PrintShareE-Mail This Page

Honor Code & Procedures

The Knox College Honor System, 2013-2014

Jump to Section:

Honor Board Members
The Knox College Honor Code
Dishonesty in Academic Work
Plagiarism
Responsibilities of Students
Responsibilities of Faculty
Additional Matters
Structure of the Board
Honor Board Constitution

Honor Board Procedural Guidelines


The Honor System has been an integral part of the life of Knox College since 1951, when the student body initiated the introduction of a system of academic integrity. All students and all faculty at Knox College have an obligation to understand the Honor System and to follow its provisions. This text -- distributed to all students and all faculty -- provides a general description of the Honor System and also contains the  of the Honor Board.

Honor Board Members

  • Matthew Barry, senior member (co-chair)
  • Melvin Taylor, senior member (co-chair)
  • Cialy Mydel Santos, senior member (secretary)
  • Clinton Davis, junior member 
  • Jojo Opoku, junior member
  • Lissa Mann, junior member
  • Casey Mendoza, sophomore member
  • Coltan Parker, sophomore member
  • Rachael Morrissey, sophomore member
  • Daniel Wack, faculty member
  • James Thrall, faculty member
  • Judy Thorn, faculty member

 

The Knox College Honor Code

Intellectual integrity is the underpinning for all educational, scholarly, and creative work at Knox College. The College community expects its members to demonstrate a high degree of ethical integrity in all their actions, including and especially academic work. At Knox each individual is held responsible for ensuring that his or her academic work meets the institutional standards of honesty.

The College has a vested interest in protecting the integrity of the many operations essential to an educational and scholarly institution: including the granting of degrees, the conferring of honors and privileges, and the certification of credits to other institutions. Academic dishonesty undermines the intellectual endeavor on which education is based; any misrepresentation of scholarly work is contrary to the purpose of the academic community. Consequently, academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated.

 

Dishonesty in Academic Work

Knox College defines academic dishonesty as actions giving or receiving an unfair advantage in academic work by cheating, lying, plagiarizing the work of others, or willfully impeding the academic progress of another student.

Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to:

  • giving or receiving unauthorized help in any course;
  • plagiarism;
  • using in an examination, quiz, etc., any source of information not explicitly authorized by the instructor;
  • using or procuring any test without authorization;
  • having possession of a test in an unauthorized location;
  • voluntarily assisting a second party in cheating;
  • fabricating data or lab results;
  • altering, destroying, or stealing the academic work (e.g. erasing a computer disk, sabotaging an experiment, etc.) of another student;
  • lying to a faculty member or administrator to obtain an extension, incomplete, or excused absence;
  • deliberately denying another student access to necessary study materials by destroying or stealing these materials;
  • submitting work done in a previous or concurrent course without prior understanding and approval of the course instructor(s);
  • forging documents concerning experiential, internship, or other course components;
  • misleading or dishonest citations or bibliographical entries.

Students should assume that all examinations are closed-book unless the instructor states otherwise. Students should also assume that cooperation in assignments is not permitted unless the instructor states otherwise. In certain instances of stealing, destroying, or forging material, the Co-Chair of the Honor Board, in consultation with the Dean of Students and the Associate Dean of the College, may refer cases to the Judicial Board.

 

Plagiarism

To plagiarize is to present the work of another as if it were one's own. As such, it is possible to plagiarize without meaning to, simply by using a choice of phrase, evidence, example, argument, thesis, and so on, that one found in another's work without acknowledging the author of that work. It is possible to plagiarize material directly quoted as well as material paraphrased or summarized, even when there is substantial rewording or rearrangement. To avoid plagiarizing, the sources one must cite include but are not limited to books, articles, pamphlets, pictures, graphs, poems, plays, as well as any information found on the Internet. Particular care should be taken with ideas or language taken from the Web. These should be cited in the text in the same manner as ideas or language from print sources. Moreover, it is not sufficient to list sources in an introduction or bibliography; specific reference must be in footnotes or in the text. Finally, to explain similarities between one's "own" work and that of others on the basis that a source was read some time ago or phrases and ideas of that author have been confused with one's own does not constitute a defense against a charge of plagiarism. It is the student's responsibility to take sufficient notes to be able to give credit where credit is due. Where the language of another is used, it is essential that the material so used be enclosed in quotation marks and citation included.

The basic rule is simple: if in doubt, cite the source(s). For further clarification of appropriate usage in a particular case consult the instructor.

Where courses require or allow collaborative work, students must take particular care to collaborate up to, but never beyond, the limits set by the instructor. Instructors are, by the same token, expected to make clear what those limits are.

 

Responsibilities of StudentsKnox College Honor Code - Responsibilities of Students

The primary responsibility for academic honesty rests with the individual student. Every student is responsible for the integrity of his or her own work. Students are responsible for discouraging violations of the Honor System. Each should conduct his or her academic activities in such a way as to be above suspicion at all times. Students are expected to leave books and notes elsewhere during an examination and to take examinations in public places such as classrooms or open lounge areas nearby in the buildings. Washrooms, storage areas, and maintenance areas in the basement and elsewhere are not public places. Neither are carrels or other closed areas, nor anywhere upstairs in Seymour Library and Science Library. Students should not bring examinations into these non-public places, should keep examinations covered as they work on them, and should remove themselves and their work from temptation and suspicion.

Faculty may require that students not bring books, notes or electronic devices into the building in which an examination is administered. Alternatively, they may permit students to bring these resources into the building but may require that these books, notes and electronic devices be left in a central area or the classroom throughout the duration of the examination or other academic obligation.

While failure of a student to report a violation is not itself a violation of the Honor Code, students are strongly encouraged to take some sort of positive action if they are aware of a violation of the Honor Code. Students may inform the suspected violator of their awareness and disapproval; they may discuss the nature of a suspected violation with an Honor Board member before deciding whether a formal report should be made; they may formally report the suspected violation to the Honor Board.

 

Responsibilities of FacultyKnox College Honor Code - Responsibilities of Faculty

Faculty members are responsible for making explicit their policies regarding such matters as studying together, the use of notes and books on assignments and exams, proper citation, etc. Unless informed otherwise, the student is to assume that cooperation on assignments is not permitted.

Faculty members are not to proctor their tests. If they choose to leave the room they should make their whereabouts known to the students. But whether in the classroom or elsewhere in the building, they should follow their normal routines and should not monitor their students while examinations are in progress. Students must take all examinations in the building in which the examination is scheduled unless the instructor specifies otherwise. Faculty members may, for good reason, set special conditions for the taking of a particular examination. In such cases the faculty member must announce and explain the conditions when the examination is given and should do so only after consulting with the Associate Dean of the College and a Co-Chair or faculty member of the Honor Board.

Instructors should take special care to make clear the limits of collaboration for any course assignment or project.

A faculty member is responsible, as described in the faculty handbook section II.B.4, to call the facts of a potential violation of the Honor Code to the attention of the Honor Board. In all cases, disciplinary action is to be taken only by the Honor Board, not by the faculty member. A faculty member may discuss any doubts they have concerning the integrity of a student's work with the student concerned if unanswered doubts remain.

 

Additional Matters

An accusation of academic dishonesty may be presented by any student, faculty member, or staff member at the College. If a staff member brings an accusation to the Board, he or she must consult with the instructor(s) for the course before bringing the matter to the attention of the Board. If the alleged violation did not occur in a course, the accuser should consult with the Associate Dean of the College.

 

Structure of the Board

The Honor System is overseen by the Honor Board.

The Honor Board consists of twelve members (three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, and three faculty members). Cases of dishonesty in academic matters are referred to the Honor Board. It is the obligation of the Honor Board to investigate all formal reports of suspected violation of the Honor System, to determine guilt or innocence, and to specify punishment.

Penalties may range from a warning to expulsion from the College. The minimum penalty for most forms of academic dishonesty is denial of credit for all work judged in violation of the honor principle; the usual penalty for the first offense is a grade of "F" in the course. The usual penalty for the second offense is expulsion.

Members of the Honor Board also form the Honor Board Education Committee. The primary responsibility of the Education Committee is to work with the appropriate administrative officers, faculty members, and student organizations to increase community awareness of the Honor System's purpose, policies, and procedures.

The rules and procedures of the Honor Board are set out in detail in its Constitution and guidelines.

Members of the Honor Board also form the Honor Board Education Committee. The primary responsibility of the Education Committee is to work with the appropriate administrative officers, faculty members, and student organizations to increase community awareness of the Honor System's purpose, policies, and procedures.

The rules and procedures of the Honor Board are set out in detail in its Constitution and guidelines.

 

Honor Board Constitution

Article I: Name and Definitions

Section 1. The judicial body charged with administering the Honor System of Knox College and increasing community awareness of the Honor System shall be known as the Honor Board of Knox College ("Honor Board," "the Board").

Section 2. Any alleged violation of the Honor Code presented to the Honor Board shall be known as a complaint. The complaint, once received and processed by the Board, shall be known as a case.

Section 3. The person or persons bringing a complaint before the Honor Board shall be known as the complainant. The person or persons against whom a complaint is brought shall be known as the respondent(s).


Article II: Membership

Section 1. Membership
The membership of the Honor Board shall consist of nine students (three seniors, three juniors, and three sophomores, as determined by graduation date); three members of the faculty; and the Associate Dean of the College, ex officio without vote.

Section 2. Committees

A. The junior-class members of the Board shall function as an Education Committee charged with the task of increasing community awareness of the Honor System's purpose, policies, and procedures.

B. The Honor Board Selection Committee shall convene for all appointment proceedings as described in II.3. The Committee shall consist of the Honor Board Secretary, chair, between two and four other Honor Board student members, between one and two Honor Board faculty members, one voting member of the Academic Standing Committee, and two students chosen by Student Senate. No person may satisfy more than one membership requirement.

Section 3. Appointments and Terms

A. Each spring, the Honor Board Selection Committee shall appoint three first-year students, and the Faculty Executive Committee in consultation with the Honor Board shall appoint one or more faculty member to replace the outgoing member(s). Appointments shall last for three years.

B. Any student in the appropriate class (as determined by graduation date) with good academic standing and no prior Honor Board convictions may apply for a position for their class on the Honor Board. The Selection Committee shall review the applications, invite each candidate to interview for the open positions, and make its final selections from among the students interviewed. The Committee shall also designate which selected students will be future Co-Chairs.

C. The Selection Committee should, in addition to the three permanent student members, designate up to two alternate student members to serve in the event that a Board member of that class resigns or is temporarily or permanently excused from duty. The alternates shall not be notified of their selection until and unless called for service by a majority vote of the Board. In the event that an alternate is not appointed or the appointed alternates are unwilling or unable to serve, the Selection Committee shall convene to select replacement members as necessary.

D. If a member of the Honor Board will be absent from campus longer than a term, he or she shall be required to resign his or her seat on the Board. The Honor Board may override this requirement by majority vote if the absence will not interfere with the Board's ability to achieve quorum. The replacement may be temporary or permanent at the discretion of the Board.

E. The Honor Board shall have the right to temporarily replace a member who is absent from the campus for one term if his or her absence will jeopardize the Board's ability to achieve quorum at hearings.

F. The Honor Board shall have the right to replace members who do not perform their duties. Members who miss three scheduled hearings in a term shall be dismissed from the Honor Board.

G. In situations, such as after the end of a term, where the Board must consider a case or conduct a rehearing and a quorum cannot be assembled from the regular or alternate members, the Associate Dean of the College, in consultation with at least two members of the Honor Board, may appoint interim student members to serve for a period not exceeding one term. No more than three interim student members may serve at any time. Faculty members may also be selected as interim replacements for faculty members of the Board.


Article III: Officers
Knox College Honor Code

Section 1. Officers
The officers of the Honor Board shall be the Co-Chairs and the Secretary. The Co-Chairs shall be the two senior-class student members who have served the longest on the Board and are not enrolled in an off-campus program. The third senior-class student member shall serve as the Secretary. The Board may deviate from this policy and elect different officers by a two-thirds vote.

Section 2. Responsibilities of the Co-Chairs

A. A Co-Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Honor Board. He or she shall call all regular and special meetings of the Honor Board.
B. A Co-Chair shall handle all reports of alleged violations of the Honor Code from the complainant.
C. A Co-Chair shall determine whether the allegations are under the jurisdiction of the Board and warrant a hearing.
D. A Co-Chair shall inform the respondent of the charges against him or her and of his or her rights under the Honor System.
E. A Co-Chair shall assemble and prepare all relevant evidence and statements for a hearing, shall contact expert witnesses as appropriate, and shall schedule hearings.
F. A Co-Chair shall notify the respondent of the Honor Board's decision within twenty-four hours.
G. A Co-Chair shall oversee the fulfillment of all recordkeeping and reporting requirements as described in Article VII.

Section 3. Responsibilities of the Secretary

A. The Secretary shall assist the Co-Chairs in preparing case files and evidence for hearings.
B. The Secretary shall maintain a file of important precedent cases to assist the Board in deliberations.
C. The Secretary shall chair the Honor Board Selection Committee.
D. The Secretary shall maintain the Board's institutional memory and develop methods for record-keeping and reporting.
E. The Secretary shall assist the Co-Chairs in fulfilling all record-keeping and reporting requirements as described in Article VII


Article IV: Powers

Section 1: The Honor Board shall have the power to adjudicate all alleged violations of the Honor System. A violation of the Honor System is any instance of academic dishonesty as described in the Honor Code.

Section 2. The Honor Board shall have the power to assign penalty for violations of the Honor System. Penalties may include any one or combination of the following:

A. Warning
B. Additional academic work
C. "F" (zero credit) on the work
D. Mandatory withdrawal from the course with "W" grade
E. "F" in the course (the usual penalty for a first offense)*
F. Suspension
G. Expulsion (the usual penalty for a second offense)**

(* In the case that the standard penalty of an "F" in the course for a first offense is exacted in a course graded S/U, the grade in effect will remain an "F" and not be translated to a "U.")

(** If expelled, a student earns no credit for the term in which the violation occurred and receives an "F" in the course involved in the case and grades of "W" in any courses in progress other than the one involved in the case.)

Section 3. The Honor Board has the power to deviate from the usual penalty for the first or second offense, provided there are sufficient grounds to do so. Grounds for deviation may include, but are not limited to: unusually grave extenuating circumstances; unusually serious or aggravated offenses against the Honor Code; and overwhelming evidence that an offense was not voluntary.

Section 4. If a respondent is found guilty of academic dishonesty but is not enrolled in the course in question, or if the violation did not occur within the context of a course, the Honor Board shall, in consultation with the Associate Dean of the College, assign an appropriate penalty.


Article V: Procedure

Section 1. Hearings and Deliberation

A. A quorum shall consist of six voting members, including a Co-Chair and at least one faculty member. The number of voting members present may not exceed nine.

B. A Co-Chair shall preside over all hearings.

C. Hearings of the Honor Board are closed and confidential proceedings.

D. At the hearing, the Co-Chair shall inform the respondent of the charges brought against him or her. The respondent shall have the opportunity to present a plea of guilty or not guilty at any point in the hearing, but no plea will be required of the respondent. The respondent will be questioned, allowed to ask questions of the Honor Board, and shall always have the right to see and question the complainant. The respondent may submit and read a statement of defense if desired.

E. A respondent will forfeit the right to present a defense if he or she fails to appear or waives the right to appear at the scheduled hearing.

F. The Honor Board shall meet in executive session for deliberations.

G. The Honor Board shall come to a decision of guilty or not guilty. If the Honor Board reaches a decision of guilty, the Board must then come to a decision of penalty. All decisions must be reached within twenty-four hours from the time the hearing began, excepting reasonable and unavoidable delay with the agreement of the Associate Dean of the College.

H. When six, seven or eight voting members are present, the agreement of six voting members is required to determine guilt and to deviate from the standard penalty. When nine members are present, the agreement of seven voting members is required.

I. If the Board cannot reach agreement on a verdict, the case is recorded as "no decision," and no penalty is given. Such a case may be reopened only if new evidence is available, using the appellate process described in VI.1.

J. Interference with Honor Board proceedings, such as intimidating actions directed toward a member of the Board or any other person involved in a case, is a serious violation of College rules. Violators are subject to disciplinary action by the appropriate College judicial or administrative body.

K. Given the nature of an Honor Board hearing, it is appropriate that a respondent brings an advisor with her/him (see V.2). However, other interested parties-friends, family members, etc.-are expressly prohibited from waiting in or near the building where a hearing is being held so that inappropriate interactions before or after the hearing can be avoided.

Section 2. Advisor

A. For any case coming before the Honor Board, the respondent and the person bringing the case will each be allowed to consult an advisor of his/her own choosing. These advisors will assist in preparing both parties for the hearing and will accompany them to the hearing itself.

B. Only a current full-time student or member of College faculty or staff may serve as an advisor. The advisor may not have been involved in the case itself, and may not act as a witness in the hearing, except as described in V.2.E.

C. In cases where there is no stated preference for a particular advisor, the Honor Board Co-Chair will, in consultation with the Associate Dean, appoint someone. Unless a student explicitly requests a current student advisor, this advisor will be a faculty or staff member. Either party may also reject having an advisor, but this choice must be made explicit and should not be the norm in regular Honor Board proceedings. Advisors will be allowed to speak during Honor Board proceedings, but the presiding Chair has the authority to limit an advisor's involvement when appropriate.

D. If the advisor wishes to present a written statement of his or her own, the Board shall treat it as a character witness statement (pursuant to V.3) and shall only consider it during deliberation. The advisor may not present an oral statement at the hearing.

E. The advisor must treat the hearing and all related conversations as confidential.

Section 3. Witnesses and Statements

A. Before the hearing, the complainant and the respondent must submit to the Board a list of witnesses and written witness statements, and the justification for their submission.

B.Given that testimony introduced in Honor Board hearings often involves medical or psychological difficulties experienced at the time of the alleged academic dishonesty (about which Board members have no expertise), documentation of such difficulties is required if the Board is to consider them as extenuating circumstances. Such documentation must be provided by the respondent him/herself and should reach the presiding chair at least 48 hours prior the hearing.

C. The Board shall determine what witnesses may appear at the hearing, and may determine whether to accept written statements. The Board may require that a witness submit a statement in lieu of appearing in person.

D. The complainant, the respondent, and witnesses appearing in person may present their statements at the hearing; other statements shall be considered only during deliberation.

E. Character witnesses who are not directly involved in the evidence of the case may not appear in person at the hearing, but may submit a written statement to be considered during deliberation.

F. Persons outside the Knox community may not appear in person as witnesses, but may submit written statements. The Board shall not be required to contact outside witnesses beyond the written statement provided.

G. The Board may request the assistance of expert witnesses within the Knox community, but may not reveal personally identifiable information without the consent of the respondent. The respondent may also seek the testimony of expert witnesses within the Knox community; these witnesses may be present at the hearing with the consent of the Board, pursuant to V.3.B. Expert witnesses outside the Knox community may submit written statements but shall not be permitted to appear before the Board.

 

Article VI: Appeal

Section 1. Appeal to the Dean of the College

A. The respondent may appeal the Board's verdict and penalty to the Dean of the College within one academic week of formal notification of the original decision. A written statement of the grounds for appeal must be included.

B. Proper grounds for appeal to the Dean of the College shall be restricted to the following:

i. Substantial new evidence.
ii. Charges of bias on the part of Honor Board members.
iii. Charges of substantial procedural error on the part of the Honor Board.

C. If the Dean of the College considers the stated grounds for appeal to be insufficient for appellate review, he or she may summarily dismiss the appeal.

D. If an appellate review is granted, the Dean of the College shall notify the Honor Board of the grounds for appeal prior to the appellate review.

E. At the appellate review, the Dean of the College, the appellant, and one Honor Board member designated by the Board must be present. The opposing party may attend the appellate review at the discretion of the Dean of the College, but the Dean of the College must consult with the opposing party before granting or denying a rehearing. The Dean of the College may meet with the appellant prior to the formal review as necessary.

F. Following the appellate review, Dean of the College shall determine whether the grounds for appeal are sufficient for rehearing. If a rehearing is granted, the Dean of the College shall direct it to the appropriate body (as specified in VI.1.H).

G. The Dean of the College shall provide a written explanation of his or her decision and its rationale to the appellant, the opposing party, the Academic Standing Committee, and the Honor Board. If the grounds of the requested appeal do not involve the Academic Standing Committee, then a summary of action report to the Academic Standing Committee fulfills this requirement.

H. If the Dean of the College determines that there are sufficient grounds, a rehearing of the case shall be conducted by one of the following bodies:

i. The Honor Board, if the basis for the rehearing is substantial new evidence.

ii. A body consisting of the voting members of the Academic Standing Committee and one Honor Board member who did not attend the original hearing, if the basis for the rehearing is either bias on the part of the Honor Board or substantial procedural error. The Associate Dean of the College may appoint alternate members in order to achieve the quorum required, in the manner described in II.3.G. No person may satisfy more than one membership requirement. The Associate Dean of the College, as the chair of the Academic Standing Committee, shall chair the rehearing body. A quorum shall consist of the Honor Board member and four voting members of the Academic Standing Committee. The agreement of five voting members is required to determine guilt and to deviate from the standard penalty. If the body is unable to agree on a verdict, the original verdict and penalty assigned by the Honor Board shall stand.

I. All rehearings shall follow the procedures mandated for original hearings under the Honor Board Constitution and Procedural Guidelines. A reassembly of all witnesses and evidence shall be required, with reasonable accommodation.

J. The verdict and penalty decisions resulting from a rehearing shall be final, except as specified in VI.2, or unless the case is again appealed to the Dean of the College. Additional appeals shall follow the procedures for original appeals as specified in this section. If the body described in VI.1.H.ii presided over the rehearing, the case may only be appealed on the grounds of substantial new evidence, and, notwithstanding VI.1.H.i, the rehearing body shall conduct any rehearing granted in that case.

Section 2. Any respondent who has exhausted all right of appeal for rehearing may petition the President of the College (in writing) for a reduction of penalty. All petitions for reduction of penalty must be filed with the President within one week after all other means of appeal have been exhausted. Respondents who wish to do so may waive their right to appeal to the Dean of the College for a rehearing, but if they do so, they too have one week after receiving the decision of the Honor Board to file a petition for reduction of penalty with the President. The President, after reviewing the petition, may refuse to reduce the penalty or may grant a reduction of penalty. The President will not act before having consulted with the Honor Board Co-Chairs, the Associate Dean of the College and the complainant. The decision of the President is communicated to the student in writing.

Section 3. All appeal proceedings, including rehearings, are confidential.

Section 4. If a suspended or expelled respondent causes unreasonable delay in appeal proceedings, the Associate Dean of the College may immediately put the suspension or expulsion into effect.


Article VII: Records

Section 1. A detailed case summary of each case shall be composed, including accounts of evidence, testimony, and the Board's verdict. All documents related to each case, including evidence, witness statements, and written decisions from all hearings and appeals as described in Articles V and VI, shall be filed with the case summary in a private file located in the Office of Academic Affairs. Access to this file shall be limited to the President of the College, the Dean and the Associate Dean of the College, and the members of the Honor Board. Release of any information in this file except as described in VII.2-4 shall require the written approval of the respondent.

Section 2. An edited case summary of each case shall be placed in a public file, excluding names, course, and other identifying details. This file shall remain in the Office of Academic Affairs. Access to this file shall be limited to students, faculty, and administrators of the College. Except as provided in VII.3, information in these files may not be published or disseminated.

Section 3. A brief summary of each case shall be released for publication in the student newspaper (or other appropriate publication as determined by the Board) twice per term. The information contained in the brief summary shall be limited to the case reference number, the number of students involved in the case, charges brought, pleas entered, the Board's decisions of guilt or innocence, penalty assigned, and the result of any appeals proceedings.

Section 4. The Academic Standing Committee shall be informed of all Honor Board actions, but shall not have the power to alter the verdicts or penalties assigned by the Board, except as specified in Article VI.


Article VIII: Honor System

Section 1. Knox College Honor CodeThe Honor Board shall create the Honor Board Procedural Guidelines to govern its operation, in compliance with this Constitution. The Procedural Guidelines shall include the details of evidentiary and hearing procedure, as well as requirements for the maintenance of records and for other duties of the Board, including the training of Board members and new student orientation and education. Amendments to the Procedural Guidelines may be ratified with the support of eight voting members of the Honor Board in consultation with the Associate Dean of the College and where appropriate, the Academic Standing Committee.

Section 2. The Honor Board shall act as the guardian of the Honor System. Any member of the Honor Board, faculty, or Student Senate may propose amendments to the Honor Constitution. For ratification, a proposed amendment must receive the approval of eight voting members of the Honor Board and two-thirds of each of the Academic Standing Committee and the Student Senate.

Section 3. The Honor Board, in consultation with the Office of Academic Affairs, shall notify the Knox community of all changes to the governing documents of the Honor System.


Article IX: Adoption

Section 1. This Constitution shall become effective upon approval by majority vote of the Student Senate and upon the written approval of the Academic Standing Committee, and the written approval of the President of the College.

 

Honor Board Procedural Guidelines

Before the Hearing

Complaints and Notification

Any complainant wishing to bring a case before the Honor Board must contact a Co-Chair, either personally or through the Associate Dean of the College. The Co-Chairs will determine which Co-Chair will preside over the case; to the maximum extent practicable, a single Co-Chair will manage all aspects of a single case.

The presiding Co-Chair will meet confidentially with the complainant to hear the complaint, determine whether the Honor Board will take the case, and collect relevant evidence from the complainant. The presiding Co-Chair will then notify the respondent of the case against him or her as soon as possible after a complaint is filed. The presiding Co-Chair will meet confidentially with the respondent to explain to the accused the charges filed and the nature of the evidence, and to counsel the respondent on his or her rights and responsibilities under the Honor System. The presiding Co-Chair may ask the respondent for a preliminary plea at this time, but the respondent will not be bound by this plea at the hearing.

The presiding Co-Chair will treat information provided in the preliminary meetings by the complainant or respondent as evidence that may be used during the hearing or deliberation, except where the party requests otherwise for some or all of the information provided. The Co-Chair will ensure that the party understands this right at the preliminary meeting.

Both complainant and respondent will choose advisors to help them move through the case and hearing or will have advisors appointed by the Board, as indicated above in V.2. A,C.

Evidentiary Discovery

All parties must submit to the Co-Chair any relevant evidence, including witness lists and witness statements, which they wish to use at the hearing. The Co-Chair will, in the initial interview, collect relevant evidence from the complainant; this may include:

  • An original copy of the assignment or document in question if available.
  • Correspondence between the complainant and respondent concerning the assignment or document.
  • A copy of any course syllabi or related information that may contain information written by the complainant on the Honor Code and its application to coursework conducted within the course.
  • Documentation of medical or psychological difficulties experienced by the respondent at the time of the alleged academic dishonesty (if the Board is to consider them as extenuating circumstances).

If the complainant is not an instructor or advisor for a course or other activity in which the alleged academic dishonesty occurred, then the Co-Chair may also meet with the course instructor or activity advisor to collect this information. The Co-Chair will also collect any related evidence provided by the respondent.

The Co-Chair shall have discretion to determine what evidence is admissible at the hearing, and shall notify all parties of such decisions before the hearing. The Co-Chair shall ensure that all admissible evidence is distributed to the complainant and respondent to aid in preparing a case for the hearing. Moreover, whenever possible, all evidence presented in a case will be made available to the Board at least 24 hours prior to the hearing so that Board members have ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with it and to formulate appropriate questions. Such evidence will be made available in a secure location to all Honor Board members who will be attending a hearing.

H
Knox College Honor Codeearing Scheduling
Once all evidence and the witness list have been compiled and distributed to the parties, the Co-Chair shall schedule a hearing for the first suitable time. All parties must prepare for the hearing in a timely manner. If the hearing is delayed in excess of two academic weeks from the date of the complaint due to reasons outside the Board's control, the Co-Chair, in consultation with the Associate Dean of the College, may take any necessary special action to expedite the proceedings and ensure the attendance of all parties at the hearing.

In the event that the grade for a course is due before a hearing can be held, the course instructor shall be required to list the grade as "Not Reported."

Where possible, Honor Board members will recuse themselves from cases in which they have a personal relationship with a party to the case or where their ability or perceived ability to make an unbiased decision may be in question.

Hearings will not be normally scheduled except when the College is in session. When a respondent asks that a hearing be scheduled after a term has ended, the Associate Dean or Honor Board Co-Chair will determine if a special hearing is warranted and if it can be arranged. If this proves to be the case, a special hearing will be held.

At the Hearing

Hearing Procedure 
At least six members of the Honor Board, including one faculty member, must be present at the hearing. No more than nine members of the Honor Board may be present.

The Co-Chair in charge of the case shall preside at the hearing; it will be his or her sole responsibility to direct the procedure of the hearing. The presiding Co-Chair shall conduct all hearings using the procedures of the Constitution and Procedural Guidelines; the presiding Co-Chair may deviate from the procedure set out in the Procedural Guidelines only if it is not expected to alter the outcome of the case and both the complainant and respondent raise no objection.

The presiding Co-Chair will state the names of the complainant and respondent, the nature of the charge, and the name of instructor of the course (if the case concerns a course) at the beginning of the hearing. All persons present will introduce themselves.

The complainant, respondent, and Honor Board members are permitted to ask questions of any party at any time during the hearing; however, the presiding Co-Chair may reserve the right to rule questions irrelevant or inappropriate. Advisors accompanying the complainant and respondent may offer appropriate questions and comments but wholly at the discretion of the presiding Co-Chair. Witnesses may ask questions at the discretion of the presiding Co-Chair.

The complainant shall present his or her case first, including the reason for bringing the case, the nature of the evidence, and any other information deemed relevant. Other witnesses in support of the complainant shall be heard at this time.

After the complainant has presented, the presiding Co-Chair will ask the respondent if he or she would like to enter a plea of either "guilty" or "not guilty"; the respondent may decide to enter a plea at this or any time during the hearing, or may elect not to enter a plea at all. The respondent shall then present his or her case, and may testify on his or her behalf and read a statement if desired. Other witnesses in support of the respondent shall be heard at this time. If the respondent wishes to present particularly sensitive or confidential testimony, he or she may do so at the end of the hearing, as part of his or her non-accusatory testimony.

After the complainant and respondent have presented evidence relating directly to the alleged academic dishonesty, and all parties and the Board have had an opportunity to ask questions, the presiding Co-Chair will ask the respondent if he or she would like to present non-accusatory testimony. Non-accusatory testimony includes testimony that is not directly related to the alleged academic dishonesty but is nonetheless relevant (such as testimony concerning extenuating circumstances or other special personal circumstances of which the Board should be aware as it deliberates). In keeping with the general principle that all parties have a right to question each other, information or allegations concerning the complainant or other parties to the case must be presented earlier in the hearing. The presiding Co-Chair will excuse the complainant and any remaining witnesses from the remainder of the hearing unless the respondent elects to allow some or all of them to stay.

The presiding Co-Chair will rule any evidence newly introduced at the hearing to be inadmissible unless there is no objection from the parties or the presiding Co-Chair.

Deliberation, Verdict, and Penalty
Only members of the Honor Board may be present during deliberations.

The standard of evidence used to reach a decision is "clear and convincing." The Board will consider, in addition to the evidence of the particular case, the nature of any extenuating circumstances or non-accusatory testimony provided, the statements of expert and character witnesses, and (if relevant) the course instructor's successful fulfillment of the requirements of the Honor Code (such as specifying how the Honor Code applies to assignments completed within the course, especially where there are specialized requirements on collaboration or source use that differ from the blanket policies of the Honor Code).

The Board conducts two deliberations and votes for each case, the first for verdict and the second for penalty. If the respondent has entered a plea of guilty, the Board does not vote on the verdict and moves directly to a consideration of the penalty. The Board must have the agreement of six voting members (seven, when nine voting members are present) to come to a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If a verdict of guilty is reached, the standard penalty shall apply unless six voting members (seven, when nine voting members are present) agree to deviate and assign a specified different penalty. If the Board cannot reach agreement on a verdict, the case is recorded as "no decision," and no penalty is given. Such a case may be reopened, but only if new evidence is available, and only using the procedures set out for appeal to the Dean of the College.

In its decision, the Honor Board strives to preserve a balance among the principles of consistency with precedent, justice to individuals, and the maintenance of the academic community. All Board decisions must fall within the boundaries specified in the Honor Code and the Honor Board Constitution.

After the Hearing

Notification of Parties and Others

Once the Board has determined a verdict and penalty, the presiding Co-Chair will notify the complainant, the respondent, and the Associate Dean of the College of the Board's decision within twenty-four hours of the hearing, using their preferred method of contact.

The Secretary or the presiding Co-Chair will present the case, with identifying information redacted, to the Academic Standing Committee for review. The Academic Standing Committee may not alter the decision of the Honor Board.

Grade Changes
The Associate Dean of the College shall notify the Registrar of grade changes resulting from Honor Board decisions.

Instances of course failure or withdrawal resulting from an Honor Board decision are not recorded specifically as failures of academic dishonesty on transcripts, Educational Development Reports, or other College documentation; any notations of course failure or withdrawal for academic dishonesty are identical to those for failures due to non-attendance or other circumstances.

Records Knox College Honor Code
At the conclusion of the hearing and deliberations, the Co-Chair will collect any additional copies of evidence provided to persons at the hearing for use during the hearing and give it to the Office of Academic Affairs to be destroyed.

The presiding Co-Chair will compose a detailed written statement of the case, describing the nature of the alleged academic dishonesty, the evidence and testimony provided before and at the hearing, and the Honor Board's reasoning in arriving at the verdict and penalty specified. If there is substantial or notable procedural irregularity or a notable disagreement among Board members on interpretation of an issue in the case, the presiding Co-Chair will include this information as well. The Co-Chair will transmit a copy of the case statement, along with original copies of all related evidence, to the Office of Academic Affairs, to be filed. Only the Honor Board, the Office of Academic Affairs, and the President of the College have access to this file.

The presiding Co-Chair will also provide a version of the detailed case statement with all personally identifying information redacted to the Office of Academic Affairs to be filed and transmitted to the Academic Standing Committee. The redacted case statement will be available for viewing in the Office of Academic Affairs at the request of any member of the Knox community, although information contained therein may not be published.

Twice each term, the Secretary will compile a brief, non-confidential description of each case (including only a case reference number, the number of respondents involved in the case, charges brought, plea entered, the Board's decisions of guilt or innocence, penalty assigned, and the result of any appeals proceedings) and provide it to The Knox Student for publication.

Aside from the requirements of Honor Board records, all evidence, testimony, and other personally identifying information pertaining to Honor Board complaints, hearings, and appeals are strictly confidential and should be treated as such by all parties to the case.


Appeals

Appeal to the Dean of the College

The respondent may appeal to the Dean of the College in writing for a rehearing of the case as described in VI.1. Cases may only be reheard for three reasons: new evidence, substantial procedural error on the part of the Honor Board, or bias on the part of the Honor Board.

Appeal to the President of the College
The respondent may appeal to the President of the College in writing for a reduction in penalty as described in VI.2. Further information as to the procedure that the President follows in hearing appeals may be obtained from the President or Associate Dean of the College.

Amendment and Consistency
Amendments to the Procedural Guidelines may be ratified with the support of eight voting members of the Honor Board in consultation with the Associate Dean of the College and when appropriate, the Academic Standing Committee.

No amendment to the Procedural Guidelines may contradict any provision of the Honor Board Constitution. The provisions of the Procedural Guidelines shall only be followed to the extent that they comply with all provisions of the Honor Board Constitution.

All Honor Board Proceedings Are Confidential
The identity of the accused, accuser, witnesses and course is revealed only to those at the hearing and to the Associate Dean. Honor Board actions are not shown per se on a student's academic record. Honor Board records are kept in confidential files, and cases are placed in the non-confidential files only after a student has left Knox permanently and his or her name has been removed from the case record.

A brief, non-confidential description of each case will be given by the presiding chairperson to a Knox publication for circulation.

Honor Board decisions may be appealed according to the provisions of the Honor Board Constitution.