Honor Hearing Procedures

From IV Initial Procedures of Senate Document 06-08

A. It is hoped that most allegations of academic dishonesty will be resolved before any formal request for an Honor Hearing becomes necessary.

Such resolution may be achieved through discussions among the accused student(s) and accusing professor, perhaps with the mediation of the Department Head. Resolution may also be achieved through existing departmental or school procedures for handling cases of alleged dishonesty. Further, the Chair of the Honor Council may be contacted to act as an intermediary; the Chair may attempt to work out a resolution agreeable to both parties prior to any formal request for an Honor Hearing. Regardless, the student challenging the allegation of dishonesty is required to meet with the accusing instructor and the Head of the department that offered the course in question, either separately or jointly.

B. If a resolution agreeable to both parties (accused student and accusing instructor) cannot be achieved, the student may submit a formal request for an Honor Hearing.

C. The formal request must be made in writing to the Chair of the Honor Council. A request for an Honor Hearing must be based on one of the following claims:

  1. The allegation of academic dishonesty is false.
  2. The instructor’s allegation of academic dishonesty and/or the subsequent penalty issued are in violation of university policy.

A student’s request for an Honor Hearing based on the first claim above must describe clearly the factual circumstances surrounding the allegation and the student’s basis for claiming that no academic dishonesty occurred. Since the Chair of the Honor Council will typically be an excellent resource along these lines, the student should contact the Chair for guidance. A student’s request for an Honor Hearing based on the second claim above must describe clearly the university policy in question and the factual events that are being cited as violating that policy. Since the Office of the Dean of Students will typically be an excellent resource for students along these lines, the student should contact that office for guidance.

D. A screening process will be in place to ensure that the formal request for an Honor Hearing has minimal merit. A three-person screening panel, consisting of the Chair of the Honor Council, a representative from the Office of the Dean of Students, and the student government representative to the Honor Council, will review the formal request. Only the unanimous agreement among the three members that the request is without merit will prevent it from going forward to an Honor Hearing.

From V Honor Hearing Procedures of Senate Document 06-08)

A. Each Honor Hearing will be heard by seven (7) members of the Honor Council: five students (including the student government representative) and two faculty members. (The student government representative will not, however, serve on a second Honor Hearing – one that has resulted from a successful appeal of a first Honor Hearing. See Section VI below.) The seven individuals for a particular Honor Hearing will be chosen by the Chair of the Honor Council.

B. The Chair of each Honor Hearing will be the Chair of the Honor Council, charged with the responsibility of overseeing the events of the Honor Hearing and ensuring the procedural integrity of the process. The Chair will not be voting on the outcome of any Honor Hearing and thus should not be present for the deliberations of the seven Council members who will be voting on the outcome. In an instance where the Chair of the Council is not able to chair a particular Honor Hearing, he/she may designate a faculty member of the Council to oversee the proceedings of that case.

C. There will be no initial burden of proof on either party. Rather, the seven members of the Honor Council judging a particular Honor Hearing will be instructed to base their decisions on the question of which side (accusing professor or accused student) presents the more compelling case.

D. The student and the instructor may each have an advisor present at the hearing. Each party has the right to present evidence and witnesses on their behalf and to challenge evidence and to question opposing witnesses. Advisors shall be allowed to advise the parties concerned, but shall not be allowed to address the panel or witnesses directly.

E. An Honor Hearing shall proceed in the following manner:

  1. Instructor’s presentation of witnesses and evidence.
  2. Student’s cross-examination of witnesses.
  3. Student’s presentation of witnesses and evidence.
  4. Instructor’s cross-examination of witnesses.
  5. Question period by the Honor Hearing members.
  6. Instructor’s final statement.
  7. Student’s final statement.

F. The decision of each Honor Hearing will be on the basis of a majority vote of the seven Council members hearing that case. A secretary will be chosen from among the two faculty representatives of the Honor Hearing, charged with the responsibility of writing up the decision that was reached and a brief statement of the rationale for that decision. This will be submitted to the Chair of the Honor Council within 48 hours of the Hearing. The Chair will then submit his/her own letter to the student and professor, within the subsequent 48 hours, informing them of the decision.