Academic Misconduct Policy
- I. Prohibited Academic Misconduct
- II. Procedures
- III. Records
- IV. Adoption and Amendment
The University of Connecticut School of Law is a community of adults and professionals committed to the principles of academic integrity and honesty and the highest standards of professional conduct in teaching, learning, research, and service. As an expression of this commitment, the University of Connecticut School of Law has adopted this Policy on academic misconduct. Each student has the right to pursue his or her academic career in an atmosphere of honesty and trust. Acts of academic misconduct destroy that atmosphere and violate that trust.
This Policy applies to all academic activity by students at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Academic activity at the School of Law takes many forms including, but not limited to classroom activity, clinics and externships, lawyering process exercises and simulations, moot court and counseling competitions, law reviews, independent research projects, conferences and discussion groups, examinations, and papers.
No student shall engage in any misconduct in any academic activity at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Responsibility for such misconduct is not excused by ignorance of this Policy. It is therefore essential that students be conversant with the provisions of this Policy. A copy of this Policy shall be sent to all matriculating students. Each matriculating student shall sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the Policy, the student's obligation to become familiar with the provisions of this Policy, and that the student is bound by the provisions of this Policy.
All students and other members of the School of Law community are strongly encouraged to report acts of academic misconduct of which they are aware, for disposition under this policy. The School of Law will use its best efforts to insure that no member of the community suffers as a result of her filing a complaint in good faith.
This Policy applies to every student at the School of Law. "Student" means a person who at the time of the alleged misconduct is enrolled in the School of Law or registered for any academic or scholarly activity at the school. A student is considered enrolled during vacations or holidays until the student has graduated, withdrawn, or been absent from the school for more than two consecutive semesters.
This is the exclusive Policy for matters of academic misconduct at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Matters of a disciplinary nature not involving academic activity are to be addressed by Section III of the University's "Student Conduct Code."
- CHEATING: Cheating is any conduct in connection with any academic activity done for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage over another student, or any conduct in connection with any academic activity done under circumstances such that a reasonable law student would know that the conduct was likely to result in unfair advantage.
Examples of cheating include the following:
- Providing or receiving assistance in a manner prohibited.
- Using or providing sources in a manner prohibited.
- Writing examination answers substantially after the time students are instructed to stop writing on a take home examination, or after being specifically instructed to stop writing by a proctor or other person in authority on an examination given in class.
- Communicating with any unauthorized person for purposes of violating this provision.
- Acquiring, using or providing, without permission, examinations, tests or other academic material.
- Acquiring, using, or providing, without permission, role materials relating to simulations that are used in any course.
- PLAGIARISM: No student shall plagiarize the words of others in any paper submitted for credit or for publication. The term "Plagiarize" means using, by paraphrase or direct quotation, any not insubstantial portion of the written work of another, without full and clear acknowledgment, or using materials prepared by another person who is engaged in the selling or giving of term papers or other academic materials.
- MISREPRESENTATION: No student shall misrepresent her work as another's or another's as hers. Misrepresentation also includes submitting for evaluation or credit any work prepared, used, or submitted in another course or for a law journal, academic competition, clinic, employer, or any other organization, except with prior express permission of the faculty member or other person in authority after full disclosure.
Examples of Misrepresentation include the following:
- Taking an examination or writing a paper for another student.
- Submitting for evaluation an examination or a paper prepared by another individual.
- PROHIBITED COLLABORATION: For an examination, all collaboration or giving or receiving of academic aid while taking the examination is prohibited unless it has been specifically authorized by the faculty member or by another person in authority. Communication about an examination between a person who has already taken that examination and a person who has not yet taken that examination is strictly prohibited.
For all other types of academic activity, faculty members must specify collaboration or any other form of giving or receiving aid that is prohibited. No student shall collaborate with any other student in any academic activity, or otherwise give or receive aid, when such aid or collaboration has been prohibited or otherwise precluded by the faculty member or other person in authority.
- IMPEDING THE ACADEMIC WORK OF OTHERS: No student shall steal, destroy, or impede another student's academic work. Impeding another student's work includes the theft, concealment, defacement, or mutilation of common academic resources, or of another student's books, class notes, outlines, study materials or computer.
- TAMPERING: No student shall tamper with any document or computer file pertaining to academic activity, including student academic records, official transcripts, journals, examination papers, and the like. "Tampering" does not include (a) any conduct authorized by the owner of the file or (b) modification of law journal or moot court documents in the normal course of the editorial or reviewing process.
- AGREEING, SOLICITING, ATTEMPTING: No student shall assist another with any act of academic misconduct, or solicit another to do such an act, or agree to assist or solicit another to commit such an act.
- DELIBERATE OBSTRUCTION: No student shall deliberately obstruct an investigation of any act of academic misconduct.
- NEGLIGENT VIOLATION OF ACADEMIC REGULATIONS: All charges of "academic misconduct" also contain the lesser included offense of "negligent violation of academic regulations." This offense may be found where the violation was unintentional.
- GENERAL PROVISIONS: No student shall knowingly make a materially false or deceptive statement to a person in authority in connection with an academic activity.
- INFORMAL DISCUSSION PRIOR TO FILING COMPLAINT
When a faculty member has a concern about possible misconduct, the faculty member and the student or students involved may informally discuss the matter prior to the filing of a complaint under this Policy, if the student or students and the faculty member elect to do so. Either the student or students or the faculty member may refuse to conduct such discussions, or may choose to terminate ongoing discussions at any time, and no inference shall be drawn from such refusal or termination. Where such discussions are held, the student or students involved and the faculty member may agree on a resolution of the concern on terms satisfactory to them, and such resolution may include providing the student or students the opportunity to do substitute academic work. However, the parties may not agree to sanctions for academic misconduct; all such sanctions must be imposed pursuant to this Policy.
- COMPLAINT, INVESTIGATION, AND PRELIMINARY HEARING
- Within 30 days of discovering a suspected incident of academic misconduct, any member of the School of Law community may file a written complaint with the Dean alleging a violation of this Policy. Every such complaint must be signed by the party filing it and must contain a statement of the facts and circumstances involved in the alleged violation. The Dean or designee may amend the complaint to exclude irrelevant material or to include additional substantiation concerning the alleged violation.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, the Dean or designee shall promptly notify the accused student of the complaint and make such investigation of the charges as deemed necessary to establish whether probable cause exists for the complaint.
- If the Dean or designee finds, either on the face of the complaint or upon investigation, that the complaint is not supported by probable cause or that it requires no further action for any other reason, the Dean or designee may dismiss the complaint without further proceedings. When a complaint is so dismissed, the Dean or designee shall inform the complaining party and the accused student in writing of the decision and state the reasons therefore. The party filing the complaint may petition the Dean or designee for reconsideration of dismissal of the complaint and may offer additional substantiation of the complaint.
- If the Dean or designee is satisfied that there is probable cause for the complaint, the Dean or designee shall promptly notify the accused student in writing of the charges and allegations contained in the complaint and of the basis for the finding of probable cause. The Dean or designee shall require the student to appear for a preliminary hearing before the Dean or designee at a time and place set forth in the notice. The date and time for the preliminary hearing shall be not less than 5 nor more than 10 school days after the student is notified of the finding of probable cause and the basis for that finding.
- If the student fails to appear as directed without reasonable excuse, the Dean may suspend the student from the School of Law until such time as the student appears for a hearing at a time and place established by the Dean or designee. If the student fails within a reasonable time after suspension to request and arrange for such a meeting, or again does not appear for a scheduled meeting, the student shall be subject to expulsion from the School of Law by the Dean.
- The preliminary hearing will be attended by the accused student, the Dean or designee, and a person designated by the Dean to keep a record of the conversation but not to participate otherwise at this hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the student may make any statement and make an offer of proof, in summary form, of any relevant information the student wishes the Dean or designee to consider. Prior to the conclusion of the hearing, the Dean or designee shall inform the student of the sanctions, if any, which the Dean or designee intends to impose in the event the student admits the violation. If the student admits the violation after learning of the proposed sanctions, the Dean or designee has the authority to impose those sanctions. If the student accepts such sanctions, no further disciplinary action shall be taken. Alternatively, the student may admit the violation, but request that the question of sanction be referred to the Hearing Committee (defined below). In such case, the Dean or designee's proposed sanctions will remain confidential and will not be available for consideration by the Hearing Committee. At the student's request, the Dean or designee may adjourn the preliminary hearing to allow the student time to consider the proposed resolution of the charges.
- FORMAL HEARING
- If at the preliminary hearing the accused student denies the violation, or admits the violation but does not agree to the sanctions proposed by the Dean or designee, the Dean or designee shall promptly empanel a Hearing Committee for decision, and forward to the Chairperson thereof a copy of the complaint and the names of all persons having relevant information. The formal hearing shall commence within 20 school days after the conclusion of the preliminary hearing.
- The Hearing Committee shall be composed of three members:
- One member shall be a student at the University of Connecticut School of Law, chosen by the Dean or designee from the officers or elected representatives of the Student Bar Association after consultation with the President of the Student Bar Association, provided that the appointment of the student member under this provision shall not be made by the same designee who conducted the investigation.
- Two members shall be full-time faculty of the University of Connecticut School of Law selected by the Dean or designee from among the faculty who are not members of the Faculty Review Board (see Article II-G below). The Chairperson of the Hearing Committee shall be selected by the Dean or designee from the faculty members of the Committee, and shall be a voting member of the Committee. Members of the Hearing Committee may not serve as the Dean's designee for other purposes in the same case.
- Hearings shall be conducted by the Hearing Committee according to the following guidelines:
- Hearings shall be conducted in private, unless the accused student elects otherwise.
- If the complaint involves more than one accused student, the Chairperson may permit the hearings concerning each student to be conducted separately.
- The Hearing Committee shall have the power to issue discovery orders and to otherwise compel testimony from all members of the Law School community whenever appropriate to the proceedings. Neither the accused student nor the student's counsel or other advisor may be compelled to provide evidence or testimony.
- The case against the accused student shall be presented by the Dean or designee, who shall represent the School of Law. The Dean may designate the same person who served as the designee during the preliminary hearing, or may designate someone else of appropriate experience from within or outside the law faculty. The Dean or designee who presents the case on behalf of the School of Law shall have the right to call and examine witnesses, to present other evidence, and to cross-examine any witnesses presented by the accused student. The accused student shall be given at least 10 days notice of who will present the case on behalf of the School of Law.
- The accused student shall have the right to be represented by counsel or other advisor at the student's expense, upon notice given at least 10 days prior to the hearing. If the accused student so requests, the School of Law will make best efforts to obtain pro bono counsel for the student for all hearings under this policy. The accused student shall have the right to present a defense, to cross-examine witnesses, and to call and examine witnesses to testify on the student's behalf. Law School faculty are discouraged from serving as counsel to students accused of violating this Policy.
- There shall be a single verbatim record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before the Hearing Committee. The record shall be the property of University of Connecticut School of Law. Upon request the student may receive a transcript of the hearing for a fee.
- Any oral or documentary evidence may be received, but the Hearing Committee shall, as a matter of policy, provide for the exclusion of irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.
- The Hearing Committee shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law.
- When a hearing will be expedited and the interests of the parties will not be prejudiced substantially, any part of the evidence may be received in written form.
- Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts, if the original is not readily available, and upon request, parties conducting the proceeding shall be given an opportunity to compare the copy with the original.
- Parties may conduct cross-examinations required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.
- Notice may be taken of judicially cognizable facts. Parties shall be notified in a timely manner of any material noticed, and they shall be afforded an opportunity to contest the material so noticed.
- Other questions of procedure and evidence will be determined by the Chair of the Committee, consistent with the accused student's right to a fair hearing.
After the hearing, the Hearing Committee shall determine, by majority vote, made on the basis of clear and convincing evidence, whether the accused student has violated this Policy. This determination shall be made within 5 school days of the completion of the hearing. A final decision can be rendered only by those members who attended the entire hearing and heard all of the evidence. If such violation is found, the Hearing Committee shall have authority to impose sanctions pursuant to paragraph E. The Committee shall deliver its decision in writing to the Dean, who shall deliver a copy to the complainant, the accused student, and counsel, if any, and any faculty member directly involved in the case. Decisions made by the Hearing Committee shall be final, except where an appeal pursuant to Paragraph G is upheld.
- The Hearing Committee shall have authority to impose one or more of the following sanctions upon any accused student who has admitted misconduct but not accepted a sanction or who has been found by the Committee to have violated the Policy:
- Warning. Written notice to the student that continuing or repeating the conduct found wrongful may be cause for a more severe disciplinary action.
- Probation. Written reprimand for violating a specified provision or provisions of the Policy. Probation is for a designated period of time and includes the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student violates the Policy during the probationary period.
- Loss of privileges. Denial of specified privileges for a designated period of time.
- Suspension. Separation of the student from the School of Law for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to apply to the Petitions Committee for readmission. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
- Expulsion. Permanent separation of the student from the School of Law.
- Any other sanction deemed appropriate by the Committee under the circumstances except sanctions involving the grade in the course or other academic activity involved.
- Upon a student's admission of misconduct, or upon a determination of misconduct by the Hearing Committee, the faculty member teaching the course or conducting or supervising the academic activity involved will determine whether to impose any sanction involving a grade and determine what that sanction may be. Available sanctions include failure in the course or in the particular exercise in which there was misconduct. For serious matters of misconduct, failure in the course or other activity will normally be the sanction imposed. Any sanction involving a grade in the course or other activity may be imposed in addition to sanctions imposed by the Hearing Committee.
Upon dismissal of a complaint following investigation or a finding of no misconduct by the Hearing Committee, the faculty member teaching the course or conducting or supervising the academic activity involved may not impose any grade penalty in the course or activity for academic misconduct. Under these circumstances, either the student or the faculty member will have the option of having the course or activity graded by another faculty member selected by the Dean. In addition, the student may elect to have the course graded pass/fail.
- For a finding or admission of "negligent violation of academic regulations" the available sanctions shall be the same, except that suspension or expulsion shall not be imposed.
- The Hearing Committee shall have authority to impose one or more of the following sanctions upon any accused student who has admitted misconduct but not accepted a sanction or who has been found by the Committee to have violated the Policy:
- STATUS OF ACCUSED; INTERIM SUSPENSION & EJECTION
The status of a student accused of violating this Policy shall not be altered, nor shall the right to attend classes at the School of Law be suspended, until the conclusion of the Hearing and Appeal, except pursuant to Section II of this Policy. In addition, the Dean may temporarily exclude the accused student from classes and other School of Law functions at any time before the conclusion of this procedure for reasons related to the physical or emotional safety and well being of the student or any other member of the School of Law community. Such temporary exclusions shall be for a limited period and shall be explained in writing.
- A decision reached by the Hearing Committee may be appealed by the accused student to the Faculty Review Board within 10 school days of the decision. Such appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Dean.
- The Faculty Review Board shall consist of three members of the full-time faculty of the School of Law chosen by the Dean at the beginning of each academic year. Members of the Faculty Review Board may not serve as the Dean's designee for other purposes under this policy. A member of the Faculty Review Board who is involved in a proceeding under this policy as a complainant or witness will be replaced by the Dean or designee for that proceeding.
- An appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the hearing and supporting evidence for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the hearing was conducted fairly and in conformity with procedures prescribed in this Policy, and gave the accused student a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence.
- To determine whether the decision reached was based on substantial evidence.
- To determine whether the sanctions imposed were appropriate for the violation of the Policy which the accused was found to have committed.
- If the Review Board upholds the appeal under G.3.a. above, the matter shall be remanded to the Hearing Committee for reconsideration. If the Review Board upholds the appeal on any other grounds, the Board shall determine the matter. The Review Board shall deliver its decision in writing to the Dean, who shall deliver a copy to the complainant, the accused student, and counsel, if any, and any faculty member directly involved in the case.
- The decision of the Review Board shall be the final appeal in the matter, except for matters remanded to the Hearing Committee for reconsideration.
- GENERAL PROVISIONS
- For purposes of this Policy, a school day is defined as any day on which upperclass day or evening classes are conducted, including the June Term but excluding the first year intersession.
- For purposes of this Policy the Dean's choice of a designee is not limited to members of the full time faculty. The Dean may choose one designee for one part of the procedure and another designee for another part.
- The Petitions committee shall have no jurisdiction over any matters covered by this Policy except with respect to application for readmission on suspension.
- All time limits stated in this Policy are subject to reasonable extension by the Dean or designee for good cause shown, and failure to observe a time limit is not a defect depriving the Hearing Committee or the Faculty Review Board of jurisdiction.
- Upon conclusion of a proceeding under this Policy, all records and files concerning the proceeding shall be delivered to the Dean by the Hearing Committee and the Faculty Review Board and the members thereof, and by any faculty member having such records or files.
- A written summary of any proceeding against an accused student who has been found guilty of or admitted a violation of this Policy, including the resulting sanction, shall be prepared by the Dean or designee and be noted on the permanent academic record of the accused student. The University of Connecticut School of Law and members of its faculty admitted to the bar are required to comply with the applicable disclosure requirements of Bar Examining Committees on Character and Fitness.
- This Policy was adopted by the full-time faculty of University of Connecticut School of Law, and approved by the University Board of Trustees, to be effective August 27, 2002.
- This Policy may be amended at any time by the full-time Faculty of the University of Connecticut School of Law, with approval of the University Board of Trustees.