Faculty members’ limited comfort with the processes of UNC’s honor system was the driving force behind new faculty roles to be implemented next fall.
“When we did a survey of faculty opinions of the honor system, we found that there were a number of departments and individuals who had seen or suspected Honor Code violations who weren’t reporting them, or felt there were barriers to reporting cases,” said Nathan Tilley, the undergraduate Honor Court chairman.
Starting in the fall 2014, faculty members will be able to take part in the initial hearings panel of the Honor Court during the phase in which guilt or innocence is determined.
Judith Wegner, the chairwoman of the Faculty Honor System Advisory Committee, said faculty members serving on a panel would be able to help the students on the Honor Court understand the cases from the perspective of the instructors.
While faculty would be able to provide their understanding of issues such as cheating and plagiarism in order to aid in decisions of guilt or innocence, Wegner said they would not be involved in the stage during which sanctions are issued.
Faculty Chairwoman Jan Boxill said approximately 50 faculty members will be in a pool that will be used to fill the hearings panels for the Honor Court, as well as the previously established University Hearings Board.
Each hearings panel will have four students and one faculty member, including a vice chairman who is also a student.
“I think it’s a recognition that we take academic integrity seriously,” Boxill said. “Now it’s time for (faculty) to stand up, and so far they have.”
Boxill said another new position, the faculty liaison, is intended to give members in various academic departments someone familiar to reach out to.