Faculty Information

Professor Alice Swanson with some of her Honors Program students

Honor Code Faculty Advisor Contact Information

Michaele Ferguson
Associate Professor of Political Science


Research by the Center of Academic Integrity at Duke University details the value of honor codes: on campuses without honor codes, 20 to 25 percent of students reported that they had cheated on more than three tests and examinations. On campuses with honor codes, only 6.25 percent reported cheating at this level.

A student-run honor code is necessary because research indicates that institutions with student-managed honor codes are highly successful in alleviating indiscretions and promoting an academically honorable community, as compared to equivalent institutions without student-managed honor codes.

Also, research conducted by Donald McCabe, a professor at Rutgers University, found that "45 percent of the survey respondents on campuses with no honor code admitted to one or more incidents of serious test or examination cheating; only 29 percent did so on the campuses with a modified honor code." The lowest levels of cheating were found on campuses where students had exclusive responsibility for the campus honor code.

The university acknowledges, through the creation of the CU Honor Code, that honor codes have the potential to foster academic integrity throughout the entire campus community.

Faculty Support

The CU Honor Code Constitution, developed with the assistance of faculty from the Boulder Faculty Assembly, Arts and Sciences Council, Academic Ethics Chairs, and other schools and colleges, includes the following statement regarding faculty support:

"Faculty are expected to support and promote academic integrity and honor within their classrooms. They are expected to refer to the Honor Code on all pertinent materials including syllabi, test, and other assignments. Faculty are encouraged to both discuss the Honor Code periodically in class as it applies to their courses, as well as to ask students to pledge their work."

Information for Faculty/Staff who submit a case

In order to support our educational process, please report all suspected Honor Code violations promptly upon discovering them. It is important that we resolve all accusations in a timely manner so that we may, when students accept responsibility or are found responsible, provide educational opportunities that give students knowledge they may apply in the classroom. The integrity of the investigation process is easier to maintain if the investigation occurs near the date of the allegation, as it is easier to recall the specific details and facts of the incident. Please work with us to make our case resolution process timely and educational for all involved

Please note: Providing due process to a student accused of an Honor Code violation may take significant time (a few weeks). During that time, until a decision is rendered by the Honor Code council, students will be presumed innocent and no sanctions, academic or otherwise, should be applied until a decision is reached. For example, if a student is alleged to have committed academic fraud on an examination, the faculty member of record will mark that exam under the assumption it was a properly executed exam and record either an "incomplete" grade or a grade that ignores the allegation until an Honor Code decision has been reached. At that time, grade changes and other sanctions can be applied if appropriate.