Operational Procedures

Student The Student Honor Code Council Office is responsible for coordinating efforts to promote academic integrity and to reduce and control academic dishonesty. The Office oversees all activities of the Student Honor Code Council to include the coordination of student and faculty training on academic integrity/dishonesty, the management and organization of all procedural requirements of adjudicating academic misconduct, and the promotion of academic integrity.

The Student Honor Code Office is the central office maintaining records and providing assistance with academic integrity cases. Any member of the university community should call the Student Honor Code Office staff for clarification and assistance with alleged violations of the Student Honor Code.

Statistical Information

View the current MSU Student Honor Code (PDF)

ExpandRemoval of XF notation from your transcript

  1. Students must register for the Academic Honesty workshops by contacting Beth Downey at edowney@library.msstate.edu or sign up on the library's Calendar of Events webpage located at: http://events.library.msstate.edu/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp.

    These workshops are held in Presentation Room 1405, located on the first floor of the Mitchell Memorial Library. Students will be required to purchase Charles Lipson's book, Doing Honest Work in College (ISBN#978-0226484778), and read selections prior to the workshop.
  2. After completing the Academic Honesty workshop, students must notify the Honor Code Council Office by sending an email to jsm248@saffairs.msstate.edu using their MSU issued email account.
  3. After notifying the Honor Code Council Office about the completion of the Academic Honesty workshop, students will be sent information on how to sign up for the online Ethics class. The cost of this class, $150, will be charged to the student's MSU account.

Expand I. Definitions Pertaining to the Mississippi State University Student Honor Code

Expand I. A. Introduction

Mississippi State University is dedicated to the discovery, development, communication and application of knowledge in a wide range of academic and professional fields and assumes as its historic trust the maintenance of freedom of inquiry and an intellectual environment nurturing the human mind and spirit. The Mississippi State University Student Honor Code is critical to these ideals, to the goal of assuming a place of preeminence in higher education, and to the development of the whole student.1

Expand I. B. Community Responsibility

Academic dishonesty is a corrosive force in the academic life of a university. It jeopardizes the quality of education and depreciates the genuine achievements of others. It is, without reservation, a responsibility of all members of the Mississippi State University community to actively deter it. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of academic dishonesty is not a neutral act -- failure to confront and deter it will reinforce, perpetuate, and enlarge the scope of such misconduct.2

As such, a primary responsibility assumed by Mississippi State University students is to discourage violations of the Student Honor Code by others. Various methods of discouragement exist including drawing attention to a suspected violation and moral suasion. Initiating formal procedures is an expected remedy when other methods are inappropriate or have failed. Self-reporting is encouraged and may be considered a mitigating circumstance in the sanctioning phase of a particular case.

Additionally, faculty and staff share in the responsibility and authority to challenge and make known acts that violate the Student Honor Code. All faculty (including faculty for on-line courses) are expected to take proactive steps to promote academic integrity including, but not limited to, adding the Student Honor Code statement and other appropriate language to their syllabi that describes prohibited behavior and the consequences of such activity; and, having an open discussion about academic integrity with students in their courses early in the semester. Additionally, faculty members are expected to adhere to the policy pertaining to the reporting and adjudication of violations of the Student Honor Code. Initiating formal procedures is a necessary and obligatory component of this shared responsibility. (See A.O.P. 13.03 Faculty Responsibilities in Instruction)

Collaboration and sharing information are characteristics of academic communities. These become violations when they involve dishonesty or are used in ways that give a student an unfair advantage. Faculty members should make clear to students their expectations about collaboration and information sharing. Students should seek clarification when in doubt.3

Expand I. C. Definitions of Academic Misconduct 4, 5

Summary:
Places the responsibility for authenticating students' work on the students. Defines the various forms of academic dishonesty.

Misconduct in research or scholarship includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, reviewing, or reporting research or other academic work. It does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.

Mississippi State University students are responsible for authenticating any assignment submitted to an instructor or graduate committee, excluding examinations. If asked, a student must be able to produce proof that the assignment submitted is indeed the work of that student. Students must keep appropriate records at all times. The inability to authenticate one's work, should the instructor or graduate committee request it, is sufficient grounds to initiate an academic dishonesty case.

Commission of any of the following acts shall constitute academic dishonesty. This listing is not, however, exclusive of any other acts that may reasonably be said to constitute academic dishonesty. Clarification is provided for each definition with a listing of some prohibited behaviors.

  1. Cheating:
    Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices or materials in any academic exercise.

    Clarification:
    1. Students completing any examination are prohibited from looking at another student's examination and from using external aids (for example, books, notes, calculators, conversation with others, electronic devices) unless specifically allowed in advance by the instructor.
    2. Students may not have others conduct research or prepare work for them without advance authorization from the instructor.
    3. Students may not acquire answers for any assigned work or examination from any unauthorized source. This includes, but is not limited to, the services of commercial term paper companies; purchasing answer sets to homework from tutoring companies; and students who have previously taken the examination.
    4. Collaboration with other students in the completion of assigned work is also prohibited unless specifically authorized by course instructor. Students should assume that all assignments are to be completed individually unless the instructor indicates otherwise.
  2. Fabrication:
    Making up data or results and recording or reporting them.

    Clarification:
    1. The intentional invention and unauthorized alteration of any information or citation in any academic exercise.
    2. "Invented" information shall not be used in any laboratory experiment, report of results or academic exercise. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and then "invent" data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses.
    3. Students shall acknowledge the actual source from which cited information was obtained. For example, a student shall not take a quotation from a book review and then indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.
    4. Changing information on tests, quizzes, examinations, reports, or any other material that has been graded and resubmitting it as original for the purpose of improving the grade on that material.
  3. Falsification:
    Manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research or academic work is not accurately represented in the research or work record.
  4. Multiple Submission:
    The submission of substantial portions of the same work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization from the instructor of the class for which the student submits the work.

    Clarification:
    1. Submitting the same paper for credit in more than one course in the same semester without the instructor's permission.
    2. Making revisions in a paper or report (including oral presentations) which has been submitted and graded in a previous semester and submitting it for credit in another class without the instructor's permission.
    3. Representing group work done in one class as one's own work for the purpose of using it in another class.
  5. Plagiarism:
    The appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

    Clarification:
    1. Intentionally, knowingly, or carelessly presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper credit).
    2. Failing to credit sources used in a work product in an attempt to pass off the work as one's own.
    3. Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, including papers obtained in whole or in part from individuals or other sources.
    4. The internet, data bases and other electronic resources must be cited if they are utilized in any way as resource material in an academic exercise.
    General information pertaining to plagiarism:
    1. Faculty members are responsible for identifying any specific style/format requirement for the course. Examples include, but are not limited to, American Psychological Association (APA) style and Modern Languages Association (MLA) style.
    2. Direct Quotation: Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or appropriate indentation and must be properly acknowledged in the text by citation or in a footnote or endnote.
    3. Paraphrase: Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized, in whole or in part, in one's own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state: "To paraphrase Locke's comment,..." and then conclude with a footnote or endnote identifying the exact reference.
    4. Borrowed facts: Information gained in reading or research, which is not common knowledge, must be acknowledged.
    5. Common knowledge: Common knowledge includes generally known facts such as the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc. Materials, which add only to a general understanding of the subject, may be acknowledged in the bibliography and need not be footnoted or endnoted.
    6. Footnotes, endnotes, and in-text citations: One footnote, endnote, or in-text citation is usually enough to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences are drawn from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted and acknowledgment made. Similarly, when a passage is paraphrased, acknowledgment is required.
  6. Complicity:
    Intentionally or knowingly helping, or attempting to help, another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

    Clarification:
    1. Knowingly allowing another to copy from one's paper during an examination or test.
    2. Distributing test questions or substantive information about the materials to be tested without the instructor's permission.
    3. Collaborating on academic work knowing that the collaboration will not be reported.
    4. Taking an examination or test for another student.
    5. Signing another's name on an academic exercise.
    6. Conspiring or agreeing with one or more persons to commit, or attempting to commit, any act of academic dishonesty.
  7. Violation of Departmental or College Rules:
    Students may not violate any announced departmental or college rule relating to academic matters including, but not limited to, abuse or misuse of computer access or information in any academic exercise.

Expand I. D. Academic Dishonesty Sanctions 6

Summary:
Establishes the authority of the Student Honor Code Council to assign any applicable sanction, including grade sanctions and separation from the University.

Establishes the "XF" or "Dishonesty F" sanction.

Establishes the authority of faculty members (instructors of record) to assign an XF sanction, probation, and referral to the Academic Integrity Intervention Program.

Instances of academic misconduct represent behavior that is of an especially serious nature. Sanctions assigned for academic misconduct should convey the message that this type of behavior serves as a destructive force within the academic community. However a range of sanctions can be employed in order to strike an appropriate balance between sending a message of accountability and enhancing a student's moral and cognitive development.

The Student Honor Code Council is empowered with assigning sanctions that are outlined within Mississippi State University's policies. These sanctions include separation from the institution, probationary status, and documentation that a violation has occurred. In addition, the Student Honor Code Council is also empowered to assign appropriate academic and/or educational sanctions based upon the specifics of the incident. Examples of appropriate academic sanctions include receiving a failing grade or other grade penalty for the course for academic misconduct. Educational sanctions include requiring a student to complete the Academic Integrity Intervention Program. Decisions by the Student Honor Code Council Hearing Panels are binding on all parties.

Faculty members may assign sanctions up to an XF in the course, probation and referral to the Academic Integrity Intervention Program. There may be additional consequences for a student within their academic major based upon an involvement in academic misconduct. Students are encouraged to discuss their involvement in an academic misconduct situation with their academic advisor.

Sanctioning Guidelines:
When it is determined by the Student Honor Code Council or a faculty member that a student has violated the Student Honor Code, the following sanctions may be applied:

  1. XF sanction: The XF sanction is intended to identify a student that has failed to uphold the values of academic integrity at Mississippi State University. A student receiving an XF sanction will be administratively dropped from the course. The XF sanction shall be documented on the student's transcript with the notation "failure due to academic dishonesty". The XF shall be treated as an F for the purposes of calculating Grade Point Average and determination of academic class standing. Further, a student who receives an XF will be on disciplinary probation with the university for reasons of academic misconduct until such time as the student completes all requirements of the sanction. Students receiving the XF sanction shall be required to successfully complete an Academic Integrity Intervention Program administered through the Student Honor Code Office. This requirement must be completed prior to a student being eligible to request to have the XF changed to an F on their transcript. This requirement must also be completed before the student is eligible to repeat the course in which the XF was assigned. XF is a disciplinary sanction, not a grade sanction. Assigning a grade sanction with the "X" notation is prohibited.
  2. Lowered course grade: An appropriate grade penalty may be applied only if the decision is made that the student may remain in the course after being found responsible for academic misconduct. The lowered course grade may result from assigning a "0" on the assignment involved in the dishonesty or by assigning a final course grade lower than the student earned. A student may not drop a course to avoid a lowered course grade sanction.
  3. Educational sanction: Any student found responsible for academic dishonesty may be required to complete the Academic Integrity Intervention Program, in addition to any other sanction assigned. Failure to complete the program in the time frame assigned by the Student Honor Code Office will result in the student being placed on "hold" until such time as the program is completed.
  4. Removal from the University: This sanction includes suspension from the University for a specified period of time or permanent expulsion from the University. Removal from the University can only be assigned by the Student Honor Code Council.

Removal of X from the transcript:
The student must submit a written request to the Student Honor Code Council to have the "XF" removed and permanently replaced with an F. The decision to remove the "XF" will be enacted by the Student Honor Code Council only on the student's successful completion of the Academic Integrity Intervention Program. A student will remain on disciplinary probation until the notation of "XF" is removed from their transcript and replaced with an F. Additionally, the resulting F will not be eligible for any "grade forgiveness policy" and cannot be replaced for the calculation of a student's Grade Point Average.

Expand I. E. Authority to Revoke a Degree

Mississippi State University has the authority to revoke the degree of a former student if a finding of academic dishonesty is determined after the student graduated. The basis for revocation of the degree would be if the sanction that is assigned for dishonesty would have caused the student to be ineligible to receive the degree at that time.

The Student Honor Code Council will be responsible for investigating the allegation, conducting a hearing if appropriate, and determining the sanction in accordance with the Student Honor Code. The Student Honor Code Council's decision may be appealed under the provisions of the Student Honor Code. If a sanction is assigned to the former student, then the case is referred to the college that awarded the degree to determine if the sanction would have made the student ineligible for the degree. If the answer is no, then the record of the dishonesty is placed in the student's record and on the transcript as appropriate. If the answer is yes, then the college dean will recommend revocation of the degree to the Provost and Executive Vice President, who will make the final decision and notify the student, the college and the Student Honor Code Office. The decision by the Provost and Executive Vice President cannot be appealed.

Expand II. Procedures Pertaining to the Mississippi State University Student Honor Code

Expand II. A. Honor Violation Reporting

Summary:
Sets forth the procedures for reporting an alleged incident of academic misconduct.

Initiating formal procedures is a necessary and obligatory remedy when other methods are inappropriate or have failed. Any report will initiate some action by the Student Honor Code Office and can potentially lead to the initiation of a case. Reports may be made via electronic media, written letter, in person and/or telephone conversation. The preferred reporting methods are electronically or in written form.

Reporting Procedures
Any person in the Mississippi State University academic community (students, faculty, staff and administration) shall report alleged incidents of academic dishonesty that come to their knowledge. Reports of alleged incidents of academic dishonesty may be reported to the Student Honor Code Office, to any member of the Student Honor Code Council, to the instructor of the course, any member of the graduate committee or any other faculty member, or any appropriate university official. Reports may be filed initially verbally, electronically or in writing. Upon receipt of such a report, any member of the university community is obligated to refer that report to the course instructor, graduate committee chair, or the Student Honor Code Office. The party responsible for investigating the case will contact the person reporting the alleged incident to learn additional details in order to pursue the case in accordance with Student Honor Code procedures.

Expand II. B. Handling of Alleged Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

Summary:
Designates the Student Honor Code Office as the administrative coordination point for handling all cases of academic misconduct.

A faculty member may handle cases directly in the following situations:
1. It is a first time offense.
2. It is not anticipated to require a sanction greater than an XF.
3. The student does not request referral to the Student Honor Code Council.

A faculty member may refer the case to the Student Honor Code Council at any point in the process. The student may appeal the faculty member's decision to the Student Honor Code Council.

The Student Honor Code Office will be the central office maintaining records and providing assistance with cases. Any member of the university community should call the Student Honor Code Office staff for clarification and assistance with alleged violations of the Student Honor Code. There are two options when reporting an alleged violation: Report the alleged violation to the Student Honor Code Office or report the alleged violation to the faculty member responsible for the course or assignment in which the alleged violation occurred. Faculty members have the option of turning the case over to the Student Honor Code Office or handling the case in the department. If the case is referred to the Student Honor Code Office, the faculty member completes the Student Honor Code Violation Report Form (pp. 16-17) and sends it to the Student Honor Code Office for further consideration within five (5) university business days of learning of the alleged incident. If the faculty member chooses to handle the case, he or she should contact the Student Honor Code Office to determine if a student has a prior Student Honor Code violation and follow the Faculty Process outlined on p.15.

Finally, students who are accused of a Student Honor Code violation may not drop the course in which there is an allegation of dishonesty. A class previously dropped may be reinstated in a student's record if a violation is found to have occurred after the student successfully dropped the course. If academic dishonesty is determined and an XF sanction is assigned while a course is still in session, the student is no longer eligible to attend the class, effective on the date of the decision.

Expand II. C. Student Honor Code Council Process

Summary:
This process applies to allegations of academic misconduct in undergraduate or graduate coursework, comprehensive exams, research projects, theses or dissertations, internships, or any other academic work.

Notification includes the department head or graduate coordinator, the dean for both the student and the course, if different, and the Graduate School Dean, if the case involves a graduate student.

The Student Honor Code Director may extend deadlines for extenuating circumstances.

Required documents for the case file:

  1. Student Honor Code Council summary report form of interviews and other investigative activities.
  2. Letter(s) from Director to alleged violator. Response letter(s) from alleged violator.
Step 1

A report filed with the Student Honor Code Office results in the beginning of a case file and notification of the parties involved, including the student, the faculty member the department head or graduate coordinator and the dean(s).

Faculty members must report all infractions, those that are handled by the faculty member as well as those that will be handled by the Student Honor Code Council. The faculty member sends the report to the Student Honor Code Office within five (5) university business days of learning of the alleged incident.

Step 2

A member of the Student Honor Code Office staff gathers information from the reporting faculty member.

Step 3

A member of the Student Honor Code Office staff meets with the accused student to gather information. The accused student is given the incident report during this meeting. A member of the Student Honor Code Office staff may also meet with other persons who have information about the case. The accused student may give a member of the Student Honor Code Office staff names of persons who may have clarifying information about the case. Interviews are conducted.

Step 4

A member of the Student Honor Code Office staff submits a report to the Student Honor Code Director summarizing all information collected and all interviews conducted. The report concludes with a recommendation on whether there is sufficient information to support the allegation of academic misconduct. If there is not sufficient information to support the allegation, the Director creates an event file that contains no reference to the accused student's name. If there is sufficient information to support the allegation, the case continues to a hearing panel. Both the reporting faculty member and the accused student have the opportunity to review the report before the hearing.

Step 5

Six members of the Student Honor Code Council are selected to serve as a Hearing Panel. The Hearing Panel is comprised of three faculty members and two student members. These five are voting members. A sixth member is selected as a non-voting Chair. The Chair position can either be a student or faculty Student Honor Code Council member or the Student Honor Code Director. The Student Honor Code Director may permit a Hearing Panel to consist of fewer than six members in extenuating circumstances as long as there remains a voting majority for the faculty members on the panel.

Step 6

A hearing date and time are set and all parties are notified. The Chair and Hearing Panel members receive an advanced copy of the case file in preparation for the hearing. Hearings will be conducted in accordance with applicable due process requirements.

Step 7

The Student Honor Code Director furnishes a script for the hearing procedure. Hearing Panel members listen to all evidence presented during the hearing and then deliberate in private. The Chair then announces the results to those present at the conclusion of the hearing. All decisions by the Student Honor Code Council Hearing Panels are binding on all parties.

Step 8

The Director notifies the student in writing of the Hearing Panel decision, normally within 48 hours. Notification of the Hearing Panel's decision is sent to all parties involved in the case, including the student, the faculty member, the department head or graduate coordinator and the dean(s).

Appeal

A student found responsible for academic misconduct has five (5) university business days after being notified of the decision to file an appeal in writing to the Student Honor Code Director. There are four reasons for appeal:

  1. Substantial new evidence not available at the time of the orginal hearing.
  2. Procedural irregularities.
  3. The sanction is not commensurate with the violation.
  4. The finding of responsibility is inconsistent with the facts presented in the hearing.

For an appeal to be considered valid one or more reasons for appeal must be cited and appropriately supported in the written appeal.

The Student Honor Code Director will evaluate the written appeal to determine whether an appeal hearing is warranted. If the appeal is granted, an Appeal Hearing Panel is formed following the same procedures as above. The members of the Appeal Hearing Panel shall be different than the members of the original hearing panel. Students are limited to one appeal per case. The decision of the Appeal Hearing Panel is final.

Expand II. D. Faculty Process

Summary:
This process applies to allegations of academic misconduct in undergraduate or graduate coursework, comprehensive exams, research projects, theses or dissertations, internships, or any other academic work.

Notification includes the department head or graduate coordinator, the dean for both the student and the course, if different, and the Graduate School Dean, if the case involves a graduate student.

The Student Honor Code Director may extend deadlines for extenuating circumstances.

Step 1

Upon learning of alleged academic misconduct, the faculty member shall contact the Student Honor Code Office to report the incident, begin a case file, and obtain background information on the accused student, if any. If the student has a previous record, the case is required to be referred to the Student Honor Code Council for further handling.

Step 2

If there is no previous record and the faculty member decides to handle the case individually, the faculty member will then meet with the accused student. In this meeting, the faculty member shall inform the student of the allegation and give the student the opportunity to be heard.

Step 3

After meeting with the accused student the faculty member will determine if academic misconduct has occurred. If no misconduct is found the case is dropped, no action against the student is taken, and the decision is reported to the Student Honor Code Office. If the faculty member determines that there has been academic misconduct, the faculty member determines the severity of the violation and assesses a sanction in accordance with Student Honor Code policies. The faculty member completes and submits the Student Honor Code Violation Report Form (pp. 16-17) to the Student Honor Code Office.

In all cases, if the faculty member determines the violation deserves a greater penalty than an XF, the case must be referred to the Student Honor Code Office for adjudication.

Step 4

The faculty member then meets with the student to notify him/her of the decision, the sanction, and of the adjudication and appeal process. Each student is required to check one of the student response options on the Student Honor Code Violation Report Form and sign the form.

Step 5

If the student accepts responsibility for the academic misconduct and accepts the sanction assigned by the faculty member, the Student Honor Code Violation Report Form is sent to the Student Honor Code Director within five (5) University business days where it is included in the case file and the case is completed.

If the student indicates on the Student Honor Code Violation Report Form that they do not agree with the sanction or deny the misconduct occurred, the faculty member submits the Student Honor Code Violation Report Form and all applicable documentation to the Student Honor Code Director within five (5) University business days. This submission begins the process by which the Student Honor Code Office adjudicates the case (see section on the Student Honor Code Council Process).

Expand II. E. Student Honor Code Violation Report Form

Honor Code Violation Report Form (PDF) - Please return this form to the Student Honor Code Office on the 2nd Floor of the YMCA Building, (Mailstop 9515)

Expand Approval

The Mississippi State University Student Honor Code has been ratified by the following bodies and approved by the President:

Ratified by the Mississippi State University Student Senate
December 1, 2006
Student Body President J.R. Love

Ratified by the Mississippi State University Graduate Council
January 26, 2007
Graduate Council Chair, Dr. Barbara Spencer, College of Business and Industry

Ratified by the Mississippi State University Robert Holland Faculty Senate
February 9, 2007
Faculty Senate President, Dr. Robert Wolverton, College of Arts and Sciences

APPROVED by Mississippi State University President Robert H. Foglesong
February 15, 2007

REVISED and APPROVED by Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum
July 1, 2011

Expand References

  1. Adapted from the Texas A&M University Honor System, available at http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/
  2. Code of Academic Integrity, University of Maryland - College Park (p. 1), available at http://www.studenthonorcouncil.umd.edu/code.html
  3. Task Force Report on Texas A&M University Honor System (p. 5), available at http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/FinalTaskForceReport.pdf
  4. Adapted from Texas A&M University Honor System (Definitions), available at http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/Definitions
  5. Adapted from Western Michigan University (Academic Dishonesty Definitions), available at http://www.osc.wmich.edu/academichonesty/definitionsofviolations.html
  6. Adapted from Texas A&M University Honor System (Sanctions), available at http://www.tamu.edu/aggiehonor/Sanctions.doc

Expand III. Operating Guidelines for the Mississippi State University Student Honor Code

Expand III. A. Promotion and Communication of Academic Integrity

  1. All Mississippi State University course syllabi shall contain a section that states the Student Honor Code and refers the student to the Student Honor Code Procedures on the University website. The minimum required statement is as follows. Additional information about the expectation of integrity in the particular course may be appropriate:

    "As a Mississippi State University student I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do."

    Upon accepting admission to Mississippi State University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Student Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Student Honor Code. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the Mississippi State University community from the requirements or the processes of the Student Honor Code.

    For additional information please visit:
    www.honorcode.msstate.edu
  2. On all course work, assignments, or examinations done by students at Mississippi State University, adherence to the Student Honor Code is expected. It is strongly recommended that instructors print the following on assignments and examinations and require each student to sign:


    "On my honor, as a Mississippi State University student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this academic work."



    Student Signature



    This statement means that the student understands and has complied with the requirements of the Student Honor Code and the assignment as set forth by the instructor.
  3. The Student Honor Code Office will maintain a website that will bring together resources used to promote academic integrity and to address academic dishonesty. The web site will allow students and faculty members to report alleged incidents of academic dishonesty to the Student Honor Code Office.
  4. Students and faculty will serve on the Student Honor Code Council and will be actively involved in developing and enforcing standards pertaining to academic integrity.
  5. Members of the Student Honor Code Council will offer training and programs on academic integrity to students, student organizations and through classes/seminars/programs/discussion groups.
  6. Discussion of the Student Honor Code and academic integrity will be integrated into each of the following:
    1. New student orientation
    2. First meeting of every course
    3. New faculty orientation
    4. Graduate teaching assistant training
    5. Faculty/staff in-service training
  7. Written information about academic integrity that is disseminated to students includes the following:
    1. Definitions of academic dishonesty
    2. That academic dishonesty is prohibited and why
    3. Expectations and responsibilities of students
    4. Expectations and responsibilities of faculty
    5. How to report violations of the Student Honor Code
  8. Statement on the Student Honor Code is printed in the following:
    1. Catalog
    2. Admissions application material
    3. Course syllabus in every course
    4. Exam booklets
    5. Faculty/staff job application materials
    6. Faculty/staff handbook
  9. Annual correspondence goes to faculty, staff, teaching assistants and student leaders on the following:
    1. Efforts to reduce academic dishonesty
    2. Appropriate data on academic dishonesty
    3. Suggested improvements in policy/practice
  10. Student Honor Code statement will be posted in all classrooms.
  11. Regular announcements about efforts to promote academic integrity will be printed in The Reflector.
  12. Case results (without identifying information) will be regularly published in The Reflector.

Expand III. B. Training and Faculty/Student Assistance

  1. Training
    Training on academic integrity/academic dishonesty will be provided for all who teach, including graduate teaching assistants. Training includes the following:
    1. Classroom atmospheres that promote academic integrity. Testing techniques that promote academic integrity.
    2. Definitions of academic dishonesty.
    3. Prevention strategies.
    4. Strategies and rules for handling violations i.e. referrals to the Student Honor Code Council.
    5. Sanctions.
  2. Faculty Assistance
    1. A proctoring service will be created (as a function of the Student Honor Code Council) to provide proctoring services by trained proctors for all tests where needed or requested.
    2. A plagiarism detection service will be available for use by instructors and students where needed. Training in the appropriate use of this service will be provided to instructors and students.
    3. Case assistance/consultation is provided for all instructors when alleged academic misconduct occurs, including the following:
      • Academic integrity/academic dishonesty rules and procedures.
      • Expectations.
      • Methods for gathering information.
      • Strategies for presenting information at a hearing.
    4. Guidance is provided to accused student, including the following:
      • Student Honor Code procedures.
      • Expectations.
      • Methods for preparing for hearings and appeals.

Expand III. C. Academic Integrity Intervention Program

Four – Part Intervention Strategy:

  1. Disciplinary Intervention
    1. XF sanction
    2. Probation – requires participation in the following 3 components to remove the X and to re-enroll in the course in which the academic misconduct occurred.
  2. Evaluation/Counseling Intervention
    1. Evaluation – to identify the source of the dishonest behavior
    2. Counseling – to address the source and behavior
    3. Counselor refers the student to the Educational Intervention Seminar
  3. Educational Intervention – Two Part Seminar
    Academic Skills Enhancement Seminar
    1. Academic Integrity Component:
      • What is it and why is it important
    2. Academic Skills Training Component:
      • Time Management
      • Study Skills
      • Test Taking Skills
      • Writing Skills
      • Anxiety Management
      • Goal Setting
    3. Assessment Component
  4. Ethics/Ethical Decision Making Seminar
    Case studies, discussions and written work regarding ethics, values, and moral development.

Successful completion enables the student to request that the Student Honor Code Office delete the XF dishonesty notation on the transcript and grant permission to retake the course.

Expand III. D. Student Honor Code Office

  1. Student Honor Code Office:

    The Student Honor Code Office is charged with the responsibility for coordinating efforts to promote academic integrity and to reduce and control academic dishonesty, including the following:
    1. Oversee all activities of the Student Honor Code Council.
    2. Coordinate training on academic integrity/academic dishonesty.
    3. Coordinate all communication efforts.
    4. Monitor all relevant data.
    5. Assess the effectiveness of intervention strategies and recommend changes.

    Oversight of the Student Honor Code shall be the joint responsibility of the Provost and Executive Vice President and the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Student Honor Code Office and Director should report administratively to the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Student Honor Code Office Director, who is appointed jointly by the Vice President for Student Affairs and by the Provost and Executive Vice President, will supervise the Student Honor Code Office.


    Student Honor Code Director's Responsibilities:
    1. Communicate and promote the Student Honor Code to the Mississippi State University community.
    2. Determine whether alleged violations should proceed to a Hearing Panel.
    3. Review Student Honor Code procedures annually and recommend any changes to the Provost and Executive Vice President and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
    4. Provide an annual report on the activities of the Student Honor Code Office to the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Faculty Senate and the Student Senate.
    5. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Student Honor Code Council.
    6. Receive and respond to alleged violations of the Student Honor Code.
    7. Select investigators, panels for hearings and appeals, and panel chairs.
    8. Maintain the records of all Student Honor Code Council proceedings.
    9. Record findings of the hearing and appeal panels.
    10. Develop and conduct a training program for members of the Student Honor Code Council.
    11. Check student backgrounds for previous violations of the Student Honor Code.
  2. Student Honor Code Council:

    Students and faculty will serve on the Student Honor Code Council and will be actively involved in developing and enforcing standards pertaining to academic integrity.


    The Student Honor Code Council will provide due process to alleged violators, including:
    1. Authority
    2. Jurisdiction
    3. Notice
    4. Hearings
    5. Appeal

    The Student Honor Code Council should consist of at least forty faculty and student members:
    1. Undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members should be appointed from each of the colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Design; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; and Forest Resources, and Veterinary Medicine.
    2. At least one faculty member should be appointed from the Mitchell Memorial Library.
    3. Undergraduate student council members may be nominated by the Student Body President or their college dean and selected by the Student Honor Code Council selection process.
    4. Graduate student council members may be nominated by the Graduate Student Council or their college dean and selected by the Student Honor Code Council selection process.
    5. Faculty council members may be nominated by their respective Dean. At least one faculty member from each college should be a member of the graduate faculty.
    6. Student Honor Code Council members may also be nominated by current members of the Council or by the Student Honor Code Director.
    7. The Student Honor Code Director will serve as an ex-officio member of the council.

    The duties of the Student Honor Code Council include:
    1. Attend scheduled meetings of the Student Honor Code Council.
    2. Communicate and promote the Student Honor Code to the Mississippi State University community (Appendix I).
    3. Provide training for faculty and faculty assistance (Appendix II).
    4. Advise students and faculty who report violations of the Student Honor Code.
    5. Serve as neutral investigators of alleged Student Honor Code violations if necessary.
    6. Serve as panel members during hearings of alleged Student Honor Code violations.
    7. If elected, serve as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Student Honor Code Council.

    Terms of the Student Honor Code Council:
    1. Members' terms are two years.
    2. Terms begin at the end of the spring semester and end at the conclusion of the spring semester of the final year of their appointment.
    3. Members may serve multiple terms.
    4. Members must participate in training as designated by the Student Honor Code Director.
    5. Members may be removed from office for violations.
    6. A replacement member may be appointed for the remaining portion of the term of a removed member.

    Officers of the Student Honor Code Council:
    1. Chair selected internally by Student Honor Code Council annually.
    2. Vice-Chair selected internally by Student Honor Code Council annually.
  3. Annual Review:

    The Student Honor Code Council shall be reviewed annually at the conclusion of each spring semester.

    The results of the review are presented to the Provost and Executive Vice President and Vice President for Student Affairs.

    The Student Honor Code Council annually reviews the performance of the Student Honor Code Director. The Student Honor Code Council then forwards its evaluation and recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Provost and Executive Vice President prior to the end of the spring semester.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
The Mississippi State University Academic Integrity Assessment Committee reviewed honor codes from various institutions across the country as best practices in developing this Student Honor Code. Particular acknowledgment is extended to the University of Maryland-College Park, Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, Duke University, Western Michigan University and The University of Colorado-Boulder for the inspiration and guidance that their honor codes provided to the work of the Academic Integrity Assessment Committee (specific references are noted at the end of the document).

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Phone: 662.325.9151
Fax: 662.325.3311

Mailing Address
Student Honor Code Council Office
Mississippi State University
2nd Floor YMCA Building
P.O. Box DS
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Mail Stop 9515

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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