The Honor Council operates under the Atkinson Student Affairs Committee. The Honor Council is composed of seven members: five students, who are voting members of the Council; one member of the full-time faculty who is an advisory non-voting member of the Council; and one member of the administrative staff who is an advisory non-voting member of the Council.
The Honor Council promotes a culture of honor at the Atkinson School, informs students about the Honor Code. When an alleged violation of the Honor Code is formally referred to the Honor Council via the Honor Code process, the council investigates the case, conducts the hearing of the case, and determines whether the respondent is responsible or not responsible for violating the Honor Code. If the respondent is found responsible for violating the Honor Code, the Council determines consequences commensurate with the guidelines of the Honor Code process. The Council seeks to make its decisions by consensus. When consensus is impossible, a majority vote determines the decision.
Honor Council Selection Process
Selection of student members of the Honor Council occurs each fall semester. Additional selection processes may occur in fall or spring semester to replace vacancies that have occurred on the Council. Advisory members (one member of the full-time faculty and one member of the administrative staff) are appointed by the Dean.
The application, interview and selection process for student members of the Honor Council is governed by the Atkinson Student Affairs Committee. Students interested in serving on the Honor Council shall apply to be a member of the Honor Council. The criteria for selection of student members shall include the following:
- a commitment to the philosophy of the Honor Code;
- a demonstrated commitment to fairness and high standards of ethical and professional behavior; and
- strong communication skills (verbal, written and listening).
The preferred composition of the five student voting members of the Honor Council shown below. If there is not a sufficient number of qualified applicants to meet the preferred composition, the council will be composed of five qualified students selected from those who applied for the position.
- one first-year student enrolled in the Early Career/Career Change MBA program
- one second-year student enrolled in the Early Career/Career Change MBA program
- one first-year student enrolled in the MBA for Professionals program
- one second-year student enrolled in the MBA for Professionals program, and
- one student at large from either the Early Career/Career Change or MBA for Professionals programs
Responsibilities of the Honor Council
Honor Council members are responsible for communicating with students and faculty about the Honor Code and Honor Code process, ensuring the confidentiality of all information related to Honor Council cases and hearings, and suggesting improvements of the established process.
Student members of the Honor Council will determine among themselves who will be Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.
The Chair is responsible for arranging meetings and hearings, running all meetings and hearings and informing the Honor Code Officer about the Honor Council’s recommendations and decisions.
The Vice Chair is responsible for assisting the Chair in his/her duties. In case the Chair is absent, the Vice Chair will serve the Chair’s duties. The Vice Chair is also responsible for the coordination of the communication efforts of Honor Council.
The Secretary is responsible for taking minutes and recording Honor Council meetings and hearings. He/she will ensure that each hearing is audiotaped and that the confidentiality of all Honor Council documents and recordings during the hearing session are maintained. At the end of the hearing session, the Secretary will give the Chair the audio recording and any other documents used in the hearing. The Chair will give the audio recording and documents to the Honor Code Official who will secure the tape and the documents as records of the hearing.
Honor Council Term of Service
The term of the Honor Council members starts when the members are selected and finishes either when the member graduates, resigns from the Honor Council or is formally removed for cause by the Student Affairs Committee. The maximum term of service is two (2) academic years.
If a student wishes to resign from the Honor Council or is removed from the Honor Council, the Student Academic Affairs Committee will replace the member using the selection process previously discussed.
Council members are expected to attend all hearings and meetings unless a conflict of interest or emergency occurs. An Honor Council member may request to not participate in a hearing due to personal reason/conflict of interest. In this case the member must receive permission from the Atkinson Student Affairs Committee.
Honor Council Hearings
The following information is a general description of an Honor Council Hearing. For complete information about the protocol and process of an Honor Council Hearing see the Honor Code section of the Student Handbook.
An Honor Council Hearing occurs if all previous steps of the Honor Code process have not resulted in consensus among the reporter and the respondent.
The Honor Council will conduct a private hearing (closed to the public) following referral by the Honor Code Officer. The respondent, reporter, witnesses, and the Honor Code Officer may address the Honor Council and present documentation.
When the hearing begins, the Honor Council will direct questions to the reporter, listen to the answer and ask clarifying questions to the reporter. Then the Honor Council will direct questions to the respondent, listen to the answers and ask clarifying questions. The process continues until both parties have presented their full evidence. The respondent and the reporter may only address the Honor Council; there will be no direct communication between the reporter and respondent.
The Honor Council may also direct questions to the Honor Code Officer and witnesses. The Honor Code Officer and witnesses may communicate only with the Honor Council during the hearing.
The respondent and/or reporter may submit a written explanation in lieu of attendance. The Honor Council may ask the respondent and/or reporter to clarify any portion of a written explanation. If the respondent and/or reporter fails to attend the hearing, the Honor Council may decide the case on the information, evidence and witnesses present.
The Honor Council will determine if the respondent is responsible for violating the Honor Code and determine the consequences according to the Honor Code guideline and notify the Honor Code Officer. The Council seeks to make its decisions by consensus. When consensus is impossible, a majority vote determines the decision.
The reporter and respondent may accept the Honor Council’s decision or may appeal the decision to the Dean. The Dean may uphold the Honor Council's decision or remand the decision back to the Honor Council for further review.
If the Dean upholds the Honor Council’s decision, the process is complete.
If the Dean sends comments back to the Honor Council, the Honor Council will meet to review the comments. After review of the Dean's comments, the Honor Council shall reaffirm or alter its decision. At this point, the decision of the Honor Council is final.