The Process

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 (see our Faculty FAQ page for tips on how to conduct this conversation).

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 concern of a possible violation, should an official report be filed.

If you are Respondent, you must report to the Honor Council within two business days 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 report the matter following your conversation with the student (or good faith effort to do so) by filling out the online report 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--see Appendix I of the Honor Code for a list).

  • 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 the student 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 available, the SEP refers the matter for a hearing; if not, the SEP dismisses the matter.
    • 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 Community Values & Restorative Practices (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 seven 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 Appendix I of the Honor Code 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 review the evidence, ask questions during the hearing, and determine 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 moves immediately into a sanctions hearing. The only parties involved in the sanctions phase of the hearing are the Chair, the panel, the Respondent, the PA and the student's character witnesses, if any. The Respondent is permitted 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 violation and any extraordinary circumstances affecting the student.
See our FAQ section and the Student Handbook for more information.

Appeals

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 seven days of written notification of the outcome by Community Values & Restorative Practices. 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.