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What happens if an FAU student is accused of cheating or plagiarism? Click for the answer from an attorney for students.

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2018

Florida Atlantic University is in Boca Raton, Florida with campuses throughout south Florida. Due to its large presence in the region, FAU attracts a diverse student population. Students who are balancing the stress of achieving an excellent GPA with everyday life can make errors. Violating the FAU Code of Academic Integrity by cheating or plagiarizing can lead to strict disciplinary action. What should an FAU student do if they are accused of an academic integrity violation? Read on for the answer from an attorney for FAU students.

What kinds of things violate the FAU Code of Academic Integrity?

Some academic integrity violations include:

Cheating

  • Unauthorized collaboration – working with someone else on an assignment that was not group work.
  • Unauthorized assistance – using a friend’s old notes to study from, studying from a test bank online, using a professor’s old exams, labs, or study packets.
  • Having someone else sit for your exams or complete your assignments

Plagiarism

  • Forgetting to site a source
  • Creating fake citations
  • Using parts of an old paper you wrote in your new paper without citing or consent from the professors
  • Buying assignments online and turning them in as your own
  • Turning in a friend’s old work as your own

What happens if a professor accuses an FAU student of a code of academic integrity violation?

FAU has very detailed procedures with strict timeframes. This policy can be found on the FAU website. The first step is a meeting between the student and professor. At this meeting, the professor should present the student with their perception of the violation along with the charges and recommended sanction. Students have an opportunity to convince the professor that they did not cheat or plagiarize at this meeting. If they are successful, then the academic integrity process will stop.If a professor is still convinced that a student violated the academic integrity code, then the process goes to the department chair or director of the school or program. From there the student has a two more chances at defending themselves.

What happens if I fight the academic integrity violation?

The accused student will have the opportunity to appear before a Faculty-Student Council. This council hears the student appeal. This is the best opportunity a student has of avoiding punishment. The student can make a statement, bring witnesses, and present their evidence.

Can a FAU student hire a lawyer to assist in defending against the academic integrity accusation?

Yes. FAU policy specifically allows the student to bring an adviser with them to the council hearing. I have attended several of these hearings and students who have advisers tend to fair better than those that do not. I assist students by using my specialized legal experience to defend against accusations of academic integrity violations. My decades of experience can increase a student’s chance of a successful defense.

What happens if the FAU council finds that I was responsible for academic dishonesty?

The student can request a final appeal to the Provost. The decision by the Provost is considered final.

Can I appeal the Provosts decision on my academic integrity violation?

Not within FAU. There is a court process called a writ of certiorari. However, students must be aware that a decision from the court could take over a year and the appeal issues are even more narrow than the university appeal process.A student’s best chance of fighting an academic integrity violation is before the FAU council or appeal to the Provost.

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Richard Asselta is an award-winning attorney who defends FAU students facing academic integrity and code of conduct issues. Call today to avoid a suspension or expulsion from Florida Atlantic University.Click here to read what clients are saying about Richard on AVVO, an attorney review website.v