The Honor Code Review Committee has delivered its recommendations on how to update the Honor Board Constitution. Below are the proposed changes. These changes still require the approval of the Student Senate, the Academic Standing Committee and the current Honor Board in order to be put into effect. The full report is available at my.knox.edu/ICS/Academics/.
2. Require complainant to complete a standard reporting form for each case of alleged academic dishonesty.
3. For first offenses only, a full hearing could be replaced by a conference that includes the complainant (typically faculty), the respondent and one or two members of Honor Board.
4. For each hearing going before the Board, both complainant and respondent will be provided with an adviser (either selected from the Honor Board itself or chosen by the person him/herself). Such advisors can take active roles in preparing both complainants and respondents for hearings.
5. All respondents who wish to present “non-accusatory” testimony regarding extenuating circumstances must provide documentation (most notably in cases where alleged medical or psychological difficulties pertain) at least 72 hours before the hearing.
6. Prohibit all interested parties in an HB hearing from waiting in or near the building where a hearing is being held to prevent confrontations.
7. The HB co-chair who presides at a hearing should do so without a vote.
8. Make all evidence collected by the co-chair for an HB hearing available in a secure location at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.
9. Change existing language regarding the required burden of proof from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “clear and convincing” or “preponderance of evidence.”
10. Increase the size of the Honor Board and adjust accordingly the number of votes necessary to find a respondent “responsible.”
11. Adjust how many offenses a respondent must typically have before expulsion is a penalty option. (Seriously considering adopting a “three strikes” model.)
12. Require a review meeting (Honor Board, dean, associate dean and president) whenever a significant number of case verdicts or penalties are overturned within a particular span of time (e.g., more than 15 percent of cases in a 12-month period).
13. Charge the HB Selection Committee each year with achieving a balance of representation with regard to academic division and gender and to take care to include international students, students of color, low-income and first-generation college students. (This goal may require an overall increase in the number of students appointed to the HB.)
14. Allow upperclassmen as well as freshman students to apply for positions on the Honor Board.
15. Change the point at which members are appointed as co-chairs, perhaps deciding one year in advance.