William Paterson University Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures

This article is an overview of William Paterson University's academic misconduct disciplinary procedures. If you attend this institution and have been accused of this violation, it is strongly recommended that you read your school's student handbook supplementary to this overview. Although my article contains valuable information about your school's processes, it is limited information. A thorough read through your school's handbook will provide you with more insight and help you determine your course of action in these circumstances.

William Paterson University's “Academic Integrity” Policy

William Paterson University's student handbook describes the institutions as an academic institution that is “committed to the discovery and dissemination of truth.” Due to this philosophy, the university expects each and every one of its members to conduct themselves honestly and with a professional demeanor in the completion of all academic endeavors. The school has established standards of academic conduct in honor of the belief, that when violated, these dishonest and deceiving actions harm the entire community as a whole.

Academic misconduct comes in various forms. For purposes of clarification, William Paterson University's student handbook has provided several terms, definitions, and examples of the forms of academic misconduct prohibited at this institution.

Cheating. Cheating during examinations includes any attempt to (1) look at another student's examination with the intention of using their answers for your personal benefit; (2) communicate in any matter, information pertaining to the content of the examination during the test period or after the exam to a student who is planning on taking the same exam but has not yet; (3) utilizing any materials, like notebooks, notes, textbooks, or any other sources that have not been authorized by an instructor during the course of the examination period (4) or engaging in any other activity for the purpose of seeking aid not authorized by an instructor.

Plagiarism. This prohibited action consists of copying from a book, notebook, article, video, or any other source material - whether published or unpublished - without the appropriate acknowledgment. Proper acknowledgment is established through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, and other customary means of identifying sources. Essentially, plagiarism is passing off the words, phraseology, ideas, writing, experiments, and programs of another as your own. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional.

Collusion. Collusion is working together with other students or aid to prepare for course assignments in ways that are not authorized by an instructor. Academic work produced through a collaborative effort of two or more students on a project is only permissible with the explicit permission of an instructor.

Lying. This is known as furnishing false information, distorting data, or omitting information that is necessary. Information that is provided to university authorities like advisors, the registrar, an admissions counselor, instructor, professor, etc. must be factual.

The handbook lists other concerns that can be considered academic misconduct, such as issues involving computer security, stolen tests, falsified records, vandalism and library materials. This list is not to be construed as purely exhaustive or restrictive. No list could possibly include all instances of the possible breaches of academic integrity. Any actions that could reasonably be labeled as academic misconduct may be penalized by the institution.

Procedures

The resolution of academic integrity violations is a process that can either be short or drawn out depending on the severity of the alleged violation, and the course of action that a student takes. William Paterson University's processes will be carried out in the following fashion:

Confrontation

If a faculty member has sufficient reason to suspect that an academic misconduct violation has occurred in any capacity, he/she is obliged to attempt to discuss this matter with the student in question within ten days of the discovery of the incident. The alleged violation, the evidence that fuels an instructor's suspicion, and the potential ramifications should be discussed with the student.

After discussing this matter, a student has one of two options: he or she could either accept responsibility or deny the allegations.

Accepting responsibility

the student accepts the proposed penalty, the right to appeal is waived and sanctions will be imposed. The instructor has wide discretion to impose any of the following sanctions:

  • Resubmission of an assignment
  • Failure of the assignment
  • Failure of the course
  • Forced withdrawal from the course with no credit received
  • The imposition other appropriate penalties with the consent of the student
  • Recommendation to the President of suspension or expulsion from the University
  • Submit a written record of the sequence events to place in the student's permanent record

Denying the allegations

If a student does not agree with the proposed sanction or outright denies the allegations altogether, he or she must go through a few additional phases of the resolution process.

The department chairperson must first attempt to reach a settlement agreed upon by both the student and an instructor. This is a last effort attempt to come up with a collaborative resolution that is both deemed fair to all parties involved.

Appeal

If the issue cannot be resolved on this level, the student can request that the chairperson convene the department Executive Council to hear an appeal. From then on, the student must submit a written, dated, and signed statement describing the basis of the complaint within ten working days. From then on, the college counsel will make the ultimate decision regarding the substantive nature of the case.

New Jersey Student Defense Attorney

A finding of responsibility for academic misconduct can jeopardize the education and experience you've invested in at William Paterson University. If you value your education, your degree program, and your academic record, it's important you contact a skilled student defense attorney. This school takes allegations of academic misconduct very seriously, and you should too.

Joseph D. Lento has helped students who've acquired serious academic misconduct charges recover from these allegations, and he can do the same. Contact him today for more information.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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