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
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