University of Maryland academic integrity hearings almost always result in a finding that the respondent, student was "responsible" and impose a sanction of 'XF'. Are any better outcomes possible?

college libraryAcademic integrity referrals and hearings result in a finding of student 'responsibility' with astounding frequency at the University of Maryland College Park. Perhaps, this is because there is a foolproof system or because professors make the referrals so rarely. ( Not)

The finding of 'responsibility' is so ubiquitous that the Office of Student Conduct menu of choices for resolution of such cases basically suggests you take your 'XF' medicine like a good little cheater and move along. This likely outcome is even routinely announced at the beginning of Honor Board hearings.

This is also reflected in data provided by the University and leads to the inevitable question, why fight? The answer is that the honor boards, the Office of Student Conduct and the hearing advocates are vested with discretion and can fashion sanctions that are not nearly as egregious.

This isn't to suggest that this is a frequent phenomenon but it does bear out why having an attorney take a look at things can be very valuable. In the covid-19 era it appears to this writer that there is an increased incidence of academic integrity and certain other student misconduct cases.

This increase in the sheer number of such cases increases the burden on the Office of Student Conduct to vet the cases and sometimes deficiencies in proof are overlooked. An experienced lawyer familiar with such cases can drill down on the allegations and recognize problems for pursuit of such hearings.

Sometimes this defangs the allegations and sometimes it allows for a more nuanced explanation at the hearing which yields better results. The difference between getting an 'XF' in a class and getting a 'C' can be tremendous.

An 'XF' means your transcript reflects a failing grade in the class due to academic dishonesty. Yes, you can engage in contortions to get rid of the 'X' but the 'F' remains unless you take the class again and get an'A' to average your grade into a 'C'.

This can hinder getting a job or getting into graduate or professional school and removing the 'X' can be a lot of work. So don't just accept your fate, have your referral looked at by a professional.

Robert V. Clark
Maryland Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
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