The Process

The Honor process may seem complex, but there are many resources available to assist both the respondent and the person reporting the possible violation. Read more about the Honor process and check out our flow chart (PDF) of the process from start to finish.
The Community of Trust 

Students, faculty and staff are all considered "stewards" of the community of trust. The Honor Code presumes that our community is trustworthy; thus, it is necessary to confront behavior before one reports a matter for review by the Council. Our process begins with a personal discussion whereby the person observing the conduct asks for an explanation. Only if the explanation proves inadequate to negate the inference of a possible violation, should an official report be filed.

If you are Respondent, you must report to the Honor Council within 24 hours or resign from the university following notice from the Reporting Party that he/she will be reporting the matter. If you are a Reporting Party, you may initiate contact with the Council by filling out the online turn-in form.

How the Process Works


An Overview of the Process (for more detail, please see the Student Handbook)

Our Code requires providing the suspected student with the opportunity to explain the conduct prior to formal Honor Council Action.  For more information about this requirement, see "The Community of Trust" section above.  Some academic violations involving undergraduate students may be eligible for Early Resolution (first time, low-level violations only).

  • For reports that are either ineligible for or that do not resolve in Early Resolution [FN1]
    • The reporter submits a report using our online report form.
    • The Chair reviews the report to determine proper jurisdiction.
    • The Procedural Advisor meets with the Respondent and reviews his or her rights. The PA also contacts the Reporting Party to inform him/her of rights and to offer to serve as a resource throughout the process.
    • The Chair appoints an investigating committee that typically has up to seven (7) days to investigate a case (unless given an extension by the Chair).
    • If the student wants to provide information regarding physical or emotional health to be considered by the Council, the student must do so by submitting information to the Medical Review Committee.  The Honor Council does not accept medical records directly, and any claimed medical or emotional health issues must be evaluated by the MRC, and this information then is shared with the Council.
    • The Sufficient Evidence Panel reviews the report and determines if insufficient evidence exists to proceed to a hearing.  If sufficient evidence is unavaiable, the SEP dismisses the matter; if not, the matter is referred for a hearing.
    • A student has the presumption of innocence until found responsible for a violation. The hearing is the opportunity for the Council to review all relevant information and to question witnesses. If the panel finds insufficient evidence to find a student in violation, it dismisses the matter. If the panel finds the student responsible, it proceeds to the sanctioning portion of the hearing.
    • After the hearing (usually the following day), the Director of Student Conduct (or designee) reviews the Honor Council outcome and meets with the Chair and the student to deliver sanctions. The Director then sends the student and the Reporting Party official written outcome and provides the student with information regarding appeal.
    • The student has five working days from receiving official written notification to file an appeal of the decision. The appeal is directed to the Appeals Committee which is appointed by the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Early Resolution Option (only applicable in undergraduate cases)
    • For certain allegations of academic dishonesty where a faculty member is the Reporting Party, may be eligible for an Early Faculty/Student Resolution (see the violations chart for more information regarding whether a particular situation is eligible or contact the Office of Student Conduct at 221-2509 or consult the flow chart).
The Hearing

During the school year, the Council typically conducts hearings Monday through Thursday, generally in the early evening. The hearing is comprised of two phases: the Judgment Hearing and the Sanctions Hearing (if necessary). These two hearings typically are held on the same night if possible.

The Judgment Hearing

At the judgment hearing, six Council members serve as the panel. These individuals are charged with reviewing the evidence, asking questions during the hearing, and determining whether the student has violated the Code. The Respondent, the Reporting Party, witnesses, the Procedural Advisor (PA), the Investigating Committee Chair (ICC), the Student Advisor, and the Chair also are present in the hearing.  The ICC will conduct initial questioning of all involved parties. The Respondent is permitted to make brief opening and closing statements. All parties may be questioned during the hearing, but there is no cross-examination as you would find in a court of law.

The Sanctions Hearing

If the panel finds the student responsible for the violation(s), usually the panel will move immediately into a sanctions hearing. The only parties involved in the sanctions phase of the hearing are the Chair, the panel of six members, the Respondent, the PA and the student's character witnesses, if any.
The Respondent is allowed up to two character witnesses and may also submit letters relevant to sanctioning.  During the sanctions hearing, the panel determines the appropriate sanction(s) for the student. In accomplishing this, the panel reviews the student's prior record (if any) and the circumstances of the offense and the student.
See our FAQ section and the Student Handbook for more information.

Appeals

All students found in violation of the Honor Code or the Code of Conduct are entitled to appeal. Appeals are limited to specific grounds as specified in the Student Handbook. Regardless of the type of case, a student may always appeal the sanction(s) imposed.

Appeals of Violations of the Student Code of Conduct

Students who resolve their case via Administrative Resolution are limited to appealing the sanction(s) imposed.  Students who request formal hearings may appeal on the basis of procedural irregularity, discrimination in the hearing, lack of a preponderance of evidence, excessive or inappropriate sanction, or newly discovered material evidence unknown at the time of the hearing.

Appeals of Violations of the Honor Code

Students found responsible for an honor violation may appeal the outcome on the grounds outlined in Section XII of the Honor Code.  Appeals are due within five five business days of written notification by the Dean of Students Office of the outcome of the hearing. Appeals are reviewed by the Appeals Committee through the Vice President for Student Affairs and, if the committee finds possible merit in the appeal, by the Provost who makes the final decision.