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Students mull honor system reforms, fate of single sanction

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Faculty support honor system, but quibble with the details

An Honor Committee survey of University faculty, compiled in the spring, found professors to be generally supportive of the honor system, but concerned about the single sanction and trial procedures.

The faculty survey, which had a 36 percent response rate, found that 58 percent of the faculty rated their opinion of the system as either "somewhat positive" or "very positive," and two-thirds said the system was at least somewhat effective in deterring academic dishonesty.

In cases of clear-cut academic fraud, 60 percent said they were likely to initiate an honor case. But if they only suspected wrongdoing, 81 percent said they were "uncertain" or "unlikely" to file charges.

Only 7 percent said their opinion of the system had improved over their tenure at the University.

Of those who have initiated an honor charge, roughly two-thirds were satisfied with the performance of honor advisers, investigators and counsel, but opinion was more divided once the case reached the trial. About 60 percent rated the trial's fairness as "somewhat satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory," and 59 percent described their overall experience as "unsatisfactory."

Complete survey results are available online at http://www.student.virginia.edu/~honor/.


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