Case Study 3 Two Time, First Time

Case Title:

Case Study 3 Two Time, First Time

Case Study Publish Date:


Summary of the Case:

An unusual case involving fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, abuse and misuse of of access and unauthorized access, when a student utlizes an invalid email address to try to obtain extra time to complete required assignments.

Text of the Case:

Violation Report
This case is unique because it involves two violation reports that were combined into a single case because they were reported to the AHSO at the same time. The hearing for both reports occurred at the same time. Violation report 1 was filed on suspected falsification by faculty reporter 1(R1).  The alleged violator (AV) submitted a clinic note from student health services for excused absences from one exam and three homework assignments.  The TA scanned the document to verify and learned it was not consistent with the AV health records.  AV met with the director of the department and admitted to forging the document.  Violation report 2 was filed on fabrication and plagiarism.  AV1 was suspected of utilizing an invalid email account to bounce emails back, change information on them to meet certain criteria, and resend the documents to faculty reporter 2 (R2) and TA in an attempt to gain more time on an assignment.  When confirmed through the IT department, R2 met with the AV and who admitted in the meeting to fabricating the email bounces.  In the same report, the AV was accused of plagiarizing the assignment for which the AV was trying to obtain extra time for.
Investigators’ Summary
R1 indicated the AV was absent from class for an extended period of time and missed an exam.  R1 advised the AV to drop the course, but the AV claimed to have chicken pox but did not go to the doctor during the 3 week supposed infectious time.  AV claimed to not go to the doctor because the doctor would not release the AV to go back to class at the desired time AV needed.  R1 noted the AV admitted to submitting fabricated note from Beutal so the return to class would mark the important day to return for class projects. R1 was not available to interview, but provided this information in a report.
R2 indicated the AV’s admission of submitting fabricated emails, but noted the AV claimed the plagiarism was accidental. R2 stated the deadline for submitting a final draft of a paper was missed by the AV.  When R2’s TA investigated emails being sent back and forth and “hovered” with the mouse of the computer over the sent emails to the TA, the address would change.  When verified with the IT department, R2 explained the emails were first sent to an invalid email account, then altered to appear to have been sent to the TA the first time.
The AV claimed to be sick and hospitalized during the time the paper was due in R2’s class.  Instead of emailing R2 or submitting valid medical documentation, the AV focused on finals and then decided to pretend to send the paper in earlier to obtain more time for it and claimed to not have slept for days.  The AV claimed to have no idea why medical documentation wasn’t submitted to R2, and felt that lying was the easiest way out.  AV claimed the plagiarism was unintentional due to being in a hurry and not creating a bibliography for the paper.

Questions for Discussion:

Honor Council members may ask questions of R1, R2, and AV
  • What additional information would you need to make a decision in this case?
  • Would you find the AV responsible for academic misconduct?Why or why not?

Additional Commentary:

Sanctions Phase
After finding the AV responsible for academic misconduct, the following information was given to members of the hearing panel:
  1. Alleged Violator
    1. AV has no previous history of academic misconduct
    2. AV has violation in February R1 submitted in conjunction with the other noted violations in a subsequent report.
    3. All three acts of academic misconduct are egregious and indicate planned intent.The methodical nature of these violations should be given consideration.
Actual Sanctions
  • AV received a sanction of F* in the class where falsified documentation was submitted.
  • AV received a sanction of F* in the class where fabrication and plagiarism occurred.
  • AV received a sanction of separation from the university until the last day of the spring semester, 2015.
*Note, this case did go to an appeals panel, and all sanctions were upheld.