In calling for a review of the University’s honor system, faculty have concerns that, if accurate, are valid. They have criticized the court for closing them out — and occasionally imparting punishments perceived as overly lenient.
Those concerns could have given faculty some ground to stand on in the upcoming review, if not for what the professors did with them. As the results of a 2010 survey have shown, a majority of those responding took those concerns as license to at least consider taking the honor system into their own hands.
In doing so, those responding showed more than a disregard for the honor system, which requires faculty to report academic misconduct. They also reinforced their role as the root of the honor system’s problem, not the solution.
Issued in 2010, the survey reported that 33 percent of the 504 faculty members responding said they might or might not report academic misconduct to the honor system. Another 18 percent said they probably, or definitely, would not report cases of plagiarism.
Their reasoning might have been made in the spirit of justice. But the best and most enduring fixes come from within the system.
Disregarding the recognized judicial system runs the risk of denying students due process before a court of their peers. Regardless of their rationale, there’s no excuse for ignoring required protocol.