Senate to students: Reject lying
and cheating in your midst
By Matt Kelly
Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee has been examining, since
last fall, the student-run Honor System, which requires students convicted of
lying, stealing or cheating to be expelled from the University. In its report
April 8, the committee recommended restoration of the nontoleration clause to
the Honor System as “an essential step for students to assert their full
control and responsibility for their Honor System.” The nontoleration clause,
eliminated from the code in the 1970s, requires a student who is aware of an
honor violation to report it, and failure to do so is itself an honor violation.
The committee also suggested continued dialogue on the system’s lone sanction
of expulsion, saying that alternatives could strengthen the community of trust.
Kenneth A. Schwartz, a member of the Academic Affairs Committee,
said elimination of the nontoleration clause had eroded
student ownership of the system, to
the point where up to 85 percent of the cases some years were initiated by
He also cited a recent Honor Committee survey that indicated only 36 percent
of the students were willing to initiate cases. Seventy-four percent of the
surveyed students said they had not committed an honor violation.
Some professors have suggested faculty members stop initiating
cases until students take more ownership of the system.
The committee recommended establishing a system of legal
and administrative support for faculty initiators and
witnesses in honor cases.
The report suggested the senate work with the administration,
the Honor Committee and the Board of Visitors to promote
the Honor System as a
of the University.
Pamela A. Kulbok, co-chairperson of the committee, said while
the senate can’t
make changes to the student-run system, the additional discussions about it would
The senators approved the committee’s recommendations with no dissent and
The senate also approved a committee recommendation, with
a single “no” vote,
that the School of Engineering and Applied Science close its bachelor’s
degree program in applied mathematics as of May 2008, allowing those already
in the program to complete their degrees. The master’s of applied mathematics
and the Ph.D. programs will close this year. The programs are being dropped because
of low enrollment.
Vice President and Provost Gene Block reported that tenure discussions
were murky with people crossing disciplines, and he said teacher
have dropped off sharply after being put online.
In other business, the senate’s
nominating committee offered a slate of officers for the 2004-05
academic year, including
Houston G. Wood III as chairman-elect and
Deborah G. Johnson as secretary. Arlene W.
Keeling and Kenneth A. Schwartz were nominated to vie for a
lone vacancy on the executive council to replace Kulbok. The
and unopposed. Senate
members will vote via mailed ballots.