Integrity Council In Depth

This group is the final arbiter in cases of academic integrity violation. Their decisions surrounding cases brought before them are final.

Composition:

  • Two voting faculty members selected from the Academic Advisory Committee of the Faculty Senate
  • Two voting student representatives
  • The Provost or designated appointee (voting only in a tie)

The faculty members are selected from the Academic Advisory Committee of the Faculty Senate. The student body elects the student representatives from a list of students nominated by the faculty (only one may be a graduate student) to serve for one academic year beginning in August. They must: maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA; have completed at least 75 hours at the end of the semester in which they are nominated; have declared a major and been approved by at least 90 percent of the faculty in their first declared major area.

Officers

The chair is the Provost or his designated appointee. The chair is responsible for organizing the other council members and conducting the meetings. A secretary takes minutes and keeps detailed records of council proceedings. The secretary may be chosen from the Integrity Council members (student or faculty) or may be a person designated by the chair.

Vacancies

In the event that there is a student vacancy on the Integrity Council for any reason, the sitting members of the council shall nominate an eligible student to fill the vacancy. The nominee shall be subject to the faculty department vote within the student’s first declared major area. If the chair chooses to abdicate his/her position, then the Provost will select a new chair to preside. If the Provost serves as the chair and decides to step down, he/she will choose a replacement.

Administrative Procedures

  • Should an honor code violation be reported during summer sessions, the chair will call upon the newly elected Integrity Council to carry out the necessary procedures. If a student or faculty member on the Integrity Council cannot be represented by a voting member or an alternate, the chair and the provost may select temporary or ad hoc Integrity Council members to hear the single pending case.
  • Should any member of the Integrity Council be placed on academic or disciplinary probation for any reason, he/she must vacate his/her council seat.
  • In the event of a suspected academic integrity violation by a council member, that member will be suspended from the council until the investigation of his/her case is completed. If the council member is not guilty of the charge, he or she will be immediately reinstated to the council. If he or she is guilty, then he or she will be expelled from the council permanently and normal disciplinary action will then occur.
  • SGA senators may serve on the Integrity Council, but if SGA at any time becomes an obstacle the student can be removed from the Integrity Council by the Provost.
  • All voting positions are equal. Student and faculty members have full voting rights and the freedom of speech to express their opinions. The chair will only vote in cases of a tie. All votes are confidential. Decisions of the Integrity Council are final.

Meetings

The Integrity Council will meet at least once each semester to review all academic integrity violations submitted to the Academic Integrity Council Chair and/or in a timely manner as cases are presented.

Hearing Procedures

Cases are referred to the Integrity Council when one of the following occurs:

  • A faculty member refers the case for additional consideration
  • An accused student refuses to sign the Disposition Form
  • A student has multiple integrity offenses

Hearings will convene as soon as possible, preferably within five business days of the filing of the disposition form.

Before a hearing convenes, the Academic Integrity Council Chair will request summary statements from the student and faculty member involved in the case. Before convening a hearing, the following documents should be submitted to the Integrity Council chair.

  • The student’s written summary of the circumstances of the violation. If the student refused to sign the Disposition Form, this statement should also include the student’s rationale for not signing the Disposition Form.
  • The faculty member’s written summary of the violation with rationale for the punishment outlined on the Disposition Form.

The Integrity Council will meet once each semester to review summaries of document submissions.

Meeting protocol

  • Chair will make introductions and explain procedures.
  • The faculty member and student will be given 15 minutes each to explain his/her position.
  • Students will be allowed to have a silent support person with them during the hearing. The support person will not provide advice and may not be an attorney or family member.
  • The Integrity Council will be allowed to ask questions of either party at any time.
  • Students and the faculty member can each ask up to three pertinent witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the offense to speak to the Integrity Council. The Integrity Council chair for relevance to the case must approve witnesses.
  • Council members can ask questions of witnesses at any time.
  • After all witnesses are finished, the faculty member and the student will each have five minutes to make final comments.
  • Each hearing will be transcribed.
  • Decisions will be made by majority vote.
  • A complete Integrity Council must be present consisting of two valid faculty representatives, two valid student representatives, and the chair.

Resolution

Within three business days of the hearing, the chair will contact the student and the faculty member to communicate the council’s final decision.