Honor Council

Responsibilities:

The Honor Council will provide due process to alleged violators, including:

  • Authority

  • Jurisdiction

  • Notice

  • Hearings

  • Appeal (other than separations from the University)

Students and faculty will serve on the Honor Council and will be actively involved in developing and enforcing standards pertaining to academic integrity. The duties of the Honor Council members include:

  • Attend scheduled meetings of the Honor Council.

  • Communicate and promote the Honor System to the Texas A&M University at Galveston community

  • Advise students and faculty who report violations of the Honor Code.

  • Serve as neutral investigators of alleged Honor Code violations.

  • Serve as panel members during hearings of alleged Honor Code violations.

  • Participate in training as designated by Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services.

Membership:

The Honor Council will consist of two undergraduate students, one graduate student, and two faculty members from each degree-granting academic department. The Associate Vice President for Academic Services and a representative from the Computing and Information Services department  (Faculty Support) will serve as ex-officio members.  Training for new members will take place each year.

All undergraduate student members are selected by the Student Government Association.  All graduate student members are selected in a process to be specified by the Graduate Student Council.  All faculty members are selected by the department head of their respective department.  Members may be removed from office for violations of System, University, Student, or Honor Council Rules.


Terms of the Honor Council:

Members’ terms are two years, except for the initial appointments. To provide continuity, one-half of the initial positions in each category (undergraduate, graduate, faculty) shall be for one year, as determined by a lottery.  Terms begin at the end of the spring semester and end at the conclusion of the spring semester of the final year of the appointment.  Members may serve two consecutive terms.

Replacement of faculty members who resign or are removed is made by the Academic Department for the remaining portion of the unexpired term.  Replacement of student members who resign or are removed is made by the Student Government Association or Graduate Student Council.

Honor Council Process

Step 1

A student or instructor may call the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services for clarification of an alleged violation of the Honor Code. If the student or instructor (hereinafter referred to as the “Reporting Party”) decides an alleged violation may have occurred, he/she fills out the Honor Code Violation Report form found on the TAMUG Honor System website. This report becomes a part of the Case File.

Step 2

The instructor sends the Honor Code Violation Report to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services as soon as practicable (with a preference for five (5) university business days) of the Reporting Party's discovery of the alleged violation.  A copy of the report is sent to the instructor’s department head. The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services issues a case number the report is filed in the Office of Student Affairs, and the report data is entered in the TAMUG Honor System database. The instructor may choose to handle the case autonomously, if it is determined by the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services that there are no previous violations for the student, or the instructor may choose to refer it to the Honor Council.  Reporting Parties must report all infractions, those that are handled autonomously, as well as those that will be handled by the Honor Council.

Step 3

If the instructor handles the Case autonomously, please see “Instructor Process."  If the Reporting Party refers the Case to an Honor Council investigation, the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services starts a Case File and writes a letter to the alleged violator notifying him/her of the report. At this point a student advisor is assigned to the student for guidance.

Step 4

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services appoints one student and one faculty case investigator from the members of the Honor Council, and schedules a meeting with the Case investigators and the Reporting Party.

Step 5

The Case investigators meet with the Reporting Party to gather information that supports the allegation, including the course syllabus, assignment guidelines, and any other materials that help clarify the Case. The Reporting Party may offer the names of others who have knowledge that could clarify the Case. It is critical that all communications remain confidential (until shared with the accused later in the process).

Step 6

The Case investigators meet with the alleged violator to gather information. The alleged violator is given a copy of the Honor Code Violation Report during this meeting. The Case investigators may also meet with other persons who have information about the case. The alleged violator may give the Case investigators names of persons who may have clarifying information about the Case.

Step 7

The Case investigators write a report summarizing all interviews conducted. The official report will contain all information and documents collected. They send this report to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services. The report becomes a part of the Case File.

Step 8

The Case investigators determine whether there is sufficient information to support a violation of the Honor Code.  If there is not sufficient information to support a violation, the case investigators so inform the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services. The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services will then create an Event File to keep a record of the investigation on file. The Event File will not contain references to the alleged violator’s name. No further action occurs.

If the Case investigators determine there is sufficient evidence to hear the Case, they recommend that the Case continue to a Hearing Panel. Both the Reporting Party and the alleged violator have the opportunity to review the Case file before the hearing.

Step 9

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services selects three members of the Honor Council and a Chair to serve as a Hearing Panel. The Hearing Panel is comprised of at least two faculty members. These three members are voting members. A fourth member is selected as the non-voting Chair. The Chair position alternates between student and faculty Honor Council members.

Step 10

A hearing date and time are set by the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services. The alleged violator and Hearing Panel members inform the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services if there are any conflicts of interest.

The Chair and Hearing Panel members receive an advance copy of the Case Materials just prior to the case hearing to conduct a rudimentary preparation only.  The case materials will not be shared or discussed among the hearing panel members prior to the beginning of the panel.  The Case hearing will be held at a specified time at a location disclosed only to the parties involved in the hearing.

Step 11

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services furnishes an agenda for the hearing procedure, which is based on the official reports. Hearing Panel members listen to all who provide information and then deliberate in private.

Step 12

The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services notifies the alleged violator in writing of the Hearing Panel decision. If the alleged violator is found in violation and sanctioned an “F*”, or if the alleged violator is sanctioned to attend the Remediation Program, he or she shall contact the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services for further instructions.

A student found responsible for a violation has five (5) university business days to file an appeal in writing to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services. There are four bases of appeal:

  • Substantial new evidence not available at the time of the original hearing
  • Procedural irregularities
  • The sanction is not commensurate with the violation
  • The finding of responsibility is inconsistent with the facts presented in the hearing.  An evaluation of the written appeal by the Director will determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted.  Students will be given opportunity to have one appeal, and can get assistance from the Honor System Office when filling out the appeals form.  An evaluation of the written appeal by the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services will determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted.  Students will be given opportunity to have one appeal, and can get assistance from the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services when filling out the appeals form.

Note: The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Auxiliary Services has the option of extending any deadline for extenuating circumstances.

Follow Us On: FacebookTwitteryoutube button