Faculty Handbook
July 1999

Appendix G Honor Code of The University of Tennessee, Memphis

The current edition of the Honor Code of The University of Tennessee, Memphis was approved by the Board of Trustees on September 22, 1995, and became effective October 28, 1996.

SECTION 1 THE HONOR CODE

ARTICLE I PREAMBLE AND PURPOSE

The Honor Code of The University of Tennessee, Memphis (UT Memphis) is promulgated so that student academic affairs are conducted under the highest standards of individual responsibility. The Honor Code promotes personal honor and integrity, in the best traditions of the health science professions. The Honor Code promotes academic honesty and integrity in the classroom, laboratory, clinics and other academic endeavors. The Honor Code requires students to uphold its principles of fairness, professionalism, and ethical behavior; and it also provides procedures to adjudicate alleged violations. By their pledge to subscribe and uphold this Honor Code, UT Memphis students assume the responsibility for the effective application of the Honor Code, and their own academic and professional honesty and integrity. Students are required to sign the honor code pledge as a condition for enrollment at UT Memphis. Faculty and staff also have a responsibility to participate in the application, enforcement, and procedures of the Honor Code.

ARTICLE II PRINCIPLES OF THE HONOR CODE

  1. All UT Memphis students are bound by this Honor Code and pledge to act in accordance with the highest principles of ethical and professional conduct. These principles condemn any act of dishonor relating to the academic, clinical, research, and professional programs at UT Memphis. The pledge states that any knowledge of a violation shall be reported in accordance with the provisions and procedures of the Honor Code.
  2. The principles of this Honor Code apply to all:
    1. Tests or examinations.
    2. Oral, written, or practical reports that are a part of a student's academic and research program.
    3. Clinical and laboratory experiences.
    4. Scientific research.
    5. Other student activities relating to the academic, clinical, and research programs of UT Memphis.
  3. SliOPE: The Honor Code is not to be interpreted or administered to cover any aspect of the student's life other than those listed under Articles II and III.
  4. EXAMINATIONS: The date, time, place, duration, and conditions of examinations are established by university regulations or by individual faculty. Faculty presence during tests or examinations is determined by individual college policy, as determined by the Dean of the college.
  5. ORIENTATION: All entering students are given instructions and information regarding the Honor Code during student orientation. The orientation includes the purpose, pledge, rules, and procedures relating to the Honor Code. Supplemental orientations with updated information is available to all enrolled students from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
  6. Each college is responsible for administering an orientation program for its students. Additional information and materials relating to the Honor Code may be obtained from the Office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

ARTICLE III

VIOLATIONS OF THE HONOR CODE

  1. It is a violation of the Honor Code for a student to:
    1. Use, give, or receive any unauthorized aid during any test or examinations, in the preparation of oral, written or practical reports, or in clinical or laboratory work that are a part of a student's academic program.
    2. Record or report fraudulent data relating to patient care, willfully neglect clinical responsibilities, or otherwise compromise patient treatment through lack of professional integrity.
    3. Plagiarize - present another person's work as one's own.
    4. Falsify data in scientific research and reports.
    5. Collaborate with others in assigned out of class activities, if directions or instructions, written or verbal, specify only individual application and effort is permitted.
    6. Falsify academic or clinical records.
    7. Maliciously and falsely accuse another student of an Honor Code violation.
    8. Assist another student in committing any of the specified violations.
    9. Failure to report a violation reasonably believed to have been committed.
    10. Discuss or reveal confidential information or materials relating to allegations, investigations, charges and Honor Court hearings.
    11. Engage in other similar acts of dishonesty.
  2. Students, faculty, staff and/or test administrators must report observed violations to a member of the college Honor Council, in accordance with Honor Code procedures.
    1. Any alleged violation under Article III, Section A. 2. or A. 4 shall be immediately reported by the President of the Honor Council, or Faculty Advisor, to the principal clinician or investigator after the alleged violation is received.
  3. Suspicious Activity: If someone witnesses suspicious behavior, but is uncertain of a Honor Code violation, the person may informally report the behavior to a college Honor Council member. The Honor Council member will counsel with the suspected student and advise the student that such actions are suspicious and, if continued, may lead to a formal complaint.

    A Honor Council member receiving a report of suspicious behavior must notify the Honor Council President before counseling the student.

ARTICLE IV

ADMINISTRATION OF THE HONOR CODE

  1. PARTICIPANTS
    1. STUDENTS: The Honor Code pledge is signed by all students enrolled at UT Memphis. This signed pledge is a student's pledge of honesty and integrity. The pledge obligates the student to support the ethics and provisions of the UT Memphis Honor Code and to participate in its procedures and actions.
    2. FACULTY AND STAFF: The faculty and staff participate in the Honor Code by endorsing and supporting the principles of the Code and by applying its rules and procedures.
    3. ADMINISTRATION: Offices relating to student affairs are responsible for providing advice to students regarding Honor Code procedures.
      1. Faculty advisors to college Honor Councils support the Honor Code by providing advice and counsel to Honor Council members regarding rules, procedures and the appropriate methods of administering the rules and procedures.
      2. The Office of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs provides advice and orientation to College Honor Council members, faculty advisors, and other students.
      3. The UT Memphis Registrar (1) makes available to each new student a printed copy of the Honor Code prior to matriculation, (2) insures that the Honor Code pledge is signed by each new student, and (3) retains the signed Honor Code pledge as a part of each student's official file.
    4. HONOR COUNCILS OF THE COLLEGES: Each college has an Honor Council that functions under the rules delineated in this Honor Code. Alleged violations of the Honor Code are processed by the Honor Council of the college in which the alleged violation occurred.

SECTION II

PROCEDURES AND HEARING OPTIONS

ARTICLE V
PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ALLEGED VIOLATIONS
  1. A complaint against any student may be filed by a student, faculty or staff member observing a suspected violation. Each complaint must be written and signed by the accuser and presented to any member of the appropriate Honor Council.
  2. Signed complaints are given or forwarded to the college Honor Council president and shall not be discussed with other students.
  3. The signed complaint of one individual is sufficient to initiate an investigation of charge(s) against a student.
  4. The president of the Honor Council appoints a council member to investigate alleged violation of the Honor Code. The investigator investigates the facts of the alleged violation(s). If the investigator finds probable cause to believe that a violation has been committed, the investigator recommends issuing a Notice of Charge. The president, upon the recommendation of the investigator, issues a Notice of Charge to the accused. The Notice of Charge is sent to the accused via certified mail. If the investigator determines there is no violation, the allegation is dismissed.
  5. The identity of the person(s) who reported the allegation is confidential throughout the initial investigation. In the event that a Notice of Charge is issued, the accused is notified of the name(s) of the accuser(s) upon request.
  6. Allegations, investigations, charges and Honor Court hearings are confidential.
  7. Role of the Investigator:
    1. Upon receipt of a signed complaint, the college Honor Council president appoints an investigator who is charged with investigating the allegation.
    2. The investigator makes a recommendation to the college Honor Council president within seven (7) University working days after the investigator receives the assignment to investigate the allegation. The investigator's report, either oral or written, recommends whether a formal charge of violation should be issued by the Honor Council president. The investigation period is advisory and not mandatory due to administrative closings, holidays and class schedules.
    3. The investigator is responsible for prosecuting charge(s) before the College or University Honor Court if the accused requests a Honor Code hearing. A council member does not vote in any proceedings for which the member served as the investigator.

ARTICLE VI

RIGHTS AND PROCEDURES FOR THE ACCUSED

  1. Notice of Charge. A student charged with a violation of the Honor Code receives written notice of charge(s) stating the following:
    1. The substance of the charge(s).
    2. The possible penalties.
    3. The right to a hearing if the student contests the charge(s) or action.
    4. The name and address of the person to whom a request for a hearing should be directed.
    5. A statement indicating that a request for a hearing must be made within five (5) University working days of receipt of this notice.
  2. Procedure for the Accused.
    1. On receipt of the Notice of Charge, the accused student, within five (5) University working days, must respond to the college Honor Council president indicating either
      1. An intent to plead guilty to the violation and willingness to accept the penalty assigned by the Dean; or
      2. A denial of the charge and indicating a desire to make an appeal of the charge under one of the following hearing options:
        1. Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA),
        2. College Honor Court, or
        3. University Honor Court
      3. The student who does not respond in writing within five (5) University work days, waives the option of having the case heard in a College or University Honor Court, and the charge will be adjudicated under the provisions of the UAPA.
    2. Rights for the Accused.
      1. The student has a right to a hearing in accordance with the contested case provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA), T.C.A. 4-5-301-325. The hearing will be held under the provisions of the UAPA in the absence of a voluntary written waiver of this right.

        If the student waives the right to a hearing under UAPA, the hearing will be held in accordance with the UT Memphis Honor Council Hearing procedures listed under Article VII, Hearing Court Options 2 and 3.
      2. For UAPA Hearings, students may be represented by Legal Counsel. The option to obtain Legal Counsel is at student's expense. If representation by Legal Counsel is desired, the student must provide notice of intent to be represented by Counsel concurrent with the request for the UAPA hearing. In College and University Honor Court hearings, use of Legal Counsel by students or the University is not allowed.
      3. In College Honor Court and University Honor Court hearings, the College Honor Council President or the Vice Chancellor for Students Affairs will make available to an accused student, an advisor (student, faculty, or staff) knowledgeable of the Honor Code and hearing procedures. The advisor will be available to the accused prior to, and during the hearing.

ARTICLE VII

HEARING COURT OPTIONS

  1. An accused student who wishes to have a hearing on a charge has a choice of hearing options.
    1. Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA). This act provides students a hearing under the State of Tennessee mandatory hearing option. A hearing under this law is held by a hearing officer appointed by the Chancellor of UT Memphis. The Office of General Counsel will prosecute the charge in UAPA hearings, even if the accused student is not represented by legal counsel. This hearing procedure is used in the absence of a voluntary written waiver of this right.
    2. College Honor Court. Each UT Memphis college has a Honor Court. Rules of membership, assembly, quorum, and voting are defined in each college's addendum. All proceedings of the college Honor Court hearing follow the procedures described in the Honor Code and in the respective college addendum. The college Honor Council president is responsible for administering the hearing, including selecting the date, appointing the Hearing Court panel, notifying all parties, and recording and maintaining records of the college Honor Court hearings. The selection and service of the college Honor Court members shall follow the guidelines and procedures stated in the respective college Honor Court addendum. Members of the panel shall be impartial and members who believe they cannot be impartial shall recuse themselves from serving on the panel. The accused student may request the removal of any panel member he/she thinks might not be impartial. Decisions for such removal will be made by the college Honor Court president.
    3. University Honor Court. The panel shall be composed of students from all colleges at UT Memphis. Each college nominates two Honor Council members to the University Honor Court pool. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will appoint seven (7) hearing panel members, from a pool of nominees, with at least two (2) panel members from the college of the accused. A chairperson will be selected from the panel and will be responsible for conducting the hearing. Members of the panel shall be impartial and members who believe they cannot be impartial shall recuse themselves from serving on the panel. The accused student may request the removal of any panel member he/she thinks might not be impartial. Decisions for such removal will be made by the Chairperson of the Hearing Court or by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

      The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or designee will be responsible for making the appropriate arrangements and notifying all parties of the time, date and place of the hearing. The Vice Chancellor or designee shall also be responsible for tape recording the hearings and maintaining the records of the University Court hearings.
  2. Guidelines for Honor Court Hearings.

    The following guidelines shall apply to College and University Honor Court hearings:
    1. The hearing is held as soon as possible following receipt of the accused request for a hearing under the Honor Code system.
    2. The accused has the right to be present at all times during the hearing, except during the deliberation of the Honor Court and is afforded a full and fair opportunity to present all evidence, including witnesses, reasonably relating to the charge or action at issue. Evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial, repetitious, or cumulative may be limited. Judicial rules of evidence and procedure do not apply.
    3. The accused, the investigator and Honor Court members have the right to question all witnesses.
    4. An appropriate record is made of the hearing procedures. However, defects in the record do not invalidate the proceedings. (A tape recording system is available and should be used).
    5. The investigator has the responsibility of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, the truth of the charge(s) at issue.
    6. A majority vote of the panel is required for any decision.
    7. Following the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing panel considers the evidence and presents written findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the dean of the college in which the violation occurred.
    8. A faculty member will be notified of the outcome of any Honor Code investigation or hearing if they were an accuser or witness in the matter.

ARTICLE VIII

PENALTIES

  1. Penalties for violating the UT Memphis Honor Code are assigned by the respective college Dean. Penalties may be probation, suspension, dismissal, or any other action deemed appropriate by the dean of the college in which the violation occurred. The Honor Court may make advisory recommendations or suggestions to the dean regarding the consequence and severity of the punishment.
  2. The Dean will determine the penalty to be assigned, if the accused is found guilty. The Dean considers the evidence, written findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Honor Court in determining a punishment.
  3. The Dean must respond with a decision within 10 University working days of receipt of the hearing court decision. In instances in which the Dean is unavailable, a designee will be appointed.

ARTICLE IX

APPEALS

  1. The accused may appeal the action of the Dean by submitting an appeal, in writing, to the Chancellor within 10 days of receipt of the decision of the Dean. Where a charge is found to be true, the student charged has the burden of proving that the disciplinary action proposed is unreasonable.
    1. Any appeal to the Chancellor can only be for the penalty assigned by the Dean. The decision of the Honor Court can not be appealed to the Chancellor.
    2. The Chancellor, or designee, must respond with a decision within ten (10) University working days of the request for the appeal.

SECTION III

HONOR COUNCILS

REPORTS AND AMENDMENTS
ARTICLE X
COLLEGE HONOR COUNCILS
  1. Composition and Elections: The composition of the Honor Council and the procedure for election of the Honor Council members officers are determined by each college. Information describing the college councils provisions is provided in the Addenda.
  2. Officers of the Honor Councils:
    1. Elections: Each Honor Council elects officers from its members for the following offices: president, vice president and secretary.
    2. Duties:
      1. President. The president (a) presides at all meetings of the Honor Council, (b) arranges for the hearing of any accused student, and (c) performs other duties as specified in this Honor Code.
      2. Vice-president. The vice-president assumes the duties of the president in that officer's absence.
      3. Secretary. The secretary (a) manages the correspondence of the Honor Council, (b) notifies all members of Honor Council meetings, (c) records attendance at meetings, and (d) keeps records of all meetings.
  3. Removal from Council: A member may be removed by two-thirds vote of the Council members for the following reasons:
    1. Absence from two consecutive meetings of the Honor Council.
    2. Failure to fulfill responsibilities in accordance with this Honor Code.
  4. Vacancies in an Honor Council are filled in accordance with college rules and regulations governing election of members.
  5. General Duties of the Honor Council:
    1. To administer the Honor Code, the Honor Council meets at least once during the first month of each fall term and thereafter at its discretion.
    2. Conducts hearings of alleged violations.
    3. Keeps adequate records of all hearings that result from alleged violations of the Honor Code and reports findings to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
    4. Forwards findings and recommendations in Honor Code violation proceedings to the Dean of the college.
    5. Ensures that the information contained in this Honor Code is promulgated, discussed, and made readily available to all students of the college.

ARTICLE XI

REPORTS

Information regarding the number of alleged Honor Code violations, hearings, and decisions resulting from these hearings must be kept by Honor Council presidents and reported to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the end of each academic term.

ARTICLE XII

AMENDMENTS

  1. A proposed amendment to this Honor Code shall be presented in writing to the President of each UT Memphis Honor Council. Amendments must be approved by a majority vote of the Council of each college, and by the College Honor Council Presidents, prior to submitting to the SGAEC, the UT Memphis Chancellor and the University's Board of Trustees.
  2. Approved amendments to a college addendum shall be presented in writing to the President of the Honor Council of the college affected by the proposed amendment and need only to be approved by a majority vote of that college Honor Council. Upon approval, and concurrence by the college Dean, the amendment shall be submitted to the Chancellor and to the University's Board of Trustees.

ARTICLE XIII

PLEDGE

Each UT Memphis student, before matriculation, or during the new student orientation period, is required to sign the following pledge:

"I have read carefully the Honor Code of The University of Tennessee, Memphis and fully understand its meaning, significance and application. I agree to abide by this Honor Code while a student in this institution and agree to accept all of its implications without reservation."


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Signature Date

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Social Security Number College