Augustana University Honor Code

Honor Code at AU

As a community of scholars, the students and faculty of Augustana University commit to the highest standards of excellence by mutually embracing an honor code. As a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), we understand the individual and collective responsibility we have in fostering integrity. Ultimately, our purpose is to be an engaged body of academically excellent, highly articulate and morally centered persons who learn about and examine the world together. We believe that only when we are honest with ourselves and each other can we begin to contribute to the world in a meaningful manner.

Augustana’s Honor Code consists of inter-related elements that guide scholarship and learning; the honor pledge, honor board and a set of judicial procedures that guide the university’s adjudication of academic integrity violations.

Code of Conduct

Honor Pledge

The honor code states the principles that guide our work together. Students will sign an honor pledge on every examination and other assignments deemed appropriate by the faculty member. The Honor Pledge is as follows;

“On my honor, I pledge that I have upheld the honor code, and that the work I have done on this assignment has been honest, and that the work of others in this class has, to the best of my knowledge, been honest as well.”

Honor Board

The honor board has the responsibility for administering the Honor Code by developing the rules of procedure and educating the campus community about academic integrity.

Composition of the Honor Board

  1. The eleven-member Honor Board is composed of six students, four faculty members, and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs who serves as the Chair of the Board. All have voting privileges except for the Chair of the Board.
  2. Student members, two each from the sophomore, junior and senior classes, serve one-year renewable terms. Students apply for Honor Board membership in the spring semester. The current Honor Board will select student members following a review of applications and conducting interviews.
  3. Faculty members are tenured and will represent each of the three academic divisions. Faculty members are appointed by the Faculty Governance Committee for overlapping, two-year terms.
  4. Honor Board members are expected to exhibit sensitivity, confidentiality, integrity and professionalism in their activities.

Responsibilities of the Honor Board

  1. The honor board is responsible for developing and following its rules of procedures and for educating the community about the honor code.
  2. To fulfill its educational role, the Honor Board:
    • Informs freshmen and transfer students of the importance of the Honor Code during their first classes and/or orientation at Augustana.
    • Recommends and encourages specific general education classes as appropriate venues to foster academic integrity and to provide examples of work that violate the honor code.
    • Communicates to faculty members the importance of expressing their expectations of academic integrity in coursework.
    • Offers programming to increase awareness across the campus community.
    • Provides guidance to faculty members regarding syllabus language and appropriate consequences for academic integrity violations.
    • Serves as a resource for students and faculty members regarding the working of the Honor Code.

Honor Code Rights & Responsibilities

We aim in all our work to foster integrity as an abiding characteristic of the Augustana community. To that end, the honor code is rooted in a shared covenant between faculty and students. The responsibilities of every faculty member and student as vital participants in the Honor Code are defined as follows:

Faculty Rights & Responsibilities

  1. Faculty autonomy is to be safeguarded, as the work of the classroom is primarily the responsibility of faculty members.
  2. Faculty members will choose whether or not to proctor examinations.
  3. All faculty members will include statements that affirm the honor code in their syllabi. These statements will include descriptions of likely penalties. Uniform language will be provided for faculty members to use.
  4. The faculty members will include the Honor Pledge on every examination and on other assignments as deemed appropriate by the faculty member.
  5. The faculty member will contact in a timely manner any student who does not sign the Honor Pledge or who brings forward a concern.
  6. The faculty member who brings forward evidence of instances of academic dishonesty will be responsible to testify if the case is forwarded to the Honor Board.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

  1. Students shall have a right to due process. This shall include the right:
    • to be informed of the nature of the violation
    • to a fair hearing of the evidence leading to a decision in the case, either by the professor involved or (at the discretion of the professor involved) by the Honor Board
    • to be accompanied to any hearing before the Honor Board by an advisor from the Augustana campus community
    • to request an appeal
  2. Students will be expected to sign the honor pledge after each examination and on other assignments deemed appropriate by the faculty member.
  3. Students who do not sign the pledge will be obligated to speak with the faculty member in regard to the reason. Students who do not sign the honor pledge because they have observed dishonest behavior by other students will need to provide written testimony in the event that the case goes to a hearing before the Honor Board, but will not be obligated to testify in person and will also remain anonymous.
  4. Students found to be in violation of the honor code shall not be permitted to withdraw from the class in which the violation occurred.

Honor Code Procedures

Filing an academic integrity policy complaint

  1. Any member of the Augustana University community may file an academic integrity policy complaint against a student. The complaint is brought forward to the appropriate faculty member or to a different faculty member or administrator.
  2. The faculty member or administrator who receives the complaint will forward the complaint to the appropriate faculty member.
  3. When a faculty member has evidence of academic dishonesty committed by an Augustana student, the student will be informed of the details of the charge and will be shown supporting evidence.

Complaint Resolution Process (two ways of resolving an academic integrity complaint)

  1. The faculty member has authority to handle the matter independently.
    • A student found guilty of a violation of the Honor Code by a faculty member will experience a penalty that may result in a failure or a grade of zero for the assignment or exam in question, or a failure of the course in question.
    • The faculty member will forward a letter detailing the facts of the case and the imposed sanction to the associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
    • The associate vice president for Academic Affairs will send the student a disciplinary warning letter.
    • A student on record for a previous violation of the honor code may experience a greater penalty including disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion, and the case may be forwarded by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs to the honor board.
  2. The faculty member may forward the matter to the honor board.
    • When a faculty member wishes to forward a case involving academic dishonesty to the honor board, the faculty member contacts the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs who informs the honor board that a hearing will be required.
    • The honor board shall inform the accused student of the reasons for the hearing with sufficient information and sufficient time to ensure opportunity to prepare for the hearing.
    • The honor board will set a date and time for the hearing that will entitle the accused student to an expeditious hearing of the case. The hearing may take place no sooner than ten days after the date of notification unless all parties agree that an earlier hearing shall be scheduled.
    • The associate vice president for Academic Affairs (or designate) will inform the accused student of the process and the student’s rights pertaining to the hearing.

Honor Board, Pre-Hearing Procedures

  1. At least one week prior to the scheduled hearing, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs will inform the student of rights pertaining to the hearing, including the right to call witnesses and the right to obtain an advisor from the Augustana community. This advisor may be a member of the Augustana faculty, administration, staff or student body.
  2. The student will be informed about the general procedure of the hearing.
  3. Relevant documentation will be provided to the honor board and to the accused student. The accused student’s name and address will not appear on evidentiary documents.
  4. The accused has a right to be accompanied by an advisor who must be a member of the Augustana faculty, administration, staff, or student body. The advisor’s participation shall be limited to consulting with the student. Advisors may not conduct or direct cross-examination, make opening or closing statements, or engage in argument.
  5. The accused will be provided a list of the names of the honor board members. The accused student may challenge the seating of up to two Honor Board members by submitting a statement of cause to the associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
  6. The honor board receives confidential documentation from the associate vice president for Academic Affairs detailing the charge and relevant evidence.
  7. The evidence is reviewed by honor board members prior to the hearing, and the review serves as the basis for questioning during the hearing.
  8. The accused student must submit the names of requested witnesses and their relevance to the hearing.
  9. The honor board determines who will be summoned to testify and informs potential witnesses of the hearing. (Note: Character witnesses are usually not permitted to testify during the hearing; however, they may submit letters on behalf of the accused student.)

Honor Board, Hearing Procedures

  1. A quorum consisting of six voting members (including all four faculty members) is needed for a hearing, and two-thirds of honor board members present must agree on a decision.
  2. In the unusual circumstance that six current members are unavailable, students or faculty who served on the Honor Board in the recent past may be called upon by the associate vice president for Academic Affairs to constitute a quorum. (Note: Because students or faculty with Honor Board experience may not be available in the early years of this honor code, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs is authorized to appoint alternate members to the board.)
  3. Hearings are conducted in private in order to protect the confidential nature of the proceedings. Hearings shall be limited to members of the honor board, those summoned to appear, and the associate vice president for Academic Affairs as convener of the hearing, and any others designated by the Honor Board.
  4. The associate vice president for Academic Affairs is an ex officio member of the board and presides over the hearing.
  5. The accused shall be entitled to appear in person to present a defense and may call witnesses. (Refer to pre-hearing procedures to identify witnesses.)
  6. The accused shall be entitled to refuse to answer questions or may elect not to appear before the honor board. Should the student elect not to appear, the hearing shall be held in the student's absence. No student may be found to have violated the honor code solely because the he or she failed to appear at a hearing. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
  7. The accused shall be entitled to ask questions of the honor board and witnesses.
  8. If at any time during the conduct of a hearing, invited attendees are disruptive of the proceedings, the chairperson may exclude such persons from the hearing. The chairperson may also direct that the hearing be recessed and that the remainder be conducted in closed session.
  9. All testimony presented during an honor board hearing, and relevant to the case, will be documented and may be audio-recorded.
  10. Although there is considerable flexibility in hearing procedures, the following description identifies a general sequence common to most hearings:
    • The convener of the honor board reviews the charge and related evidence, to ensure that all participants are clear on the procedure.
    • The honor board will hear testimony from witnesses. Typically, the person who is bringing the charge is heard first.
    • Other witnesses, including those testifying on behalf of the accused student, are asked to testify.
    • The accused student is asked to testify.
    • Witnesses may be recalled at the discretion of the Honor Board.

Honor Code Determinations

  1. If the alleged violation is heard by the honor board, the evidence is considered after all witnesses have appeared, and a two-thirds majority of board members present must agree on a decision.
  2. Each case is considered individually. At a minimum, a student found to have violated the honor code will be placed on disciplinary warning.
    • A disciplinary warning is a written notice that the student has violated the honor code.
    • If a disciplinary warning is issued, further violations will likely lead to disciplinary probation, suspension or expulsion.
  3. Other consequences include, but are not limited to:
    • Failure of the assignment or examination.
    • Failure of the course.
    • Disciplinary probation; a written reprimand for violation of the honor code. The probation specifies the period and conditions of the consequence. The written conditions shall also give the student notice of any consequences related to further violation of the honor code during the probationary period. If disciplinary probation is issued, further violations will likely lead to a suspension, or expulsion.
    • Recommendation to the associate vice president for Academic Affairs to suspend from the university. A suspension is a separation of the student from Augustana for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
    • Recommendation to the associate vice president for Academic Affairs to expel from the university. An expulsion is a permanent separation of the student from Augustana University.

Note: Any student who receives disciplinary action becomes ineligible to run for or continue in any elected office or appointed position for at least one year with any of the following organizations including, but not limited to: ASA Student Senate, Union Board of Governors, The Mirror and New Student Orientation.

Post-Hearing Procedures and Honor Code Records

  1. The associate vice president for Academic Affairs notifies the student and relevant parties by mail within five business days of the honor board’s determination. If the complaint is resolved by a faculty member, that notification is also sent within five days.
  2. A file of all documents, evidence, charges and correspondence shall be retained for the record. The record shall be the property of Augustana University.
  3. The record shall be available to the faculty member or the Honor Board to reach a decision. The record will be forwarded to the Academic Affairs Office.
  4. Honor code records, whether compiled by the faculty member, honor board or an academic dean shall be maintained by the university (in the Office of Academic Affairs) for a period of seven calendar years beyond a student's last date of enrollment.
  5. Students who are expelled from the University for violation of the honor code will have such fact noted on their transcript.

Appeal Process

  1. Honor code decisions determined by either a faculty member or the honor board are subject to appeal within ten class days or within two calendar weeks if classes are not in session following the notification. Upon petition, this time line may be extended beyond ten days. Appeals shall be in writing and delivered to the Dean of Academic Affairs Office.
  2. A request for appeal must specify grounds that would justify consideration. General dissatisfaction with the outcome of the decision shall not be accorded as a basis for consideration of an appeal. The only basis for considering an appeal is the presentation of facts that indicate any of the following:
    • An error in procedural due process that denies the student a fundamentally fair hearing as a result of the error.
    • Harshness of sanction to show an abuse of discretion by the original judicial body.
  3. A request for appeal based upon new evidence shall not be granted. A new hearing shall be granted if new evidence is presented that would have substantially affected the original decision.
  4. No review by appeal may result in a more severe sanction than that imposed by the original judicial hearing.
  5. The original sanction shall not be invoked until the appeal process is finalized and the case closed.
  6. The appeal decision is final and shall be decided and implemented immediately by the Academic Dean.