Honor Code

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1. Preamble
The Honor Code outlines certain standards of ethical conduct for persons associated with the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI). The policies of the Honor Code apply to all graduate and undergraduate students of JI or taking courses at JI, faculty members, staff members, and administrators.

The Honor Code is based on the following tenets:

  • Engineers must possess personal integrity as students and as professionals. They must honorably ensure safety, health, fairness, and the proper use of available resources in their undertakings.
  • Members of JI are honorable and trustworthy persons.
  • The students, faculty members, and staff members of JI trust each other to uphold the principles of the Honor Code. They are jointly responsible for precautions against violations of its policies.
  • It is dishonorable for students to receive credit for work that is not the result of their own efforts.
2. Application of the Honor Code

The Honor Code is intended to support and enforce course policies at JI. Course instructors have significant latitude to prepare policies for their courses. This can lead to variations between policies of different courses. It is the instructor’s responsibility to craft the course policies in accordance with the spirit of the Honor Code.

Students are responsible for understanding the Honor Code and its implementation. JI identifies and pursues violations more vigorously than most SJTU schools. In particular, any copying of other students’ work in homework assignments, reports, and course projects not specifically permitted by the instructor as well as any plagiarism of other sources in written work are considered violations of the Honor Code.

As the specific policies of different instructors can vary significantly, it is the instructors’ responsibility to specify their policies in writing at the beginning of each term. Students are responsible for understanding these policies and should consult the instructor if any ambiguities remain. The specific regulations of the course policies shall take precedence over the general rules of the Honor Code.

If a student feels that an instructor is not implementing all aspects of the Honor Code or the course policies, the student should contact the instructor or a member of the Faculty Commission on Discipline.

Students of JI enrolled in courses offered by other colleges must abide by the policies of the school or college in which the course is offered. Any suspected policy violations will be referred to the appropriate authorities of the school in question.

JI and the University of Michigan (UM) may share records on Honor Code violations. An Honor Code violation by JI students at UM may be considered an Honor Code violation at JI. JI students are obligated to inform JI if they are found by UM’s Faculty Committee on Discipline to have violated UM’s Honor Code while at UM. JI may share records of Honor Code violations of dual-degree students with UM.

Students who are not members of JI and who take a course offered by JI or make use of JI facilities are bound by the policies of the Honor Code. Any suspected policy violations will be referred to the Honor Council and Faculty Committee on Discipline. The appropriate authorities of the student’s school or college will be notified.

3. In-Person Assessments

In-person assessments are examinations, quizzes, assignments or other activities that take place in the classroom or other specially designated area and require the student to be physically present. This section describes basic principles related to these assessments. The instructor may amend or supplement these as needed in the course syllabus or through prior announcement.

In some cases, such as for examinations, students may be asked to sit at designated seats. Typically, subject to space constraints, one or more seats will remain empty between two occupied seats.

Students are required to bring their university-issued student ID card and have it available for the purpose of verification.

Students are not allowed to take items not directly related to the assessment into the classroom. In particular, computers, music and video players, cell phones, and other electronic devices are prohibited unless clearly specified otherwise. The instructor will inform the students prior to the assessment if aids such as calculators, notes or textbooks are permitted.

During the assessment, students are allowed to leave the room briefly with permission. No communication regarding the assessment is allowed inside or outside the room. All questions concerning the assessment should be directed to the instructor or, at the instructor’s discretion, at the exam proctors.

As part of the assessment, students may be asked to sign a Pledge of Honor, stating that they complied with the spirit and the letter of the Honor Code. The Honor Code applies whether or not a student signs the Pledge. Instructors may refuse to evaluate any assessment without a signed Pledge.

4. Coursework and Attribution of Sources

Coursework refers to activities outside the classroom such as written homework, programming assignments, laboratory reports, essays, class projects, take-home examinations and other activities as designated by the course instructor. This section describes basic principles related to these activities. The instructor may amend or supplement these as needed in the course syllabus or through prior announcement.

Student collaboration on coursework may be allowed by the instructor.  However, students should assume that coursework is to be done independently unless otherwise informed. If collaboration is allowed, the instructor is to make clear what forms of collaboration are permissible. The instructor may also require students to sign a Pledge of Honor (see §3) on the coursework.

It is a violation of the Honor Code for students to submit, as their own, work that is not the result of their own labor and thoughts. This applies, in particular, to ideas, expressions or work obtained from other students as well as from books, the internet, and other sources. The failure to properly credit ideas, expressions or work from others is considered plagiarism.

Plagiarism is taken extremely seriously at JI. A student is required to follow the rules of citation and attribution as set down by the instructor. The following list includes some specific examples of plagiarism:

  • Use of any passage of three words or longer from another source without proper attribution. Use of any phrase of three words or more must be enclosed in quotation marks (“example, example, example”).
  • Use of material from an uncredited source, making very minor changes (like word order or verb tense) to avoid the three-word rule.
  • Inclusion of facts, data, ideas or theories originally thought of by someone else, without giving that person (organization, etc.) credit.
  • Paraphrasing of ideas or theories without crediting the original thinker

There are many different style guidelines for the correct formatting of attributions (e.g., APA style, MLA style etc.). When determining whether a violation of the Honor Code has occurred, the particular method of citation is generally not relevant unless the instructor has specified otherwise. However, students must always make clear which words or ideas are being used, and identify their sources with sufficient precision to allow readers to locate the original material or original text.

Use of machines translation software (such as Google Translate) is generally not permitted. It may only be used rarely, with explicit, previous authorization from an instructor.

While plagiarism is generally a violation of the Honor Code, it is recognized that the procedures of proper attribution are initially unknown to students. If a student is found to have committed plagiarism in an assignment or other course work whose specific goal is to teach students about proper procedures of summation, citation and attribution, then the instructor or the Honor Council may decide that no violation of the Honor Code has occurred.

5. Collaborative Group Work

Coursework involving collaboration within a group (e.g., lab reports, project reports, etc.) require that all members of the group whose name appears on the assignment are jointly and fully responsible for the entirety of the submitted work. If any section of the submission is found to violate the Honor Code, all group members whose name appears on the submission are equally and jointly liable for the violation. An exception is possible, at the instructor’s discretion, if part of the work is clearly delineated as originating only from specific group members.

6. Official Documents and Records

Official academic forms and records, including electronic records, are the property of JI and/or SJTU. Tampering with, altering, improperly accessing, disrupting availability of, or misusing these documents or electronic resources is a violation of the Honor Code, as is submitting falsified or altered documents.

7. Course Resources and Teaching Material

Teaching and learning materials, such as lecture slides, assignments, quizzes, videos etc. are the intellectual property of the instructor and/or the Joint Institute and may not be passed on to others without the express permission of their owner. This applies in particular to recordings of lectures and other media created by instructors.

In particular, it is not permissible to upload course videos to sharing platforms (such as Youku or YouTube) or to post lecture slides, assignment questions, project descriptions etc. on sharing sites such as SlideShare.

8. Student Work and Documents

Students must retain all relevant work documents that are created during a course, in electronic or paper form, for a period of 90 days after the end of the course. This applies, but is not limited to, written coursework, computer files used in the creation of lab reports, source code files, image files, emails and chat records used in collaborative work.

While enrolled in a course, it is in general prohibited for students to share their coursework (e.g., assignments, essays, exam answers) with any other students. Students are required to take reasonable precautions to ensure that their own work remains confidential.

Instructors have the right to restrict or prohibit students from sharing the material (solutions to course work, exams, lab reports, etc.) that the students themselves created during a course even after completion of said course. If the instructor wishes to do so, the relevant details need to be stated in the course syllabus.

Without such a prohibition, or within the scope defined by such restrictions in the syllabus, the sharing of a student’s own coursework after the student has completed the course does not constitute a violation of the Honor Code.

9. Computer Accounts and Software

Students may not attempt to access or tamper with any electronic account or record of another student. Students may not inappropriately alter, attempt to gain access to, or disrupt availability of any academic records, course materials, and institutional computing tools without proper approval.

Computers made available for students’ use are the property of JI. All software made available for students’ use is the property of JI or is used under license. Any unauthorized attempt to copy or improperly distribute software or to tamper with computers or software is a violation of the law and of the Honor Code.

10. Online Presence and Activities

The Joint Institute imposes a “real name” policy for all online activities organized by JI instructors. This policy applies to groups or communication by E-Mail, Canvas, Piazza, Zoom, WeChat and all other platforms where groups are set up by JI or by individual instructors for students attending JI courses, events or other activities.

Students are required to use their actual names (in Latin letters, e.g., using pinyin transliteration) as part of their online presence for such groups and when communicating online. Individual instructors may also require students to add their names in Chinese characters (if applicable) and/or their Student ID.

Unless otherwise noted, such online activities are intended for the exclusive participation of JI students. Account names, meeting IDs, passwords and other information intended to protect the exclusivity of such activities may not be shared with anyone who is not part of the course or activity.

For example, it is not permissible to share a Zoom meeting ID of a given course with any person who is not enrolled in that course, whether or not that person is a JI student.

When communicating or otherwise using online groups, students should follow the regulations set down by instructors concerning the use of online tools. Vandalism, spam messages, verbal and other forms of abuse, violation of English-only policies (as detailed by instructors) and disturbance of the learning experience of other students are not permitted.

11. Non-Academic Violations

The Honor Code applies to behavior outside of academic matters. For example, the following actions would be reviewed under Honor Code processes: theft, damaging of property, causing physical harm to others, deliberate disruption of computing resources. This is not a complete list but rather gives examples of possible violations. Under exceptional circumstances, such matters may be investigated directly by the Faculty Committee on Discipline rather than first passing through the Honor Council.

12. Honor Council

The Honor Council is composed of students of JI. The primary purpose of the Honor Council is to investigate suspected violations of the Honor Code.

Members of the Honor Council may visit classes to answer questions about the Honor Code and acquaint students with its ideals. Openings may occur on the Honor Council as members graduate and leave the institute. At such times, the Honor Council follows its established procedures to select new members. The Honor Council can be contacted at jihonor@sjtu.edu.cn.

The Honor Council investigates each suspected violation of the Honor Code and determines whether or not a violation has occurred. Its determination together with a recommendation for sanctions is then passed to the Faculty Committee on Discipline.

If a student or faculty member disagrees with the Honor Council’s determination, he or she may ask the Faculty Committee on Discipline for a review of the decision.

13. Faculty Committee on Discipline

The Faculty Committee on Discipline (FCD) consists of faculty members of JI. The main purpose of the FCD is to impose sanctions on students that have been found to have violated JI’s Honor Code by the Honor Council. It will take the Honor Council’s recommendations into account when determining the sanctions.

The FCD may return a case to the Honor Council for review if it feels that certain aspects have not been sufficiently considered. However, the FCD will not usually investigate purported violations of the Honor Code itself.

The decisions of the FCD are ordinarily final. They may, however, be appealed to the Dean’s Cabinet of JI as outlined in §15 below. Such appeals should be addressed directly to the Dean’s Office.

14. Reporting Honor Code Violations

The Honor Code works to the benefit of students, instructors, and staff members of JI. It is based on the mutual trust that all those bound by it will uphold its principles and enforce its policies.

This makes it the duty and responsibility of students and instructors to report promptly any suspected violations of the Honor Code. It is considered a violation of the Honor Code to not report a suspected violation of the Honor Code.

Students should inform the instructor in a timely manner when a violation of the Honor Code is observed. To ensure uniformity and fairness, the instructor is required to take the appropriate actions in accordance with the Honor Code if the instructor feels there is just cause to do so.

For assignments, projects and exams with a fixed due date, a suspected violation of the Honor Code must be reported within four weeks (28 days) after receiving the work in question for it to be considered by the Honor Council. The Honor Council has the right to reject reports of violations that are incomplete or lack vital information. If the initial report is incomplete or lacks information, the missing information must be furnished with one week (7 days).

The proceedings of the Honor Council are confidential. Therefore, the students and faculty involved are obligated to refrain from discussing the case with persons not directly involved in the case. Disclosure of confidential information is a violation of the Honor Code.

The UM-SJTU Joint Institute maintains records of all Honor Code convictions. However, all Honor Council and Faculty Committee on Discipline records are confidential and kept separately from the student’s regular file. Honor Code violation records may be shared with UM as appropriate for students with affiliations to both JI and UM.

15. Investigation of Honor Code Violations

When a student is suspected of an Honor Code violation it is his/her right and responsibility to cooperate with the Honor Council investigation, provide evidence and defend himself/herself in the hearing.

The accused student has the right to attend every hearing on his case and has a right to see all the relevant evidence.

The Honor Council will make a determination of whether a violation of the Honor Code has occurred and may make a recommendation regarding suitable sanctions. The Honor Council will notify the student, the course instructor (if applicable) and the FCD of its decision within three days of the hearing.

The student and the instructor both have the right to appeal the Honor Council’s decision to the FCD within two weeks of the Honor Council’s decision. The FCD may also decide to review the case itself. The FCD may void the Honor Council’s decision and remand the case back to the Honor Council for further review. The final decision of whether or not a violation occurred is made by the Honor Council.

The FCD will review the determination made by the Honor Council. If the Honor Council finds that a violation of the Honor Code has occurred, the FCD will consider the Honor Council’s recommendation for sanctions, but it is not bound by that recommendation. The FCD will render a final and binding decision on the sanctions to be imposed on the accused student.

In certain extraordinary circumstances, the FCD may decide to investigate a suspected violation of the Honor Code directly, without the involvement of the Honor Council. In such cases, the FCD will issue a detailed justification for this step to the accused student and to the Honor Council. The FCD will then decide the student’s guilt or innocence as well as the sanctions to be imposed. The decision by the FCD to decide the case directly as well as the actual decisions in the case may be appealed to the Dean’s Cabinet as described below.

The student and the instructor both have the right to appeal any decision by the FCD to the Dean’s Cabinet of JI within two weeks of the FCD’s decision. Such an appeal may be based only on the following grounds:

  • Proper procedures were not followed;
  • Sanctions are not consistent with past practice;
  • There is new evidence not reasonably available at the time of the decision of the FCD.
  • The case was decided by the FCD without involvement of the Honor Council.

The Dean’s Cabinet shall not review findings of fact made by the FCD.

The Dean’s Cabinet has sole discretion to determine if sufficient grounds exist for consideration of an appeal.

If the request for appeal has merit, the Dean’s Cabinet shall review the appeal as soon as practical after it has been filed and will give the student, along with the Chair of the FCD, an opportunity to address the Cabinet in person.

Following the review, the Dean’s Cabinet may sustain or reverse the finding of an honor code violation. If the finding of academic dishonesty stands, the Cabinet may sustain, modify, or increase the sanction imposed.

16. Sanctions

Typical sanctions for a first violation include a grade reduction on the work in question and a reduction in letter grade for the course.

Second violations of the Honor Code are especially major. For a second violation, students will normally receive a grade reduction for the work in question, a reduction in letter grade for the course, and an increase in the number of academic credits required for graduation.

In addition to the above, JI may recommend to SJTU that the student receive one of the following administrative entries in his personal file: Jinggao (warning), Yanzhong Jinggao (serious warning), Ji Guo (recorded demerit), Liu Xiao Chakan (probation), or expulsion according to the rules in the SJTU Handbook. These or other sanctions appropriate to the violation are determined by the FCD based on the severity and circumstances of the violation.

For non-academic violations, any of the above sanctions may be imposed by the FCD according to the nature of the violation.

If a student violates the Honor Code after already having received either Ji Guo or Liu Xiao Chakan, they will be expelled from JI. JI will recommend to SJTU that the student be expelled from the university.

For a first or later violation of the Honor Code, SJTU may follow their specified policies on student conduct in addition to JI process outlined in this document. SJTU’s processes may lead to additional sanctions beyond those administered by JI, including expulsion from SJTU (see the SJTU Student Handbook for details).