Millersville University, Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate Minutes
March 16, 2004
Summary of Honor Code Committee Recommendation to Faculty
- Upon admission to MU, students sign an honor pledge (required
except for cases of religious conflict). Prior to the signing, students
will be given background information on academic dishonesty and how to
avoid being charged with it. Use of the pledge is optional in classroom
but is implied regardless.
- Honesty education continues throughout students' program at MU.
Possibilities for education exist in Freshman Orientation, Freshman-Year
Experience, common freshman courses, all course introductions, and
out-of-class workshops and activities. Resources/support will be made
available to both students and instructors by the Academic Honor Council.
Student members of this council play a major role in its function.
- The following procedure takes place for alleged cases of academic
- The course instructor meets with the student and decides whether
the case should be pursued. The instructor has the option of reporting the
case to Honor Council for further action, or dropping the case entirely.
Completion of an academic dishonesty form is recommended (but not
required) in any case for record-keeping purposes. Faculty who wish to
fill out the form but drop all further action will indicate on the form
that no further action is desired. Instructors who choose not to report
the incident thus invoking a hearing may then only impose minor sanctions
on a student (verbal/written reprimand, lowering grade for
assignment/test, requiring student to redo assignment/test). This policy
is consistent with our present academic honesty policy.
- If further action is recommended, an honor court will be formed
consisting of 2 faculty, 3 students, and the Associate Provost for
Academic Programs and Services (non-voting member). Evidence is heard, and
three of five votes are required to find a student guilty of an act of
- The sanctions schedule classifies acts of academic dishonesty
according to their severity and provides recommended sanction(s) for each
class of offenses. This is to provide consistency in handling similar
cases of dishonesty. For this reason, the schedule should generally be
followed, but an instructor who provides justification may request a
different sanction. Generally, the request will be followed, unless the
court provides compelling justification for not granting the request.
Least offenses: failure for assignment. Worst offenses: XF grade and
probation, or XF grade and suspension. XF indicates course failure due to
academic dishonesty. For one-time offenses only, this grade can be
converted after two years to a grade of F. An appeals mechanism is defined
to consider new evidence, irregularities in the conduct of the hearing,
and excessive severity of a particular sanction.
- Students are not required to report observed cases of dishonesty.
*More details can be found in the by-laws section of the Proposed
Millersville University Academic Honor System Constitution.
How is this system different from our current academic honesty
The proposed system adds the following elements which are now not part of
the honesty policy: signing an academic honesty pledge upon admission,
provision for greater education/support for both students and faculty in
preventing academic dishonesty, a sanctions schedule, creation of the XF
grade, and greater opportunity for students to participate in the honesty
system, thus allowing students greater ownership of the program. The
literature suggests lower incidence of dishonesty where clear and frequent
communication related to dishonesty is coupled with high student
involvement in the program, careful monitoring of dishonesty, and strong
sanctions for offenses.
What benefits would we expect to see if the proposed honor system is
implemented? The literature suggests: significantly fewer cases of
cheating, greater consistency in addressing dishonesty, promotion of
law/ethics-related careers of student honor members, greater
community/employer respect of MU as an institution promoting ethics,
advancement of general education objectives and parts of the university
mission dealing with development of student values and ethics, and
benefits to society as students carry away learned moral norms.
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