The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Honor Code Pledge: I pledge that I will neither give nor receive unauthorized aid on any test or assignment. I understand that plagiarism constitutes a serious instance of unauthorized aid. I further pledge that I will exert every effort to insure that the Honor Code is upheld by others and that I will actively support the establishment and continuance of a campus-wide climate of honor and integrity.
The Honor System is designed to foster a campus-wide climate of honesty and integrity in order to insure that students derive the maximum possible benefit from their work at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The student becomes subject to the rules and regulations of the Honor Code upon registration. Each student is obligated to exert every effort to insure that the Honor Code is upheld by himself/herself and others.
The Honor System is administered by the Honor Court, a committee consisting of eight students and four faculty members. The procedures which govern the court’s work are described below. Any student accused of violating the Honor Code has a right to a hearing either before the Honor Court or in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.
Although the Honor Code applies only to student work, the principles which it embodies, especially the principle of giving proper credit for another’s ideas, are binding upon all members of the academic community. The Honor System is designed to foster these principles and to develop in students rigorous standards of personal integrity by placing on students the primary responsibility for academic honesty. When it functions effectively, the Honor System creates a vastly more favorable climate for learning than does the presumption that students will be honest only when no opportunity is afforded them for dishonesty. In order to function effectively, however, the Honor System must have widespread support among students seriously committed to the ideals upon which it is based.
The Honor Code is a means by which students can maintain their own integrity and also be loyal to the community which has admitted them to membership. Any person duly registered for any course is a student at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and acquires the privileges and responsibilities of membership in this community. The Honor Code of the University is based upon the assumption that the student recognizes the fundamental importance of honesty in all dealings within this community. The very nature of education makes it a cooperative enterprise between student and teacher and between student and student. Any act of dishonesty violates and weakens this relationship and lessens the value of the education the student is pursuing.
- All students become subject to the rules and regulations of the Honor Code upon registration at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
- The Honor Code is violated by various types of misrepresentation or acts of dishonesty which bear on the academic evaluation of a student. The following are a few examples (not all inclusive) of violations of the Honor Code:
a. Failure to adhere to Honor Code Pledge.
b. Bringing unauthorized material into examination area.
c. Making use of unauthorized assistance during an examination or in preparing a graded assignment.
d. Incorporating words or ideas of another author in a research paper without giving proper credit to their source. (Please see the appendix for a detailed statement on plagiarism.)
e. Making unacknowledged use of another’s computer program.
f. Cases involving aggravating circumstances (e.g., selling answer keys, tests or papers) will be considered more serious violations.
g. Assisting in any act of dishonesty including, but not limited to, the above examples.
h. If an offense includes both an academic aspect (an Honor Code violation, e.g., cheating) and a social conduct violation (which is under the jurisdiction of the disciplinary dean and the Student Council Board, e.g., unauthorized entry), it should result in two separate hearings and the possibility of two separate penalties.
C. Right to a Hearing
Any student accused of violating the Honor Code is guaranteed the right to a hearing either before the Honor Court or in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (Public Acts 1974, Chapter 725, Tennessee Code Annotated 4-507 et seq.) The procedures of the Honor Court are described below. The Uniform Administrative Procedures Act provides the student the right to a hearing before an individual or committee selected by the Chancellor. This individual or committee submits to the chancellor a recommendation for the disposition of the case. The responsibility for the final decision rests with the Chancellor. At either type of hearing, the student has the right to confront his or her accuser and cross-examine witnesses.
D. Duties and Powers of the Honor Court
The Honor Court shall perform the following:
1. Decide the question of guilt or innocence on suspected Honor Code violations.
2. Recommend appropriate disciplinary action.
3. Function as a study committee continually evaluating the nature and administration of the Honor Code.
4. Serve as an advisory committee reporting to the Chancellor of the University, Faculty Council, and SGA.
E. Composition of the Honor Court
The composition of the Honor Court shall consist of 12 student members (three appointed by the Faculty Council; three appointed by the president of the SGA, who shall assume office upon approval of the Senate; three appointed by the Office of Student Affairs; three appointed by the Senate [from outside the Senate]); and four faculty members or their alternates, who shall be appointed by the Faculty Council. The chair shall be one of the faculty members of the court and shall not vote. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his representative shall serve as an ex officio member of the Honor Court and shall not vote.
F. Procedures of the Honor Court
1. Both students and faculty may report suspected violations of the Honor Code to the chair of the Honor Court. The chair will provide a form on which these reports may be made. A student whose grade has been reduced because of a suspected violation of the Honor Code may also appeal to the Court. Upon receiving the report or appeal, the chair will either schedule a hearing before the Honor Court or, at the discretion of the accused party, refer the case to the Chancellor for disposition in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. An Honor Court hearing will not be held, however, if the necessary witnesses, either students or faculty, are unwilling to appear.
2. An Honor Court hearing requires a quorum of six voting members. One of the members of the Court will serve as secretary and record minutes for the hearing. At the discretion of the chair of the Honor Court, a recording of the hearing may be made. A copy of this record will be made available to the accused party upon payment of a reasonable fee for transcription. No record is kept of the deliberation of the Honor Court which follows the hearing, except for a record of any votes that may be taken.
3. Hearings of the Honor Court are closed to all except witnesses, the accused, the person bringing the accusation, any legal representatives and members of the Court.
4. Members of the Honor Court who are relatives or close personal acquaintances of the accused party will excuse themselves from the hearing.
5. At the beginning of the hearing, the chair will read the report of the suspected violation. The accused party has the right to state his or her position and to present a written statement. The accused party, the accuser, and the Court may call and question witnesses. All persons except members of the Honor Court will be dismissed before the Court begins its deliberation. A verdict of guilty and a recommended penalty must be supported by a majority of the members of the Court who are present and voting. The accused party will be asked to return at the conclusion of the deliberation for the announcement of the decision of the Court. If the accused is found to have violated the Honor Code, he/ she will be advised of the right of appeal to the Chancellor.
6. Both the accused party and the party reporting the suspected violation will be notified in writing by the chair of the Honor Court of the decision of the Court. Written notification will also be sent to the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
G. Failure to Appear
1. If, at the formal hearing of the case, the student defendant or his/her representative fails either to appear or to provide the hearing officer with adequate prior notice of reasonable excuse for not appearing, the case will be disposed of in a manner that is deemed just.
2. If, at a formal hearing of a student defendant’s case, the plaintiff either fails to appear or provide adequate prior notice of a reasonable excuse for not appearing, the case shall be dismissed for failure to prosecute, upon proper motion by the student defendant.
3. A case either decided by or dismissed under the provisions of 1 or 2 above may be reopened if:
a. The absent party presents sufficient excuse within five days following such decision or dismissal, and
b. The excuse is found reasonable by the hearing officer.
H. Honor Court Penalties
1. If a student is found guilty of violating the Honor Code for the first time, normally the Court will place the student on disciplinary probation for one year and will recommend to the instructor that the student be given a grade of F in the course. In very serious cases the Court may recommend suspension or dismissal for a first offense. In very unusual situations, where circumstances warrant, the Court may recommend a lesser penalty.
2. If a student is found guilty of a second offense, the Court will recommend to the instructor that the student be given a grade of F in the course and will recommend to the Chancellor that the student be suspended from the University for the subsequent fall or spring semester. In the case of a student who will graduate at the end of the current semester, the Court will recommend that graduation be delayed until the end of the semester during which the suspension is in effect. In very serious cases the Court may recommend dismissal for a second offense.
3. If a student is found guilty of a third violation of the Honor Code, the Court will recommend to the instructor that the student be given a grade of F in the course and will recommend to the Chancellor that the student be dismissed from the University. If a student who would otherwise graduate at the end of the current semester is dismissed, he or she will not be allowed to graduate.
4. Any attempt to withdraw from the course, or the University, prior to an Honor Court hearing shall not exempt the student from the penalties imposed by the Court. The student will be reinstated in the course/ University if necessary.
5. The student newspaper, the University Echo, will be asked to publish every semester a summary of the Honor Court actions (number of cases and their dispositions), but without names.
The Chancellor will serve as the appeals officer for both the accused party and the person reporting the violation. Recommendations for suspension or dismissal may not be appealed to the Petitions Committee. Appeals to the Chancellor must be made in writing within five business days of receiving written notification of the decision of the Court.
To plagiarize means to take someone else’s words and/or ideas (or patterns of ideas) and to present them to the reader as if they are yours. Plagiarism, then, is an act of stealing. It is also an unwise act because it does not help you learn, and it is a dangerous act because you can be severely punished for it.
You should be on guard against plagiarism at any time when writing a paper to be turned in. In some papers you will write, you will be assigned to use only your own ideas and will probably not have to worry about plagiarism. At any time, however, that you read anything in preparation for a paper or consciously recall anything that you have read or heard, you must be prepared to provide documentation.
Generally, when you use someone else’s ideas and/or words, you will either quote that person directly or you will paraphrase or summarize that person’s words. You must let the reader know which you are doing.
1. If you quote the source directly, you must
a. put quotation marks before and after that person’s words;
b. let the reader know the source by (1) putting a footnote number at the end of the quotation, or (2) putting at least the source’s name in parentheses after the quotation marks.
2. If you paraphrase (a paraphrase is about the same length as the original, but in different words) or if you summarize (a summary is a severely shortened version of the original), you must
a. introduce the source in some manner at the beginning of the passage being paraphrased (or summarized) so that a reader can tell where your idea stops and the other person’s begins;
b. state the ideas taken from the source in your own words and your own arrangement. It is possible to plagiarize sentence patterns as well as exact words. A handy rule: if, in a paraphrase or summary, you use a stretch of more than three words in their exact order from a source, you should put those words into quotation marks;
c. provide an exact source citation for the ideas paraphrased or summarized. This may be done either by footnote number at the end of the passages or by a parenthetical reference to the work and page(s). This citation provides credit to the author being used and allows the reader access to the material for further study.
3. You must also provide a footnote for any chart, graph, figure, table, summary, or other data taken directly from another source or any information derived from such materials.
When you are assigned a research paper or project, check with your instructor to determine what particular footnote style you should follow. If, at any time, you have questions or doubts as to whether or not you are plagiarizing, check with your instructor before you complete your paper.
Statement from Faculty Handbook
Faculty have a general responsibility to make students aware that the Honor Code governs all their academic work at UTC. Faculty should stress that, although the Honor Code applies only to student work, the principles which it embodies, especially the principle of giving proper credit for another’s ideas, are binding upon all members of the academic community. The Honor System at UTC places responsibility for maintaining academic honesty on the student, but faculty are free to supervise examinations and other graded work in whatever way they deem appropriate.
Either through their own observation or through reports from students, faculty members may confront suspected violations of the Honor Code. The faculty member’s handling of an incident of this sort should be guided by the following considerations:
a. The faculty member will need to make a preliminary judgement about the seriousness of the incident. Specifically, he or she will need to judge whether it is a possible violation of the Honor Code or whether it is the result of a student’s failure to master certain academic skills, especially writing skills. If the incident appears to be a violation of the Honor Code, the faculty member must then decide whether the seriousness of the incident and the evidence are sufficient to justify a formal report to the Honor Court. In reaching both of these decisions, faculty members are strongly encouraged to consult with the chair of the Honor Court.
b. A student who is accused of or penalized for academic dishonesty has a right to a hearing before an individual or committee selected by the Chancellor. This right is provided by a State law, the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act. A student may choose as an alternative a hearing before the Honor Court. If a faculty member chooses not to report an instance of apparent academic dishonesty to the Honor Court, the faculty member should not penalize the students involved without their knowledge or consent.
c. If a hearing of either type is held, a faculty member may be asked to attend as a witness. The faculty member has the obligation, when called upon, to present a clear and impartial account of the incident in question and to present to the hearing body any relevant evidence, especially written evidence, at the faculty member’s disposal. The faculty member’s role in such a hearing is not that of a prosecutor.
d. Faculty members are sometimes concerned about legal liability they may incur as the result of handling cases of academic dishonesty. Should a student choose to be represented by legal counsel at an Honor Court or APA hearing, an attorney from the UT Office of the General Counsel will be present to represent the interests of the faculty member. Should a court case result from an instance of suspected academic dishonesty, a University attorney will be available to defend a faculty member acting within the scope of his or her duties.
e. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to report suspected violations of the Honor Code to the Honor Court. The Honor Court is empowered to impose penalties more severe than those which an individual faculty member can impose. Only through the process of reporting suspected violations will it be possible to identify and deal with students whose academic work is habitually dishonest. There are, however, cases of dishonesty which are so ambiguous that they are not readily resolved through process of a formal hearing. Faculty may choose to handle such cases through a conference with the parties involved as long as students are informed of their right to a hearing. Again, the chair of the Honor Court is available to consult with faculty about any instance of suspected academic dishonesty.