Forging professors’ names can lead to suspension

Allison Augustyn

The full faculty subcommittee on administration recently released new procedures for dealing with forgery on academic documents. The new procedures result from concerns over a dramatic increase in forgery, according to Martha Hemwell, dean of student academic services.“We were concerned because the registrar’s office seemed to think that this may be more prevalent than we initially realized,” said Hemwall.

In response, the subcommittee drafted a set of criteria to clearly define a reasonable means of dealing with the problem.

Procedure is limited to those acts of forgery committed by students, and includes the signing of names on documents specified as, but not limited to, registration and other course work forms, academic petitions, and academic advising and academic program forms.

Academic violations normally come before the Honor Council, but cases of forgery will now be referred to the subcommittee, as the sanctions available to the Honor Council, which can include a reduction in a grade, are not appropriate for all situations.

A document from the committee states that a first offense will illicit a sanction imposed “depending on the document involved and when the forgery was discovered.” The committee could reverse a registration transaction, refuse to accept a petition, require the student to write a letter of apology, or refuse to entertain future petitions from the student for a specified period of time.

These actions could, under certain circumstances, result in an “F” for the course or loss of credit for a completed course. Hemwell would also be required to co-sign all documents requiring instructor or advisor signatures. A second offense will result in the student’s suspension from Lawrence for one or more terms. A third offense results in the student being “separated from the university.” The decisions can be appealed, and will be referred to the President.

Upon review and subsequent decisions made regarding violations, the actions will be recorded on the student’s permanent academic record and will be made available to members of the community on a need-to-know basis.

“If a professor is sick and at home in bed, and needs to have a student sign his name, then he should call in and let the registrar’s office know that the student is allowed to do so,” said Hemwell. “Otherwise it could affect the student.”