Honor Code

Prepared by the Engineering Honor Council and Faculty Committee on Discipline

The Honor Code is part of our lives in the College of Engineering. The standards for personal integrity demanded by the Honor Code are a reflection of the standards of conduct expected of engineers. These standards allow fairness among students to ensure that no unfair advantage is gained and an equal learning opportunity is given to all students. Not only does the faculty have trust in the students with the implementation of their course policies, but the students have trust in one another. While the College of Engineering is a competitive environment, the College also holds an honorable environment in which students receive credit for their efforts and determination. For over 90 years the Honor code has been an indication of the mutual trust that characterizes student-faculty relationships in the College.

Alumni of the College of Engineering have a truly outstanding record of accomplishments. We are convinced that this is in part due to the professional attitude fostered by the standards of the Honor Code. The Honor Code is a basic part of your everyday life at the College of Engineering, University of Michigan.

To report a suspected Honor Code violation, please contact:

The Honor Council Administrator
273 Chrysler Center
2121 Bonisteel Blvd.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
734-764-4139
Honorcouncil-admin@umich.edu
https://ecas.engin.umich.edu/honor-council/

The Engineering Honor Code

In 1915, the students of the College of Engineering petitioned for the establishment of an Honor Code. The Code was promptly adopted with faculty approval in 1916 and has since been basic to life in the College of Engineering.

The Honor Code outlines certain standards of ethical conduct for persons associated with the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. The policies of the Honor Code apply to graduate and undergraduate students, faculty members, and administrators.

The Honor Code is based on these tenets:

  1. Engineers must possess personal integrity both as students and as professionals. They must be honorable people to ensure safety, health, fairness, and the proper use of available resources in their undertakings.
  2. Members of the College of Engineering community are honorable and trustworthy persons.
  3. The students, faculty members, and administrators of the College of Engineering trust each other to uphold the principles of the Honor Code. They are jointly responsible for precautions against violations of its policies.
  4. It is dishonorable for students to receive credit for work that is not the result of their own efforts.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ENGINEER

Faith of the Engineer, a statement widely accepted by the professional engineering societies, contains pledges that are relevant to the Honor Code of the College of Engineering:

“As an Engineer, I will participate in none but honest enterprise. To those who engage by services, an employer or client, I will give the utmost of performance and fidelity.”

“Jealous of the high repute of my calling, I will strive to protect the interests and the good name of any engineer that I know to be deserving; but I will not shrink, should duty dictate, from disclosing the truth regarding anyone that, by unscrupulous act, has shown himself unworthy of the profession.”

“To my fellows, I pledge, in the same full measure I ask of them, integrity and fair dealing, tolerance and respect, and devotion to the standards and the dignity of our profession.”

 

The Fundamental Canons for Engineers, as it appears on the National Society of Professional Engineers website (https://ecas.engin.umich.edu/honor-council/ )
“Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties shall:

  1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.
  3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner
  4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
  5. Avoid deceptive acts.
  6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the reputation and usefulness of the profession.”

APPLICATIONS OF THE HONOR CODE

The Honor Code is intended to support and enforce course policies in the College of Engineering. Course instructors have exceptional latitude when preparing the policies for their courses. This can lead to variations between policies of different courses. It is the instructor’s responsibility to craft the course policies in accordance with the doctrine of the Honor Code.

Students are responsible for understanding the Honor Code and its implementation in the College of Engineering. Because the specific policies of different faculty members can vary significantly, it is the responsibility of faculty members to specify their policies in writing at the beginning of each semester. Students are responsible for understanding these policies and should consult the instructor if they are unclear. The Honor Code supports the individual course policy, whatever it may be.

If a student feels that their instructor is not doing what the Honor Code calls for, the student should contact the instructor or a member of the Honor Council to discuss this, and consider further steps, if needed.

Students of the College of Engineering enrolled in other colleges must abide by the policies of the school or college in which the course is offered. Any suspected policy violations will be referred to the appropriate authorities of the school in question.

Students who are not members of the College of Engineering and who take a course offered by the College are bound by the policies of the Engineering Honor Code. Any suspected policy violations will be referred to the Engineering Honor Council and Faculty Committee on Discipline. The appropriate authorities of the school or college of the students in involved will be notified.

All alleged Honor Code violations may be investigated by either a member of the Honor Council or the Honor Council Administrative Team.

When Taking an Examination

The Honor Code holds that students are honorable and trustworthy people and encourages them to behave with integrity in all phases of university life. During examinations, the instructor is available for questions, but the examination is not proctored.

The instructor will announce the time and place of the examination. At the start of the examination, the instructor’s whereabouts during the exam will be communicated to the class in case a question arises.

Students have the right to have at least one empty seat between themselves and their neighbors. This helps ensure comfort during the examination and reduces the temptation to cheat. It is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure that there is adequate seating beforehand, and to obtain additional rooms if necessary.

During the examination, students are free to leave the room. Minimal essential conversation is allowed. However, no communication regarding the examination is allowed inside or outside the room. All questions about the examination should be directed to the instructor.

It is the instructor’s responsibility to inform the class prior to the examination if aids, such as calculators, notes, or textbooks, are allowed during the examination.

After each examination, students must write the Honor Pledge in their test books and sign their names under it. The Honor Pledge is as follows:

“I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this examination, nor have I concealed any violations of the Honor Code.”

Instructors are not required to grade tests in which the signed Honor Pledge does not appear. The Honor Code remains enforced whether or not the student signs the Pledge.

Use of Computers and Other Facilities

Each department in the College of Engineering establishes its own general policies on the use of computers, laboratories, and other facilities. In addition, students should observe any specific instructions appearing in computer rooms, laboratories, or libraries.

Students may not submit as their own work a computer program or part thereof which is not the result of their own thought and efforts. Contributions to a program from external sources must be acknowledged and properly documented in accordance with the course policies.

Students may not attempt to access or tamper with the class account of another student unless permission to do so has been given by both the class instructor and the student to whom the account is assigned.

Computers available for students to use are the property of the University of Michigan. Software available for students to use is the property of the University of Michigan or is licensed to the University of Michigan. Any unauthorized attempt to copy software or to tamper with computers or software is a violation of federal law, as well as the Honor code.

All laboratories, classrooms, office equipment, and libraries are meant for instruction and learning. Misuse of these facilities is a violation of the Honor Code.

Homework and Laboratory Assignments

The principles of the Honor Code apply to homework and laboratory assignments as well as to examinations. The instructor may allow collaboration among students on such assignments. The instructor is to make clear how much, if any, collaboration is permissible. The instructor may also require that students write and sign the Honor Pledge on their homework and lab reports.

It is a violation of the Honor Code for students to submit, as their own, work that is not the result of their own labor and thoughts. Work that includes material derived in any way from the efforts of another author, either by direct quotation or paraphrasing, should be fully and properly documented. To avoid plagiarism, it is necessary to cite all sources of both ideas and direct quotations, including those found on the internet. The basic principle is to provide enough information so that the original source of the material can be located. The University of Michigan English Department and Library websites provide a thorough discussion of plagiarism.

A Note on Plagiarism & Academic Dishonesty

What is Plagiarism? 

University Documents

Official academic forms and records are the property of the College of Engineering and/or the University of Michigan. Tampering, alteration, or other misuses of these documents is a violation of the Honor Code, as is submitting falsified or altered documents.

Course Registration

The University Registrar’s Office provides students with a registration date in accordance with their own policies. Registering for a course, or asking another student to register for a course, in order to hold a seat for yourself or someone else is a violation of the Honor Code.

THE ENGINEERING HONOR COUNCIL

The Engineering Honor Council is composed of students from the College of Engineering. The primary purpose of the Honor Council is to investigate suspected violations of the Honor Code.

Members of the Engineering Honor Council also visit classes every year to answer questions about the Honor Code and acquaint students with its ideals. Openings may occur on the Honor Council as members graduate and leave the University. At such times, the Honor Council accepts membership applications from students, and arranges interviews with prospective members. The Honor Council can be contacted at coehcmembers@umich.edu


Also, see the following website: https://ecas.engin.umich.edu/honor-council/

REPORTING HONOR CODE VIOLATIONS

The Honor Code works to the benefit of students, instructors, and administrators in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. It is based on the mutual trust that all those bound by it will uphold its principles and enforce its policies.

However, this makes it the duty and responsibility of students and instructors to report promptly any suspected violations of the Honor Code.

The College of Engineering Honor Code requires that students take the following steps if a violation of the Honor Code is observed:

  1. Obtain the names of the people involved.
  2. Inform the instructor of the incident. To ensure uniformity and fairness, the instructor is required to take the appropriate actions in accordance with the Honor Code if the instructor feels there is just cause to do so.
  3. If the instructor refuses to submit the case for an investigation, the student may contact the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education who will refer the case to the Honor Council.
    If the instructor becomes aware of the possible violation of the Honor Code, it is their responsibility to contact the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education ( 273 Chrysler Center 2121 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, Michigan; HC ADMIN EMAIL) to report this accusation. Suspected Honor Code violations must be reported no later than two months after the end of the term in which the potential violation occurred.

The Honor Council will investigate the suspected violation. The student and any witnesses to the incident may be asked to recall their impressions and thoughts concerning the case when they appear at the inquiry. The Honor Council will report its findings and make a recommendation to the Faculty Committee on Discipline.

NOTE: The proceedings of the Honor Council are confidential. Therefore, the students and faculty involved are obligated to refrain from discussing the case with persons not directly involved in the case. Disclosure of confidential information is a violation of the Honor Code.

BEING ACCUSED OF AN HONOR CODE VIOLATION

If a student is suspected of an Honor Code violation, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The instructor is instructed to report a grade of ‘I’ to the accused student while the student is under investigation. The accused student may not withdraw from the class in which the suspected Honor Code violation occurred until the situation is resolved. Once the case has been resolved, a final grade will be assigned.
  2. If the violation is reported while the Honor Council is adjourned for the Spring and Summer, the case will be handled as soon as possible when cases resume being heard in the Fall semester.
  3. An Honor Council member will be assigned to investigate the allegations. At this time, the accused student is given written notice of the suspected violation. The investigating member will go over the evidence with the accused student and ask for an explanation of the incident. The accused student has the right to request another investigator if the student feels uncomfortable with the investigator originally assigned to the case.
  4. Accused students are invited to prepare a brief written statement for use in their defense, if they feel that this is necessary.
  5. The Honor Council will invite the student to appear before the Council when it considers all the evidence. At that time, the student will be given second written notice of the suspected violation. The student will be asked to describe actions and motivations relevant to the incident. If the student fails to appear for the hearing, the Honor Council has the right to pass judgment in their absence.
    1. The accused student has the right to waive the Honor Council hearing and go directly to the Faculty Committee on Discipline. (The student must first meet with their assigned Honor Council investigator before this option is available).
  6. The Honor Council will make a recommendation to the Faculty Committee on Discipline regarding the responsibility of the accused, and a suitable sanction, if applicable. The student will be notified of the recommendation and the reasons for the decision.
  7. The Faculty Committee on Discipline will review the recommendation made by the Honor Council. The Committee will ask the student to appear for the hearing. If the student fails to appear for the hearing, the Committee has the right to pass judgment in the absence of the student. The Faculty Committee will render a decision and will notify the student by written communication. The student may appeal the Committee’s decision to the Executive Committee of the College.
  8. Typical sanctions for a first violation may include a zero on the assignment, a reduction in grade for the course, and community service. For especially serious or repeated violations of the Honor Code, the sanctions may also include suspension or expulsion from the College of Engineering.
  9. Missed deadlines for Community Service sanctions can result in withholding your registration and/or your diploma.

DECISIONS OF AN HONOR CODE VIOLATION

The Honor Council investigates each suspected violation of the Honor Code and recommends action to the Faculty Committee on Discipline. Appointments to the Committee are rotated to ensure representation of all Engineering Departments. The Faculty Committee considers the recommendations of the Honor Council and follows up with appropriate disciplinary action. The decision of the Committee is ordinarily final. It may, however, be appealed to the Executive Committee of the College of Engineering on the following grounds:

  • Proper procedures were not followed;
  • Sanctions are not consistent with past practice;
  • There is new evidence not reasonably available at the time of hearing before the Faculty Committee on Discipline

The College of Engineering Executive Committee shall not review findings of fact made by the Faculty Committee on Discipline.

The College of Engineering Executive Committee has sole discretion to determine if sufficient grounds exist for consideration of an appeal.

If the request for appeal has merit, the College of Engineering Executive Committee shall review the appeal as soon as practical after it has been filed and will give the student, along with the Chair/Associate Chair of FCD, an opportunity to address the Committee in person.

Following the review, the College of Engineering Executive Committee may sustain or reverse the finding of an Honor Code violation. If the finding of academic dishonesty stands, the Committee may sustain, modify, or increase the sanction imposed. The student will be informed by email/letter of the Committee’s decision.

Students have 1 week from the receipt of their Honor Code decision to submit their letter of appeal to the Executive Committee.

Completed appeal letters should be emailed to the Honor Council Administrator at honorcouncil-admin@umich.edu and should be addressed c/o:

Professor Kevin Pipe
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
College of Engineering
University of Michigan

Cases involving suspected violations on the part of students registered in another school taking an Engineering course, or involving Engineering facilities, will be reviewed by the Engineering Honor Council and Faculty Committee on Discipline. The appropriate authorities of the school or college of the students involved will be notified.

When graduate students are suspected of Honor Code violations, the College of Engineering Honor Code process will be followed. In addition, communications will be sent to the Dean of Rackham School or Graduate Studies.

Protection of the Suspected Student

During the Honor Council hearing, the suspected student deals at first only with other students. This creates an atmosphere where the case can be stated fully without any inhibitions caused by the presence of faculty members or administrators. Although the hearings are confidential, the suspected student may bring a friend or advisor. The College of Engineering maintains records of all Honor Code convictions. However, all Honor Council and Faculty Committee on Discipline records are strictly confidential and are kept separate from the student’s regular file.

Conclusion

The students, faculty, and administrators of the College of Engineering believe that living under the guidance of the Honor Code contributes to the success of engineers from the University of Michigan. Each student admitted to the College of Engineering is subject to the tenets of the Honor Code. Students are reminded that the principles on which the Honor Code rests apply to life in the professional world as well as on campus.

Students enrolled in the College of engineering are expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to be a credit to the University and to the community, and most importantly, to themselves.

Interested in joining the Honor Council? Complete the form linked below.

New Member Application