or opinions of others.
Deliberately interfering or attempting to interfere with students' academic work. Damaging, altering, or tampering with another student's academic materials is an act of sabotage.
Deliberately taking or attempting to take academic property or material without permission.
Virginia Commonwealth University Student Rights
VCU students accused of academic misconduct must undergo formal disciplinary hearings. During the student conduct process, VCU provides students with rights to ensure a fair outcome. You can find these rights listed in the VCU Student Code of Conduct.
We've outlined an overview of student rights and responsibilities below:
- The right to receive written notification of alleged violations
- The right to know the source of allegations
- The right to know the alleged Code of Conduct violation
- The right to know potential sanctions for the violation
- The right to present information
- The right to be accompanied by an advisor of your choice during the student conduct process
- The right to respond to allegations and to provide witnesses and pertinent information
- The right to refrain from making any statement concerning alleged violations
- The right to know that the university can use your statements made during the student conduct process
Virginia Commonwealth Student Conduct Process
If you face an academic misconduct charge at VCU, you must follow a set procedure. Students who violate the Code of Conduct receive a notification letter that details the charges and next steps. You must contact the Student Conduct Administrator within five days of email receipt to schedule a meeting. The meeting is an opportunity to discuss and refute the allegations.
The Student Conduct Administrator will investigate the violation, impose sanctions, and decide student responsibility using the preponderance of evidence standard. To deem you responsible, they must prove that it is more likely than not that a policy violation occurred.
Student Conduct Board Hearing
If the Student Conduct Administrator finds you responsible for the violation, it's important not to give up. VCU students who deny initial findings can schedule a Student Conduct Board Hearing. A panel of students, staff, and non-voting chairs will conduct the hearing.
Board hearings provide you with an opportunity to present information and witnesses that support your argument. You will also have a chance to make a closing statement and propose questions to the other party and their witnesses.
Following the board hearing, the panel will notify the Director of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity of their findings. The director will determine final sanctions and notify you of their decision within five business days.
Academic Misconduct Sanctions
An academic misconduct violation can have dire consequences on your academic career. All Code of Conduct sanctions become part of VCU students' permanent university disciplinary record. VCU can choose to withhold degrees or revoke degrees. Many sanctions can also go on your student transcript, which threatens your academic and professional future.
Here are some of the sanctions for academic misconduct:
- Disciplinary probation
- Loss of privileges
- Deferred suspension
How to Fight Back
If you face an academic misconduct charge at VCU, you must take action to fight back. The best thing you can do is employ the services of a student discipline attorney. An attorney can serve as your advisor during board hearings. They can identify witnesses and evidence that can help your case. Attorneys can also coach you on presenting your argument to the panel.
An experienced attorney can also assist you after the VCU panel makes its decision. Your attorney will work with you to request sanction modifications through the sanction review board. They can also look for grounds for an appeal, such as new and pertinent evidence or procedural errors that impacted your case. You should contact an attorney right away. VCU requires students to file appeals within five business days following the notification of sanctions.
Your Student Discipline Attorney
An academic misconduct charge can fundamentally disrupt your life. You don't want to leave your future in the hands of a disciplinary panel. Take control of your case by contacting attorney Joseph D. Lento. He has spent years gaining a reputation as one of the fiercest student defenders in the country. Joseph D. Lento will fight to protect your rights, confidentiality, and your future. Contact Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today.