Honor Code

Overview

The Honor Code system is designed to foster a campus-wide climate of honesty and integrity in order to insure that students derive the maximum possible benefit from their work at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The student becomes subject to the rules and regulations of the Honor Code upon registration.

Each student is obligated to exert every effort to insure that the Honor Code is upheld by himself/herself and others. Although the Honor Code applies only to student work, the principles which it embodies, especially the principle of giving proper credit for another’s ideas, are binding upon all members of the academic community.

The Honor System is administered by the Honor Court, a committee consisting of students and faculty. The Honor Court hears cases of alleged violations of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Honor Code.  Faculty representatives are appointed by the Faculty Senate.  Student representatives are appointed by the Student Government Association.  The Chair of the Honor Court is appointed by the Faculty Senate and is typically a non-voting member.  Should there be a tie vote, the Chair of the Honor Court will cast the deciding vote. 

To view the Honor Code, please visit the Student Handbook

Process

The Honor System uses the following process for resolving alleged academic violations of the Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures:

  1. Report

    A verbal or written report is submitted by the Complainant or other reporting party (i.e. Course instructor or academic department head).

  2. Review

    Reports are forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct. Reports found to have alleged violations of the Honor Code are assigned to the Office of Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct will setup an initial meeting with the Complainant (accuser).

  3. Investigation

    The Office of Student Conduct conducts an investigation (if needed) and has an initial meeting with the Respondent. If the Hearing Officer/Investigator believes that charges are warranted, the Respondent will be presented with their options for a hearing. The Respondent then decides whether to accept an Honor Court Waiver (if offered by the referring faculty member), to go before an Honor Court Board (HCB), or an Administrative Law Judge (TUAPA hearings only).

  4. Hearing

    If the Respondent is offered and accepts an Honor Court Waiver, the student agrees to the grade on the assignment, examination, or course as recommended by the instructor. If the Honor Court waiver is not offered or the Respondent chooses not to accept the waiver, the case will go before the Honor Court Board (HCB) or Administrative Law Judge (TUAPA hearings only). All available information is reviewed and witnesses interviewed. A resolution as to whether the Respondent is Responsible or Not Responsible is determined by the HCB or Administrative Law Judge. If found responsible, the HCB or Administrative Law Judge will determine the appropriate sanctions.

  5. Decision
    In cases heard before the Honor Court Board (HCB), the HCB will generate a determination letter outlining the decision and any sanctions assigned. The letter is then provided to the Respondent and placed in their conduct file.

    In cases heard before an Administrative Law Judge, the Administrative Law Judge generates an initial order outlining their decision and sanctions, if any. The order is then given to both the University’s and the Respondent’s attorneys.The Office of Student Conduct will follow up with the Respondent regarding assigned sanctions.

  6. Appeal
    In cases heard before the Honor Court Board (HCB), the Complainant and Respondent may appeal to the Chancellor of the University.In cases heard by an Administrative Law Judge, there are three successive levels of appeal: 1) Reconsideration by the Administrative Law Judge; 2) Chancellor of the University; and 3) Chancery Court.

    In this hearing type, the Complainant, the Respondent, and the University may each appeal the decision.

Hearings

The University has two different options for resolving alleged academic violations.

  • Honor Court Waiver: A waiver is offered by the referring faculty member as an informal and expedited resolution to alleged violations of the Honor Code. Respondents signing the waiver admit responsibility for the violation and accept the modified assignment, examination, or course grade. 

  • Honor Court Hearing A case is heard before the Honor Court, which is comprised of Students and Faculty. These individuals receive basic training from the Office of the Dean of Students. A quorum of at least three students and three faculty/staff are expected for any hearing.

  • Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act: A case is heard before an Administrative Law Judge, who is appointed by the University. The Respondent may be represented by an attorney in this process; the University is represented by the Office of General Counsel.