Millersville University, Faculty Senate

Attachment #3
Faculty Senate Minutes
January 20, 2004

Plan for Implementation of Proposed Academic Honor System for Millersville University

Proposed by the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Honor Code Committee:
Eric Blazer, Business; Jane Bray, Education; Jill Craven, English; Jessica George, Library;
Carol Heintzelman, Social Work; Sandra Hoffman, Education; James Mone, Biology; Elba Rohena, Education; Kathy Schreiber, Geography


The Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Honor Code Committee has proposed the introduction of an academic honor code system at MU to promote student learning, attainment of university outcomes, student honesty in endeavors both at the university and beyond, and the development of student ethics. The program is detailed more fully in 'The Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Honor Code Committee Recommendation on the Development of an Honor Code at Millersville University.' Critical to the early success of such a system is proper preparation of the student body, faculty and administration. This document outlines suggestions over a three-year phase-in period to prepare the campus for full implementation of the proposed honor system. The intent of the following plan is to educate the campus on the expectations of the honor system through a variety of fun and serious activities. Furthermore, the plan is expected to promote campus engagement in teaching and learning the honor system to enhance its acceptance and adoption, and ultimately the development of a culture of academic integrity.

Three-Year Phase-in Plan

Year 1

  1. Establish faculty membership of the MU Academic Honor Council prior to the beginning of the year to oversee the phase-in period. The faculty membership consists of two faculty members from each of the three schools: Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Mathematics; and one non-school faculty member (other details of membership can be found in the MU Honor System Constitution). Students interested in membership may apply to student senate. Other students may be added later as the student involvement in the honor system increases. The council should begin developing training programs for new Academic Honor Council members.

  2. Plan and mobilize resources to carry out activities in years two and three. This will entail writing and printing informational pamphlets and letters, scheduling speakers, preparing for faculty forum, working with departments to begin engaging their students in honor activities, preparing material for student training sessions, securing films needed in campus movie night series, working with departments teaching required first-year courses to incorporate ethics discussion/assignments, etc

  3. Provide faculty and staff forum(s) on the honor code and its successful implementation in the classroom. All faculty should be provided with a copy of the Academic Honor Code Constitution and By Laws.

  4. Begin developing a web site with faculty and student resources. Examples:

Year 2

  1. Promote the use of the Honor Pledge by faculty on syllabi, exams, and other assignments.
  2. Distribute copies of the MU Academic Honor Code and Academic Honesty Policy to all students.
  3. Distribute 'The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity.'* Alternatively, a brochure with similar themes might be developed and distributed at MU. *The text was distributed to colleges and universities nationwide in November of 1999 by the Center for Academic Integrity (CAI), and is available in bulk at a cost $1.60 per copy. The text defines academic integrity as a commitment to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action.
  4. Incorporate the message that 'Millersville University is dedicated to promoting the use of high ethical standards by its students in both academic and non-academic activities' in MU promotional literature and acceptance letters. From here on out, send information on the honor system and its expectations to all incoming students.
  5. Prepare incoming students for the honor system by discussing expectations of the honor system and tenets of the Academic Honesty Policy at freshman orientation. Similarly, a section on ethics and academic honesty would be appropriate in a freshman-year experience.
  6. From here on out, encourage faculty to provide education in proper citation and ethics assignments in common first year courses: speeches in COMM.100, papers in ENGL.110, and ethical discussions/projects in Wellness (WELL.175) and Freshman Seminar.
  7. Provide training sessions by the Academic Honor Council on the intricacies of proper citation and methods of avoiding academic dishonesty.
  8. Begin preparing incoming students for the honor system
  9. 9. Promote departmental activities related to academic honesty. Contests would begin year 2; awards made year 3. Examples:

    1. Communications majors develop a promotional video on academic integrity, perhaps within an existing course. The video is then shown to incoming students.

    2. Art majors hold a design contest to create door hangers, signs and/or posters promoting academic integrity for classrooms, faculty offices, hallways, Student Memorial Center and other campus buildings (see Designs chosen for display win an honorary certificate that may be listed in student resumes. Designs are then made into promotional materials that are displayed throughout campus.

    3. Education majors develop lesson plans to teach academic integrity to high school and elementary school children using creative methods. The most creative lesson plans in each category win an honorary certificate that preparing teachers can list in their resumes. Similarly, education majors might actually teach a class session on academic integrity both in actual classes and as a demonstration for all students at MU..

    4. Computer science majors hold a design contest to develop screen savers and desktop wallpaper with academic honesty themes. The winning designs will be placed on computers around campus. Designs chosen for display win an honorary certificate that may be listed in student resumes.

  10. Create campus movie nights devoted to the topics of ethics and honor. Wake Forest University had a yearlong film series devoted to the topic. Titles included: Tokyo Story, The Sweet Hereafter, On the Water Front, Paths of Glory, Malcolm X, Husbands and Wives, Raise the Red Lantern, and The Bicycle Thief. Details are available at:

  11. 11. Form the 'Student Honor Education and Activities Council (SHEAC)' consisting of students to promote and educate students about academic honesty at Millersville. Example: Peer educators at Kansas Sate:

    1. Invite students to join SHEAC.
    2. Target Fraternities, Sororities, Honors Students, and the honor societies and professional organizations of various degree programs.
    3. Members of SHEAC would be required to sign the honor pledge and participate in educational activities aimed at promoting academic honesty (training will be provided). Activities might include conducting special honor-education events and workshops, speaking to student groups, distributing materials, soliciting student pledges, and taking ethics courses. Members in violation of the honor code would be heard according to the new honor system rules.
    4. Active members of SHEAC would receive recognition upon graduation, a designation on their transcript, and certificates of commendation from school deans.
    5. In the second year of the program, a residence for SHEAC members and the organization's activities will be sought.

Year 3

  1. Declare a university theme on academic integrity. Post banners publicizing the event.

  2. From this year on, require all incoming students to sign the honor pledge as a condition of acceptance to Millersville University.

  3. Encourage faculty to discuss the requirements of the honor code system and how to avoid academic dishonesty in their classrooms. Alternatively, have a member of SHEAC talk about the honor system in the course(s). Remind faculty of resources available to them on-line and by direct contact with the Honor Council. Encourage faculty to use the Honor Pledge on syllabi, exams, and other assignments.

  4. Solicit input from SHEAC and other students on honor code education programming.

  5. Hold the first 'MU Week on Ethics' consisting of :
    1. kick-off--information booth and free gift (e.g., balloons, drinks, pen/pencil)
    2. student/faculty panel discussions on how code works and how violations of the honor code would be handled,
    3. mock hearings to illustrate the hearing process,
    4. student/faculty rally: stories are shared about honorable deeds of others or themselves that have made a difference (light refreshments provided),
    5. random acts of kindness: students caught doing honorable/kind deeds by a secret group of students/faculty (or reports to this group) are recognized and given a certificate of commendation (or some other reward). Names are read off on the Friday of the Ethics Week.
    6. dart booth with balloons showing names of individuals and corporations found guilty of dishonorable behavior. Three pops wins a prize.

  6. Present student awards for best designs for honor code promotional materials.

  7. Continue with training sessions on proper citation and avoiding academic dishonesty.

  8. Encourage a sorority/fraternity to hold a rally whereby students sign a pledge to honorable work and academic excellence (maybe by making a time commitment for their academic work). Each pledge earns money that can be donated to a charity of choice of the sorority/fraternity (a maximum donation may be specified).

  9. Invite a nationally respected figure (e.g., sports, business) to speak at campus on the merits of honesty and honorable living. Additional or alternative figures include a past graduate of an honor code school, and /or alumni who have highly visible positions in their careers.

Year 4

  1. Require all students who have not already done so to sign the honor pledge.

  2. Fully implement the MU Honor System.

  3. Continue with education efforts: web resources, educational mini-workshops, peer presentations on academic integrity in sororities, fraternities, and in the classroom.

  4. Continue with first-year education efforts in freshman orientation.

  5. Report efforts and success of the Academic Honor Council to Faculty Senate.

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