Two new amendments to the Honor Code are set to go into effect that would give the Honor Board greater flexibility in deciding punishments and create an alternate method of dealing with academic dishonesty that would avoid a full Honor Board hearing for less serious offenses.
These amendments are based on the recommendations of the Honor Code Review Committee and were recently approved by the Academic Standing Committee before going to Student Senate and the Honor Board, both of which also voted to approve the amendments. They are the third of three waves of amendments that have been proposed and mostly approved to update the Honor Code.
Traditional violations such as plagiarism and cheating on exams will still be dealt with by a full Honor Board hearing, but certain lesser offenses can now be handled with “informal resolutions.”
Informal resolutions will take place at the request of the faculty member and will take place between a co-chair of the Honor Board, the faculty member and the student. They will only be allowed for a student’s first offense and if the student is willing to plead guilty.
The student will have the right to request a full Board hearing at any time before the process is complete.
This has several goals, including increasing faculty agency in the process, creating an incentive for respondents to admit their mistake and to decrease the burden on the Honor Board.
Many schools similar to Knox are moving toward informal resolutions. With a campus of this size, resolving the issue between faculty and student allows for a better relationship, as the student is likely to come into contact with and be taught by the faculty member again.
The latter amendment gives the Honor Board greater freedom in their rulings. As the system currently stands, a first time offender is given an “F” in the course and a second time results in expulsion from the college. This change would broaden the options for Honor Board depending on the severity of the offense.
This more flexible model allows students who commit less grievous infractions to be given lesser penalties. For example, a student who copied a lab report may be penalized with zero credit on all lab reports and not automatically fail the course as current procedure suggests.