Faculty Voice Few Opinions During Honor Code Discussion

Faculty Members Also Discuss New Policies for Online Courses at First Meeting

Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences offered little feedback on a draft of what could be the College’s first-ever honor code at their monthly meeting Tuesday, after Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris asked to table discussion of a requirement that students sign an affirmation of integrity on all academic work.

Harris’s comments, which elicited just three questions from members of the faculty, centered on the benefits of student engagement with academic integrity, while refraining from voicing a strong opinion against or in favor of one of the most controversial sections of the draft.

“I do want to stress that everything that we’re proposing here, with one exception...is the product of a lot of research,” Harris said, singling out the integrity declaration on each piece of written academic work. Harris, chair of the Academic Integrity Committee that drafted the code, said that the committee chose to include  the line because other schools tended to incorporate a similar requirement in their own code, and not due to research backing the potential efficacy of the stipulation.

In lieu of formal discussion, Harris promised to create “some kind of consulting group” to assess the requirement.

Despite Harris’s attempt to table the discussion, one faculty member raised concerns about the requirement, noting that many other faculty members felt similarly about the affirmation.

Harris responded by saying that the University could not avoid legal structures.

Physics professor Melissa E. B. Franklin asked about an honor code for faculty members, raising the question of a partnership between students and their professors regarding academic integrity.

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