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UPPS 07.10.01 - Honor Code

Honor Code

UPPS No. 07.10.01
Issue No. 8
Revised: 10/09/2018
Effective Date: 3/29/2016
Next Review Date: 6/01/2020 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President for Academic Services


    1. This policy provides procedures related to academic honesty pursuant to The Texas State University System (TSUS) Rules and Regulations, Chapter VI, Subsection 5.3.

    2. To support the goal of maintaining a climate of academic integrity, Texas State University has adopted the Texas State University Honor Code. The Honor Code applies to all academic activities and academic work, whether these take place on-campus, off-campus, or online.

    3. Texas State expects students to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is beyond reproach. Students found in violation of the Honor Code are subject to disciplinary action.

    4. Honor Code cases and processes are not considered legal proceedings. Advocates and supporters, including legal representation, may be present at meetings and Honor Code Council hearings, but their role is limited to consultation with the student or faculty member. They do not have an active role in presenting information during meetings or hearings.


    1. Academic Work – outcomes and products such as essays, theses, reports, exams, tests, quizzes, problems, assignments, or other projects submitted for purposes of achieving learning outcomes.

    2. Academic Activities – processes and actions associated with fulfilling course procedures and facilitating academic work.

    3. Violation of the Honor Code – includes, cheating, collaboration and collusion, plagiarism, fabrication, and facilitation of academic dishonesty. The following table itemizes common issues and concerns related to academic integrity.

      Examples of Honor Code Issues and Concerns

      Issue Example
      Cheating Including engaging or attempting to engage in any of the following activities:
      1. Copying from another student’s test, paper, report, computer files, data listings, computer screen, programs, or from any electronic device or equipment.
      2. Using, during a test or assignment, printed, audio, or electronic materials not authorized by the person giving the test or assignment.
      3. Without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying or possessing, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadministered test or other academic products (e.g., study guides, solution manuals, etc.)
      4. Substituting for another student or permitting another person to substitute for oneself in taking an examination or preparing academic work.
      5. Bribing or coercing another person to obtain an unadministered test or obtain information about an unadministered test or other academic products.
      6. Purchasing or otherwise acquiring and submitting as one’s own work any research paper or other assignment prepared by another individual or by a firm. This section does not apply to the word-processing of the rough or final versions of an assignment by a professional service.
      7. Submitting the same essay, thesis, report, or other project, without substantial revision or expansion of the work, in an attempt to obtain credit for work submitted in another course.
      8. Seeking, receiving, or giving aid during examinations through electronic means (e.g., cell phone, email, text messaging, preprogrammed calculator, smart watch).
      9. Using unauthorized materials or information from others for a take-home exam. It is expected that students do independent work for exams whether they are take-home or in-class. Students are expected to comply with the guidelines set by the instructor.
      Collaboration/Collusion The unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing any work offered for credit. Examples include:
      1. Collaborating, without authorization, with another person during an examination or in preparing academic work. In some instances, instructors may indicate permitted forms of collaboration with other students. If the instructor does not indicate that collaboration is permitted, it should be understood that none is permitted. Students are encouraged to seek clarification from their instructors regarding the acceptable parameters for collaboration should they be in doubt regarding assignments that require group work. Instructors are encouraged to make their policy regarding collaboration explicit both orally to the class and in writing with each assignment. Acknowledgement of collaboration is required when presenting authorship of student work.
      Plagiarism Including the appropriation of another’s work and the inadequately or inappropriately acknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own written, oral, visual, or original performative work that is offered for credit. Examples include:
      1. Submitting an assignment that was written during a prior semester or submitting the same assignment for more than one class simultaneously to include resubmitting substantial portions of previously written work for a current assignment, unless instructors in multiples courses are informed of and approve of the submission. Students should consult with their instructors if unsure of what work of their own they may use in preparing an assignment.
      2. Copying from another student’s paper partially or entirely or from any source without proper citation such as a book, article, notebook, video, or other source material, whether published or unpublished.
      3. Inserting a passage from the internet or any computer source into one’s paper without proper citation.
      4. Appropriating another person’s computer programming work for submission as an assignment.
      5. Failing to attribute material that comes from other media sources or failing to obtain proper permission for the use of such material when creating a web page, film, or musical composition as a course assignment.
      6. Any other appropriation of another’s intellectual property without proper attribution.
      7. Citing sources improperly, which includes failure to use quotation marks or other appropriate notation for direct quotes or for an author’s distinctive phrases, and following an author’s structure of writing and ideas, but rephrasing the sentences partially to give the impression that the whole passage reflects the student’s structure and ideas.
      Fabrication Including intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Examples include:
      1. Furnishing false information, or falsifying or distorting data.
      2. Forging a signature to certify completion of an assignment or falsifying attendance records to fabricate proof of attendance.
      3. Collaborating with another student to falsify attendance records to fabricate proof of attendance.
      4. Fabricating data in support of laboratory or field work.
      5. Intentionally misrepresenting one’s academic accomplishments.
      6. Fabricating or falsifying a bibliography.
      Facilitating Academic Dishonesty Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of this policy. Examples include:
      1. Providing to other students one’s own work or that of others with the reasonable expectation that these will be used for the purpose of cheating or plagiarism. This includes not taking reasonable precautions to protect your own work.
      2. Maintaining a file of exams or papers with the reasonable expectation that these will be used for the purpose of cheating or plagiarism.
      3. Theft of other students’ notes, papers, homework, or textbooks for academic gain.
      4. The use or manipulation of any electronic means to assist another or self without authorization.
      5. Copyright infringements.
    4. Following are definitions of persons, with their titles and responsibilities, with jurisdiction over the Honor Code.

      1. Faculty Member – an instructor of record regardless of that person’s academic rank.

      2. Student – any person enrolled in a course, whether full-time or part-time, whether for credit or audit, and whether in residence, by extension, or any form of distance education.

      3. Honor Code Council – a group made up of a minimum of 14 trained faculty members, two from each of the seven academic colleges, except the Honors College, University College, and The Graduate College, and 14 trained students. The Faculty Senate will appoint the faculty representatives to serve three-year renewable terms with two appointees designated as Council chair and vice chair. On an annual basis, the Student Government (Senate and House) will appoint the student representatives, with approval from the dean of Students and assistant vice president for Academic Services (AVPAS). The orientation session for the Council will cover the Honor Code policy thoroughly, as well as procedural processes. Every member will sign a confidentiality agreement, and provide their contact information to the AVPAS’s office.

      4. Hearing Committee – a group of representatives from the Honor Code Council that must include an equal number of faculty, excluding the Council chair or vice chair, and students with a minimum of three faculty and three students to hear an appeal. A total of six committee members must attend the hearing with the non-voting Council chair or vice-chair serving as the hearing officer. The student appealing the Honor Code violation has the right to waive the requirement to have six committee members present.

    5. Academic penalty – one or more of the following sanctions that the student may receive for academic honesty violations:

      1. a requirement to perform additional academic work not required of other students in the course;

      2. a reduction in grade in the course to any level; and

      3. a reduction in grade on an examination, or on other academic work affected by the violation of the Honor Code.

    6. Disciplinary penalty – any penalty a student may receive in a student disciplinary matter pursuant to the official Texas State Code of Student Conduct.


    1. The following procedures are summarized in the Honor Code Procedures-Faculty Member Responsibilities and Honor Code Procedures-Student Responsibilities.

    2. When a faculty member reasonably suspects that a student under the faculty member’s supervision has violated the Honor Code, the faculty member will adhere to the following procedures. The student or faculty member may consult with the Council chair regarding the matter or with the AVPAS on policy and procedural concerns. All allegations must be treated as confidential. Students generally have the right to remain in the class until the conclusion of the Honor Code investigation.

      1. Within a reasonable time frame, the faculty member will complete the Honor Code Review Form and note his or her determination on the alleged violation and academic penalty to be imposed as defined in Section 02.05.

      2. The faculty member will then contact the student verbally or in writing to schedule a meeting to discuss the matter, with other communication arranged for exceptional circumstances. The faculty member may elect to conduct all processes through electronic or telephonic means. The faculty member will explain to the student both the suspected code violation and the evidence that supports the allegation that the violation occurred. The faculty member may rely on documents, written statements, or other evidence. The student may respond in writing or in person, and may present evidence and witnesses, in a manner determined by the student. The faculty member should have the Honor Code Review Form completed and ready for the student to review. The faculty member will also advise the student of the option to accept or reject either the faculty member’s determination or the academic penalty and provide the student with copies of all documents.

      3. Students who fail to respond to the faculty member’s attempt to schedule an initial meeting or refuse to attend a meeting will be referred to the Council chair and AVPAS. A hold will be placed on his or her academic record until the matter is resolved. An Honor Code Review Form will be completed by the faculty member and filed with the AVPAS’s office.

      4. After conferring with the student, if the faculty member does not believe the student has violated the Honor Code, the matter will be considered resolved, no further action will be taken and all related documents will be destroyed.

      5. After conferring with the student, if the faculty member still suspects the student has violated the Honor Code, the faculty member will give the student three business days to respond to the suspected code violation. If the student accepts the faculty member’s determination, the student will so indicate in writing on the Honor Code Review Form and waive his or her right to a hearing. The Honor Code Review Form and copies of any evidence should be delivered (electronically preferred) to the AVPAS’s office. If the student does not accept the faculty member’s determination, the student will so indicate in writing on the Honor Code Review Form. The faculty member should immediately forward all documents (electronically preferred) to the Council chair and AVPAS’s office.

      6. If the student fails to respond on the Honor Code Review Form within three business days, the faculty member should immediately notify the Council chair, as well as forward all documents (electronically preferred) to the Council chair and AVPAS’s office. A hold will be placed on the student’s academic record until the matter is resolved.

      7. * Students who are accused of academic misconduct, but drop the class before the case is resolved, will be reenrolled in the class by the University Registrar’s Office until the Honor Code process has ended. The allegation will be documented on an Honor Code Review Form and filed with the AVPAS’s office. Withdrawal from the course does not protect a student from receiving an “F” in the course, nor does it halt further Honor Code proceedings.

      8. A student involved in academic misconduct regarding a course in which he or she is not enrolled will have a hold placed on his or her academic record until the matter is resolved. An Honor Code Review Form will be completed by the Council chair and filed with the AVPAS’s office. The Council chair will refer the matter to the Office of the Dean of Student’s (DOS) for further review.

      9. Students who are accused of academic misconduct, but subsequently withdraw from the university without having addressed the allegation will have a hold placed on their academic record until the matter is resolved. An Honor Code Review Form will be completed by the faculty member and filed with the AVPAS’s office.

    3. The Council chair will convene a hearing if the student rejects the faculty member’s determination and penalty. The Council chair will also schedule an informal meeting with the student to explain the hearing process. In the case of flagrant or repeated violations, the case will also be referred to the DOS for review.

      1. Once the Council chair is notified that the student rejects the faculty’s determination or penalty, the chair will make every effort to schedule the hearing within 10 business days. The chair will make exceptions on a case-by-case basis for extenuating circumstances. As appropriate, processes may occur through electronic meetings. Prior to the hearing, the Council chair will give the student and faculty member reasonable notice of the scheduled hearing. The chair will provide copies of the supporting evidence, and provide the hearing’s date, time, and location. If the student fails to attend at the appointed time, the hearing will be held without the student present.

      2. In addition, the student is allowed to provide evidence to refute the allegation. The student should provide copies of any evidence at least three business days prior to the hearing. Additional materials may be requested from either party. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the Honor Code violation and evidence during the hearing.

      3. The hearing, with the exception of the panel’s deliberation, will be audio recorded. The student or faculty member may request an audio electronic copy of the hearing at no cost. Requests for additional records that incur an expense will be paid for by the requesting party. All individuals attending or participating in the hearing will be required to sign an Honor Code Hearing Attendance Log.

      4. The Hearing Committee will consider all materials submitted and make its recommendation as provided in this policy. The Hearing Committee makes two assessments; whether to uphold the faculty member’s finding of academic misconduct and whether to uphold the penalty. A tie vote confirms the faculty member’s determination. If there are multiple students challenging the same findings, the Hearing Committee will hear each student’s evidence separately and will vote on the evidence separately.

      5. After conducting its review, the Council chair will submit the Hearing Committee’s recommendation to the student, faculty member and the dean of the college where the alleged violation occurred.

      6. The Hearing Committee may also refer the matter to the DOS for further disciplinary review.

    4. * The dean of the college where the violation occurred will be provided with all evidentiary materials from the Council chair. The dean or a designee will render a decision and inform all parties including the faculty member, student, AVPAS’s office, and Council chair of the decision within 10 business days. After receiving the dean’s decision, the student or faculty member has five business days to file an appeal to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Students may obtain the appeal form from the Council chair.

    5. As provided in the TSUS Rules and Regulations, Chapter VI, Subsection 5.36, the provost, or a designee, will hear appeals of academic decisions and will reach a decision within 10 business days with the understanding that additional time may be required to obtain information or counsel pertinent to the decision. After an appeal has been filed, the parties may communicate only through the provost, or a designee, until the matter is resolved. Grounds for appeal are limited to allegations that:

      1. the university’s procedures outlined in this policy were not followed. However, deviations from prescribed procedures will not necessarily invalidate a decision or proceeding; and

      2. the university has violated a right guaranteed to the student by the Constitution or laws of the United States or the state of Texas.

    6. The provost, or a designee, will render a final decision on the appeal within a reasonable time and will inform all parties including the faculty member, student, AVPAS’s office, and Council chair of the decision.

      NOTE: If any portion of this policy conflicts with the TSUS Rules and Regulations, the latter will prevail.

    7. Records of students who are found guilty of academic misconduct will be maintained by the AVPAS’s office for a period of five years and then will be destroyed. These records are intended for internal tracking purposes only and are not subject to open records or freedom of information requests.


    1. * Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Assistant Vice President for Academic Services June 1 E4Y
      Vice President for Student Affairs June 1 E4Y
      Chair, Honor Code Council June 1 E4Y
      Chair, Faculty Senate June 1 E4Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Assistant Vice President for Academic Services; senior reviewer of the UPPS

    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs