Academic Integrity in the Faculty Handbook

Information about Academic Integrity from the Faculty Handbook:


509.0 Academic Integrity and the Honor Code

The Honor Code exists at Luther College because we believe that as a community of learning rooted in the Christian faith, it is incumbent on all of us – faculty, staff, and students – to mutually support and uphold academic and personal integrity, within and across these groups.  Like any group of professionals, the faculty, staff, and students at Luther College recognize the integrity of our calling in living, working, and learning here.  Therefore, we assume responsibility for the maintenance of academic integrity ourselves, especially since we are part of this community by our own free will, and since violations of the Honor Code, if left unaddressed, can be considered as debasing not only that code and our community’s systems of value but also the academic worth of students’ grades, degrees, and other outward measures of academic performance at Luther College.  Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to recognize the fact that violations of the Honor Code, therefore, may affect everyone on campus, directly or indirectly, in this way.

Therefore, although it does not and cannot guarantee honest behavior in academic work, the Honor Code transfers the responsibility for enforcing honorable conduct from the instructor to the student, who becomes responsible for ensuring the integrity of his or her own behavior and for reporting to the instructor or other appropriate authorities any violation of the Honor Code of which he or she may be aware.  The faculty will support the student body and one another in maintaining and encouraging academic integrity, and it will address violations of academic integrity with diligence and fairness. 

509.1 Student Responsibilities

The Luther Student Body shall assume responsibility for maintaining academic integrity though the Honor Code. For Honor Code specifics see the Student Handbook. 

509.2 Faculty Roles in Maintaining Academic Integrity

509.2.1  In the Classroom: The spirit of the Luther College Honor Code is based on every individual student assuming responsibility for his or her own work – including, but not limited to, exams, homework, assignments, papers, group projects, presentations – while neither receiving nor giving assistance in violation of the parameters set forth by the faculty member.  Therefore, the primary role of faculty in promoting academic integrity in courses is to define violations and parameters for students to understand, and to create an environment that is supportive of an honor system.  To this end, faculty members should have at least one discussion in each course about academic integrity and how it applies to the course.  Many additional actions can be taken to further this goal—for suggestions, please see “Methods of Encouraging and Maintaining Academic Integrity in Courses” available at: (URL to be inserted here).

509.2.2  In the Luther Community: All faculty members need to assist in maintaining an environment at Luther that is thoughtful about and supportive of academic integrity and the Honor Code.  The following is a list of ways for maintaining this environment:

·       New faculty members need to be introduced to the Honor Code during their orientation.  They should be informed on the purpose of the Honor Code, its relevance to the values of Luther College, all of the content in this section (509) of the Faculty Handbook, and additional resources available through the Academic Dean’s Office website.

·       When serving as a first-year advisor, faculty share responsibility with representatives from Student Life and the Honor Council for informing new students of the Honor Code and generating discussion on academic integrity. First-year advisors should address these issues during at least one of their Fall semester meetings.

·       Every Department should have at least one discussion each academic year during a department meeting on academic integrity and the Honor Code. Suggested topics for this meeting include: the purpose and presence the Honor Code at Luther College, the meaning of academic integrity among students and faculty, how to address suspected violations of the Honor Code and how violations have been addressed in the past in this discipline, and how to seek additional assistance with academic integrity concerns.

·       One-on-one discussion can also be initiated between individual faculty members, without violating confidentiality, to seek clarity about whether a violation has occurred and what the next steps should be. 

·       Faculty members are encouraged to attend and be active in open forums, talks by leaders in the field of ethics, and other events hosted by Student Senate, the Honor Council, and the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement on the topics of academic integrity and the Honor Code.

·       Additionally, faculty members can initiate discussions by inviting professionals from their disciplines to talk to students on integrity and ethics in their professional lives. 

509.3  Faculty Roles in Cases of Suspected Honor Code Violations

509.3.1  All faculty are expected to take action against violations of academic integrity. It is recognized that faculty may elect to submit reports of academic integrity violations to the Honor Code Review Board (HCRB), or faculty may opt to initiate their own individual reviews. 

·       Faculty are strongly encouraged to consider submitting cases to the HCRB since that process is most consistent with the spirit of the Luther College Honor Code.  As a student-run, peer-reviewed and juried process, the HCRB embodies the responsibility for upholding academic integrity that students place on themselves through the creation and renewal of an Honor Code. 

·       It is not recommended that faculty perform individual reviews when the only evidence of an academic integrity violation is the testimony of a witnessing student.  If a student approaches a faculty member with a concern about a suspected violation, the faculty member should encourage the student to report their concern to the HCRB (and offer to assist the student in the process if the student seems reticent to do so).

509.3.2 Reporting to the Honor Code Review Board

Faculty can initiate this process by contacting the Honor Council chair (who is also the HCRB chair) by email or regular mail.  The SPO mail address and the email address of the Honor Council chair are available at: (URL to be inserted here). The HCRB procedures are outlined in the Student Handbook (URL to be inserted here).

·       It is requested that faculty do not enact their own sanctions while cases are pending before the HCRB. The decisions reached by the HCRB, and the suggested sanctions, are presented to the reporting faculty at the conclusion of the process. Such sanctions provided by the HCRB are to be viewed as recommendations, providing the faculty with options for action.

·       Faculty may choose to refrain from discussions about the suspected violation with the student(s) involved while the case is pending before the HCRB.  If a faculty member chooses to engage in discussion, it is suggested that a third party be included, preferably his or her department chair, a senior member of his or her department, or the Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council.  This third party is present to assist in the discussion and to discourage harassment of the faculty member by the student(s).

509.3.3  Individual Review by Faculty of Suspected Academic Integrity Violations

Faculty retain the freedom to deal with academic integrity violations in their courses according to their own discretion and to what they deem the best interests of Luther College.  If a faculty member determines that it is in the best interests of the College not to refer a suspected violation to the Honor Council Review Board, the faculty member must follow the principles of due process when addressing suspected violations.  To assist in this process, a form has been created that includes all necessary steps with instructions to follow.  This form must be used each time a faculty member conducts an individual review for the following reasons: a) it ensures that due process is upheld, b) it standardizes the individual review procedure so that there is consistency across the College, and c) it standardizes the reports that must be submitted to the Academic Dean’s Office and the Student Life Dean’s Office any time a faculty member determines that a violation has occurred and a sanction has been applied, and d) having a record of all violations allows the Academic Dean to determine if a student has committed multiple violations and is therefore eligible for further sanctions.  The Individual Review by Faculty of Suspected Academic Integrity Violations Form can be found on the Academic Dean’s Office website at: (URL to be inserted here).  For recommendations on how to conduct an individual review, see the “Suggested Procedures for Individual Review by Faculty of Suspected Academic Integrity Violations by Faculty” document available at: (URL to be inserted here). 

509.4  Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council

A faculty member serves as an advisor to the Honor Council and the Honor Council Review Board.  This faculty person is appointed by the Academic Dean of the College, and maintains the position as long as he or she is willing to serve and the Dean supports the appointment.  The faculty advisor is a non-voting member of the Honor Council Review Board.  The faculty advisor can also serve as a source of information and advice to faculty who are addressing academic integrity issues.

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