Honor Code

For Students: Handling Honor Code Issues

All students should feel empowered to address honor code violations or potential Honor Code violations. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to the student directly.

If the student is considering violating the honor code, remind the student that they have other options. In all cases, it is better for a student to do their own work … even if they get a lower grade on a test or assignment … than to experience the personal, academic and professional consequences associated with violating the Honor Code.

If the student has already violated the honor code, encourage the student to tell the professor or the Honor Code Officer. The Honor Code Officer for the Early Career/Career Change program is Judy O'Neill, Associate Dean and Director of Admission.   The Honor Code Officer for the MBA for Professionals program is Alex Subert, Assistant Dean and Director of Admission.

If you do not feel comfortable talking with the student, you should talk to the professor of the course or the Honor Code Officer.


What are Honor Code Violations of Academic Honesty?
Honor Code violations of academic honesty pertain to actions that occur within the realm of class deliverables, tests, team projects, presentations, papers, grading and attendance records, communication with the professor, and communication with other students. Academic violations of the Honor Code include but are not limited to: plagiarism, cheating, unauthorized possession or disposition of academic materials, and misrepresentation.

Plagiarism: "Plagiarism" is the improper use of another person's ideas or words without acknowledgment. Examples of plagiarism include: 1) failing to use quotation marks when quoting from a source; 2) failing to document the source of distinctive ideas, or 3) fabricating or inventing sources.

Cheating: “Cheating" is using unauthorized materials or giving or receiving unauthorized assistance during an examination or other academic exercise. Specific examples of cheating include: 1) collaborating with another student on a deliverable, test, or other academic work beyond the level designated for the assignment; 2) copying the work of another student or permitting another student to copy your work during an examination or other academic exercise; 3) taking an examination or completing an assignment for another student or allowing another student to take your examination or complete your assignment; and 4) possessing unauthorized notes, study sheets or other materials during an examination.

Unauthorized Possession or Disposition of Academic Materials: Includes: 1) taking, selling or purchasing examinations or other academic work; 2) taking another student's academic work without permission; 3) facilitating academic dishonesty; and 4) submitting the same paper for two different classes without specific authorization from the two faculty members

Misrepresentation: Includes but is not limited to: 1) lying to a faculty member in regard to a course; 2) falsifying information, records or document.

A discussion of expected academic behaviors of Atkinson School students is available in the segment of the Student Handbook titled "Expectations of Academic and Professional Behavior."

In the absence of a specific policy or regulation within the area of academic honesty, the Honor Code standards of excellence are the default Atkinson School policy. As such, students are expected to:

  • not seek an unfair advantage over other members, including but not limited to giving or receiving unauthorized aid during completion of academic and professional requirements;
  • honestly represent one’s self and facts at all times;
  • respect the personal and property rights of all members of the Atkinson community.

What are Honor Code Violations of Professional Behavior?
Honor Code violations of professional behavior pertain to a student’s conduct within the educational process, learning environment, use of University facilities and resources, group process and team responsibilities, student activities, school guests, client interactions, on-campus and off-campus events, internship supervisors, places of employment, career management activities, and communication with others, etc. Professional behavior violations of the Honor Code include but are not limited to: actions related to seeking an unfair advantage over other members of a group or other groups; representing yourself or your group in a manner that does not communicate a truthful representation of the facts; showing disrespect for the personal rights or property rights of others, disrupting the educational process, and representing yourself in an unprofessional manner.

A discussion of expected professional behaviors of Atkinson School students is available in the segment of the Student Handbook titled "Expectations of Academic and Professional Behavior."

In the absence of a specific policy or regulation within the area of professional behavior, the Honor Code standards of excellence are the default Atkinson School policy. As such, students are expected to:

  • not seek an unfair advantage over other members, including but not limited to giving or receiving unauthorized aid during completion of academic and professional requirements;
  • honestly represent one’s self and facts at all times;
  • respect the personal and property rights of all members of the Atkinson community.

What Are the Possible Consequences of an Honor Code Violation?
The consequences for a respondent found “responsible” for the violation of the Honor Code may include (but are not limited to) one or more of the sanctions listed below.

  • verbal or written warning
  • verbal or written reprimand
  • required written statement by the student found responsible, acknowledging the violation and reaffirming his/her commitment to follow the Honor Code
  • required submission of additional course work
  • assignment of the grade of “F” for a course deliverable or test
  • assignment of the grade of “F” for a course
  • withdrawal from the course
  • loss of scholarship assistance
  • restitution to others harmed by the conduct
  • required skill-building or training
  • monitored probation requiring specific behaviors and outcomes during the probation period
  • exclusion from participating in specific class or leadership activities, career management programs, courses involving travel to another site, and other activities in which the respondent would be seen as a representative of the University
  • suspension from the MBA program
  • permanent dismissal from the MBA program

The consequence for violating the Honor Code should reflect the following considerations:

  • whether the respondent’s conduct was purposeful, knowing, reckless or merely negligent,
  • whether the respondent has been previously found responsible for violating the Honor Code,
  • any need to protect the learning environment from repeated violations from the respondent or other students,
  • the removal of any unfair advantage gained by the conduct,
  • restitution to another person if injured by the respondent’s conduct,
  • sensitivity to the impact upon the respondent’s reputation and future.

What Should I Do if I am Suspected of Violating the Honor Code?
The best thing to do is to speak honestly with the faculty member or administrator who is in charge of the class or activity related to the violation, or speak directly to the Honor Code Officer. The Honor Code Officer for the Early Career/Career Change program is Judy O'Neill, Associate Dean and Director of Admission.   The Honor Code Officer for the MBA for Professionals program is Alex Subert, Assistant Dean and Director of Admission. 


When is the Honor Council involved in a violation of an Honor Code?
Honor Code cases will be forwarded to the Honor Council for hearing and decision if a student contests responsibility for violating the honor code and/or the consequences assigned by the faculty member.


What are the Rights of Students Involved in an Honor Code Procedure?
A student who is charged with violating the Honor Code has the right to:

  • contest the resolution proposed by the Honor Code Officer. If a student contests the resolution, the case will move to the Honor Council for an Honor Council Hearing. 
  • present their case to the Honor Council in the hearing. This includes submitting documents, witnesses and testimony to support their case.
  • bring one advocate to the Honor Council hearing. The advocate may talk to the student, but may not speak on behalf of the student or speak directly to the Honor Council.
  • appeal the Honor Council’s decision to the Dean. 
  • to listen to the audiotape of their Honor Council hearing in the case of an appeal of the Honor Council's decision to the Dean. 

What Should I Do if I Do Not Agree with The Honor Council’s Decision?
You may accept the Honor Council’s decision or appeal the decision to the Atkinson School Dean by notifying the Honor Code Officer. The appeal must be received by the Honor Code Officer in writing (email or paper document) within five (5) working days of the day the reporter and respondent received notification of the decision of the Honor Council. An appeal to the Dean may only be based on:

  • significant new evidence not presented in the Honor Council hearing which was unknown to the person making the appeal at the time of the original hearing,
  • significant factual errors that have been rectified,
  • significant demonstrated failure of the Atkinson School to follow its own processes and procedures,
  • a clearly excessive consequence,
  • misconduct on the part of the Honor Code Officer or Honor Council, or
  • evidence of bias on the part of the Honor Code Office or member of the Honor Council

If the Dean upholds the Honor Council’s decision, the decision is final. If the Dean sends comments back to the Honor Council, the Honor Council will meet within five (5) working days to review the comments. After review of the Dean's comments, the Honor Council shall reaffirm or alter its decision. At this point, the decision of the Honor Council is final.


Is It Ever Necessary to Violate the Honor Code?
It is never necessary to violate the Honor Code, regardless of the situation. A student always has other choices that could maintain their personal honesty and integrity, and the learning environment of the Atkinson School. It is far better for a student to do their own work - even if it means they will get a lower grade on a test or assignment -  than to experience the personal, academic and professional consequences associated with violating the Honor Code. Follow these guidelines:

  • talk to someone about your concerns,
  • think before you act,
  • cite your resources,
  • do you own work, do not copy the work of others regardless of the source,
  • understand the expectations of good academic and professional behavior, and the expectations of your professors,
  • understand the acceptable level of collaboration for each assignment.  If you are in doubt regarding expectations for an assignment, talk to your professor,
  • you always have a choice that is better than violating the honor code. If you are overwhelmed, talk with your professor or a member of the staff for help.
  • prioritize the values of learning, honesty and integrity over the short-term gain of a grade. If a person can't trust you or the decisions you make, your grades won't matter.