For Faculty: Handling Honor Code Issues

Honor Code violations of academic or professional behavior and penalties assigned a student for violating the Honor Code are governed by the Honor Code process.

A faculty member (reporter) who thinks a student or group of students (respondent) have or may have violated the Honor Code must meet with the Honor Code Officer within 20 working days of the incident to discuss the alleged violation and identify the student(s) involved. The Honor Code Officer for the Early Career/Career Change program is Betsy Reed, Associate Dean and Director of Admission. The Honor Code Officer for the MBA for Professionals program is Alex Subert, Associate Dean and Director of Admission.

Based on the discussion with the faculty member, the Honor Code Officer will decide whether an Honor Code investigation is merited. If the decision is not to investigate, the process is complete and no further actions are taken.

If the decision is to investigate, the Honor Code Officer will meet with the respondent, gather evidence and meet with witnesses. After completing the investigation the Honor Code Officer will propose a resolution to the faculty member and the respondent, and attempt to reach consensus among the Honor Code Officer, faculty member and student.

If consensus is reached on a resolution, the case is completed. If the consensus on the resolution cannot be achieved by the Honor Code Officer, the case will move to an Honor Council Hearing.

For a complete description of the Honor Code Process see the Honor Code Section of the MBA Student Handbook.

What Are Violations of the Honor Code?
Honor Code violations of academic honesty pertain to actions that occur within the realm of class deliverables, tests, team projects, presentations, papers, grading and attendance records, communication with the professor, and communication with other students. Academic violations of the Honor Code include but are not limited to: plagiarism, cheating, unauthorized possession or disposition of academic materials, and misrepresentation. Definitions of these violations are defined in the Honor Code Section of the MBA Student Handbook

Honor Code violations of professional behavior pertain to a student’s conduct within the educational process, learning environment, use of University facilities and resources, group process and team responsibilities, student activities, school guests, client interactions, on-campus and off-campus events, internship supervisors, places of employment, career management activities, and communication with others, etc. Professional behavior violations of the Honor Code include but are not limited to: actions related to seeking an unfair advantage over other members of a group or other groups; representing yourself or your group in a manner that does not communicate a truthful representation of the facts; showing disrespect for the personal rights or property rights of others, disrupting the educational process, and representing yourself in an unprofessional manner.

A discussion of expected academic and professional behaviors of Atkinson School students is available in the segment of the Student Handbook titled "Expectations of Academic and Professional Behavior."

In the absence of a specific policy or regulation within the area of academic honesty or professional behavior, the Honor Code standards of excellence are the default Atkinson School policy. As such, students are expected to:

  • not seek an unfair advantage over other members, including but not limited to giving or receiving unauthorized aid during completion of academic and professional requirements;
  • honestly represent one’s self and facts at all times;
  • respect the personal and property rights of all members of the Atkinson community.

When Does an Honor Council Hearing Occur?
A case goes to the Honor Council for a hearing if the faculty member, respondent and Honor Code Officer cannot reach consensus on the resolution of a case.

What are the Possible Consequences of an Honor Code Violation?
The consequences for a respondent found “responsible” for the violation of the Honor Code may include (but are not limited to) one or more of the sanctions listed below.

  • verbal or written warning
  • verbal or written reprimand
  • required written statement by the student found responsible, acknowledging the violation and reaffirming his/her commitment to follow the Honor Code
  • required submission of additional course work
  • assignment of the grade of “F” for a course deliverable or test
  • assignment of the grade of “F” for a course
  • withdrawal from the course
  • loss of scholarship assistance
  • restitution to others harmed by the conduct
  • required skill-building or training
  • monitored probation requiring specific behaviors and outcomes during the probation period
  • exclusion from participating in specific class or leadership activities, career management programs, courses involving travel to another site, and other activities in which the respondent would be seen as a representative of the University
  • suspension from the MBA program
  • permanent dismissal from the MBA program

The consequence for violating the Honor Code should reflect the following considerations:

  • whether the respondent’s conduct was purposeful, knowing, reckless or merely negligent
  • whether the respondent has been previously found responsible for violating the Honor Code
  • any need to protect the learning environment from repeated violations from the respondent or other students
  • the removal of any unfair advantage gained by the conduct
  • restitution to another person if injured by the respondent’s conduct
  • sensitivity to the impact upon the respondent’s reputation and future

What Can I Do if I Don't Agree with the Honor Council’s Decision
The faculty member and respondent may accept the Honor Council’s decision or may appeal the decision to the Dean by notifying the Honor Code Officer. The appeal must be received by the Honor Code Officer in writing (email or paper document) within five (5) working days of the day the reporter and respondent received notification of the decision of the Honor Council. An appeal to the Dean may only be based on:

  • significant new evidence not presented in the Honor Council hearing which was unknown to the person making the appeal at the time of the original hearing,
  • significant factual errors that have been rectified,
  • significant demonstrated failure of the Atkinson School to follow its own processes and procedures,
  • a clearly excessive consequence,
  • misconduct on the part of the Honor Code Officer or Honor Council, or
  • evidence of bias on the part of the Honor Code Office or member of the Honor Council

If the Dean upholds the Honor Council’s decision, the decision is final. If the Dean sends comments back to the Honor Council, the Honor Council will meet within five (5) working days 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.