Faculty might soon serve on the traditionally student-led Honor Court if the Committee on Student Conduct and the Faculty Council approve a series of several changes to the court today.
The proposed changes include reducing the burden of proof when making rulings and including faculty on Honor Court panels.
If approved, the proposal will be sent to Student Congress and then to the chancellor, but it would not be implemented until fall 2014, said former Student Attorney General Amanda Claire Grayson.
Richard Myers, chairman of the committee and an associate professor in UNC’s School of Law, said the changes stem from three years of planning and are not in response to the recent publicity of how UNC handles sexual assault cases. As of Aug. 1, 2012, sexual assault is no longer under the jurisdiction of the Honor Court.
Myers said the initial push for the changes began after a 2009 survey indicated low faculty approval of the Honor Court system.
“We found that for some significant portion of the faculty, they weren’t using the honor system based on prior experience with it,” Myers said.
With the changes, each case where a student pleads not guilty would include a faculty member along with the standard panel of four students.
Myers said faculty involvement wouldn’t create any major change in protocol but would allow faculty guidance when assessing academic integrity.
Grayson said previously voiced faculty concerns focused on the severity of the court’s sanctions and the required burden of proof.