Honor Code

All students enrolled in the academic health professional programs are expected to abide by the stipulations of the Honor Code.

Student Honor Council and Code

I. Preamble

The students, faculty, and administration of the Emory University School of Medicine join together in support of this Honor Code for the purposes of (a) providing an atmosphere of mutual trust, concern, and respect; (b) fostering honorable and ethical behavior; and (c) cultivating lifelong professional conduct. To promote this purpose, matters regarding misconduct of an academic nature shall fall under the jurisdiction of the Honor Code, while Other aspects of a student's professional education will be covered by the guidelines stated in the Student Conduct Code.

Students enrolled in Academic Health Professions Programs, Emory University School of Medicine, are required to uphold the following Honor Code.

II. Statement of the Honor Code

A. Any action indicating lack of integrity or dishonesty in academic matters is considered a violation of academic ethics. Such offenses include, but are not limited to, engaging in or attempting to engage in cheating, plagiarism, sabotage, falsifying or manipulating data, or knowingly passing off work of anOther as one's own.

  1. Cheating includes knowingly acquiring, receiving, or passing on information about the content of an examination prior to its authorized release or during its administration, provision or utilization of unauthorized aids; or impermissible collaboration.
  2. Plagiarism is defined as the act of incorporating into one'ss own work the work or expression of anOther without appropriately and adequately indicating the source.
  3. Sabotage is defined as intentional and malicious actions that impair anOther student¿s academic performance.
  4. Falsifying or manipulating data is defined as the act of creating, enhancing, or Otherwise changing actual results in academic, clinical, or research matters.

B. Acts observed that appear to be in violation of the Honor Code will be reported to the Honor Council. Failure on the part of a student to report such apparent violation will itself be considered a violation of the Honor Code.
C. Lack of knowledge of the aforementioned precepts will not stand as adequate defense of violation of the Honor Code.
D. Each student upon entering the School of Medicine must sign a matriculation pledge stating that he/she has read, understands, and is aware of his/her responsibilities under the Honor Code.

III. The School of Medicine Student Councils on Honor

A. The Medical Student Council on Honor will have primary jurisdiction over the supervision of the Honor Code as applies to medical students. That Honor Council is outlined in the School of Medicine Student Handbook for Medical Students.

B. The Health Professions Student Honor Council (hereafter referred to as the Joint Honor Council) will have jurisdiction over the adherence to and supervision of the Honor Code as it applies to students in these Academic Health Professions programs: (1) ophthalmic technology, (2) anesthesiology, , and (3) medical imaging.C. Program Honor Councils, formed at the discretion of the program director and faculty, will have jurisdiction over the adherence to and supervision of the Honor Code as it applies to students of these specific Academic Health Professions programs: (1) physician assistant and (2) physical therapy. Other Academic Health Professions programs may form a Program Honor Council by following the process for amendment of this document. 

1. Membership

a. The Joint Honor Council

(1) The Joint Honor Council will consist of one elected Student Representative from each program (all programs represented regardless of program participation in the Joint Honor Council), and 2 (two) faculty representatives. In addition, there will be two (2) alternate student representatives from each program, and four (4) alternate faculty representatives. The leadership of the council will be under the direction of a chair, vice chair, and secretary who are elected by the student membership from the student representatives on the Joint Honor Council.
(2) Student representatives and alternates

(a) Initial appointments are in place for the first year of the implementation of the Joint Honor Council. For subsequent years, the following elections will be held by April of each academic year following implementation: A student representative and two alternate student representatives will be elected by each program¿s students to serve on the Joint Honor Council for a one-year term. The elections will be open to any student, including previous members of the Joint Honor Council. The list of candidates will be approved by the dean.
(b) Students in a program of one year or less will elect a student representative and two alternate student representatives immediately after matriculation.
(c) Vacancies will be filled by special election of the respective program, when possible. If the program is unable to elect any representatives, alternates from Other programs will serve on a rotational basis until a new student representative can be elected.

(3) Faculty representatives and alternates

(a) To establish a pool of six faculty members, three of whom are replaced each year, the following process will be utilized:

i) Programs will submit nominations for faculty membership to Academic Health Professions Advisory Committee for consideration for appointment and selected faculty nominees will be forwarded to the dean.
ii) In the first year, the dean will appoint one faculty representative and two alternate faculty representatives for a one-year term, and one faculty representative and two alternate faculty representatives for a two-year term.
iii) Each April thereafter, the dean will appoint one faculty representative and two alternate faculty representatives for a two-year term.

(b) Each appointed member can serve no more than two years without reappointment by the dean.
(c) Faculty members will be limited to three consecutive terms.
(d) Vacancies will be filled by appointments by the dean.

b. Program Honor Councils

(1) Each Program Honor Council will consist of three elected student representatives from each class, and two faculty representatives. In addition, three alternate student representatives from each class also will be elected by the program's students, and two alternate faculty representatives will be appointed by the program director (or his/her designee). The leadership of the Program Council will be under the direction of a chair, vice chair, and secretary who are elected by the student membership from the student representatives on the Honor Council.
(2) Student representatives and alternates

(a) By April of each academic year following implementation, a student representative and two alternate student representatives will be elected by each program¿s students to serve on the Program Honor Council for a one-year term. The elections will be open to any student, including previous members of the program or Joint Honor Council. Candidates are approved by the dean (or his/her designee).
(b) Vacancies will be filled by special election of the respective class, when possible. If the class is unable to elect any representatives, alternates from Other classes will serve on a rotational basis until a new student representative can be elected.

(c) Program Honor Council student representatives are not required to serve as program¿s student representative to the Joint Honor Council.

(3) Faculty representatives and alternates

(a) To establish a pool of four faculty members, two of whom are replaced each year, the following process will be utilized:

i) Program faculty will submit nominations for faculty membership to program director for consideration for appointment and selected faculty nominees will be forwarded to the dean.
ii) In the first year, the program director will appoint one faculty representative and two alternate faculty representatives for a one-year term, and one faculty representative and two alternate faculty representatives for a two-year term with approval of the dean.
iii) Each April thereafter, the program director will appoint one faculty representative and two alternate faculty representatives for a two year term with approval of the dean.

(b) Appointees can serve no more than two years without reappointment by the program director and reconfirmation by the dean.
(c) Appointees will be limited to three consecutive terms.
(d) Vacancies will be filled by appointment by the program director with approval of the dean.

2. Leadership of the Honor Councils

Hereafter, Honor Council refers to either the Academic Health Professions Student Honor Council or to the program Honor Council depending upon the specific program of the student. (See Section III. B.)

a. chair and vice chair: The chair and vice chair will be student representatives elected by the student membership of the Honor Council who are presently enrolled in programs of at least two years in length. This election will be held in April of each academic year following the first year of implementation. These elected officers must be approved by the dean.
b. Secretary: The secretary will be a student representative and will be elected for a one-year term by the entire council from the pool of student representatives whose program length allows fulfillment of the term. This officer is approved by the dean.

3. All matters reviewed by the council will be kept strictly confidential.

IV. Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Violations

A. If an individual believes that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred, that individual must report the violation as soon as possible to any member of the Honor Council. Failure to report the violation will itself constitute a violation of the Honor Code.
B. After receiving the report, the chair will decide whether the situation warrants investigation. If an investigation is deemed necessary, the secretary will notify the dean (or his/her designee).
C. Upon notification of a possible violation of the Honor Code, the secretary will choose two investigators from available alternate student representatives. These investigators will be responsible for gathering information about the case.
D. After information about the case has been gathered, this information will be submitted to the intermediary, an ad-hoc, randomly selected alternate faculty representative (appointed by the chair), who will judge whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant a formal hearing. The intermediary may not represent the program or the accused or participate in any subsequent hearing. The intermediary should inform the secretary as to whether or not he/she calls for a hearing. The secretary will set the time, date, and place of the hearing and will notify such persons as deemed appropriate at that time in writing. Additional persons may be notified at anOther time.

V. The Hearing

A. If a hearing is deemed warranted, the student will be notified by the secretary in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing; the nature of the violation with which the student is charged; the evidence of the investigation and the options available to the student concerning assistance by an advisor (see Section V. E. 5.).
B. The hearing will take place within a reasonable time (usually no more than twenty-one days) after the accusation is reported to the Honor Council. In rare instances, a different time period may be determined by the Honor Council based upon the specific circumstances of the case. The student will be permitted to continue academic endeavors until a final decision is made. The student and advisor may review and gather evidence prior to the hearing.
C. For each hearing, the Honor Council consists of eight members: five student representatives plus the chair (or vice chair) and two faculty representatives. The five student representatives are randomly chosen by the chair. (For the Joint Honor Council these five student representatives will include a student representative from the program of the accused.) If any member is unable to serve for any reason, including conflict of interest, then an alternate representative who did not serve as an investigator or intermediary will be appointed by the chair (or vice chair) to sit on the Honor Council. Alternate members who serve as investigators will present pertinent information but will not be allowed to vote in the proceedings or to be present during deliberations.

1. It will be the responsibility of the secretary to inform the (sitting) Honor Council members in writing of the alleged violation (date, person involved, and nature of the accusation), and of the date of the hearing.
2. The chair (or vice chair) will preside over the hearing and participate in discussion and deliberation of the case but will not have a vote in determination of a decision. (See Section VI. A. & VI. B.)

D. Order of Proceedings

1. Call to order
2. Reading of the Honor Code
3. Statement of the alleged Honor Code violation
4. Presentation of evidence: The investigators and the student may present testimony and Other evidence as appropriate and relevant to the case. The chair and members of the Honor Council, the student, and the student¿s advisor may ask questions of witnesses, but the chair shall have the right to determine whether such questions are appropriate.
5. Discussion and deliberation by the council in private and executive session.

E. Rules Governing Proceedings

1. Rules of law do not apply to any hearings or proceedings regarding the Honor Code.
2. All hearings will be conducted in closed-door session and will remain confidential.
3. Participants in the hearing will be limited to the following:

a. chair (or vice chair) of the Honor Council
b. Honor Council representatives to include the secretary or, if needed, a replacement secretary appointed by the secretary (or his/her designee) from the sitting members of the Honor Council.
c. Student accused of violation
d. Two alternate student representatives who served as the investigators for the case
e. Relevant witnesses who may be present only while testifying
f. Advisor for the student

4. The secretary or his/her appointee will take notes of the hearing and make them available to the sitting members of the Honor Council.
5. The student has the option of selecting a faculty member from the School of Medicine, who is not a member of the Honor Council, to assist in an advisory capacity prior to the hearing and to be present at the hearing. This individual will not be permitted to testify or to make statements of any nature Other than asking questions.

VI. Decision and Penalties

A. Decision: For the student to be found in violation of the Honor Code, a vote by at least five of the seven voting members of the Honor Council finding such violation will be required. The chair (or vice chair) will not be eligible to vote.
B. Penalty: The penalty recommended for an Honor Code violation will be determined by a plurality vote of the seven voting members of the Honor Council. The chair (or vice chair) will vote in case of a tie.
C. Penalty Recommendation: The Honor Council will make a recommendation of the penalty for violation of the statement of the honor code

1. The standard penalty for a violation is permanent expulsion. The student will receive a grade of "Incomplete" for all courses in which the student is enrolled at the time of the infraction.
2. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, the Honor Council may recommend a penalty less severe than permanent expulsion to the dean. These penalties include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Disciplinary probation for Honor Code violation. The student may receive a grade of "Incomplete", "Withdrawal" or "Withdrawal Failing" for one or more courses in which the student is enrolled at the time of the infraction, based on the judgment of the program faculty.
b. A Mandatory Leave of Absence from Emory University for at least one academic year depending upon the specific program.

(1) Mandatory Leave of Absence is defined for each specific program as:

(a) Ophthalmic Technology-one year
(b) Physical Therapy-one year
(c) Physician Assistant-one year
(d) Anesthesiology-next enrollment class cycle
(e) Medical Imaging-one year

(2) The student will receive a grade of "Incomplete" for all courses in which he/she is enrolled at the time of the infraction.
(3) Upon receipt of a mandatory leave of absence, the student cannot advance until he/she has completed the term in which the "Incomplete" grades were given.
(4) A student, who is found guilty of an Honor Code violation, will return from a mandatory leave of absence at the commencement of the same courses in which the violation occurred.
(5) At the discretion of the program director the student may be required to enroll as a student in special standing for purposes of review prior to re-enrollment as a full-time student.

D. Notification of Honor Council Decision: The dean will be informed promptly in writing by the chair following the decision of the Honor Council.
E. Decision of the dean of the School of Medicine: The final decision rests with the dean. The dean will notify the student and the program of the final decision in writing. The decision of the dean will be effective immediately unless there is an appeal.

VII. Final Appeal

The final appeal, including the basis for the appeal, must be submitted by the student in writing to the dean within one week after the decision of the dean. If an appeal is requested, an ad hoc committee consisting of three faculty members from the School of Medicine will be appointed by the dean. The committee will review the data and render its recommendation to the dean for upholding or repealing the decision, following which the dean will issue the final decision in the matter. (See Section VI. E.)

VIII. Amendments

Amendments to this Honor Code may be submitted before the end of each academic year for consideration by the Joint and Program Honor Councils. If approved by these Honor Councils, the amendments will be reviewed and a recommendation sent to the dean. Amendments will be adopted if approved by the dean.