Millersville University, Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate Minutes
October 3, 2000
toward Academic Integrity at Millersville University
The Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Honor Code Committee has been
charged with investigating the feasibility and advisability of introducing an
honor code at MU, and defining the specific policy elements associated with the
committee's recommendations. The ultimate goal of such an honor code system
would be the promotion of academic integrity on the MU campus. There are a
number of ways in which this goal might be accomplished, however, and the
committee believes that each of the various options should be investigated for
its potential to best address the specific needs and interests of the MU
community. The remainder of this document explores four options toward academic
integrity that are under consideration by the Honor Code
Option A: Full Honor Code System Definition: An honor code
policy consists of one or more of the following: a written pledge attached to
all student work that states that the work has been done honestly,
unproctored/self scheduled exams, some degree of obligation that students report
observations of student dishonesty, and a judiciary composed partially or fully
of students that hears cases of alleged student dishonesty.' This judiciary
would have the power to impose sanctions as severe as expulsion from the
university. The intent is to develop a culture of academic and often personal
integrity. A full honor code system would have all or nearly all of these
fewer cases of cheating are believed to occur on campuses with honor codes2,3,
probably because of 1) the culture of mutual trust and respect that develops
between faculty and students'''', and 2) the clarification of expectations and
definitions of cheating behaviors. It therefore becomes less easy for the
student to rationalize cheating behaviors3.
· Students take considerable pride in
their code schools, and find a sense of prestige in having
institution. Furthermore, code schools are highly respected by the local
potential employers. Having served on the student judiciary often advances the
of law and
political science majors.
Moral norms are more likely to operate within such a
consistency in addressing cases of academic dishonesty is likely to
may be carried away with students when they leave the
students grow to enjoy the freedoms and culture of trust they are provided, and
Disadvantages: The development and maintenance of such policy
requires significant time and effort on the part of faculty and administrators4.
Full faculty and administrative support for the system should be in place. The
system may be frightening and stressful to some students, at least initially'.
The whole student community must understand the importance of the role each
individual plays in maintaining the honor system. Large campuses and those with
a high proportion of commuter students may find developing the supporting
culture of integrity a difficult tasks. Some difficulty in adjustment to the
honor system may occur. Students may find it easy to cheat on exams, and may
find it troublesome to report offenses they observe'.
Option B: Abbreviated Honor Code System
A few of the elements of a full honor code are present. The policy might
just consist of a written pledge
and a student-run judiciary, for example. A culture of
integrity is promoted. Advantages:
· Many of the advantages of the full honor code are
retained without some elements that may be unappealing, such as unproctored
exams or required student reporting of offenses.
· Same as first five advantages of full
students grow to enjoy the culture of trusts.
· Same as first five disadvantages of full honor
"Quasi-Honor Systems" Definition:
honor code per se is in place, but a culture of academic integrity is promoted
1) establishing clear
policies and guidelines toward academic integrity, 2) clearly and
expectations regarding honesty to students, 3) providing an atmosphere which
value and practice academic honesty (moral socialization), 4) initiating open
honesty issues, 5) possibly setting up some courses or programs on campus that
more fully emulate an
actual honor system, 6) frequently encouraging students to know the rules
the school sets, and 7) carefully
monitoring dishonesty and taking offenses very seriously
(at minimum, requiring completion of an
academic dishonesty form)5. A new grade might be instituted
to denote course failure due to academic
dishonesty. Student involvement with the creation and
implementation of such a system is critical to its
success. Faculty and administrative
support must be present. Advantages:
· May require less time, effort, and
adjustment than an actual honor code system. Studies have suggested that the
primary advantage of a full honor system (i.e., culture of integrity) is still
present here, and is likely to be effective in promoting academic integrity
· May be less
threatening to new and prospective students than an honor code system.
· A well-developed integrity plan and continual promotion of the culture
of integrity is necessary for the system to be successful. Without continual
promotion of the culture, it may be easy to slip into the 'no culture'
· Same as
first 4 disadvantages of option A.
· The university and students would not benefit from the
prestige and trust that comes with being an honor code institution. Furthermore,
maintaining a strong culture of integrity may not be as easy without a code in
No Culture of Academic Integrity Definition:
No or little effort is made to develop a
culture of academic integrity on campus. Advantages:
· This option involves the least time,
work, and effort. Disadvantages:
· High levels of student dishonesty are likely to occur.
Studies have shown that unless continual efforts are made to communicate to
students the importance of and procedures for maintaining academic integrity,
and students are involved in this process of promoting integrity, high levels of
student dishonesty are often experienced45.
1Melendez, B. 1985. Honor code study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
Bowers, W.J. 1964. Student dishonesty and its control in college. New
York Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University.
'McCabe, D.L., and Trevino, L.K. 1993.
Academic dishonesty: Honor codes and other contextual influences. Journal of
Higher Education. 64: 522-538.
4McCabe, D.L. and Drinan, P.F. 1999. Toward a culture of
academic integrity. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 46(8,Oct.
D.L., Trevino, L.K., and Butterfield K.D. 1999. Academic integrity in honor code
and nonhonor code environments. The Journal of Higher Education. 70(2):
and McCabe, D.L. 1996. Issues in academic integrity. New Directions for
Student Services. 73(spring): 67-77.
7Lowry, J.D. 1996. Communities of trust: A recent
graduate's experience with honor codes. Journal of College Science Teaching
Questionnaire. Please assist the Honor Code Committee evaluate the
faculty's opinions on the appropriateness of an honor code for MV. Rank the
appropriateness of each of the following options for MU. '1' is the most
appropriate option, and '4' is the least appropriate option. Please add your
return to box in back of room or to Kathy Schreiber, Geography, 245 McComsey by
Monday, October 9.
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