What to Do About Accusations of Misconduct at Full Sail University

The for-profit Full Sail University has, like other colleges and universities, its own student-conduct code that also defines the consequences for students who violate it. Addressing those kinds of accusations, in turn, can put students and their families in a complicated position. No student has to go through this hardship alone, though. Any students accused of misconduct can discuss their case with nationwide expert academic attorney Joseph D. Lento.

Full Sail University was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1979. Today, it offers full-time associate's, bachelor's, and master's programs to students in Ohio and beyond. The 21,000 students attending the university have access to in-person and online programs, all of which are designed to make it as easy as possible for the students to obtain their degrees and pursue a productive future.

Notably, Full Sail University is a for-profit university. This means that a student's tuition, room and board, and other fees go not only to cover university operating costs but also to shareholders and other parties who control the university's growth. For-profit universities have in mind not just the welfare of their students but also the profits of their shareholder owners.

Conduct Guidelines at Full Sail University

Full Sail University students are expected to uphold the standards of behavior outlined in the Student Manual. The manual details not only a desire for university students to treat one another with basic respect but also a dress code, discrimination policies, and academic standards.

Specifically, the university outlines consequence levels for all students in attendance. These break down as follows:

  • Conduct Probation
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal

Consequences grow more specific when the university considers academic misconduct, but these guidelines detail the ways that all students who violate Full Sail University's student code of conduct should be addressed. The Full Sail University Student Manual notes that all of the following behaviors constitute academic misconduct in the eyes of the university and its staff:

  • Plagiarism – the misuse or misattribution of another party's ideas as one's own.
  • Self-plagiarism – the use of pre-existing work for more than one assignment.
  • Cheating on assignments – inappropriate collaboration on assignments completed outside of class.
  • Cheating on tests and exams – inappropriate collaboration or the use of unapproved notes or other materials on tests and exams.

Students are also prohibited from purchasing notes or the services of another student to complete assignments they have received through a Full Sail University program. Similarly, students should not have access to documents or other materials created or kept by professors, university staff, or other supervisory bodies.

Full Sail University also encourages students to address the university's Title IX stance before committing to attendance. This policy states that the university does not discriminate on the basis not only of sex, which is Title IX's concern, but also that it will not tolerate behaviors that disparage or otherwise limit the opportunities of students, staff, and faculty based on:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Ancestry
  • Familial status
  • Spousal affiliation
  • Medical conditions
  • Military veteran status

Full Sail University's non-discrimination policy thus significantly expands on the Title IX sex-discrimination definitions established by the Department of Education on August 14, 2020. Those new federal Title IX regulations prohibit only these forms of sex discrimination:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking

Addressing Misconduct at Full Sail University

Contending with the ins and outs of a for-profit university's guidelines can be a dicey endeavor. Full Sail University is accredited and able, in turn, to receive federal funding, although this report shows that for-profit universities face federal restrictions on and scrutiny of the extent of that funding. Full Sail University is certainly subject to the above federal Title IX regulations and other guidelines as established by the U.S. Department of Education, although the university may expand the conduct that it prohibits in the university's student code of conduct.

Academic Misconduct at Full Sail University

With that in mind, accusations of academic misconduct can seem overwhelming. In its student guide, Full Sail University notes that students accused of engaging in academic misconduct can face the following consequences:

  • Work Rejection – if the student in question does not have a history of poor behavior or academic misconduct on campus, the university may determine that the consequences that student faces may be limited to the rejection of the work in question.
  • Failed Course Grade – students may receive a failing grade in the course where they are accused of submitting inappropriate work. Students will then be expected to pay to take the class again if they want to graduate from Full Sail University.
  • Conduct or Academic Probation – students who have a limited history of academic misconduct or behavioral misconduct may face conduct or academic probation. Both of these conditions can involve hearings but can also be appealed on an individual basis as well as part of an academic misconduct case.
  • Program Dismissal – the university may deem it appropriate to dismiss a student accused of academic misconduct from the program that they're attending at Full Sail University. That student may retain their status as a student within the university, but they may have to pursue a different academic path than the one they initially anticipated.
  • Suspension and Hearing – students with an extensive history of academic misconduct or who are accused of severe misconduct may be suspended from Full Sail University. These students will undergo a dismissal hearing at which they can argue against their accusation. However, should the student admit to their misconduct, they will be terminated from the university's records. A note regarding this termination will go on the student's Full Sail University transcript.

Students who are forced to face a hearing due to academic misconduct may appeal the decision that the attending board comes to. All appeals will either be approved or denied within three to five business days of their submissions. Requests must be submitted within two weeks of a new semester beginning or they will be disregarded.

Title IX Misconduct at Full Sail University

Students accused of violating Full Sail University's Title IX policies will face more-elaborate proceedings meeting Title IX's new protective requirements, should said violations appear significant enough to merit a hearing. Students, staff, or faculty members who fall victim to Title IX violations are encouraged to report these instances to the university’s Title IX coordinator.

Victims must file their complaints with the university within sixty days of the reported incident. Should the university determine that the reported behavior violates its Title IX policies, then the university will launch a formal investigation against those parties accused of inappropriate behavior. This investigation will conclude with a hearing and a written resolution provided by either the Director of Student Affairs or the university president.

Importantly, Title IX hearings at Full Sail University must, like Title IX hearings nationwide, provide the accused student with the opportunity to attend, present witnesses, and confront and cross-examine the school's witnesses through an attorney representative. The decision-makers must not consider the statement of any person not attending the hearing to testify as a witness. The university may find Title IX sexual misconduct only on clear-and-convincing evidence that misconduct occurred.

Students accused of Title IX violations have the opportunity to appeal the university's assessment of their behavior so long as that appeal is submitted within three to five business days of the resolution's delivery.

Contacting an Advisor-Attorney in a Misconduct Case

Misconduct charges do more than disrupt a student's day-to-day life. If these charges go unchallenged, the student in question may struggle not only to graduate but to pursue the career that they're most interested in later on in life.

Students and families who want to combat charges of Title IX misconduct, other behavioral misconduct, or academic misconduct at a for-profit university like Full Sail University can reach out to advisor-attorney Joseph D. Lento for guidance. The team with Lento Law Firm can help all parties understand the university policies that the prosecution has brought into question and can, in turn, work with students to build a strong case in defense.

Students and families of students who want to discuss for-profit universities' misconduct cases can reach out to Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686. Alternatively, interested parties can contact the Firm using our online form.

Contact Us Today!

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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