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Honor Code Policy and Manual

Introduction
II. Definitions of Academic Misconduct

II. DEFINITIONS OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT4, 5, 6

Commission of any of the following acts shall constitute academic misconduct. This listing is not, however, exclusive of other acts that may reasonably be said to constitute academic misconduct. Clarification is provided for each definition with some examples of prohibited behaviors.

 

II. A. CHEATING
Cheating includes the intentional use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise, or attempts thereof.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to:

II. A. 1. Acquiring answers from any unauthorized source in completing any examination. For examinations, this includes looking at another student's exam, taking answers from another student’s exam paper, use of textbook/study sheet/calculator during an exam for which those materials are not allowed, working with another student on a project that is to be completed individually, copying solutions from an online source or solutions manual, getting answers from students who have previously taken the examination, or using external aids (e.g., books, notes, calculators, electronic devices, conversation with others) that have not been specifically designated as allowed by the instructor.

II. A. 2. Acquiring answers from any unauthorized source in completing any assigned work. For assigned work, unauthorized sources include, but are not limited to, working with another student on a project that is to be completed individually, copying solutions from an online source or solutions manual, using the services of commercial term paper companies, or purchasing answer sets to homework assignments. Students unsure as to whether a source is authorized should check with the instructor.

II. A. 3. Having another person conduct research or prepare work for you without advance authorization from the instructor.

II. A. 4. Collaborating with other students in the completion of assigned work unless specifically authorized by the course instructor. Students should assume that all assignments are to be completed individually unless the instructor indicates otherwise.

 

II. B. PLAGARISM
Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off the same as one's own original work, or attempts thereof.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

II. B. 1. Using another person’s words verbatim without appropriate quotation marks and citation, as appropriate to the discipline.

II. B. 2. Paraphrasing the work of another without appropriate citation, as appropriate to the discipline.

II. B. 3. Using a thesaurus or similar reference in order to substitute words for the words used by a source and then passing off the results as one’s own work.

II. B. 4. Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, including papers obtained in whole or in part from individuals or other sources.

II. B. 5. Failing to cite resources (print or electronic) if they are utilized in any way as source material in an academic exercise.

General information pertaining to plagiarism:

  • Faculty members are responsible for identifying any specific style/format requirement for the course. Examples include, but are not limited to, American Psychological Association (APA) style, Modern Languages Association (MLA) style, Chicago style, and Bluebook style.
  • Direct Quotations: Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged in the text by a citation or in a footnote or endnote.
  • Paraphrases: Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part, in one's own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state "To paraphrase Locke's comment" and then conclude with a footnote, endnote, or another citation identifying the exact reference.
  • Borrowed Facts: Information gained from reading or research, which is not common knowledge, must be acknowledged.
  • Common Knowledge: Common knowledge includes generally known facts, such as the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc. Materials that add only to a general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography and need not be footnoted or endnoted.
  • Footnotes, Endnotes, and In-text Citations: One footnote, endnote, or in-text citation is usually enough to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences are drawn from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted and acknowledgment made for each instance. Similarly, when a passage is paraphrased, acknowledgment is required.

 

II. C. FALSIFICATION
Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any element of one's academic work, or attempts thereof.

Examples of falsification include, but are not limited to:

II. C. 1. The forgery of official signatures.

II. C. 2. Changing responses on an exam after the testing period has ended.

II. C. 3. Altering lab data so that the values measured appear to agree more closely with expected values.

II. C. 4. Altering documents affecting academic records, forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on any official academic document, grade report, letter of permission, petition, add/drop/withdrawal form, ID card, or any other official document of Virginia Tech.

 

II. D. FABRICATION
Fabrication includes making up data and results, and recording or reporting them, or submitting fabricated documents, or attempts thereof. 

Examples of fabrication include, but are not limited to:

II. D. 1. Inventing/ Making up or falsifying lab data.

II. D. 2. Creating false documents to excuse an absence.

II. D. 3. Modifying a transcript from another institution in an attempt to earn transfer credits for a class not completed satisfactorily.

 

II. E. MULTIPLE SUBMISSION
Multiple submission involves the submission for credit—without authorization of the instructor receiving the work—of substantial portions of any work (including oral reports) previously submitted for credit at any academic institution, or attempts thereof.

Examples of multiple submission include, but are not limited to:

II. E. 1. Submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course in the same semester without the instructor's permission.

II. E. 2. Making revisions in a paper or report (including oral presentations) that has been submitted and graded in a previous semester and, without the instructor’s permission, submitting it for credit in another course.

II. E. 3. Representing group work produced in one course as one’s own work and using it in another course.

II. E. 4. Submitting in a course being repeated the same paper, work, or assignment produced during original enrollment in the course.

 

II. F. COMPLICITY
Complicity includes intentionally helping another to engage in an act of academic misconduct, or attempts thereof.

Examples of complicity include, but are not limited to:

II. F. 1. Allowing another student to copy from one’s own paper during an exam or assignment.

II. F. 2. Providing another student with course materials from a prior semester.

II. F. 3. Distributing, in any form (e.g., paper, photo, video, audio recording and so forth), quiz or examination/test questions or other substantive information about such an assignment without the instructor’s permission.

II. F. 4. Collaborating on academic work when such collaboration is not permitted.

II. F. 5. Taking a quiz or examination/test for another student.

II. F. 6. Signing another student’s name on an attendance sheet or academic assignment.

II. F. 7. Using another student’s identification number on an academic assignment.

II. F. 8. Willingly conspiring or agreeing with another student(s) to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

II. G. VIOLATION OF UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE, DEPARTMENTAL, PROGRAM, COURSE OR FACULTY RULES
The violation of any University, College, Departmental, Program, or Faculty Rules relating to academic matters that may lead to an unfair academic advantage by the student violating the rule(s).


 

III. Academic Dishonesty Sanctions

III. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY SANCTIONS5

Instances of academic misconduct represent behavior that is of an especially serious nature. Sanctions assigned in instances of academic misconduct should convey the message that this behavior serves as a destructive force within the academic community. However, a wide range of sanctions can be employed in order to strike an appropriate balance between sending a message of accountability and enhancing a student’s moral and cognitive development.

The Undergraduate Honor System is empowered with assigning sanctions that are outlined within Virginia Tech policies. These sanctions include separation from the institution, probationary status, and documentation that a violation has occurred. In addition, the Undergraduate Honor System is empowered to assign appropriate academic and/or educational sanctions based upon the specifics of the incident. Examples of academic sanctions for academic misconduct include receiving a failing grade or other grade penalty for the course. Examples of educational sanctions include requiring a student to complete the Academic Integrity Education Program.

Faculty may assign sanctions up to an F* sanction as the student’s final course grade and referral to the Academic Integrity Education Program. Students are encouraged to discuss their involvement in an academic misconduct situation with their academic advisor. 

The University’s recommended sanction for academic misconduct shall be an F* sanction as the student’s final course grade. More severe or lesser penalties may be imposed if the circumstances warrant. If academic misconduct is determined, and an F* sanction is assigned while a course is still in session, the student is no longer eligible to attend the class, effective on the date of the decision.

The sanction for a second offense of academic misconduct committed by a student shall normally be expulsion from the University. Under rare extenuating circumstances, the hearing panel of the Undergraduate Honor System may assign a sanction less than expulsion for a student who has committed academic misconduct if the circumstances warrant. If a sanction less than expulsion is assigned by the hearing panel, a written explanation of the hearing panel’s decision must be provided to the parties involved, including the reporting faculty member, the faculty member’s department head, the student’s department head, the student’s dean, the University Registrar, and the Executive Vice President and Provost.   

A student may not drop a course, withdraw from a course, or withdraw from the University in order to avoid any sanction for academic misconduct. A class previously dropped or withdrawn from may be reinstated in a student’s record if an Honor Code violation is found to have occurred after the student successfully dropped, withdrew from the course, or the University.

III. A. SANCTIONING GUIDELINES
When it is determined by an Undergraduate Honor System hearing or through the Faculty-Student Resolution process that a student has violated the Honor Code, the following are examples of sanctions that may be applied.

III. A. 1. F* Sanction
The F* sanction is intended to identify a student who has failed to uphold the values of academic integrity at Virginia Tech. A student who is assessed a sanction of F* as their final course grade shall have it documented on their transcript with the notation “FAILURE DUE TO ACADEMIC HONOR CODE VIOLATION.” The F* sanction shall be treated as a final course grade of an F for the purposes of calculating Grade Point Average and determination of academic class standing.

A student may file a written petition to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity to have the sanction of an F* removed and permanently replaced with the grade of F. The decision to remove the F* sanction shall rest with the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity and is contingent upon the successful completion of the Academic Integrity Education Program. The Director’s decision is final. The F that remains when the * designation is removed, will be considered in the calculation of a student’s Grade Point Average. A student who wishes to re-take the course may do so concurrently with the Academic Integrity Education Program.

III. A. 2. Lowered Course Grade
An appropriate grade penalty may be applied only if the decision is made that the student may remain in the course after being found responsible for academic misconduct. The lowered course grade may result from assigning either a zero or other lowered grade on the assignment involved in the misconduct, or by assigning a final course grade lower than the student would have earned had the incidence of academic misconduct not occurred.

III. A. 3. Academic Integrity Education Program
Any student found responsible for academic misconduct may be required to complete the Academic Integrity Education Program. This sanction may be in addition to or in lieu of other assigned sanctions.

Failure to complete the program in the time frame assigned by the Undergraduate Honor System will result in the student either being placed on “academic hold” until such time as the program is completed or being placed on academic suspension. 

III. A. 4. Suspension from the University
This sanction includes suspension from the University for a period of time that will be specified during a hearing provided by the Undergraduate Honor System.  Suspension from the University for academic misconduct can only be assigned by the Undergraduate Honor System.

III. A. 5. Expulsion from the University
This sanction permanently dismisses a student from the University. Only the Undergraduate Honor System can expel a student for academic misconduct.

III. A. 6. Revoking of Degree
The Board of Visitors has the authority to revoke the degree of a former student if a finding of academic misconduct is determined after the student has graduated. The basis for revocation of the degree would be if the sanction that is assigned for misconduct would have caused the student to be ineligible to receive the degree at that time.

The Undergraduate Honor System will be responsible for investigating the allegation, conducting a hearing , and determining the sanction in accordance with the Honor Code. The Undergraduate Honor System’s decision may be appealed under the provisions of the Honor Code. If a sanction is assigned to the former student, then the case is referred to the college/school that awarded the degree to determine if the sanction would have made the student ineligible for the degree. If the answer is no, then the record of the misconduct is placed in the student’s record and on the transcript as appropriate. If the answer is yes, then the dean of the college/school will recommend revocation of the degree to the Executive Vice President and Provost. The Executive Vice President and Provost may recommend revocation of the degree to the President and the Board of Visitors who will make the final decision. The President will notify the student, the college/school, and the Undergraduate Honor System of the decision. The decision by the Board of Visitors cannot be appealed.

IV. Procedures Pertaining to Case Resolution

IV. PROCEDURES PERTAINING TO CASE RESOLUTION 

The Undergraduate Honor System will be the central location for maintaining records and overseeing the process for adjudicating cases dealing with violations of the Honor Code. All members of the university community should contact the Undergraduate Honor System for clarification or assistance with the reporting and handling of alleged violations of the Honor Code.

All persons in the Virginia Tech academic community (students, faculty, staff, and administration) shall be responsible for reporting alleged incidents of academic misconduct that come to their knowledge. Initial reports of alleged academic misconduct may be reported to the instructor of the course or directly to the Undergraduate Honor System. The initial reporting of an alleged incident may occur verbally, electronically, or in writing.

 

IV. A. FACULTY-STUDENT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

Faculty members/instructors are required to report all cases of alleged academic misconduct. In a case where the student accused of a violation of the Honor Code has no previous record of academic misconduct, a faculty member/instructor has the option of meeting with the student to resolve the incident after receiving authorization from the Undergraduate Honor System. A faculty member/instructor is not required to meet with the student. A student may also choose not to participate in the Faculty-Student Resolution process and have their case referred directly to the Undergraduate Honor System.

Should either the faculty member/instructor or the student choose not to participate in the Faculty-Student Resolution process, the case will then proceed either to an Honor System Meeting, a hearing panel, or an administrative meeting, given the particular circumstances of the case. 

The faculty-student resolution option typically consists of five distinct steps.

IV. A. 1. Initial Reporting of Suspected Violation

The faculty member/instructor should contact the Undergraduate Honor System within 10 University business days of observing, discovering, or receiving a report of an alleged incident of academic misconduct to begin a case file, discuss the UHS process, and request authorization to meet with the student to determine if academic misconduct has occurred. If the student has a previous record of academic misconduct, the case is required to be referred to the Undergraduate Honor System for further handling.

IV. A. 2. Meeting Between Faculty Member and Student

If there is no previous record and authorization is granted by the Undergraduate Honor System, the faculty member/ instructor may decide to handle the case individually through the Faculty- Student Resolution approach. A meeting will be scheduled and a Facilitator will normally be provided by the Undergraduate Honor System. The instructor(s) who reported the matter, the student(s) believed to have violated the policy, and the Facilitator are the only participants in this meeting. Proceedings in a case resolved in this manner are informal and non-adversarial. The purpose of the meeting will be to review and discuss the charges before the faculty member makes a decision. In this meeting, the student should also be informed of the allegation and given the opportunity to be heard. If authorized by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, in extenuating circumstances, the faculty member/instructor and student may be allowed to meet without a Facilitator present. 

IV. A. 3. Faculty Determination and Recommendation

The faculty member/instructor will determine if they believe that academic misconduct has occurred. If no misconduct is found the case is dropped, no action against the student is taken, and the decision is reported to the Undergraduate Honor System. If the faculty member/instructor determines that there has been academic misconduct, the faculty member/instructor determines the severity of the violation and recommends a sanction (see Section I.D. of this document) in accordance with the Undergraduate Honor System policies and procedures. 

NOTE: In all cases, if the faculty member/instructor determines the violation deserves a greater penalty than an “F*” sanction in the course (i.e., suspension or expulsion), the case must be referred to the Undergraduate Honor System for adjudication. 

IV. A. 4. Student Notification of Faculty Recommendation

The faculty member/instructor shall inform the student of the recommended sanction and of the process. The student is required to check one of the response options on the Undergraduate Honor System Violation Report Form and sign the form.

IV. A. 5. Student Options

If the student accepts responsibility for the academic misconduct and accepts the sanction assigned by the faculty member/instructor, the Undergraduate Honor System Violation Report Form is sent to the Undergraduate Honor System within 10 University business days of the form being completed and signed by the student. In extenuating circumstances, the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity may extend the deadline for submission of the Honor Code Violation Report Form. The Form will be included in the case file and the case is complete.  

If the student indicates on the Undergraduate Honor System Violation Report Form that they do not agree with the sanction, deny that misconduct occurred, or requests to discuss the matter further with a member of the Undergraduate Honor System’s staff, the faculty member/instructor submits the Undergraduate Honor System Violation Report Form and all applicable documentation to the Undergraduate Honor System within 10 University business days. In extenuating circumstances, the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity may extend the deadline for submission of the Honor Code Violation Report Form and the applicable documentation. This submission begins the process by which the Undergraduate Honor System adjudicates the case.

A case of alleged academic misconduct can be resolved through the Faculty-Student Resolution Process without the faculty member and student meeting together.

In situations in which the student and/or faculty member are unable to meet or do not wish to meet, a faculty member may complete the Honor Code Violation Report Form and send it, along with supporting documentation, directly to the Undergraduate Honor System.

Undergraduate Honor System personnel will then meet with the student to discuss the allegations of academic misconduct and the faculty member’s recommended sanction(s).  The student will then have an opportunity to select one of the options described in Step IV. A. 5. of the above section.  

Figure 1 visually depicts the faculty-student resolution procedure.

 

IV. B. UNDERGRADUATE HONOR SYSTEM PROCEDURES

Faculty members/instructors must report all alleged infractions of the Honor Code, including those to be resolved by the faculty member/instructor and student through the Faculty- Student Resolution process. The faculty member/instructor should contact the Undergraduate Honor System within 10 University business days of observing, discovering, or receiving a report of an alleged incident of academic misconduct. In extenuating circumstances, the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity may extend the deadline for reporting an incident of academic misconduct. For cases to be handled by the Undergraduate Honor System, the following procedures will guide the process.

IV. C. 1. Receipt of Report and Review of Alleged Incident

Reported violations of the Undergraduate Honor System are assigned to a member of the Undergraduate Honor System personnel for investigation. The Undergraduate Honor System gathers information from the reporting faculty member/instructor that supports the allegation. This may include, but is not limited to, the course syllabus, assignment guidelines, and any other materials that may assist in clarifying the case. The faculty member/instructor or reporter may also offer the names of others who have knowledge that could clarify the case.

IV. C. 2. Meeting with Student (s)

A member of the Undergraduate Honor System personnel meets with the student (when possible) to gather information. The accused student is given the incident report during this meeting. If the student has graduated or is absent from campus, the Honor System will attempt to contact the student in order to provide the student with the incident report. A member of the Undergraduate Honor System personnel may also meet with other persons who have information about the case. The accused student may give the Undergraduate Honor System personnel names of persons who may have clarifying information about the case. Interviews are conducted when necessary. 

IV. C. 3. Submission of Preliminary Findings

A member of the Undergraduate Honor System’s personnel completes a report to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity summarizing all information collected and all interviews conducted. The report concludes with a recommendation on whether there is sufficient information to support the allegation of academic misconduct. If the recommendation concludes that there is insufficient information to support the allegation, the Director will contact the faculty member to seek additional information. After consulting with the faculty member, if the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity determines that there is not sufficient information to support the allegation, the Undergraduate Honor System creates an event file that contains no reference to the student’s name and the charges are dropped. If there is sufficient information to support the allegation, the case continues to a hearing.

IV. C. 4. Hearing Panel 

Undergraduate Honor System panel members are selected to serve on a hearing panel. The hearing panel is comprised as follows: three student panel members with voting privileges, two faculty panel members with voting privileges, and one non-voting student chairperson. The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity may permit a hearing panel to consist of fewer than five voting members in extenuating circumstances as long as at least one faculty panel member is present and there remains a voting majority for the student members on the panel.

IV. C. 5. Scheduling of Hearing

A hearing date and time are set and all parties are notified in writing of the charges being levied, witnesses expected to appear at the hearing, all evidence in possession of the Undergraduate Honor System, hearing panel date, time, and location at least two business days prior to the hearing.

If the student who is accused of academic misconduct does not reside on or near campus, accommodations will be offered (i.e. teleconference and/or video conference) to give the student an opportunity to participate in the hearing.

Faculty and students who are scheduled to appear before a hearing panel will be offered the opportunity to participate in a pre-hearing meeting with a member of the Undergraduate Honor System personnel prior to the hearing panel date. Case facilitators and other Undergraduate Honor System personnel are available to explain the honor system policies and procedures, discuss how the hearing panels work, and assist with preparation for a hearing. While participation in pre-hearing meetings is not required, it is strongly encouraged.

IV. C. 6. Conducting Hearing

A script for the hearing panel will be provided to the panel members. The functions of the hearing panel members are as follows: listen to all who provide information, deliberate in private, make a decision on responsibility (by a simple-majority vote) based on the preponderance of evidence presented at the hearing, conduct the hearing as an educational hearing and not as an adversarial proceeding, and recommend sanctions in accordance with the Undergraduate Honor System’s policies and procedures (when a student is found responsible for an Honor Code violation).

A student may have one advisor who is a member of the University community present at the hearing.  The advisor may not participate in the proceedings.  The advisor’s role is specifically limited to conferring with his or her advisee.

IV. C. 7. Notification of Hearing Panel Decision

The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity notifies the student in writing of the hearing panel’s decision and sanctions (if the student is found responsible), normally within two business days after the hearing. Notification of the hearing panel’s decision is sent to all parties involved in the case, including the student, the faculty member/instructor, the student’s department head, the faculty member’s department head, the student’s dean(s), and the University Registrar.

In extenuating circumstances, a student may request an administrative hearing. If an administrative hearing is granted by the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, the procedures described in this section shall be followed, but a member of the Undergraduate Honor System’s personnel shall determine whether a student is responsible for an Honor Code violation and assign a sanction if the student is responsible as opposed to the hearing panel. 

 

IV. C. STUDENT APPEAL HEARINGS

A student found responsible for academic misconduct by a hearing panel or at an administrative hearing has 10 university business days after being notified of the decision to request an appeal hearing in writing to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity.

There are four reasons for which an appeal hearing may be granted:

IV. E. 1. Substantial new and relevant evidence not available at the time of the original hearing. Such evidence must have been unavailable prior to or during the formal hearing, not merely evidence that a student chose at the time not to share or obtain. 

IV. E. 2. Procedural irregularities.

IV. E. 3. Sanction(s) not commensurate with the violation. These are not sanctions that a student disagrees with, but rather sanctions inconsistent with one’s conduct or with case precedent. 

IV. E. 4. Finding of responsibility inconsistent with the facts presented during the hearing.

For an appeal hearing request to be considered valid, one or more reasons for appeal must be cited and appropriately supported in the written appeal hearing request. Students are limited to one appeal per case.

The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity will evaluate the appeal hearing request to determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted based on the allowed reasons for an appeal. If the appeal hearing is granted, a panel is formed following the procedures described previously.

Members of the appeal hearing panel will be different from those who served on the original hearing panel and will be drawn from the Honor Council. The decision reached by the Honor Council in the appeal hearing is final.  Figure 2 visually depicts the formal hearing procedure.

 

V. Operating Guidelines for Promotion and Education

V. PROMOTION AND EDUCATION GUIDELINES

 

The University believes strongly in the concept of education as a method for encouraging and maintaining academic honesty. As a result, various methods are encouraged and required for the increasing educational awareness.

 

V. A. PROMOTION OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

 

V. A. 1. Syllabus Statement

All Undergraduate course syllabi shall contain a section that states and refers the student to the Honor Code Procedures on the University website. The minimum required statement is listed below. Additional information about the expectation of academic integrity in the particular course may be appropriate:

 

“As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times.  I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”

 

Each student who enrolls at Virginia Tech is responsible for abiding by the Honor Code.  A student who has doubts about how the Honor Code applies to any graded assignment is responsible for obtaining specific guidance from the instructor before submitting the assignment for evaluation. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the University community from the requirements and expectation of the Honor Code.

 

For additional information please visit: [INSERT Honor System Website]

 

V. A. 2. Addition of Honor Code to Assignments

Adherence to the Honor Code is expected on all course assignments. Instructors are strongly encouraged to print the following on assignments and examinations and require each student to sign:

 

   “On my honor, as a Virginia Tech student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment.”

                                                                  

                Student Signature

 

This statement indicates that the student understands and has complied with the requirements of the Honor Code and the assignment as set forth by the instructor.

 

V. A. 3. Educational Website

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity will maintain a website that brings together resources used to promote academic integrity and to address academic misconduct.  The website will contain information about the Undergraduate Honor System process, educational tips for both faculty and students designed to prevent academic misconduct, semester data updates, ways to get involved, the Honor Code, and the Honor Code pledge. The website will allow students and faculty members to report alleged incidents of academic misconduct to the Undergraduate Honor System.

 

The Undergraduate Honor System will be made up of students, instructional faculty, and members of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity’s staff and will be actively involved in developing and enforcing standards pertaining to academic integrity.

 

V.A.4. Development of Training Programs

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity will offer training and programs on academic integrity to students, student organizations and through classes, seminars, programs, discussion groups, and other appropriate forums.

 

V.A.5. Integration of Honor Code into Existing Programs

Discussion of the Honor Code and academic integrity will be integrated into:

  • New student orientation/transfer orientation
  • The first meeting of every course
  • New faculty orientation
  • Graduate teaching assistant training
  • Faculty/staff in-service training
  • Hokie Camp

 

V.A.6. Dissemination of Academic Integrity Information

Written information about academic integrity to be disseminated to students and faculty will include:

  • Definitions of academic misconduct
  • Reasons why academic misconduct is prohibited
  • Expectations and responsibilities of students
  • Expectations and responsibilities of faculty and instructors
  • Procedures for reporting violations of the Student Honor Code

 

V.A.7. Additional Methods

V. A. 7. a.The Honor Code statement will be printed in:

  • The Virginia Tech catalog
  • Admissions application material
  • Course syllabus in every course
  • The faculty/staff handbook

 

V. A. 7. b. Periodic correspondence to be sent to faculty, instructors, staff, teaching assistants and student leaders will include:

  • Efforts to reduce academic misconduct 
  • Relevant data on academic misconduct
  • Suggested improvements to policies and practices

 

V. A. 7. c. As a symbol of the University’s commitment to academic integrity and the Honor Code, the Honor Code pledge shall be posted in  classrooms, dining facilities, recreational facilities and residence halls.  

 

V. A. 7. d.Regular announcements about efforts to promote academic integrity will be communicated through the student media organizations.

 

V. A. 7. e.Case results (without identifying information) will be regularly published in the student media.

 

V. A. 7. f.Editorials will occasionally be written by the Honor System personnel in the student media.

 

V. B.  TRAINING AND FACULTY/STUDENT ASSISTANCE

As a part of its efforts to develop widespread education regarding academic integrity, the Undergraduate Honor System will develop various training and assistance programs.

 

V. B. 1. Training 

Training on academic integrity/academic misconduct will be provided for all who teach, including graduate teaching assistants.  This training will include information on:

  • Classroom atmospheres that promote academic integrity
  • Testing techniques that promote academic integrity
  • Definitions of academic misconduct
  • Prevention strategies
  • Strategies and rules for handling violations, i.e., referrals to the Undergraduate Honor System
  • Sanctions

 

V. B. 2. Faculty Assistance

Faculty assistance will take a variety of forms.

 

V. B. 2. a. Proctoring Service

A proctoring service will be created (as a function of the Undergraduate Honor System) to provide services by trained proctors for all tests where needed or requested.

 

V. B. 2. b. Plagiarism Detection Service

A plagiarism detection service will be made available for use by instructors and students where needed. Training in the appropriate use of this service will be provided to instructors and students.

 

V. B. 2. c. Academic Integrity Modules

Academic Integrity modules will be developed for faculty usage in the classroom.

 

V. B. 2. d. Case Assistance

Case assistance/consultation is provided for all instructors when alleged academic misconduct occurs, including:

  • Honor Code rules and procedures
  • Expectations for reporting and resolving cases of academic misconduct
  • Methods for gathering information
  • Strategies for presenting information at a hearing

 

V. B. 3. Student Assistance

Students will be assisted in numerous ways.

 

V. B. 3. a. Academic Integrity Module

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity shall develop an online module that will be made available to all students and faculty. 

 

The module will address the Honor Code process, provide examples of what constitutes academic misconduct, and identify strategies that students can employ to avoid committing academic misconduct.

 

V. B. 3. b. Other Guidance

Guidance is provided to the accused student, including the following:

  • Honor Code policies and procedures
  • Expectations
  • Methods for preparing for hearings and appeals

 

V. C.  ACADEMIC INTEGRITY EDUCATION PROGRAM

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity focuses on a Three-Part Intervention Strategy. The Office will develop and coordinate an Academic Integrity Education program that explores the ethical implications of the academic enterprise, including the creation and communication of new knowledge.

 

V. C. 1. Disciplinary Intervention

V. C. 1. a. F* sanction

V. C. 1. b. Requires participation in two components to remove the  *.

 

Educational Intervention: Academic Skills Enhancement Seminar

  • Academic Integrity Component:
  • What it is and why it is important
  • Examples of academic misconduct
  • Academic Skills Training Component:
  • Time Management
  • Study Skills
  • Test- Taking Skills
  • Writing Skills
  • Anxiety Management
  • Goal Setting
  • How to avoid academic misconduct
  • Assessment Component

Ethics/Ethical Decision Making Seminar

Case studies, < Discussions and written work regarding ethics, < Values, and Moral development.

 

Successful completion of the Academic Integrity Education Program enables the student to petition the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity to delete the * dishonesty notation on the transcript.  

 

V. D.  ACADEMIC INTEGRITY RESEARCH AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES  
To ensure that the Virginia Tech campus is a community for which the Honor Code and academic integrity serve as the foundation, the Undergraduate Honor System will integrate its educational initiatives into residential life.

 

V. D. 1. Integration of Academic Integrity into Residential Life

The Undergraduate Honor System will create programs designed to provide educational materials to the residential communities on campus.

 

V. D. 2. Collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research

The Undergraduate Honor System will collaborate with the Office of Undergraduate Research to engage undergraduate students in Undergraduate Research on Integrity and Academic Integrity

 

V. D. 3. Facilitation of Cross-Disciplinary Research on Academic Integrity

Efforts will be undertaken to develop research across disciplines on academic integrity.

 

V. D. 4. Creation of Student Organization to Promote Academic Integrity

The Undergraduate Honor System will create and sponsor a student organization designed specifically to assist in conducting educational programs on academic integrity. 

 

Examples of the activities with which this organization will be involved include:
 

  • Sponsoring of Academic Integrity Weeks and Days
  • Creating and delivering academic integrity presentation
VI. Office of Undergraduate of Academic Integrity

VI. OFFICE OF UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

The Board of Visitors is ultimately responsible for the discipline of all students at the university. Administrative authority and responsibility for Undergraduate academic misconduct policies and procedures are delegated to the President.

Within the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, direct supervisory jurisdiction of academic misconduct matters involving violations of the Undergraduate Honor Code is assumed by the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity assumes oversight of the Undergraduate Honor Code and reports directly to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs or an administrator with a similar title and responsibilities. The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity shall maintain a title that is consistent with the titles of others who report directly to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs. To ensure the success of the promotion of Academic Integrity, the University is committed to ensuring the success of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity through providing the appropriate staffing, budget, and office space for this high-profile office. 

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity leads the University’s efforts to promote academic integrity as well as reduce and control academic dishonesty. The Office seeks to foster an environment that promotes fairness, personal responsibility, and integrity. 

The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity has the following core functions:

  1. Serve as a resource to faculty and staff regarding strategies to promote academic integrity in the classroom, strategies to reduce and control academic dishonesty, reporting academic misconduct violations, and navigating the Undergraduate Honor System process.
  2. Promote collaboration with other units on campus to develop a culture of academic integrity at Virginia Tech.
  3. Coordinate campus-wide programs and educational efforts related to academic integrity.
  4. Provide administrative oversight to the Undergraduate Honor System on behalf of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
  5. Provide training and support for faculty, staff, and students participating in the Undergraduate Honor System.
  6. Ensure that the Undergraduate Honor System is administered effectively and efficiently  with the fundamental principles of fairness and of due process.
  7. Provide assistance to students accused of academic misconduct violations.
  8. Provide assistance to faculty who suspect that academic misconduct has occurred.
  9. Provide training to new faculty on the Undergraduate Honor System.
  10. Serve as the central office responsible for maintaining records and for coordinating communication, prevention, training, remediation, and adjudication efforts for all cases of undergraduate academic misconduct.
  11. Monitor all relevant data pertaining to academic integrity and dishonesty at Virginia Tech.
  12. Assess the effectiveness of intervention strategies designed to promote academic integrity.
  13. Serve as a resource and consultant to faculty, students, staff, and parents regarding the University’s expectations as they relate to academic integrity.

The purpose of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity is to support the campus in its efforts of promoting the highest standards of integrity and honor for our students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Specific responsibilities of the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity include:

  1. Overseeing all activities of the Undergraduate Honor System and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity.
  2. Overseeing all activities of the Honor Code Council.
  3. Ensuring that the Honor Code process and procedures are conducted in accordance with appropriate due process requirements.
  4. Determining whether alleged violations should proceed to a Hearing Panel.
  5. Reviewing the Honor Code procedures annually and recommending changes to the Executive Vice President and Provost and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.  
  6. Providing an annual report on the activities of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity to the Executive Vice President and Provost, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Integrity, the Faculty Senate, the Order of the Gavel, the Commission on Student Affairs, the Commission on Faculty Affairs, the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, the Student Government Association, and other appropriate organizations.
  7. Periodically updating the campus community on activities of the Honor Code Office.
  8. Participating in national and regional organizations that are designed to promote academic integrity.
  9. Conducting presentations related to academic integrity at regional and national conferences.
  10. Representing the Honor Code Office on various university committees. 
  11. Serving as an ex-officio member of the Honor Council.

Staffing Recommendations: For Virginia Tech to achieve a place of preeminence in academic integrity and accomplish the goals established in this document, the appropriate staffing must be present for the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity.

 

 

 

 

 

VII. Undergraduate Honor System Personnel

VII. UNDERGRADUATE HONOR SYSTEM PERSONNEL

The Undergraduate Honor System personnel shall consist of the members of the Honor Council, hearing panel members, case facilitators, and the staff in the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. The Director of the Office of Academic Integrity or designee, when circumstances dictate, may appoint substitutes for any Undergraduate Honor System personnel in any case before the Undergraduate Honor System. The duties of each of these positions are discussed below.

 

VII. A. HONOR COUNCIL

The Honor Council consists of faculty and students.

VII. A. 1. Honor Council Membership

The Honor Council shall consist of the following members.

VII. A. 1. a. Chair of the Honor Council

The Chair of the Honor Council shall be a member of the instructional faculty appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Executive Vice President and Provost in consultation with the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. The duties of the Chair of the Honor Council include the following:

    • Chair Honor Council meetings,
    • Assist in educating faculty on the Undergraduate Honor Code,
    • Serve as a liaison between the Honor Council and the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, and
    • Coordinate orientation of new Honor Council faculty members.

VII. A. 1. b. President of the Honor Council

The President of the Honor Council shall be a student appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Executive Vice President and Provost in consultation with the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. This student must hold at least second-semester sophomore standing at the time of appointment, and should have served at least one academic year in the Undergraduate Honor System. In addition to the duties delegated to the Honor Council Delegates, duties of the President of the Honor Council include the following:

    • Chair Honor Council appeal hearings when delegated, 
    • Provide oversight, under the direction of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, of the students who serve in leadership roles in the Undergraduate Honor System,
    • Coordinate training of new Undergraduate Honor System student leaders,
    • Assist in investigating cases of  alleged academic misconduct,
    • Assist in appointing Case Facilitators to participate during the Faculty-Student Resolution Process,
    • Serve on the appropriate University committees and commissions, and
    • Serve as a liaison between the student leaders and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. 

VII. A. 1. c. Vice President of the Honor Council

The Vice President of the Honor Council shall be a student appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Executive Vice President and Provost in consultation with the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. The Vice President should have completed at least one semester of service in the Undergraduate Honor System.  In addition to the duties delegated to the Honor Council Delegates, the duties of the Vice President of the Honor Council include the following:

    • Coordinate campus programming and outreach initiatives designed to educate students on the Undergraduate Honor Code,
    • Assume the duties of the President of the Honor Council in his/her absence, and 
    • Serve as a liaison between the Vice Chairs/Peer Mentor of the Honor Council and the President of the Honor Council.

VII. A. 1. d. Honor Council Delegates

The Honor Council Delegates shall be appointed by the Honor Council with the approval of the Dean of the college in which the student is enrolled and the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. Appointees should have at least one term of service in the Honor System at the time of appointment. Duties of the Honor Council Delegates include the following:

    • Select, with other honor system personnel, the panel members for cases,
    • to chair hearing panels,
    • Conduct administrative hearings,
    • Meet with students who are accused of academic misconduct,
    • Conduct case investigations,
    • Discuss the hearing process with individuals who will be participating in a hearing panel
    • Serve as case facilitators during the Faculty-Student Resolution Process, and 
    • Assist in the training and orientation of Honor System personnel.

VII. A. 1. e. Faculty Honor Council Members

Five faculty Honor Council members will be appointed as follows:

    • Two administrative, instructional, or library faculty members who will be appointed to four-year terms appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Executive Vice President and Provost in consultation with the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, and
    • Three instructional or library faculty members who will be appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Executive Vice President and Provost to staggered four-year terms.

VII. A. 2. Duties of the Honor Council

The Honor Council will perform the following functions:

VII. A. 2. a. Serve as an appeal hearing body

VII. A. 2. b. Assist in the University’s education and outreach efforts on Academic Integrity,

VII. A. 2. c. Serve as an advisory body to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity, and

VII. A. 2. d. Select the President of the Honor Council by:

    • Receiving applications from those who wish to serve in the capacity of President of the Honor  Council,
    • Reviewing these applications and interview all applicants,
    • Recommending to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity from among these applicants a nominee for the position of President of the Honor Council,

VII. A. 2. e. Recommend to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity the Executive Vice President for the Honor Council,

VII. A. 2. f. Recommend to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity Vice Chairs of the Honor Council, and

VII. A. 2. g. Assist in the education and training of Honor System personnel.

VII. A. 3. Honor Council Term Limits

No faculty member or administrator shall serve on the Honor Council more than two consecutive four-year terms. Students serve one -year terms that are renewable each year.

 

VII. B. HEARNING PANELS

The formal hearing panels will be drawn from two groups: students and faculty.

VII. B. 1. Student Panel Members

The Undergraduate Honor System shall maintain a list of undergraduate students who have volunteered to serve as hearing panel members. To be eligible, students must have completed one semester at Virginia Tech, not have been found responsible for an Undergraduate Honor Code violation, and be in good standing both academically and with the Office of Student Conduct.

VII. B. 2. Faculty Panel Members

The Undergraduate Honor System shall maintain a list of eligible instructional faculty whose names have been submitted by the Dean of each college.

 

VII. C. CASE FACILITATORS

The Undergraduate Honor System shall maintain a list of eligible faculty and students who have volunteered to assist during the Faculty-Student Resolution Process as well as serve as a resource for students and faculty who are participating in an Undergraduate Honor System hearing.

During the Faculty-Student Resolution Process, a Case Facilitator will serve as a neutral party to explain the Undergraduate Honor System process, ensure fairness, and facilitate meetings designed to resolve cases of alleged academic misconduct. Case Facilitators will also be available upon request to explain the hearing process and assist with preparation for those who have an upcoming hearing.

 

VII. D. PROFESSIONAL STAFF

The staff in the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity shall provide administrative oversight to the Undergraduate Honor System.

 

VII. E. REMOVAL FOR CAUSE

Honor System personnel appointed by the Honor Council may be removed for cause by a vote of at least two-thirds of the Honor Council members present and voting.

In the case of the Chair or President of the Honor Council, in addition to a vote of at least two-thirds of the Honor Council members present and voting, removal requires the concurrence of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Except for the President of the Honor Council, Honor System personnel removed for cause may appeal their removal to the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity.

Removal for cause includes failure to maintain membership eligibility, being found responsible of an Honor Code violation, conduct unbecoming a member of the Honor System, and failure to faithfully discharge the duties of the appointed office.

 

VIII. Approvals and Revisions

VIII. REVISION OF THE UNDERGRADUATE HONOR CODE

If authorized by the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity may recommend minor changes to the Honor Code Manual to the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, who shall be responsible for review and approval of these changes. The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity shall send a copy of all recommended changes to the Honor Council in a timely manner.

If the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies agrees that the recommendations do not substantively change the Honor Code Manual and/or place the Manual in conflict with the University’s Undergraduate Honor Code Policy, the recommended changes may be incorporated into the Honor Code Manual. The Director of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity shall inform all members of the Undergraduate Honor System of the changes in a timely manner.

Proposed revisions to the Honor Code Policy that substantively change this document shall originate from (a) the Honor Council or (b) a committee appointed by the Executive Vice President and Provost that includes representation from the Honor Council, faculty, students, and administration. Once approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost, the recommendations of the committee or Honor Council shall be forwarded to the Commission on Undergraduate Studies and Policies, University Council, the President, and the Board of Visitors. Any substantive changes in the proposed amendments as they proceed through the governance process shall be resubmitted to the originating body for approval. 

 

IX. References

IX. REFERENCES

1.   Adapted from the Texas A&M University Honor System, available at http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu/

2.  Code of Academic Integrity, University of Maryland – College Park (p. 1), available at http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/docs/III-100A.pdf

3.   Adapted from Texas A&M University Honor System (Definitions), available at http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu/Descriptions/

4.   Adapted from Western Michigan University (Academic Dishonesty Definitions), available at http://www.wmich.edu/conduct/academichonesty/definitionsofviolations.html

5.   Adapted from Texas A&M University Honor System (Sanctions), available at http://aggiehonor.tamu.edu/RulesAndProcedures/Sanctions.aspx

6.    Adapted from Mississippi State University Honor System (Academic Dishonesty Definitions), available at http://www.honorcode.msstate.edu/pdf/honor-code.pdf.


 

X. Honor Code Violation Report Form

X. APPENDIX:  HONOR CODE VIOLATION REPORT FORM

 

HONOR CODE VIOLATION REPORT FORM

 

Faculty members must complete one form for each student when reporting an Honor Code Violation and/or requesting that the Undergraduate Honor System investigate a case. Return the form to the Undergraduate Honor System in 104 Hillcrest Hall. Please contact the Undergraduate Honor System Office at 540-231-9876 for any questions pertaining to this form or for assistance in resolving this incident.  

 

Please Note: This form is not used to check to see if a student has a prior violation. Please contact the Undergraduate Honor System for assistance with prior violation checks.

 

Select one of the three options below:

 

o    I would like the Undergraduate Honor System to investigate and resolve this alleged violation of the Honor Code.

You are opting to report an Honor Code violation to the Undergraduate Honor System for investigation and resolution. Complete sections I-III of the form and send it to the Undergraduate Honor System within 10 University business days of observing, discovering, or receiving a report of an alleged incident of academic misconduct. Please provide a brief description of the circumstances of the violation on a separate page. Be sure to include any dates, location, facts leading to suspicion of violation, names of witnesses, syllabus, etc. If you are completing this form on-line, send copies of exams, papers or other relevant evidence to the Undergraduate Honor System, retaining all originals for your own records.

 

o   I have resolved the case through the Faculty-Student Resolution process and I am reporting the outcome.

You are opting to resolve and document the Honor Code violation through the Faculty-Student Resolution process and send the completed form to the Undergraduate Honor System for recording. Honor Code violations that a faculty member chooses to resolve must be reported within 10 University business days after the form has been completed. Complete section I-III and have the student complete section IV. Please submit this form and copies of all corroborating evidence to the Undergraduate Honor System.

 

o   I am recommending a sanction greater than the F* sanction for the course (suspension or expulsion).

If in the investigation of the violation you determine that the sanction for the Honor Code violation should be greater than the F* sanction in the course (i.e., suspension or expulsion), the case is automatically referred to the Undergraduate Honor System Office. Complete sections I-III of the form, along with copies of all corroborating evidence, and send to the Undergraduate Honor System within 10 University business days.

 

I.  The following student has been charged with violation of the Honor Code:

 

Student Name:                                                                                      Student ID & PID: ____________________

Course:                                              Title:                                                                  Section #:                                   

 

II. Violation (for more information see the Honor Code) Please check all that apply.

o    Cheating

o    Plagiarism

o    Falsification

o    Fabrication

o    Multiple Submissions

o    Complicity

o    Violation of University, College, Department, and/or Course Rules

o    Other                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

III.   I have recommended the following sanction(s) – if you have resolved the case through the Faculty-Student Resolution process

OR

I recommend the following sanction(s) in referring the case to the Undergraduate Honor System:

    • “F*” sanction as the final course grade (university’s recommended sanction)
    • Lowered final course grade 
    • Zero on the assignment  
    • Academic Integrity Education Program (This educational sanction can be assigned as the only sanction or in conjunction with any of the other sanctions.)
    • Hearing before the Undergraduate Honor System Hearing Panel to consider suspension or expulsion from the University
    • Other:_________________________________________________________

 

Faculty Name:                                                                                  Dept:                                                                              

E-mail:                                                                                            Mail Code:                          Phone:                              

Faculty Signature:                                                                                            Date: ___________________                             

 

IV.   TO THE STUDENT:

Please check one of the following boxes, complete the information below and sign. Be sure that you receive a copy of this document. If you have any questions regarding the Honor System process, your procedural guarantees, or would like to speak with someone else regarding this incident, please contact the Undergraduate Honor System at 540-231-9856.

 

o    I acknowledge committing the violation of the Honor Code and accept the sanction(s) recommended by the faculty member. 

o    I acknowledge committing the violation of the Honor Code but do not accept the sanctions recommended by the faculty member in this document. 

o    I do not acknowledge violating the Honor Code. 

o    I would like to speak with a representative from the Undergraduate Honor System prior to completing this form.

 

Signature of Student:                                                                                                      Date:                                                

Local Mailing Address:                                                                                                                                                             

City, State, Zip:                                                                                                                                                                             

E-mail:                                                                                                                      Cell phone:                                                

The documents below are viewable using a PDF reader.

Faculty Senate Endorsement Letter

Honor Code Manual

Honor Code Policy 

Honor Code Violation Report Form