A state appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a Farmingdale State College nursing student for plagiarism.
The college dismissed Omoike Idahosa two years ago after his professor determined that a paper he had turned in contained material plagiarized from another student's paper submitted in an earlier term.
Idahosa then challenged his dismissal and won a ruling in State Supreme Court, which sent the matter back to the college for consideration of a lesser penalty.
But in the ruling dated July 5, the Appellate Division said, citing earlier decisions, that "An administrative penalty must be upheld unless it is so disproportionate to the offense as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness, thus constituting an abuse of discretion as a matter of law."
The court continued, "Contrary to the Supreme Court's determination, it cannot be concluded, as a matter of law, that the penalty of dismissal is so disproportionate to the petitioner's misconduct as to be shocking to one's sense of fairness, particularly in light of the facts that he was put on notice of that possible disciplinary measure, that he continued to deny his plagiarism, and that he provided an implausible explanation for the similarity between his paper and that of the other student... Accordingly, the petition should have been denied and the proceeding dismissed."
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On Wednesday, the college said, "The Farmingdale State College student code of conduct prohibits plagiarism. In specific health programs, students are also required to adhere to professional standards of conduct. The College works very hard to uphold academic integrity."