CSU Stanislaus -- April 30, 2003

University's Student Discipline Investigation Progresses

Progress is being made at California State University, Stanislaus on the investigation to determine if Sociology students falsified data for a change-of-venue survey assignment related to the Scott Peterson case.

As of the week of April 26, of the 58 students in class, 24 have been cleared outright and 21 have been charged with violating the student code of conduct. The remaining 13 students are still under investigation and have not been cleared or charged yet. Some have resisted compliance with a request to appear. However, the University is taking measures to proceed.

Of those charged, 8 have been found responsible for cheating on the survey. They will have their course grades lowered to a degree proportional to the seriousness of their violations. They have also been given sanctions that include 20 to 40 hours of community service, a requirement to write research papers related to ethical decision-making, and probation.

Disciplinary sanctions for students may range from probation to expulsion. Students on probation are ineligible for student leadership positions on campus. Further violations of the code of conduct are dealt with more severely if the student is on probation at the time of the misconduct.

The remaining charged students are in various stages of the campus discipline process and continue to be investigated for allegations of cheating, or obstruction/disruption of the campus educational process.

Stacey Morgan-Foster, Vice President for Student Affairs, said judicial administrators have considered student cooperation, including self-reporting, as well as other mitigating circumstances in providing appropriate sanctions that are designed to help students learn from their violation of the student conduct code.

The examination of the faculty member's actions regarding the change-of-venue survey is following an established two-phase University procedure for investigations of allegations of scientific misconduct. The University is nearing completion on the inquiry phase, which involves comprehensive examination of all relevant information by a committee of three faculty peers, two from CSU Stanislaus and one from another CSU campus. Results of the inquiry phase will determine if the second phase, a full-scale investigation, is warranted.

Contact: Don Hansen (209) 667-3997

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