July 15, 2024

Honor System Updates

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back (nearly) to the 2018-19 school year.  I hope you had a great summer.  I’m writing today to let you know about some changes to the UMW Honor System for the upcoming year and to encourage you to join in our efforts to promote academic integrity at UMW.

First, I’d like to introduce this year’s Honor Council President, Sarah Balenger.  She is a Biology major with an interest in Neuroscience.  She is serving her fourth year on the Council.  Feel free to reach out to her with any questions or thoughts you might have at honor@umw.edu.

Next, there have been substantial changes to the Honor Constitution for 2018-9.  If you would like a copy on paper, please let Sarah know and one will be put in campus mail to you.  If you prefer an electronic copy, one is available here.  Some key changes are:

  1. There is now only one Honor Council, serving all UMW students.  Graduate students will be represented on the council after elections in the Fall.  Please encourage your students to run for these spots.
  2. We have created more flexibility in sanctioning, including educational options and discretion for honor panels in cases of second offenses.  Suspension is no longer mandatory for second offenses, although it is for a third offense.
  3. Seniors under suspension are not eligible to participate in commencement.
  4. Appeals of verdict will now be heard by an appeals board to determine if a new hearing is warranted.

All changes are available here.

Finally, the Center for Honor, Leadership, and Service has been reorganized.  I will still be supporting the Honor System and academic integrity more generally.  My new title is Director of Academic Integrity Programs, reporting to the Provost.  Our new home on the web is: http://academics.umw.edu/academicintegrity/ .  Please be on the lookout for faculty development events, particularly town hall meetings to get your input on what would be useful in the future.

Faculty, as we begin the school year, please take 15 minutes to have a meaningful discussion about academic integrity as it applies to your course and discipline with all of your classes, not just first year students.  There is no more effective way to prevent to cheating than that.  It is also helpful to ask students to pledge everything.  Students notice your support.

Thanks, and see you soon!

David A. Rettinger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of Academic Integrity Programs