Types of matters that may be referred to the University Honor Council:
- Lying related to an academic matter
- Stealing academic materials
- Facilitation of academic dishonesty
If you are interested please complete the University Honor Council nomination form.
The Honor Council will be constituted annually at the beginning of the academic year. Honor Council members shall be current VCU students and faculty who are elected, selected, or appointed (classified employees are not eligible to serve on the Honor Council). Faculty appointments will take into account the diversity of the VCU faculty and input from the Faculty Senate. Student Appointments will take into account the diversity of the student body and input from the Student Government Associations.
In order to serve students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing, not have a pending honor violation and not have been found guilty previously of an honor violation.
Annually, the Office of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity shall, at the beginning of the academic year and before hearings are conducted, schedule an orientation and training session for all members of the Honor Council. Such training shall include a review of the procedures to be followed by the UHC in conducting hearings, together with such issues as confidentiality and other duties of board members. You will not be able to serve on a hearing until you have completed this training.
Hearings may be scheduled anytime Monday through Friday, between 8 AM and 7 PM. University Honor Council members serve according to their availability. We ask that the member hold two hours for a scheduled hearing – one hour for testimony, one hour for deliberations.
It may be helpful for you to read and be familiar with the Honor System.
The Honor Council hearing panel shall consist of five members: three students, two faculties, and one non-voting Chair. An Executive Board student member shall serve as the non-voting Chair. An administrator shall attend the hearing to assist the Chair. The required number of Honor Council members must be present in order to hold the hearing.
The three student members will be members of the Honor Council and shall be of the same classification as the accused (undergraduate/graduate/professional student). One of the student members shall be, if possible, from the accused student’s school. Honor Council members shall disqualify themselves from a hearing if they have a conflict of interest with either the accused or the accuser. In these instances, an alternate member shall be assigned.
Honor Council hearings shall be flexible enough to provide for the consideration of all information. If the accused student does not appear for a hearing either through refusal to attend, failure to locate following a good-faith attempt to do so, or by withdrawal from the University, the hearing shall proceed in their absence.
The following general format used for Honor Council hearings shall include, but is not limited to:
- Introduction of Honor Council members and participants in the case;
- Statement of the date, time, and location of the hearing;
- Brief summary of the possible violation;
- Reminder to you and the accuser of all afforded rights and responsibilities;
- Reminder to you that it is an honor violation to make knowingly false statements to the Honor Council;
- Reminder that you are considered not in violation of the Honor System unless there is clear and convincing evidence. Clear and convincing evidence requires that the evidence presented by the accuser must convince the Honor Council that it is substantially more likely than not that you have violated the Honor System;
- Reminder that the University community considers violations of the Honor System to be serious infractions;
- Reminder that the Honor System exists to protect honest students and alumni from those who gain, or seek to gain, an unfair advantage in an academic setting;
- Reminder that the hearing, but not the deliberations, is being recorded;
- Questions by the Honor Council, you or accuser at any time;
- Presentation of evidence and witnesses by the accuser;
- Presentation of the investigation, the determination, and evidence by the Academic Integrity Officer;
- Presentation of evidence or witnesses by you or your advisor;
- Closing statement by the accuser, and;
- Closing statement by you or your advisor.
After the hearing, the Honor Council goes into closed-session deliberations. The Administrator or designee shall not be present for the deliberations. The purposes of the deliberations are to apply the
standard of clear and convincing evidence to determine if the accused is guilty of violating the Honor System and, if there has been a violation, to assess a sanction. Members will state their opinions on each possible violation. At least four of the five members must concur to determine that the accused is in violation of the Honor System. When there is a determination that a violation has been committed, there shall be a discussion of the sanction.
Members shall state their opinions and rationale regarding the sanction. At least three of the five voting members must concur to determine the sanction. The Chair shall notify the Administrator or designee of the Honor Council’s determination. The decision shall be sent to the accused, the accuser, the course instructor, and the Dean of the accused’s school within five days, excluding weekends and University holidays.