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UPPS 07.10.01 - Honor Code

Honor Code

UPPS No. 07.10.01
Issue No. 10
Effective Date: 6/01/2023
Next Review Date: 6/01/2027 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Vice President for Academic Success and Dean of University College


Texas State University is committed to maintaining a climate of academic integrity.


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

    2. 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;

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

      4. a penalty related to a non-course violation as codified in departmental or catalog policy.

    3. 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.

    4. Determination Verification Form – a form to be completed by the student denoting acceptance or non-acceptance of the allegation of academic misconduct and/or the assigned penalty.

      The following table itemizes common issues and concerns related to academic integrity:

      Examples of Honor Code Issues and Concerns

      Cheatingincludes 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 screens, programs, or from any electronic devices 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 un-administered 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 un-administered test or obtain information about an un-administered 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, source, or by automated means. 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); or
      9. using unauthorized materials or information 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 and Collusionincludes 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.
      Plagiarismis presenting work or ideas from another source as your own, with or without consent of the original author, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. 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; or
      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.
      Fabricationincludes 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; or
      6. fabricating or falsifying a bibliography.
      Facilitating Academic Dishonestyincludes 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 their 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. engaging in theft of other students’ notes, papers, homework, or textbooks for academic gain;
      4. using or manipulating any electronic means to assist another or self without authorization; or
      5. engaging in copyright infringements.
    5. Disciplinary Penalty – any penalty a student may receive in a student disciplinary matter pursuant to the official Texas State Code of Student Conduct.

    6. 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 part- or full-time, whether for credit or audit, and whether in residence, by extension, or any form of distance education.

      3. Honor Code Council – a group comprised of a minimum of 14 trained faculty members, at least two from each of the seven academic colleges, except the Honors College, University College, and The Graduate College, and a minimum of 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 (DOS) and associate vice president for Academic Success (AVPAS) and dean of University College. 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 and Dean of University College’s office.

      4. Hearing Officer – non-voting chair or vice chair of the Honor Code Council who coordinates with the student and faculty and facilitates hearings.

      5. 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.

    7. Honor Code Review Form – an online form submitted by the faculty member or supervisor anytime there is an accusation of academic misconduct.

    8. Violation of the Honor Code – includes, cheating, collaboration and collusion, plagiarism, fabrication, and facilitation of academic dishonesty.


    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 and dean of University College 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 contact the student verbally or in writing to schedule a meeting to discuss the alleged violation and the supporting evidence (e.g., documents, written statements, or other evidence), and academic penalty to be imposed, as defined in Section 02.02. The faculty member will also advise the student of the option to accept or reject the faculty member’s decision using the Determination Verification form. The student may respond in writing or in person and may present evidence and witnesses.

      2. A student who fails to: 1) respond to the faculty member’s attempt to schedule an initial meeting, 2) fails to attend a meeting with a faculty member, or 3) fails to respond after the meeting within three business days will be referred to a Hearing Officer. An Honor Code Review form including the Determination Verification form (with the non-response option selected) will be completed by the faculty member and filed with the AVPAS and dean of University College’s office. A hold may be placed on the student’s academic record until the matter is resolved.

      3. After conferring with the student, if the faculty member does not find that the student has violated the Honor Code, the matter will be considered resolved and no further action will be taken.

      4. 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 alleged code violation by completing the Determination Verification form. The student will indicate on the form if: 1) they accept the faculty member’s determination and waive their right to a hearing, or 2) they do not accept the determination and request a hearing. The faculty member should then complete the Honor Code Review form, attaching the student’s Determination Verification form and all other evidence.

      5. A student who is accused of academic misconduct, but drops the class before the case is resolved, will be re-enrolled in the class by the University Registrar’s Office until the Honor Code process has concluded. The allegation will be documented on an Honor Code Review form and filed with the AVPAS and dean of University College’s office. Withdrawal from the course does not prevent a student from receiving an “F” in the course, nor does it halt further Honor Code proceedings.

      6. A student involved in academic misconduct associated with a course in which they are not enrolled in may have a hold placed on their academic record until the matter is resolved. An Honor Code Review form will be completed by the Council chair or vice chair and filed with the AVPAS and dean of University College’s office. The Hearing Officer will refer the matter to the DOS office for further review.

      7. A student who is accused of academic misconduct, but subsequently withdraws 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 and dean of University College’s office.

    3. The Hearing Officer will convene a hearing if the student rejects the faculty member’s determination. The Hearing Officer 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 Hearing Officer is notified that the student has rejected the faculty’s determination or penalty, they will make every effort to schedule the hearing within 10 business days. The Hearing Officer 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 Hearing Officer will give the student and faculty member reasonable notice of the scheduled hearing. The Hearing Officer 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 alleged Honor Code violation and present evidence during the hearing. Students may have a third party in attendance only if there is an appropriate FERPA release on file. The third party cannot address the hearing committee directly.

      3. The hearing, with the exception of the panel’s deliberation, will be recorded. If either party desires to appeal the finding, a copy of the recording will be produced at no cost, and both parties will be furnished a copy for appeals purposes only.

      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 Hearing Officer 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 Hearing Officer. The dean, or designee, will render a decision and inform all parties including the faculty member, student, the AVPAS and dean of University College’s office, and the Hearing Officer 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 executive vice president for Academic Affairs. Students may obtain the appeal form from the Hearing Officer.

    5. As provided in the TSUS Rules and Regulations, Chapter VI, Subsection 5.36, the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, or 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 and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, or 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 and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, or designee, will render a final decision on the appeal within a reasonable time and will inform all parties including the faculty member, student, the AVPAS and dean of University College’s office, and the Hearing Officer 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 responsible of academic misconduct will be maintained by the AVPAS and dean of University College’s office in accordance with the University Records Retention Schedule SAP410. 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:

      Associate Vice President for Academic Success and Dean of University CollegeJune 1 E4Y
      Vice President for Student SuccessJune 1 E4Y
      Chair, Honor Code CouncilJune 1 E4Y
      Chair, Faculty SenateJune 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.

    Associate Vice President for Academic Success and Dean of University College; senior reviewer of the UPPS

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs