Tip Sheet on Academic Honesty

Below are some tips relating to academic honesty

  1. Under the Academic Honor Code system, every student, staff member, and faculty member is committed to the same set of principles and procedures for dealing with academic dishonesty.  Nevertheless, there can be uncertainty, especially for new instructors, about how to apply those principles and procedures.  The role of the Chair/Program Director in this process is “advisory.”  That is, you may help an instructor determine how to proceed, but you are not directly involved in the determination of whether or not there is a violation of the Academic Honor Code and what sanction should be imposed.  Those decisions are made by the Academic Honor Council, composed of 16 students and six faculty members.
  2. Information about the principles and procedures is available in the Student Handbook, for students, and the Faculty Handbook, for faculty.  Both are available online.  In addition, students and instructors can consult Dean Frank Murray (4615) or Monica Mendenhall (4080), the Coordinator for the Academic Honor Council, for more specific information relevant to their particular situation.
  3. In general, a faculty member’s first step in the process is to meet with the student whose work the faculty member has some reason to suspect and attempt to resolve the issue through conversation.
    • If after that conversation, the faculty member is convinced that there is NO violation of the Honor Code, the faculty member handles the situation as an “educational” one and makes the appropriate determination as to what grade should be assigned and whether rewriting is needed. 
    • If the faculty member is still concerned that there MAY be a violation, then the faculty member reports the situation to the AHC and lets them determine whether or not a violation has occurred and what sanction is appropriate. 
    • If the faculty member is convinced that a violation has occurred and the student accepts responsibility, there can be a “No Contest Resolution” which is handled through the AHC office but does not require a hearing.  The faculty member and student sign an agreement saying that a violation occurred and that the “XF” grade applies.
  4. Faculty should be encouraged to make their expectations clear in advance so there will be no question after the fact about what is “allowed” and what is not, especially for group projects.
  5. Faculty members may wish to use the new Turnitin.com plagiarism service during the 2006-7 and 2007-8 academic years to help discover sources of plagiarized work.  A faculty member can request that students in a class submit their written work through Turnitin.com, or can choose to upload an individual paper that appears suspicious.  Contact Dean Frank Murray for further information on the use of Turnitin.com.
  6. Chairs and Program Directors may wish from time to time to have a program-wide discussion among faculty of the academic honesty issues relevant to that particular field of study and that arise in various types of classes.  For example, exams given in a computer classroom may give rise to specific concerns; or, repeating the same written assignments year after year may cause other issues. (Revised on August 2, 2006)