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The Academic Honor Code from 

The Lander University Faculty Manual 

June, 1999

 

SECTION VI UNIVERSITY POLICIES

1. ACADEMIC HONOR CODE

In order to maintain a high standard of academic excellence, Lander University has adopted an Academic Honor Code for which both faculty and students are responsible. The University affirms its trust in the ability of the faculty and students to be self-disciplined, responsible, and honorable in the pursuit of academic goals. 

FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

Lander University subscribes to the 1987 American Association of University Professors Statement on Professional Ethics. Part II of that Statement says: "Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit."

To uphold the Academic Honor Code the faculty of Lander University is expected to:

a. Place in each syllabus a reference to and discuss with students the Academic Honor Code of Lander University.

b. Exercise due caution in the preparation, distribution, administration, and security of all exams to prevent any student from gaining an improper advantage over his/her counterparts. Exercise due caution when making other written assignments (e.g., term papers, lab reports, projects, etc.).

c. Initiate action against violators of the Academic Honor Code as prescribed by the Code.

d. Be truthful in all discussions and hearings related to any infractions of the Honor Code. 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

By electing to enroll at Lander University, the student unconditionally agrees to uphold the Academic Honor Code. It is the responsibility of each student:

a. To refrain from giving or accepting unauthorized aid while undertaking any academic activity.

b. To submit each piece of academic work only once during the student's entire enrollment at Lander unless written permission is obtained from the teacher of the subsequent course to which the material will be submitted. Academic work includes papers, articles, class journals, written or oral reports, computer or science laboratory reports, works of art, and musical performances.

c. To refrain from falsifying data, information, or citations in academic work being submitted as a requisite of a course.

d. To refrain from attempting to have a grade changed on a returned exam by falsifying recorded answers.

e. To submit only his or her original work. This prohibits copying, participating in unauthorized collaboration, and committing plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined in the Lander University Student Handbook.

f. To refrain from giving exam information to students who have yet to take that same exam.

g. To be truthful in all discussions and hearings related to any infractions of the Honor Code.

h. To report to the instructor of the course concerns about the integrity of academic activities, or infractions of the Code. The concern or infraction can be reported to the instructor either verbally or in writing.

i. To hold in confidence any privileged information obtained during the academic process.

j. To be knowledgeable about the University's policies on "academic honesty" and "plagiarism," as these are described in the current issue of the Student Handbook. 

FACULTY RIGHTS  

Faculty rights under the Academic Honor Code include the right to:

a. Expect students to be accountable for their own behavior, including their own learning.

b. Question any student behavior which appears not to adhere to the statement of Student Responsibilities contained in the Code.

c. Request a hearing, and present evidence and witnesses to support the allegation of a violation of the Honor Code.

d. Be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor from on campus. The advisor cannot be an attorney nor can he or she enter into discussions (with anyone other than the faculty member) during the hearing. 

STUDENT RIGHTS

Student rights under the Academic Honor Code include the right to:

a. Expect faculty to conduct academic activities in a timely, appropriate manner, and to be fair-minded and impartial.

b. Be presumed innocent until he or she admits guilt or is proven guilty.

c. Have fair and impartial hearings, including the right to present contradicting evidence, to be provided prior to the hearing a copy of written evidence to be used during the hearing, to present witnesses, and to have access to an advisor from on campus.

d. Be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor from on campus. The advisor cannot be an attorney nor can he/she enter into discussions (with anyone other than the student) during the hearing. 

INITIAL FACULTY RESPONSE TO A POSSIBLE VIOLATION

A faculty member who has reason to believe that a student has violated the Academic Honor Code shall discuss the matter confidentially with the student(s). If the student admits the infraction, the faculty member may elect one of the two following courses of action:

a. Award the student a failing grade or a grade lower than he/she would otherwise award for either the academic work in question or the course. Copies of a written statement summarizing the infraction and the penalty, signed by both the faculty member and the student, shall be provided to the professor, the student, and the Academic Honor Code file in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

-or-

b. Request a hearing and determination of the matter by the Honor Council.

If the student denies the infraction, the faculty member may dismiss the matter without further action or refer the matter to the Honor Council. Upon referring a matter to the Honor Council the faculty member agrees to abide by the decision of the Honor Council. 

INITIAL STUDENT RESPONSE TO A POSSIBLE VIOLATION

A student or group of students encountering what is believed to be an infraction of the Academic Honor Code by another student or group of students may report the infraction to the instructor of record for the course and request that he or she take action by carrying out the Initial Faculty Response to a Possible Violation.

A student or group of students encountering what is believed to be an infraction of the Academic Honor Code by the instructor of a course may obtain a Referral Form from the Office of the Registrar and follow the steps outlined on that form. Note that failure to initiate action against violators of the Honor Code is an infraction (Faculty Responsibilities item c). 

REFERRAL TO THE HONOR COUNCIL

Should an alleged violation of the Academic Honor Code be referred to the Honor Council, the individual alleging a violation of the Honor Code shall file a written report to the Vice President for Student Affairs within five (5) calendar days of discovering the alleged infraction, or of discussing the matter with the accused, whichever is longer. The report must include:

- the name(s) of the accused student(s)

- the specific Honor Code violation

- an explanation of the alleged infraction

- a copy of any written evidence

- the time, date, and place of the alleged infraction, if appropriate

- the name(s) of any witness(es) 

NOTIFICATION OF REFERRAL TO HONOR COUNCIL

1. Within five (5) days of receiving the report, the Vice President for Student Affairs or a designee must inform the student and the Vice President for Academic Affairs by letter that the student is accused of a violation. The letter shall contain the specific charges made against the student.

2. The student may, after consultation with the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee and within five (5) days of being notified of the charges, elect one of three courses of action:

a. The student may admit the alleged violation, waive a hearing in writing, and request that the Honor Council determine appropriate action.

b. The student may admit the alleged violation in writing and request a hearing by the Honor Council.

c. The student may deny the alleged violation in writing, in which case the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee shall schedule a hearing before the Honor Council.

3. In all cases in which a hearing is held, the Vice President for Student Affairs or designee shall notify the student and the accuser in writing at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the date, time, and place of the hearing. 

HONOR COUNCIL PROCEDURES

1. The Chair of the Honor Council shall conduct hearings as specified by the Rules Governing Honor Council Hearing.

2. The student and the accuser shall be entitled to appear in person at the hearing to present testimony. It may not be possible to secure the presence of all witnesses since the Honor Council has no power of subpoena.

3. The student may elect not to appear before the Honor Council. The failure of a student to appear shall not be taken as indicative of guilt and must be noted without prejudice.

4. Should the accused and/or the accuser so desire, he/she may be accompanied at the hearing by an advisor from on campus. The advisor shall not be an attorney and cannot enter into any discussions with anyone other than the student.

5. The student and the accuser shall be allowed to present oral and/or written testimony and/or witnesses in his/her behalf.

6. The accused and the accuser each have the right to be present throughout the presentation of testimony.

7. Each side shall be given a chance to present its position separately without interruption from the other side.

8. After presentation of both positions, rebuttal and questions shall be allowed.

9. The decision of the Honor Council shall be communicated in writing to the student, the accuser, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs by the Vice President for Student Affairs within seventy-two (72) hours after the decision and shall specify the action taken by the Honor Council. The Chair of the Honor Council shall deliver a copy of the Council's findings to the Academic Vice President for inclusion in the Academic Honor Code file.

10. Should the Honor Council find the student guilty, it shall specify one or more of the penalties listed below:

a. A failing grade on the assignment or test in question.

b. A failing grade in the course in which the violation occurred.

c. Honor Code probation for a period of time of not less than one full semester. Any violation of the Honor Code during the probation period shall be grounds for suspension.

d. Suspension from Lander University for a specified or an unspecified period of time.

e. Expulsion from Lander University. 

THE ACADEMIC HONOR CODE FILE

The Academic Vice President shall maintain the Academic Honor Code file in his or her office. Within five (5) days of receiving official notice of a second violation of the Honor Code by any student, the Academic Vice President shall officially warn the student in writing that any future violation of the Honor Code will automatically lead to the student's being required to appear before the Honor Council.

A faculty member may have access to a student's record in the Academic Honor Code File when carrying out professional duties. None of the contents of the File shall be removed from the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Within five (5) days of receiving official notice of a third violation of the Honor Code by a student, the Vice President for Academic Affairs shall refer that student to the Honor Council for a hearing. The purpose of the hearing shall be to determine what further penalty, if any, shall be imposed by the Council on the student. The hearing shall take place within five (5) days after the Vice President for Academic Affairs has notified the Council chair of the need for the hearing. The Honor Council shall have access to the student's records in the Honor Code file. The Honor Council may impose penalties of Honor Code probation, suspension from Lander University for a specified or unspecified period, or expulsion from Lander University. Such penalty or penalties may be imposed whether or not the student chooses to attend the hearing. 

APPEALS

Both the accused and the accuser shall be notified in writing by the Vice President for Student Affairs of their right to appeal the outcome of Honor Council hearings on substantive or procedural grounds. Should either party appeal, any action specified by the Honor Council shall not be implemented pending resolution of the appeal. Requests for appeal must be made in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs within three (3) calendar days of receipt of written notification of the decision. Appeals will be heard by the Faculty Senate Grade and Judicial Appeals Committee of Lander University within fourteen (14) calendar days after the Committee chair receives the appeal from the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

HONOR COUNCIL COMPOSITION

The Honor Council shall consist of eight (8) voting members and the Vice President for Student Affairs as a non-voting member. A tie vote would be considered as not guilty. The voting members shall consist of four (4) students and four (4) faculty members. The Council chair shall be a voting faculty member and shall be elected by majority vote of the Council.

The students shall be selected by a drawing of names from a pool of fifteen (15) students who have been nominated to the Honor Council for a one year period by no later than September 30. Each student nominated must be at least a sophomore and be in good standing within the University. The names of Council student members will be drawn by the Vice President for Student Affairs, who also will convene the Honor Council for its first meeting.

The faculty members and four (4) faculty alternates shall be appointed by the President. Nominations shall be provided by the Faculty Senate at its first meeting in August. Should a quorum of the Honor Council not be available for a hearing, the Vice President for Student Affairs, with the approval of the President, may appoint ad-hoc members to this Council to hear a case.

Should a member of the Honor Council be involved with a specific case, that member will be recused from the Council when a hearing of that case is conducted.  

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