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Foster Honor Code


Foster Honor Code

Honor Code Statement

“Cheating, attempted cheating, plagiarism, lying, and stealing in relation to academic work is prohibited.”

Students who enroll in the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business are expected to uphold the tenets of both the Foster Honor Code and the University’s Student Conduct Code.

The Foster Honor Code is an integral part of the program. Therefore, cheating and attempted cheating, plagiarism, lying, and stealing of academic work and related materials constitute Honor Code violations. To maintain an academic community according to these standards, students and faculty must self-enforce and uphold the Honor Code. Students will be required to review the honor code and acknowledge their acceptance and understanding of the code by signing a copy of the statement at the beginning of the program. Students are responsible for understanding the provisions of the code. In the spirit of the code, a student’s word is a declaration of good faith, acceptable as truth in all academic matters.

Infractions of the honor code are brought before the Honor Council, an adjunct committee comprised of peer student representatives, Information Systems faculty members, and MSIS leadership acting on behalf of the Foster School.

At the beginning of each quarter, faculty members have the responsibility of explaining to their classes their policy regarding the Honor Code. They must also explain the extent to which aid, if any, is permitted on academic work. The complete Honor Code follows.

Honor Code System

All students enrolled at the University of Washington are subject to the Student Conduct Code (Washington Administrative Code 478-121). To promote a stronger sense of mutual responsibility, respect, trust, and fairness among all members of the Foster School, and to enhance greater academic and personal achievement, the following code of honor has been established to supplement the University of Washington’s Conduct Code.

Scope of the Honor Code

The Honor Code of the Foster School deals specifically with cheating, attempted cheating, plagiarism, lying, and stealing.

  1. Cheating encompasses the following:
    • The willful giving or receiving of an unauthorized, unfair, dishonest, or unscrupulous advantage in academic work over other students.
    • The above may be accomplished by any means whatsoever, including but not limited to the following: fraud; duress; deception; theft; trick; talking; signs; gestures; copying from another student; unauthorized use of study aids, memoranda, books, data, or other information; and the unauthorized access of computer-based information.
    • Attempted cheating.
  2. Plagiarism encompasses the following:
    • Presenting as one’s own the words, the work, or the opinions of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
    • Borrowing the sequence of ideas, the arrangement of material, or the pattern of thought of someone else without proper acknowledgment.
    • Note: Both of the above definitions are applicable to periodicals, textbooks, and other published sources as well as articles posted on computer networks, to include the Internet.
    • Plagiarism found in a team-written paper will be considered a violation for every person on the team, though sanctions for such violations may differ across team members based upon each team member’s level of involvement in the incident.
  3. Lying encompasses the following:
    • The willful and knowledgeable telling of an untruth, as well as any form of deceit, attempted deceit, or fraud in an oral or written statement relating to academic work. This includes but is not limited to the following:
      • Lying to administration and faculty members.
      • Falsifying any university document by mutilation, addition, or deletion.
      • Lying to Honor Council members and counsels during investigation and hearing. This may constitute a second charge, with the Council members who acted as judges during that specific hearing acting as accusers.
  4. Stealing encompasses the following:
    • Taking or appropriating without the permission to do so, and with the intent to keep or to make use of wrongfully, property belonging to any member of the University of Washington community or any property located on the university campus. This includes misuse of university computer resources. See the UW Technology and UW Libraries websites on resource use:
    • Prohibitions on extra-ordinary academic sources: Students are expected to perform their own analysis and present their own conclusions. It is permissible to quote or paraphrase published works as long as the original author is acknowledged through proper citation. However, external sources should be used sparingly, such as when the original author is making a unique point or the student’s analysis relies on the author’s credibility. To that end, unless otherwise allowed by the instructor:
      • Students are prohibited from using case analyses, take-home exams, or other class assignment material of other people (UW or otherwise) in accomplishing their own assignments. Students must seek permission from the instructor if they plan to use a note sheet for an exam prepared by a student from an earlier iteration of the course.
      • Students are prohibited from using essay-aggregation websites in accomplishing their assignments. Some examples of websites include, but are not limited to, antiessays.com and oppapers.com. Students may not distribute their own papers through such sites or any other media.
      • Any communications with other individuals for the purpose of eliciting responses to specific exam or assignment questions is prohibited. This applies for all channels of contact, including, but not limited to, in-person, telephone, and electronic media. In particular, internet channels are prohibited, including, but not limited to, eHow.com, answers.yahoo.com, and wikihow.com.

The Honor Code is the overriding concept upon which decisions will be rendered. Course syllabi, other written documents, and verbal instructions are a means of providing additional guidelines and clarification.

Should a conflict arise between this document and any other form of written/verbal instruction, the “spirit” of this document takes precedence.

Responsibility of the Faculty

Professors and students are jointly responsible for maintaining the integrity of the learning and testing process, both in and out of the classroom, and for fostering conditions of academic integrity. This includes clearly identifying honor policies and guidelines. In the spirit of the Honor Code, faculty need not proctor exams. If a professor deems it appropriate, he or she may remain in the exam room during the exam to answer student queries and to address unanticipated problems. However, the professor need not attempt to monitor student behavior.

To alleviate misunderstandings, professors should address issues raised by students regarding what constitutes a violation of the Honor Code in their classes. Course syllabi and/or cover sheets for graded assignments should provide an explanation of the extent to which collaboration or group participation is permissible on various assignments.

Faculty members who witness an Honor Code violation should proceed as outlined under Procedure for Reporting a Violation.

Responsibility of the Students

Students are responsible for understanding the provisions of and abiding by the Honor Code. As part of the program orientation, each student will sign an affirmation of the Code stating that they will not give nor receive inappropriate aid in academic work. For graded assignments, students should request a delineation of policy from the professor and an explanation of any part of the policy they do not understand.

The use of information—to include, but not limited to, tests, case studies, spreadsheets, papers, or other graded work—from prior years’ courses is not permissible unless otherwise specified by the appropriate faculty member.

Students have the primary responsibility to discourage violations of the Honor Code by others. Various methods are possible. Simply drawing attention to a suspected violation may stop it. Privately discussing a perceived violation with an individual may be effective. Informally seeking the guidance of an Honor Council member, particularly to clarify the parameters of the Code, is also appropriate. Finally, initiating formal procedures is a necessary and obligatory remedy when other methods are inappropriate or have failed – proceed as outlined under Procedure for Reporting a Violation.

Procedure for Reporting a Violation

Procedure for Reporting a Violation The accused is presumed innocent. A report of a potential violation will generate an investigation by the Honor Council.

The Council will notify the accused within five working days of receiving notice of a possible violation. The notification informs the suspected parties they have five working days to contact the Honor Council office and make an appointment to see the faculty director, who advises them of their rights and options.

An accused person who challenges the right of any member of the Honor Council to sit in judgment on him or her must present cause to the chair of the hearing.

The hearing Council then decides the validity of the challenge with the challenged member abstaining from voting. A simple majority decides the validity of any challenge. A successfully challenged Council member must not be present during the hearing.

A member of the Honor Council who feels prejudiced as to the facts of the case, is a close friend or relative of the accused, or would not be able to render an impartial judgment must withdraw from the hearing. The Council will call witnesses as necessary. All members of the Council must be present at the proceedings.

To find a student guilty of an honor violation, there must be a three-fourths majority vote (three to one) for a verdict of guilty. A tie will be decided by the faculty director. Clear and convincing evidence must be presented to find the student guilty.

A student may not be tried more than once for the same offense except when an appeal is granted.


If the accused is found guilty of an honor violation, the Honor Council determines the nature of the penalty by majority vote. The Council will make a non-binding recommendation that will be forwarded to the appropriate University organization for disposition.

The Honor Council is not restricted to one kind of penalty but determines one commensurate with the seriousness of the offense. Typical of the range of penalties that may be given are the following:

  • Service hours: Service hours to be completed by a specific time. Upon completion, the hold on the student’s records is removed.
  • Written reprimand: A written censure placed in the confidential files of the Honor Council and in the student’s academic file but not made part of the student’s scholastic transcript records. Confidential files will be maintained with names removed for the purpose of precedence.
  • Non-academic probation: Exclusion from holding or running for an elected or appointed office in any organization or activity associated with the Foster School. Ineligibility to participate in any activity representing the university on an intercollegiate or club level, and ineligibility to serve as a working staff member of any student organization. This action is noted in the judicial administrator’s file but is not made a part of the student’s scholastic record. Disciplinary probation serves as a warning to the student that further misconduct will raise the question of suspension or dismissal from the University.
  • Withdrawal of course: The student will be withdrawn from the course.
  • Failing grade: Recommendation in writing to the professor for a grade of 0 for the work involved, or for the entire course. The student’s permanent record reflects the academic evaluation made by the professor.
  • Recommendation of suspension from the Foster School and University of Washington for one or more terms: A student’s scholastic record would read: “Nonacademic suspension from (date) to (date).” The recommendation is made to the vice provost for student life.
  • Recommendation of expulsion from the Foster School and dismissal from the University of Washington: A student’s scholastic record would read: “Nonacademic expulsion as of (date).” This penalty is recommended to the vice provost for student life only in extraordinary circumstances, such as for repeated offenses.


A student has the right to appeal any initial order. Appeals must be made within 21 days of the initial order or 25 calendar days of the date when the university mailed the initial order to the student. If the student does not submit a written request for appeal in that time frame the order becomes final. The appeals process is outlined in full details on the UW Community Standards & Conduct website.