The Honor Code
All participants and visiting faculty members please read this before applying to Simon-Erdős School of Design Sciences (DESC or “School”).
Scholarly misconduct refers to misconduct which occurs in research and scholarly activities outside of the classroom. It can include plagiarism, among other things. The consequences of scholarly misconduct are governed by School Policy. The following definitions are taken from the School Policy on Scholarly Misconduct:
“Misconduct” or “scholarly misconduct” is the fabrication of data, plagiarism, or other practice that seriously deviates from those that are commonly accepted within the academic or research community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or scholarly activity. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgments of data.
“Plagiarism” is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts of passages of his or her writings, or language or ideas of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind. It involves the deliberate use of any outside source without proper acknowledgment. Plagiarism is scholarly misconduct whether it occurs in any work, published or unpublished, or in any application for funding.
Allegations involving scholarly misconduct fall under the School’s Policy on Scholarly Misconduct. This document details the procedures involved with reporting allegations and with the handling of cases. All Participants are encouraged to become familiar with this policy, which is available from the Office of the Provost.
- Article I: Honor Agreement
- Article II: Academic Honor Code
- Article III: Honor System
- Article IV: Amending the Academic Honor Code
Article I: Honor Agreement
Having read the DESC Academic Honor code, I understand and accept my responsibility as a member of the School Community to uphold the Academic Honor Code as well as Governance, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines at all times. In addition, I understand my options for reporting honor violations as detailed in the Governance, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.
Article II: Academic Honor Code
Section 1. Statement of Purpose
The members of the School community believe the fundamental objective of the School is to provide the Participants with a high-quality research and academy while developing in them a sense of ethics and social responsibility. We believe that trust is an integral part of the learning process and that self-discipline is necessary in this pursuit. We also believe that any instance of dishonesty hurts the entire community. It is with this in mind that we have set forth an Academic Honor Code which is a part of the “Governance, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines” at School.
Section 2. Objectives
An Academic Honor Code at School aims to cultivate a community based on trust, academic integrity and honor. It specifically aims to accomplish the following:
- Ensure that Participants, Faculty and administrators understand that the responsibility for upholding academic honesty at School lies with them;
- Prevent any Participants from gaining an unfair advantage over other Participants through academic misconduct;
- Ensure that Participants understand that academic dishonesty is a violation of the profound trust of the entire academic community;
- Clarify what constitutes academic misconduct among Participants at School and what is expected of them by the School, the Faculty, and their peers;
- Cultivate an environment at School where academic dishonesty is not tolerated among the Participants;
- Secure a centralized system of education and awareness of the Academic Honor Code.
Section 3. Participant Responsibilities
Participants are expected to act according to the highest ethical standards. The immediate objective of an Academic Honor Code is to prevent any Participants from gaining an unfair advantage over other Participants through academic misconduct. The following clarification of academic misconduct is taken from Governance, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines of the DESC: Academic misconduct is any act that does or could improperly distort Participant performance or other Participant research-academic records. Such acts include but need not be limited to the following:
- Possessing, using or exchanging improperly acquired written or verbal information in the preparation of any essay, laboratory report, examination, or other assignment included in an academic course;
- Substitution for, or unauthorized collaboration with, a Participant in the commission of academic requirements;
- Submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to that created or published by another person or person, without adequate credit notations indicating authorship (plagiarism);
- False claims of performance or work that has been submitted by the claimant;
- Alteration or insertion of any academic grade or rating so as to obtain unearned academic credit;
- Deliberate falsification of a written or verbal statement of fact to a member of the Faculty so as to obtain unearned academic credit;
- Forgery, alteration or misuse of any School document relating to the academic status of the Participant.
While these acts constitute assured instances of academic misconduct, other acts of academic misconduct may be defined by the professor. Participants must sign the Academic Honor Agreement affirming their commitment to uphold the Honor Code before becoming a part of the School community. The Honor Agreement may reappear on assignments to remind Participants of their responsibilities under the DESC Academic Honor Code.
Section 4. Researcher-Faculty Responsibilities
Researcher-Faculty members are expected to create an environment where honesty flourishes. In creating this environment, Researcher-Faculty members are expected to do the following:
- Make known to their class-section as specifically as possible what constitutes appropriate academic conduct as well as what comprises academic misconduct. This includes but is not limited to the use of previously submitted work, collaborative work on homework, etc.
- Provide copies of sample assignments to the School Participants to review;
- Avoid the re-use of assignments;
- Include a paragraph containing information about the School Academic Honor Code on the curriculum for each class they teach;
- Report instances of academic dishonesty to the Office of the Organization Relations.
- In addition to the expectations listed above, Researcher-Faculty have the authority to superimpose their own interpretations on some aspects of academic conduct including, but not limited to, the following:
- Old assignments for use during assignment preparation;
- Contents of formula sheets allowed on assignments;
- Use of previously submitted out of class assignments.
Article III: Honor System
Section 1: Governing Bodies
The DESC Academic Honor Code recognizes the present bodies given the power to enforce the academic regulations of the School. The Academic Honor Code recognizes the Office of Organization Relations to be the primary administrator to enforce School disciplinary measures as presently specified in the Governance, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines. The Academic Honor Code also recognizes the Participant Honor Committee as that body given jurisdiction to hear all cases of alleged academic misconduct as currently specified in the Governance, Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.
Section 2. Reporting Academic Honor Code Violations
In order for an Academic Honor Code to function, members of the School Community must not tolerate violations of it by anyone. Community members are at their discretion to use any of three options to report suspected Honor Code violations:
- A Participant may simply desire to confront the fellow Participant with the perceived infraction. While this option is most likely to enact widespread change in attitude and behavior among Participants (because violators would understand that they are violating the trust of their peers and not some abstract body of people), it is still expected that an alleged violator be taken before the Participant Discipline (Policy 36) Committee if he or she persists in academic misconduct.
- A Participant may choose to approach the professor of the class in which the alleged infraction occurred and seek his or her input on how to proceed. A result of a conference of this type would be the professor’s awareness that the alleged violator needs closer monitoring to ascertain reasonable certainty of guilt before being brought before the Participant Discipline (Policy 36) Committee.
- A Participant may choose to seek the advice of an Advisor. Meetings with Advisors shall address issues of policy and procedure only. Specifics of an individual case are not to be discussed. After a consultation with an Honor Advisor, a Participant may choose to submit a formal accusation of academic misconduct to the Office of the Organization Relations.
Section 3. Participant Honor Advisory Council
Participants composing the Participant Advisory Council (Policy 20 Ethical Behavior) are to become well versed in all aspects of the DESC Academic Honor Code and the procedures for reporting an honor violation as well as those procedures for the trying of cases of suspected academic misconduct before the Participant Honor Committee. The Council is to act as an information resource to all members of the School Community on issues related to the Academic Honor Code.
Section 3 (A). Membership
Members are to be selected by the Vice-President of Participant Affairs or a designated person to carry out these duties.
Members must be full-time Participants at School and must be in good academic standing.
Once a member of the council, the Participant shall serve until he or she graduates, unless he or she resigns or is impeached.
Impeachment procedures are to be specified in the rules and/or bylaws of the Participant Honor Advisory Council.
Membership shall be composed of no less than six to eight (6-8) Participants at any given time.
Section 3 (B). Duties and Responsibilities
To serve in an advisory capacity to any Participant(s) wishing to report an honor violation or any Participant(s) being accused of committing an honor violation.
To continually educate and maintain awareness among the School Community regarding the Academic Honor Code.
To limit discussion with Participants to issues of Governance, Policy, Procedure and Guidelines.
Article IV. Amending the Academic Honor Code
Amendments to the School Academic Honor Code may be proposed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of both the Undergraduate Participant Council and the Graduate Participant Governing Body, or by a petition of ten percent (10%) of the total population (undergraduate and graduate) directed to both the undergraduate Participant body President and the graduate body President.
Amendments become part of this Academic Honor Code upon ratification by two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast in a special election open to the undergraduate and Participants, provided that the proposed amendments have been published in the Technique at least one week prior to the vote by the Participant Body and further provided that the amendments are approved by the Academic Governing Body.
Appendices or amendments of appendices which pertain to either the undergraduate Participant body or to the graduate Participant body may be proposed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the respective legislative body or a petition of at least ten percent of the respective Participant body directed to the respective Participant body president. These shall become part of this Academic Honor Code upon ratification by two-thirds (2/3) of the votes in a special election of the respective Participant body, provided that the proposed appendices or amendments of appendices have been published in The Technique at least one week prior to the election, and further provided that the appendices or amendments of appendices are approved by the Academic Governing Body.