I got permission from a professor to submit an essay to him that I wrote for one of his previous classes. It is academic misconduct to do this unless you receive permission from the professor.

Say the professor changes his mind for whatever reason and I have his permission in writing, what is to stop him from going back on his word during or after the class? I understand the Dean and Department Chair would also be involved. If I prove that I had permission, what can stop the university from failing me on the class or assignment and/or doing whatever they want essentially since it's basically a private business/entity? Would I need to sue the school?

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    Most professors are not evil people who want to fail you. Either because they aren't evil or because failing people is work. So do you have a concrete reason why you worry about this? Feb 9, 2017 at 19:19
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    I expect it would come down to the fact that when you enrolled in the university, you agreed to abide by their written academic misconduct rules, including their prescribed adjudication and enforcement process. If they punish you without due process, you might have a case for a lawsuit. If you have clear evidence that your behavior was in accordance with the policy, and the university fails to consider that evidence, that would probably be a due process violation. Feb 9, 2017 at 19:28
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    This question seems very hypothetical. Is there an actual problem?
    – Bob Brown
    Mar 25, 2017 at 11:51
  • @Bob Brown I am curious to know and be prepared in case it does happen. I'd rather not wait until it happens if I can do something to avoid it prior.
    – user69115
    Mar 26, 2017 at 14:24
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    @user69115 Well, your question appears to assume unethical behavior on the part of the professor when you write, "the professor changes his mind," and also assumes unethical behavior on the chair, dean, etc. I believe that to be extremely unlikely. Better to spend your efforts preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse.
    – Bob Brown
    Mar 26, 2017 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


What's to stop him? His ethical considerations, and the paper trail that was created.

If you prove you had permission, what's to stop the university from doing whatever they want?

Your university will have policies in place, and procedures for filing internal complaints. Your energetic self-defense, using your paper trail and university policies and procedures, would be what would stop the university from doing whatever they want.

You might also be able to file a complaint with your state education department.

I don't know anything about lawsuits, except that they can take a long time. Perhaps it would help to post at Law SE.

  • That's very helpful. Are you speaking in reference to public universities or private? If it's private, I'm not sure if complaining to the state education department would do much good. Or can the education department still play a role in regulating the university's practices?
    – user69115
    Feb 27, 2017 at 18:43

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