Committee Charge

Honor System Review Committee


Fall 2017; rev. 1-7-18

Considering the University’s long-standing commitment to upholding a high standard of academic integrity and enforcing the pact between faculty and students to abide by the Honor Code, the Honor System Review Committee is tasked with examining aspects of the University’s Honor Committee (“HC”). The review committee’s study will assess the current policies and procedures and be guided by the following questions:

  1. HC investigation and hearing processes and policies. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current processes? How might the current processes be improved, given concerns about effectiveness, confidentiality, and transparency? Are there more effective ways for the HC to conduct investigations and collect testimony?
  2. HC Constitution language and academic integrity standards. Does the Preamble to the Honor Code Constitution that appears in RRR align sufficiently with the subsequently revised Honor Code Constitution? Are there places where we should strive for more consistency and clarity? How do we increase awareness on the part of students and faculty about the most common violations and decrease their incidence?
  3. Honor Committee penalties. Should the HC be able to use a wider, more graduated range of penalties outlined in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities for Honor Code violations, taking other factors into consideration when judging the seriousness of the offense (i.e., violations that seem less serious or those that result from carelessness)?
  4. HC membership and the HC’s relationship with the Undergraduate Student Government. Are the current procedures for the selection of members appropriate and effective? What is the best role for the Undergraduate Student Government to play in HC selection processes? What is the best way to balance representation from elected officers with HC members who have the requisite interest, skill set, available time, and commitment?
  5. USG December 2017 referenda. Three of the four referenda passed by the student body have been remanded by President Eisgruber to the Committee on Examinations and Standing for review and a decision about whether they should be moved forward for the approval of the full faculty. We ask the Honor System Review Committee to consider these referenda as part of its charge, and to recommend to the Committee on Examinations and Standing whether the proposals about penalties, evidence, and faculty involvement in deciding infractions should be adopted.
  6. Honor Committee faculty advisory committee. We ask the Honor System Review Committee to formally consider whether to reinstitute a faculty advisory committee to consult on process, policy, and procedure, so that future changes to the Honor Committee’s work might be more effectively vetted by faculty.

In doing its work, the Committee should consider the University’s bedrock values, including our high standards for academic integrity, consistency and equity among all students, transparency of administrative procedures, and confidentiality of private student affairs. The Committee will ask whether those values are supported by current HC practices and may consider whether they are better supported by practices adopted by peer schools.

When its work is completed—preferably within the spring 2018 semester—the Honor System Review Committee will deliver a report to Vice President W. Rochelle Calhoun, Dean of the College Jill Dolan, Dean of the Faculty Sanjeev Kulkarni, and the Committee on Examinations and Standing. Recommendations about the three USG referenda will be taken up by the Committee on Examinations and Standing; other recommendations may be forwarded to other venues for discussion and action.