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Crime and Punishment 

Before you decide to cheat on your ethics final, you might want to investigate the consequences. Here's a look at how four local universities handle academic dishonesty

Loyola University -- Senior Jacqueline Bodet, director of the campus' recent "Check Out My Ethics" campaign, says the dean of students and the appropriate professor normally deal with first offenses at Loyola. More times than not, the encounter results in a failing grade for that course. A second offense can lead to a suspension or outright expulsion. On this campus, different departments sometimes have different rules. Bodet says the biology department, for instance, will occasionally put the problem on file and potentially deal with it later in a letter of recommendation for medical school.

Tulane University -- First convictions result in a failing grade in the course and some form of academic probation, says Timothy Brezina, an associate professor of sociology at Tulane. Students also receive a notation on their permanent record, which could interfere with admissions to law school or medical school. The Green Wave breaks at the second conviction, which is grounds for expulsion.

University of New Orleans -- Officials say a first offense is usually handled between the student and the professor. This initial offense can be likened to a "get-out-of-jail-free card," says Janice Lyn, the associate dean of student affairs. Second offenses are brought in front of a judicial committee of faculty and students and are met with varying degrees of suspension, along with a failing grade in the course. Lyn says no third offenses have occurred while she has been at UNO, but it would result in an automatic expulsion.

Xavier University -- There is no blanket policy for academic dishonesty at Xavier, says Dr. Deidre Labat, senior vice-president of academic affairs. Rather, professors and deans have differing policies that must be printed on each respective syllabus, whether it be a failing grade on that individual test or for the whole course. Some educators even distinguish a difference between cheating on homework, quizzes or tests. "We tried to get a uniform status for the campus, but professors don't like being corralled," Labat says. As for probation, suspension or expulsion, Labat says she can't recall such a penalty being handed down over the past 13 years.


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