Honor Code 


Section 1: Preamble

Academic integrity is the foundation of the educational process at the Cox School of Business and the source of value associated with earning a degree from Cox. By becoming members of the Cox School of Business, students agree to hold themselves to the highest standard of academic integrity and to uphold this Honor Code (“Code”).

Section 2: Honor Statement

A Cox School of Business student will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.

Section 3: Jurisdiction

The Code governs all Cox professional programs, and the Cox Honor Council has jurisdiction over all graduate students participating in courses or activities offered by the Cox School of Business.

Section 4: Violations of the Honor Code

A. Students will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Any unauthorized conduct that evidences fraud, deceit, dishonesty, or intent to obtain unfair advantage over other students is an Honor Violation (HV).

B. In order to ensure academic integrity, faculty members shall define and explain what resources and participatory activities are, or are not, permitted in their respective courses, keeping in mind the provisions of this Code. The faculty members’ definitions and explanations should address, but not be limited to, examination security, use of past materials and exams, and group assignments. Accessing prior class materials produced by faculty or students is prohibited unless authorized by faculty.

C. A faculty member who suspects that a student has violated the Code may take either or both of the following courses of action:

    1. Determine to handle the situation privately with the student, in which case these procedures should be followed:

D. The following is a nonexclusive list of violations of this Code:

E. Excuses such as: pressure from school or outside work, family obligation, or to help a friend, or other similar circumstances are no defense for a violation of the Code. 

F. A student may not claim as a defense for violating this Code that he or she has not received, read, or understood this Code, or is otherwise ignorant of its provisions. A student is held to have notice of this Code and agrees to abide by its rules by enrolling in the Cox School of Business. 

Section 5: The Honor Council

A. Enforcement of the Code is vested in the Honor Council, all of whose members shall undergo training through the Cox School’s Graduate Student Services Office. No one may serve on the Honor Council until he or she has been trained. In addition, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services or his or her designee shall be present at all hearings as a neutral observer, and shall serve as a procedural guide when required. The Honor Council shall be selected as follows: 

B. Selection

The Honor Code Selection Committee will choose members of the Honor Council. The Committee shall consist of the following: Associate Dean of Graduate Programs or his or her designee, the incumbent Chairs of the Honor Council, and the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services or his or her designee. The Committee will review student applicants wishing to serve on the Honor Council and have the sole discretion for determining who will serve on the Honor Council. 

The Committee shall seek applicants from the various graduate programs which represent the Cox School of Business. Students appointed to the Honor Council must have successfully completed at least one semester and remain in good academic standing to be eligible.

For the purpose of ensuring a quorum at all times, the selection committee may train at their discretion a designated number of Full-Time, Fast-Track, Professional and Executive MBAs, as well as members of the M.S. programs. Those selected shall represent a cross section of academic programs and class sections. 

Two Honor Council Co-Chairs are selected annually (each spring) from the Full-Time MBA class by the outgoing Co-Chairs and the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs or his or her designee. Students must remain in good academic standing in order to be eligible. Selection and training typically takes place in the spring semester of each academic calendar year. Members serve one-year terms or until they graduate from the Cox school. 

The Dean of the Cox School of Business or his or her designee shall appoint one to three faculty members annually to serve on the Honor Council. The Dean or designee may reappoint the same faculty or choose different members each year. 

C. From the Honor Council’s members, the Chairs will select seven members to serve voting roles on a Hearing Board to decide Honor Code violations. A quorum of seven is required to form a Hearing Board. Of the seven voting members, a majority of five must determine a verdict of “responsibility” for a Hearing Board to determine there is an Honor Code violation. 

D. The Honor Council Chairs shall call and preside over all meetings and proceedings of the Honor Council and Hearing Boards, arrange for hearings of an accused student, and perform other such duties as are common to this office. The Chairs, guided by the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs or other University persons responsible for guiding the process and interpreting University policy, will also be responsible for answering questions posed by students or faculty regarding the Code. In addition, the Chairs have the following duties and responsibilities:

E. The Council Members shall meet when called upon by the Council Chairs. Council members serving on a Hearing Board will decide whether or not a student is responsible for violating the Honor Code, after reviewing and considering all evidence presented during a formal hearing. A five out of seven vote is necessary to determine that an Honor Code violation exists. Two Council members shall serve in the capacity of Investigators for each alleged honor violation when appointed by the Council Chair. Members serving as Investigators may not deliberate or vote during the formal hearing or serve on the Hearing Board for which they are the Investigators. In addition, the Council members serving on a Hearing Board have the following duties and responsibilities: 

Section 6: Sanctions 

A. Sanctions for violations of this Code include but are not limited to one or more of the following: 

B. A Hearing Board will determine in its sole discretion whether an Honor Violation shall appear on the student’s academic record. If it is decided that an HV shall appear on the student’s academic record, it shall be erased three years after a student graduates or would have graduated, if the student does not graduate. 

Section 7: Reporting an Alleged Violation

Students or staff who suspect an Honor Code violation shall notify the Chairs of the Honor Council or the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs of the alleged act in writing as described below. Based upon the aforementioned referral, the Honor Council may decide a formal hearing is required. 

Section 8: Investigating an Alleged Violation 

A. After receipt of a report of an alleged HV, the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs or the Chairs of the Honor Council shall notify the accused student(s) and the person(s) making the report of its receipt as soon as reasonably possible. This notice must be in writing, sent to the official address listed in the Registrar’s Office, if a student, or to a faculty/staff member’s address, as listed in the Cox School of Business directory. The notice to the accused student(s) must contain a charge that clearly specifies the alleged Code violation and the time and place of its alleged occurrence. This notice will include a brief description of the actions the Honor Council will take to determine if making a formal charge is appropriate. 

B. The Chairs of the Honor Council shall appoint two Investigators, a Chief Investigator and an Assistant Investigator, from the Honor Council to investigate an alleged Code violation. The Investigators shall interview potential witnesses, gather relevant evidence concerning the alleged violation, and submit a summary report no later than three days prior to the hearing. Investigations should be completed within a reasonable period of time but no earlier than ten days after accused has received notice. 

Section 9: Charging the Accused 

A. The Investigators shall present to the Chair written results of the interviews and the relevant evidence gathered during the investigation. Based on this evidence, the Chair and the two Investigators shall determine if a formal charge should be made against the accused student(s). Two of the three must agree that the alleged Code violation occurred for it to become a formal charge sent to a formal hearing of the Honor Council. The Investigators do not have a vote in the formal hearing. 

B. If an alleged violation becomes a formal charge, the Chair shall instruct the Chief Investigator to draft the charge. The Chief Investigator shall then prepare and sign the formal charge and deliver it, along with the following, to the accused student(s) within a reasonable period of time: 

C. After the formal charge has been served, the Chief Investigator will notify the Chair in writing. The Chair, after consulting with the parties and the members of the Honor Council, shall set the date for the formal hearing. The Chair will convene a Hearing Board within a reasonable time period but no sooner than within ten class days after notifying the accused. The Chair shall notify in writing the Chief Investigator, the Honor Council and the accused of the hearing date. Class days do not include: weekend days, exam days, holidays, and summer vacation days. 

Section 10: Formal Hearing 

A. A Hearing Board shall be composed of seven voting members and the Chair. The Chair of the Honor Council will vote only when expulsion is the sanction proposed for a student found responsible for violating the Code. A member may exclude himself/herself from serving on a Hearing Board for personal reasons. For the hearing to proceed, seven voting members and the Chair or the Vice-Chair must be present and operate under the same procedures outlined herein. Only one witness at a time will be allowed in the hearing room to testify, and all witnesses will be subject to questioning by the accused and the Hearing Board.

B. The Chair will open the formal hearing by reading the charge to the accused. Following the reading of the charge, the accused will be required to plead guilty or not guilty. 

C. The hearing will continue as follows: 

Section 11: Special Hearings 

A student may request that a special hearing be held during the summer time or on an accelerated schedule that is sooner than the allotted time of ten class days from time of notification. It is the sole discretion of the Honor Council, by simple majority vote, to decide to grant a special hearing for a student. In deciding to grant a special hearing, the Honor Council will consider the needs of the accused and the logistical capabilities of convening a Hearing Board during an irregular time. Special hearings will follow the same procedures outlined herein. 

Section 12: Appeals 

Any student found responsible for violating the Code shall have the right to appeal a finding of responsibility and/or the sanction(s) if substantial new evidence has been uncovered or if the accused believes that the Hearing Board has failed to abide by these procedures. Appeals must be in writing, directed to the Appeals Committee, and delivered within ten class days after the decision has been conveyed to the accused student. The Honor Council Appeals Committee shall consist of the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs or his or her designee, the student President of the full-time MBA Student Advisory Board, and the student President of the Professional MBA Student Advisory Board. The Honor Council Appeals Committee shall have sole discretion in deciding whether to accept an appeal. If an appeal is accepted, the Appeals Committee may reverse a finding of responsibility, lessen a sanction, or remand the case for a new hearing. The Appeals Committee must respond to an appeal in writing within as soon as reasonably possible after the date on which the appeal has been received. A simple majority is sufficient for a binding decision, and all three members must vote. 

Section 13: Absence of the Accused 

In the case where an accused student withdraws from the Cox School of Business before a formal hearing has been conducted, the accusation prior to withdrawal shall be recorded by the Honor Council and maintained by the Cox School of Business. The Chair of the Honor Council shall send a letter to the accused stating that he or she has been charged with a violation of the Code, that an investigation has been or will be conducted, and that a hearing will be held so that the matter may be resolved. The charge must conform to the requirements set forth in this Code. The accused may respond in one of three ways: 

Section 14: Public Notification 

Once each semester, the Chair of the Honor Council shall post to the Cox School of Business community, via Intranet, a summary of the Honor Council proceedings, including all the salient facts pertaining to any charges, the findings of the Honor Council, and any sanction(s) imposed. The name(s) of the accused and any other personally identifiable information must be withheld in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable state and/or federal statutes.