Under certain circumstances, a student who has been accused of an Honor System Violation may be given the option, in lieu of having a hearing, of accepting a finding of "In Violation" with a specified recommended sanction.
Under the current Honor System, when a violation of the Honor System is alleged, an Investigating Officer ("IO") conducts an investigation and, if the IO determines that sufficient evidence of a violation exists, the IO refers the matter to a Hearing Board to find whether the student is "in violation" and to recommend an appropriate sanction. The expedited sanctioning process described below creates an alternative path, allowing an IO who has found sufficient evidence of a violation to recommend that, in certain circumstances when the student takes full responsibility for the violation, the student be offered the opportunity to accept a sanction.
After interviewing the student, and finding that the student readily admits responsibility for the alleged Honor System offense, the IO, in his or her judgment, may file a written Incident Report which recommends that the Executive Board consider the case for the expedited process. The IO also will provide a corresponding explanation why the situation may warrant this process in lieu of a hearing.
The Honor Council’s Executive Board will determine by a majority of at least 2:1 if it is appropriate to offer an expedited process and, if so, what an appropriate sanction may be.
The Investigating Officer will convey the proposed sanction to the student in writing. The date and time of the offer and the student’s decision will be noted for the record. The IO informs the student that this sanction, if accepted, will be the Honor Council’s recommendation, but that the Dean will make the final decision as to sanction. The professor has total discretion concerning the student’s grade in the course.
The student has 24 hours to accept the offer and in doing so signs a brief statement both admitting responsibility for the offense and accepting the sanction proposed. If the student does not accept the offer within 24 hours, the offer is withdrawn. The student may rescind his or her decision up to 48 hours after the offer was made by the IO. If the student rescinds his or her decision, the offer of an expedited process is withdrawn. Any granting by the IO of additional time must be placed in writing, with justification for doing so.
If a student declines an offer (or rescinds an acceptance of an offer) and opts instead to have an Honor Council hearing, there shall be no adverse consequences to the student with regard to a later hearing. The Hearing Board will not know that the student was offered an expedited process.
After the student accepts an offer and the 48-hour grace period passes, the Honor Council will forward the Incident Report and the recommendation of the Executive Board, with its justification, to the student’s Dean. As always, the Dean makes a final decision as to sanction, and may raise or lower the recommended sanction.
Before changing a sanction, the Dean will meet with the Executive Board to discuss the case. If the Dean decides to change the sanction, he or she will submit to the Honor Council, in writing, the reasons for the change.