Honor Code

Overview

For nearly a century, academic integrity has been maintained on the Emory campus through the student initiated and regulated Honor Code.

All students who apply to and are accepted by Emory College, as a condition of acceptance, agree to abide by the provisions of the Honor Code so long as they remain students at Emory College. By their continued attendance at Emory College, students reaffirm their pledge to adhere to the provisions of the Honor Code.

The Undergraduate Code of Conduct provides information about the behavioral expectations relating to non-academic conduct.

The Emory College Honor Council website provides additional information about the Honor System at Emory.

For questions about the Honor Code, or to report a possible violation, please contact:

Ms. Blaire Wilson, Assistant Director of the Honor Council, at 404-727-8928, or blaire.wilson@emory.edu.

PREAMBLE

Emory College of Arts and Sciences is a community of students and scholars that is steadfast in its commitment to academic integrity. All members of this community are bound by a shared duty to uphold the highest level of academic honesty. While the College is committed to establishing and maintaining an Honor Code that protects us from all forms of academic misconduct, this community of integrity cannot thrive unless we embody, in all academic pursuits, the core principles of honesty and fairness. Emory’s mission—to create and apply knowledge in the service of humanity—can only be fulfilled when we, as its members, value the great responsibility we have been entrusted and conduct our lives to the dictates of the highest integrity.

 

ARTICLE 1: HONOR COUNCIL

There shall be a body to be known as the Honor Council, charged with the duties of presenting the honor system to all freshmen and new students and acting as a fact-finding body for the determination of Honor Code violations. The Honor Council shall recommend the consequences for dishonesty in academic work.

 

ARTICLE 2: MEMBERSHIP OF THE HONOR COUNCIL

Section 1. The Honor Council shall consist of no fewer than fifteen (15) and no more than twenty-five (25) student members and six (6) students eligible to serve on the Appeal Panel. Only students enrolled in the College whose primary program of study is offered by the College shall be eligible for membership. Students shall not become eligible for membership until the second semester of their sophomore year in the College. Membership shall be announced by May 1. Each member of the Honor Council and Appeal Panel shall normally be eligible to serve until graduation. In the case of a member or eligible student who does not register for any semester (exclusive of any summer enrollment period), the Dean of the College shall name a replacement until the next regular selection of members under Section 3 of this article.

Section 2. The executive head of the Honor Council shall be a Chairperson who shall be nominated by the Dean of the College and approved by a majority vote of the members of the Council. The Chairperson shall serve not more than twelve (12) months. The Dean of the College may create other officer positions to assist the Chairperson. The Dean shall nominate members to fulfill these roles, and their appointment shall be approved by a majority of the members of the Honor Council. The Chairperson and any other officers shall be privileged to vote on all questions.

Section 3. A selection committee drawn from student members and faculty advisors of the Honor Council shall be appointed by the Dean of the College and the Chairperson of the Honor Council. It shall also include at least one (1) representative of the College Council chosen in consultation with the President of the College Council. The selection committee will reduce the list of applicants to two (2) times the number of vacant seats. The Honor Council shall then make the final selection of members and of the pool of students eligible to serve on the Appeal Panel.

Section 4. A quorum of the Honor Council shall be four (4) of the student members. No member of the Honor Council may hear a case when he or she is a reporting party or witness or otherwise has a conflict of interest. If a quorum cannot be assembled for a hearing, the Dean of the College may appoint student members of the Appeal Panel as temporary members in order to reach a quorum. If a quorum is still not achieved, the Dean may appoint sufficient temporary members from the pool of students who would be eligible to serve on the Honor Council as defined in Section 1 of this article. The Dean shall train any temporary members before they may hear a case.  

Section 5. The Dean shall annually appoint no fewer than ten (10) faculty advisors to the Honor Council. These advisors shall assist the Honor Council members in investigations and participate as voting members in hearings of the Honor Council.

Section 6. The Dean may convene a Summer Honor Council to adjudicate cases reported at the conclusion of the spring semester or during the summer session. The Summer Honor Council shall consist of no fewer than five (5) members. All current members of the Honor Council are eligible to serve. If there is not a sufficient number of members to adjudicate cases, the Dean may extend the term of members of the Honor Council who graduated in the preceding spring semester or appoint a sufficient number of temporary members, who shall serve on the Honor Council until the start of the fall semester.

Section 7. The Dean may temporarily or permanently remove from the Honor Council any member who compromises the integrity of the Honor Code process, fails to meet the duties of the position, is unable to participate objectively and without bias, or is reported for an Honor Code violation. Should the Honor Council member wish to contest this temporary or permanent removal, a written appeal of the decision may be submitted to the Appeal Panel within seven days of receiving the Dean’s decision. The Appeal Panel shall review the circumstances that led to the removal and make a final, non-appealable recommendation that the Dean’s decision be upheld, modified, or overturned.

ARTICLE 3: JURISDICTION

All students enrolled in any course or program at Emory College of Arts and Sciences are expected to abide by the Emory College Honor Code. The Emory College Honor Council shall have jurisdiction over cases of academic misconduct that occur in any course within Emory College, regardless of the degree program in which the student is enrolled. The Emory College Honor Council will report all decisions, including verdicts and recommended sanctions, to the dean of the school in which the reported student is enrolled. The dean of the respective school may accept or modify the recommended sanction before reporting it to the student. The student may appeal the decision, according to the procedures listed in Article 7 below.

An Emory College student who enrolls in a course or program in another school of Emory University must abide by the Honor Code of that school. Cases of alleged academic misconduct will be decided by the Honor Council of the school where the violation occurred. Upon the conclusion of any such case, the verdict and recommended sanction will be reported to the Dean of Emory College, who may accept or modify the recommended sanction. The student may appeal the decision, according to the procedures set forth in the Honor Code of the school where the violation occurred.

In cases when the Honor Council has appropriate jurisdiction that may overlap with another school, the Dean of the College has discretion to recommend that a case be remanded to the school in which the student is enrolled. Moreover, the Emory College Honor Council may hear cases that originate in other schools upon the request of the dean of the school in which the student is enrolled.

In cases when an Honor Code violation is reported after a student has graduated and the violation relates to a course that was required for the conferral of the degree, the Dean has discretion to refer the allegation to the Honor Council for adjudication. The Honor Council may recommend and the Dean may enforce any outcome enumerated in the Honor Code in Article 4, Section 1.i, including revocation of the degree.

 

ARTICLE 4: ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

Section 1. Academic misconduct is generally defined as any action or inaction which is offensive to the integrity and honesty of the members of the academic community. In addition to the violations enumerated in this article, instructors within Emory College of Arts and Sciences have reasonable discretion to establish specific standards and policies as related to their courses and assignments. Such additional standards and policies should be clearly articulated in the syllabus, in an assignment, or otherwise conveyed as an expectation by the instructor. It is the responsibility of each student to understand the policies established in the Honor Code, syllabi, and assignments, and act accordingly.

The Honor Code shall include an appendix that provides information about common forms of academic misconduct. The Emory College Honor Council will update the appendix on a regular basis. As the purpose of the appendix is to provide information and instruction about academic integrity, it may be revised without amendment.

Section 2. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

(a) Seeking, acquiring, receiving, or giving information about the content or conduct of an examination, knowing that the release of such information has not been authorized;

(b) Plagiarizing, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in any assignment;

(c) Seeking, using, giving, or obtaining unauthorized assistance or information in any academic assignment or examination;

(d) Intentionally giving false information to professors, instructors, or university officials for the purpose of gaining academic advantage;

(e) Seeking to gain or to provide an unfair advantage during course registration;

(f) Falsifying, altering, or fabricating academic records, forms, or correspondence, including, but not limited to, transcripts, withdrawal forms, degree applications, or letters of recommendation, whether the documents/information are submitted within Emory University or to a third party;

(g) Intentionally sabotaging the academic work of another student;

(h) Intentionally giving false testimony or evidence in any Honor Council hearing or refusing to give evidence when requested by the Honor Council;

(i) Harassing, threatening, coercing, or bribing witnesses involved in any Honor Code case;

(j) Violating the Electronic Device Policy as described in Section 3 of this article;

(k) Violating the Testing Policy as described in Section 4 of this article; and

(l) Breaching any duties prescribed by this code.

Section 3. Electronic Device Policy: The use of a cell phone, smartphone, tablet, laptop, or similar device for any reason during times of examination or evaluation, including quizzes, tests, midterm and final exams, or similar assignments, shall be prohibited. Instructors are entitled to make exceptions to allow the use of an electronic device for any exam. In the absence of explicit permission to use such a device, it is assumed that such devices are not permitted.   

If a student is found using an electronic device during an exam or similar assignment, the instructor should inform the student of the issue and may ask the student to store the device until the completion of the exam. The instructor should allow the student to complete the exam before reporting the incident to the Honor Council.  

Section 4. Testing Policy: Instructors are entitled to establish reasonable policies to protect the security and integrity of their examinations, including quizzes, tests, midterm and final exams, and similar assignments. These policies may include, but are not limited, to: prohibitions against large bags, coats, hats, notebooks, electronic devices, or course materials; requirements to place materials unrelated to the examination outside or at the front of the classroom; assigning seats to students; moving students during an examination; requiring a student to stop writing when time is called; and prohibiting the replication of exam materials or their removal from the testing environment. Any additional policies should be outlined in the syllabus and/or written instructions for the exam.

If a student fails to comply with the stated policies of the exam prior to the start of the exam, the instructor may withhold the exam until the student complies with the testing policies (the instructor shall not be compelled to provide additional time for the completion of the exam). If a student fails to comply with or violates the stated policies of the exam after the exam has begun, the instructor may take reasonable steps to secure the integrity of the exam, but should allow the student to complete the exam before reporting the incident to the Honor Council. 

 

ARTICLE 5: REPORTING CASES

It is the responsibility of every member of the faculty, staff, and student body to cooperate in supporting the honor system. In accordance with this responsibility, when an individual suspects that an offense of academic misconduct has occurred, the individual shall report the suspected breach to the course instructor, a member of the Honor Council, a faculty advisor to the Honor Council, the Honor Council administration, or the Dean of the College. The Dean may dismiss the allegation without referring it for a further investigation, if upon preliminary review, the conduct does not appear to constitute academic misconduct, if there is insufficient evidence to pursue an investigation, or if the Dean deems the suspected offense trivial in nature.

 

ARTICLE 6: PROCEDURE

Section 1. (a)  On receipt of a report of a suspected violation, the Dean shall inform the reported student in writing of the course and work involved in the allegation and shall refer the student to the Emory College Honor Code website. If the report is referred by the Dean for an investigation, the Chairperson of the Honor Council shall designate one (1) member of the Honor Council and one (1) faculty advisor to investigate the charge. The investigators shall meet with the reporting party and separately with the reported student, may interview other potential witnesses, and shall review any documentary and physical evidence deemed relevant by the Council. The reported student may suggest the names of witnesses who can provide information and additional documentary or physical evidence not previously brought to the attention of the investigators. If the investigators determine that there is no reasonable suspicion that an Honor Code violation occurred, they shall recommend to the Dean that the case be dismissed. If, instead, the investigators determine there is a reasonable suspicion of an Honor Code violation, they shall refer the case to a hearing.

(b) If the investigators recommend the case be dismissed, they shall promptly prepare and submit a report of the investigation to the Dean. If the Dean accepts the recommendation, the Dean shall notify the student in writing of the decision as quickly as possible and normally within seven days. If the Dean does not accept the recommendation, the student shall be referred to a hearing according to the procedures outlined below.

(c) If a decision is made to refer the case for a full hearing, the Honor Council student investigator shall schedule the full hearing as promptly as possible and shall notify the reported student of the date and time.

(d) Full hearings shall be fair and impartial. Formal rules of evidence do not apply to Honor Council proceedings.  On a case-by-case basis, the Honor Council has broad discretion in considering and weighing information it deems relevant, in the form of documents, witness testimony/accounts, and other forms of information, in its proceedings. Witnesses will testify without oath, but with the understanding of university policies applicable to their participation, and written statements may be submitted from unavailable witnesses. With the exception of testifying witnesses, only the members of the Honor Council, the faculty advisors to the Honor Council, the reported student, and the student’s advisor, may be present during the hearing. The student members of the Honor Council and the faculty advisors to the Honor Council may attend the hearing either as deliberating members or as silent observers for the purposes of training. The reported student shall have the right to testify and to make a closing statement. The reported student may be accompanied by a student or faculty member of the College as an advisor for purposes of consultation, but neither the reported student nor the advisor shall have the right to directly question witnesses. Rather, the reported student may request that the members of the Honor Council ask specific questions of the reporting party and any witness, and the Honor Council has discretion to determine whether the question is relevant and should be asked, to reframe the question as deemed appropriate, or to decline to ask the question based on irrelevance. The Chairperson may suspend the hearing at any point in order to provide additional time to collect evidence, to resolve questions related to the case, to clarify answers to procedural questions, or to provide sufficient additional time for the testimony and deliberation. If the hearing is suspended, the Chairperson shall reconvene the meeting at the earliest possible date, but within seven days, absent extenuating circumstances.

(e) For cases in which multiple students are suspected of the same violation or a related violation, the Dean shall decide whether a single collective hearing for all reported students or an individual hearing for each reported student is appropriate. In either case, any of the reported students may be accompanied by a student or faculty member of the College as an advisor, so long as that advisor is not involved as a reported student or witness in the case or otherwise has a conflict of interest. Should the Honor Council hold a single hearing for all students involved, each student shall have the right to hear the testimony of any witness other than those students reported as part of the same case. Should the Honor Council hold individual hearings for each student involved, the Honor Council may require the reported students to appear as witnesses at the individual hearings.

(f) For cases in which one student is suspected of multiple violations in a single class, the Honor Council may hold a single hearing to consider all charges. For cases in which one student is suspected of violations in multiple classes, the Honor Council shall normally hold separate hearings to consider charges in each class; however, the reported student may make a request to the Dean that all charges be resolved at a single hearing. The Dean has the discretion to grant or deny the request.

(g) Should there be a suspicion that a reported student has deliberately misrepresented information while testifying or has provided false evidence, the Honor Council may consider additional charges at the hearing provided that the reported student has an opportunity to respond to those charges.  In addition, the Honor Council may appropriately refer matters to the student conduct office that has jurisdiction over the student’s actions.

(h) At the conclusion of the evidence, the investigator shall make a brief report about the findings of the investigation and may discuss the strength or weakness of any evidence involved. The Honor Council and faculty advisors may ask additional questions of any party before retiring to deliberate in private. Only evidence presented at the hearing will be considered in reaching a decision. For a finding of an Honor Code violation, the Honor Council must determine by a unanimous vote of four (4) Honor Council members and one (1) faculty advisor that there is clear and convincing evidence of a violation.  “Clear and convincing” evidence means that a particular fact(s) is substantially more likely to be true than not to be true. If the reported student is found responsible, the Honor Council shall recommend any consequence(s) by majority vote.

(i)  The following consequences may be imposed after a finding of academic misconduct:

(1) An educational program;

(2) A verbal reprimand without an entry on the student's Personal Performance Record;

(3) A written reprimand with an entry on the student's Personal Performance Record;

(4) A zero on the assignment or other penalty to the student’s grade on the assignment or the course;

(5) A failing grade in the course, which will appear on the student’s permanent transcript;

(6) Suspension (specifying the period of suspension);

(7) Permanent exclusion from Emory University;

(8) Revocation of an Emory College degree that has been previously awarded;

(9) Such combination of sanctions or other sanction as may appear appropriate.

(j) After the hearing, the Honor Council shall promptly prepare a summary report of information that was considered in reaching its findings, which shall be transmitted to the Dean of the College with the accompanying recommendation and all documentary and physical evidence before the Honor Council. The Dean may impose the recommended consequences or consequences of greater or lesser severity. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Dean shall notify the student in writing of the Dean’s decision and the consequences imposed within ten days.

Section 2. (a)  A reported student may, in an appropriate case, request an expedited hearing in writing to the Dean. Use of the expedited hearing procedure is appropriate in cases where there is evidence that the reported student has committed some violation of the Honor Code, the student admits to violating the Honor Code, and formally requests an expedited hearing before a special three-person panel rather than a full hearing before the Honor Council. Prior to the expedited hearing, the reported student must waive the right to appeal the decision and must acknowledge that use of the expedited hearing procedure does not in any way imply a recommendation for a lesser penalty.

(b) In each expedited hearing the special three-person hearing panel shall normally consist of:

(1) The Dean of the College;

(2) The Chairperson (or another voting student member of the Honor Council); and

(3) A faculty advisor of the Honor Council.

(c) The panel will hear an admission of violating the Honor Code directly from the reported student, receive all evidence previously gathered by the investigating team, and may receive any additional statements from the reported student and ask questions as the panel deems useful. After the reported student and the student's advisor leave the hearing room, the members of the panel shall review the evidence and the reported student's admission of violating the Honor Code to decide if an independent finding of the alleged Honor Code violation is warranted. If the panel unanimously determines that the admission of violating the Honor Code is acceptable in light of all the evidence, then the panel members upon reviewing all relevant factors shall determine by majority vote an appropriate consequence. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Dean shall notify the student in writing of the outcome of the hearing within seven days.

Section 3. (a) For cases reported in the same term that a student is scheduled to graduate or cases in which the student will not be enrolled in classes on Emory’s campus during the next regular term, the Dean has discretion to offer the student an administrative hearing, which will be held before a special three-person panel. The student in question holds the right to accept the administrative hearing or have his or her case heard in the next regular term according to the procedures outlined in Article 6, Section 1. Unlike an expedited hearing, the use of an administrative hearing does not require the student to admit to a violation, and the reported student retains the right to appeal the verdict and sanction. In pursuing an administrative hearing, the student waives the right to a full investigation of the case and will appear before a small panel, which will render a decision about the case.

(b) Should the reported student accept the opportunity for an administrative hearing, the Dean shall collect any evidence and a written statement from the reporting party and present these to the reported student at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing.

(c) The administrative hearing panel shall consist of:

(1) The Dean of the College;

(2) The Chairperson (or another voting student member of the Honor Council); and

(3) A faculty advisor of the Honor Council.

(d) Administrative hearings shall be fair and impartial. Formal rules of evidence do not apply to Honor Council proceedings.  On a case-by-case basis, the Honor Council has broad discretion in considering and weighing information it deems relevant, in the form of documents, witness testimony/accounts, and other forms of information, in its proceedings. Witnesses will testify without oath, but with the understanding of university policies applicable to their participation, and written statements may be submitted from unavailable witnesses. With the exception of testifying witnesses, only the members of the administrative hearing panel, the reported student, and the student’s advisor, may be present during the hearing. The reported student shall have the right to testify and to make a closing statement. The reported student may be accompanied by a student or faculty member of the College as an advisor for purposes of consultation, but neither the reported student nor the advisor shall have the right to directly question witnesses. Rather, the reported student may request that the members of the administrative hearing panel ask specific questions of the reporting party and any witness, and the administrative hearing panel has discretion to determine whether the question is relevant and should be asked, to reframe the question as deemed appropriate, or to decline to ask the question based on irrelevance. The Dean may suspend the hearing at any point in order to provide additional time to collect evidence, to resolve questions related to the case, to clarify answers to procedural questions, or to provide sufficient additional time for the testimony and deliberation. If the hearing is suspended, the Dean shall reconvene the meeting at the earliest possible date, but within seven days, absent extenuating circumstances.

(e) For a finding of an Honor Code violation, the panel must determine by a unanimous vote that there is clear and convincing evidence of a violation.  “Clear and convincing” evidence means that a particular fact(s) is substantially more likely to be true than not to be true. An appropriate consequence will be sanctioned by majority vote. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Dean shall notify the student in writing of the Dean’s decision and the consequences imposed within seven days.  The student will have the right to appeal the decision according to the procedures set forth in Article 7.  

Section 4. (a) If a reported student fails to respond to messages of the Honor Council in a timely manner or is absent from any investigative meetings or hearings without good cause, the Honor Council may investigate and/or hear the case in the student’s absence.

(b) A student may not withdraw from a course in which an Honor Council investigation is pending. Should a student withdraw from a course, and it is later determined that the student’s work was in violation of the Honor Code, the Dean may impose a grade of F or WF upon the recommendation of the Honor Council.

(c) The procedures for investigations and hearings may be modified at the discretion of the Dean in response to any exigencies. These changes shall normally be limited to modifications of the size or composition of investigation teams and hearing panels. The reported student shall have the right to accept any modifications or to reject the modifications and resolve the case according to the procedures outlined in Article 6.   

 

ARTICLE 7: APPEAL

(a) A decision by the Honor Council and/or the sanction(s) imposed may be appealed to the Dean of the College. Such appeal must be submitted to the Dean within seven (7) days after the student has been given written notification of the Honor Council decision and sanction from the Dean. As part of the appeal, the student must present to the Dean a written statement of the basis for the appeal. If the Dean has not received such a written statement within the specified time, the decision of the Honor Council will stand.

(b) Upon receipt of an appeal, the Dean shall appoint an Appeal Panel of four (4) persons to advise the Dean concerning the outcome of the case. The Appeal Panel shall consist of two (2) Emory College faculty members and two (2) students, who have had no prior involvement in the case.

(c) The panel shall review the records in the case and make a recommendation to the Dean. The Appeal Panel may consult with members of the Honor Council. The Dean may then deny the appeal and affirm the finding(s) and sanction(s), modify the sanction(s), or request that the case be remanded to the Honor Council for a rehearing that will adhere to the process and rules outlined in Article 7 section d.

(d) If the panel determines that the case should be remanded to the Honor Council for a rehearing, the Chairperson of the Honor Council shall schedule a hearing that includes only Honor Council members who have had no prior involvement in the case. A total of four (4) members and one (1) faculty advisor shall be appointed for the rehearing. If four Honor Council members are not available, then students on the Appeal Panel who have had no prior involvement in the case may complete the quorum of four student members. The Dean shall also ask one member of the Appeal Panel to attend the hearing as a non-voting member. The Appeal Panel member will ensure that the concerns of the Appeal Panel are addressed at the hearing and may participate in the deliberation but may not vote on the question of whether the Honor Code was violated. In general, any and all evidence available at the first hearing shall be available to the Honor Council at the rehearing, including reporting parties and witnesses, unless the basis for the rehearing was related to reliance on problematic information or evidence. Should reporting parties or witnesses be deemed unavailable by the Dean, a written statement should be provided if possible. The rehearing shall conform to the procedures outlined in Article 6, Section 1 d-j, from this point forward.

(e) When the proceedings of the Appeal Panel are concluded, the Appeal Panel shall confer with the Dean who shall render a final decision on the appeal and inform the student of the decision in writing.

 

ARTICLE 8: HONOR PLEDGE

Each student in the College assumes the Honor Pledge, and has a duty to know the Honor Code and its provisions. If a professor has special or additional requirements beyond the standards articulated in the Honor Code, the professor must explain the additional course requirements at the beginning of the semester or before any assignment to which these requirements apply.

 

ARTICLE 9: MISCELLANEOUS

(a) All proceedings under the Honor Code are confidential and those participating in the proceedings have a duty to keep information related to it confidential.  Breaches of the requirement for confidentiality are addressed through this Code, any applicable conduct codes, or employee action for breaches of university policy. Nothing in this paragraph shall restrict communication to officials of the University where knowledge is necessary in the performance of the officials' duties, nor shall it restrict disclosure required by law.

(b) Wherever "Dean" or "Dean of the College" appears in this Code, each shall include any person designated by the Dean of Emory College to act for the Dean.

(c) Wherever "Chair, Chairperson, or Chairperson of the Honor Council" appears in this Code, each shall include any member of the Honor Council designated by the Chairperson of the Honor Council to act in the Chair’s stead.

(d) Amendment of this Code shall be by two thirds (2/3) vote of the student members of the Honor Council, with the consent of the Dean, subject to ratification by a majority of those Emory College students voting in an election for that purpose.

(e) There shall be an Emory College Committee for Academic Integrity formed for the purpose of striving to prevent academic dishonesty and misconduct through educational programs and endorsing the positive promotion of academic integrity on campus. It will seek to cultivate students with an enhanced understanding of, and appreciation for, academic and individual honesty.

Effective January 10, 2017. This version of the Honor Code supersedes all previous versions.