Faculty Council Approves Honor Code Proposal, Advancing Legislation to Full Faculty

The Faculty Councilthe Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ top elected bodyvoted Wednesday to approve legislation creating the College’s first ever honor code, which includes an honor board to hear cases of alleged violations of academic integrity.

The legislation will likely go before the full Faculty for a vote next Tuesday, according to standard procedure of the body. If approved, the honor code would likely go into effect at the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year.

“I think it is important that we make progress toward instituting the Honor Code and the Honor Board quickly, and therefore hope that it will be approved at our next Faculty Meeting,” History professor Alison Frank Johnson, a member of the Faculty Council, wrote in an email Thursday.

The faculty most recently reviewed a draft of the proposal at its monthly meeting in April. Most of the discussion surrounding the possible code at that meeting centered on the issue of how frequently students would be required to make an affirmation of integrity.

That question remains unanswered in the legislation approved by the Faculty Council, Johnson said. Instead, it delegates the decision to the dean of the College, a stipulation that was previously stated in the draft distributed to faculty members in April.

“I voted in favor of a proposal that left this open because I think it is wise to leave some discretion on this matter to the incoming dean,” Johnson wrote in an email. “I did not believe that resolving this [question] should delay the proposed introduction of an Honor Code and Honor Board.”

Incoming Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana would have a year to decide on the frequency with which students would make the affirmation. His office would also be responsible for working out the honor board and its relationship with the Administrative Board, the College’s existing disciplinary body.

According to a draft of the code distributed before last month’s faculty meeting, the honor code would not include a requirement that students report instances of cheating that they observe. In addition, under the new policy, exams would continued to be proctored. Alleged violations of academic integrity would be heard by an honor board partly made up of student members, separate from the Ad Board.

—Staff writer Steven R. Watros can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveWatros.