Inside Fletcher: Faculty

Chapter 4 - Teaching

Code of Academic Integrity ("Honor Code")

A. GENERAL

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy has a Code of Academic Integrity. The purpose of the Code is to inform students, faculty and staff of the standards of integrity regarding scholarship and collegial use of resources. Since violations of the Code are violations of both academic and social standards expected of members of the Fletcher Community, violations can be grounds for revoking course credit and the degree or honors of which it formed a part and removing a person from that Community.

Enforcement of the Code is in the hands of each member of the Fletcher Community. Every member of the Fletcher Community is expected to conform to the Code.

The primary means of enforcement is self-discipline. But there are times when self-discipline may fail. At those times, any member of the Fletcher Community who becomes aware of a violation of the Code has a responsibility to the community to take action. If a direct discussion with the violator would not fully remedy or clarify the situation, some other person must be informed. Normally, that person in the case of the violation of the Code's Library section would be a staff member of the library or the Director of the Library; in the case of an Examination or Written Work violation, the instructor setting the examination or grading the written work. Specific procedures regarding violations Academic Integrity are covered below in section E.

Academic integrity cannot be codified in every aspect. But some statement of how the general principles apply to specific situations can be useful to illustrate the scope and normal operation of those principles. The possibility that some particular situation is not expressly covered in the following three sections does not excuse violation of the principles.

B. WRITTEN WORK

Attributions

1. General Rule: All written work submitted for credit towards a Fletcher course or degree must be the work of the person named as submitting the paper for credit. But it is acknowledged that scholarly thought and even reportage frequently requires the collaborative efforts of several people. The following are the principal guidelines regarding attributions:

a. Written contributions to the written work, whether or not quoted directly, should be attributed. The attributions should be in the form of footnotes or endnotes prescribed by format regulations. General background reading need not be attributed unless requested by the person responsible for grading the written work or relied on so heavily that an uninformed reader might attribute to the writer ideas that the writer is repeating from other sources.

b. The sources of all factual data contained in written work must be identified. Factual data stemming from an oral interview should be attributed to the interview, identifying the person interviewed, dates and places. Factual data stemming from personal observation should be similarly identified.

c. Oral contributions that are functionally equivalent to written contributions, such as dictated passages, interpretations of notes and speeches or other oral presentations not yet published, must be identified in the same way as written contributions or interviews.

2. Exceptions: The Fletcher School does not give academic credit for classified research. However, in some cases, important data might be so sensitive that to reveal its source even indirectly will jeopardize a career or a life. Data classified by a government or proprietary data might also fall within this category. Such situations must be discussed with the faculty members responsible for evaluating the work and arrangements made to maintain scholarly standards while safeguarding sources. In some cases, arrangements will also have to be made with the Director of the Library to safeguard sensitive work deposited there.

Dual Submissions

All written work submitted for scholarly evaluation as part of the degree requirements at The Fletcher School should be original work not submitted for scholarly evaluation at another institution or to more than one instructor at The Fletcher School unless specifically authorized beforehand by the Fletcher instructors involved. Transfer credit for work done elsewhere is given in appropriate cases by petition to the Committee on Student Academic Programs.

C. EXAMINATIONS

With respect to in-class and take-home examinations, students shall not seek or receive assistance of any kind from any sources not permitted by the examiner. Nor may students offer or allow to another person any assistance in an examination not expressly authorized by the examiner.

During class examinations, there must be no unauthorized communication of any sort or unnecessary noise or other distractions.

In principle, all students are bound by identical time limits for examinations. However, there might be cases in which extensions of the time limit might seem appropriate for particular students or to take account of particular circumstances. Students asking for an extension of the assigned time limit should bring their particular cases or the pertinent circumstances to the attention of the person setting the examination a reasonable time before the examination. Discretion whether to allow extra time, and if so, how much extra time and under what conditions, belongs solely to the person setting the examination.

Students taking examinations either in-class or take-home, may use only those materials which have been authorized by the evaluator. Even when the use of library materials is authorized by the evaluator, students may not use any library materials for purposes of an examination when that use will result in other students not having equivalent access to them.

D. LIBRARY

The materials in the Ginn Library are for the use of the entire Fletcher community. It is a violation of the Code to remove library materials without charging them out, to hold borrowed materials past the return date, to secrete library materials in book lockers or sections of the stacks not corresponding with the call numbers assigned to the materials, defacing library materials, or any other actions which could give one user of the library a significant advantage over other users.

E. PROCEDURES REGARDING VIOLATIONS OF CODE OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

These are the procedures that will be applied in the case of any alleged violation of the Code of Academic Integrity of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

1.  Self-Enforcement. Members of the Fletcher Community who identify a possible violation of the Honor Code have a responsibility to bring the relevant facts to the attention of the instructor for the course involved, if any, or the Academic Dean or the Dean of Students. However, the mere failure so to report (if it does not amount to aiding and abetting the violation) shall not be considered a violation of the Honor Code. In order to avoid the possible adverse effects of rumors that have not been substantiated, it is advisable not to discuss the possible violation with persons not involved with enforcement procedures.

2.  Confidentiality of Charges and Disposition. Throughout the process described here, other than as necessary or appropriate to give effect to the Honor Code or the procedures described here, or as otherwise necessary or appropriate in order to comply with University policy or law, the participants in the process described here shall keep the identity of the respondent confidential, except where the respondent effectively waives this confidentiality.

3.  Accusations and Anonymity. Students or others (except instructors) who merely submit documentary evidence, or other information that stands by itself in terms of its authenticity and meaning, may choose to remain anonymous. They should indicate this desire when they deliver the evidence to the relevant instructor, or to the Academic Dean or Dean of Students, and the remainder of the process will use reasonable efforts to maintain the anonymity of these students or others. On the other hand, students or others who provide information regarding alleged Honor Code violations in the form of their own observations cannot remain anonymous, as the person accused should be afforded the opportunity to confront adverse witnesses. Where the Academic Dean or the Dean of Students receives information that he or she considers non-frivolous regarding an alleged Honor Code violation, the matter shall be referred either to the instructor involved or to the Honor Code Committee referred to below for action under sections 4 or 5 below.

4.  Evaluation of Facts and Imposition of Penalties by Instructor.

a.  In cases where either (i) the instructor has first-hand knowledge of the Honor Code violation (e.g., plagiarism, or if the instructor is proctoring an examination in which the instructor observes cheating), or (ii) the facts are not disputed, the instructor is authorized to impose penalties relating to the student's grade in the course, up to failure. The instructor may only do so after providing the respondent with notice and an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The instructor shall report the violation and his or her action, describing the opportunity provided to the student to respond to the allegations, to the Academic Dean, the Dean of Students and the Registrar, who, subject to section 6 below, will maintain a record of these matters separate from the student's official transcript.

b.  If conditions (i) or (ii) for application of paragraph (a) are not met, the instructor or the Academic Dean may request the Honor Code Committee to, and it then shall, engage in the procedure described in section 5 below.

c.  In addition, if the instructor or the Academic Dean feels that graver penalties than those described in paragraph (a) may be merited, because of the severity of the alleged violation or because the violation would not be the first found to have been committed by the student involved, either of them may request the Honor Code Committee to, and it then shall, engage in the procedure described in section 5 below.

d.  Finally, in cases where the instructor imposes penalties pursuant to paragraph (a) above, the student, if he or she believes that the imposition of penalties was an incorrect application of the Honor Code, may request the Honor Code Committee to, and it then shall, engage in the procedure described in section 5 below. The School's normal grievance procedure will not apply to these cases.

5.  Evaluation of Facts and Recommendation of Penalties by the Honor Code Committee. At the beginning of each academic year, the Dean shall appoint an Honor Code Committee comprised of five people drawn from the faculty and staff of the School, and two people drawn from the student body of the School. When a matter is referred to the Honor Code Committee, it shall evaluate the facts and make a recommendation as to an appropriate penalty, if any, pursuant to the following procedures. The Honor Code Committee may, with the consent of the Dean, appoint a subcommittee of members of the Honor Code Committee, or other members of the Fletcher Community, to discharge its responsibilities under this section. If such a subcommittee is formed, it shall serve in all respects in place of the Honor Code Committee under these procedures, in respect of matters assigned to it.

a.  Notice to Respondent. Once it has determined to evaluate a matter, the Honor Code Committee shall request the Dean of Students to, and the Dean of Students then shall, notify the respondent, describing the allegations. Along with the notice, the respondent shall be given a copy of these procedures and such other materials as the Honor Code Committee shall deem appropriate.

b.  Procedure. The Honor Code Committee will be in charge of its procedure, and may adopt such procedural rules as are consistent with efficiency and fair process in the context of these procedures. The Honor Code Committee will be required to hold a hearing, at which it will provide the respondent an opportunity to be heard, and may examine the respondent, other witnesses and evidence, all as it deems appropriate. The Honor Code Committee will be in charge of what evidence it considers, and shall consider the relative credibility of evidence as it assesses the facts.

c.  Attendance at Hearings. Hearings shall be attended only by the Honor Code Committee, the respondent, an advocate, if any, as described in paragraph (e) below, and any witnesses and, at the discretion of the Honor Code Committee, University counsel. Witnesses other than the respondent shall attend only while they give their evidence. However, if the respondent requests, Fletcher School students and faculty may be admitted to the hearing, in such numbers and to such extent as the Honor Code Committee determines is consistent with the maintenance of a suitable atmosphere.

d.  Recording of Hearings. At the Honor Code Committee's discretion, hearings may be recorded on audio tape by the School. The person in charge of preparing the audio tape may attend the hearings as necessary to do so. The School will retain custody and control over these tapes in such manner as it determines, and shall make transcripts if and as it deems appropriate. The School will make the audio tape or copies thereof available to the respondent for review, within a reasonable time after receipt of a request. Defects in the recordings will not invalidate the proceedings, unless the Honor Code Committee so determines.

e.  Advocates. Students responding to allegations may decide to seek the assistance of an advocate. An advocate may be a professional attorney or may be a friend, parent or faculty member. The Fletcher School process does not make the use of an advocate necessary, and the School does not provide attorneys for any students involved in Honor Code proceedings. After notice by the respondent to the School, advocates are permitted to attend any hearings before the Honor Code Committee, subject to the following limitations.

i. The advocate may attend any hearing and consult with the respondent throughout the process and hearing, but may not participate directly in the hearing, except to give the respondent's closing statement if the respondent so chooses.

ii. The respondent must notify the Dean of Students at least 48 hours before any scheduled hearing if the respondent will have an advocate at that hearing. This notice shall include the identity and relevant affiliation of the advocate.

f.  University Counsel. The School may use attorneys as it deems appropriate.

g.  Report of Honor Code Committee. The Honor Code Committee shall determine whether it finds that a clear preponderance of the evidence indicates that the respondent has violated the Honor Code in connection with the subject matter referenced in the notice described in paragraph (a).

i. An affirmative determination (of culpability) shall be made by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Honor Code Committee in attendance.

ii.  If the Honor Code Committee makes such an affirmative determination, it shall also make a recommendation as to the imposition of penalties. Possible penalties include those described in section 6(c) below. In severe cases, the sanction recommended may be suspension or expulsion.

The Honor Code Committee shall submit a written report including its determination and recommendation to the Dean.

6. Action by Dean.

a.  The Dean may review any of the facts or analysis that he or she deems relevant to the decision to impose penalties, or may ask the Honor Code Committee to do so.

b.  The Dean shall provide the respondent an opportunity to make a written or oral presentation to the Dean, under such conditions as the Dean shall determine. There will be no further appeal once the Dean makes a determination to impose a penalty, although the Dean may, at his or her discretion, reopen proceedings and modify or remove penalties on the basis of new evidence.

c.  The penalties that may be imposed in relation to a finding of a violation of the Honor Code include, but are not limited to, the following:

i. Report the facts to the instructor of the relevant course and request that the instructor assign (or reassign) an appropriate grade in accordance with the facts as found by the Honor Code Committee. This will normally accompany other penalties listed below, or may be imposed alone.

ii. Reprimand without notation on the respondent's official transcript.

iii. Censure with notation on the respondent's official transcript.

iv. Suspension with notation on the respondent's official transcript.

v. Expulsion with notation on the respondent's official transcript.

7. Publication. In cases in which an Honor Code violation has been found and a penalty imposed by the Dean, a brief summary of the charge, of the Honor Code Committee's report, and of any penalty imposed shall be made available for the information of the Fletcher Community. This publication shall not identify the student.