Office of the Provost takes steps to strengthen Undergraduate Honor System
The Office of the Provost has instituted several actions that will ensure the continued success of Undergraduate Honor System--a 98 year old university tradition that promotes the highest possible standards of intellectual and scholarly conduct within the academic community.
“The Virginia Tech Honor Code, which represents the very core of our undergraduate honor system, embodies the spirit of mutual trust and intellectual honesty that is central to our university,” said Mark McNamee, university provost and vice president for academic affairs.’ Our honor pledge, ‘I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment’ represents the highest possible expression of shared values among members of our community.”
To address a variety of administrative and financial issues, as well as provide additional recognition to those who serve as student justices, the Office of the Provost has instituted several changes.
Among them, the office will now provide full funding to support the Undergraduate Honor System. Partial funding previously came from the Student Budget Board.
In addition, students who serve as associate justices will now receive financial aid recognition totaling $500 per year. Students who serve as chief justice will receive $750 per year.
“Acknowledging the contributions our student justices will enable us to attract and retain outstanding student leaders to lead the honor system,” said Ron Daniel, associate provost for undergraduate education. “These students are involved in, on average, about 200 cases a year. Their work is extraordinary.”
In addition to scholarship support, students serving the undergraduate honor system are eligible for other forms of support. Associate justices may enroll in an independent study course on jurisprudence offered by the Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the cost of books and other materials required for the course will be covered by the Office of the Provost.
Associate justices may also benefit from educational conference opportunities. This year, for example, three students serving on the honor court were able to attend the Center for Academic Integrity conference in Boulder, Colo.
Next fall, administrative offices for the Undergraduate Honor System will move from Squires Student Center to 207 West Roanoke Street, located next door to the Wesley Foundation. The organization will continue to use the Dogwood Room in Squires for Honor Court functions, panel hearings, and Review Board meetings.
“The new location will help protect confidentiality and the conversational intimacy needed for discussions required when students find themselves involved in an Honor System case,” said Daniel.
The Virginia Tech Honor Code is the university policy which defines the expected standards of conduct in academic affairs. The Undergraduate Honor System is the body charged with disseminating information about the Honor Code to the university community and with enforcement of the Honor Code.
The University Honors System dates back to 1908, when President Paul Brandon Barringer established the system to enable students to set and maintain their own goals and values for personal conduct. Today, this ideal is achieved by student leadership in all aspects of the honor system, including the judicial panels, the review board, and as justices of the honor system.