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 doctrine 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 Honor Code supports the individual course policy, whatever it may be.

If a student feels that an instructor is not implementing all aspects of the Honor Code, the student should contact the instructor or a member of the Honor Council for discussion and to consider further steps, if necessary.

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. Examinations, Quizzes, and In-Class Assignments

The statements that follow apply to quizzes or in-class assignments as well as examinations.

Students must follow instructions to sit at the designated seats for in-class exams. There should be at least one empty seat between students. This helps ensure comfort during the examination and reduces the temptation to cheat. The Honor Code applies even if the seating arrangement does not permit an empty seat between all students.

Students are required to bring their student ID card and have it available for the purpose of verification. Students are not allowed to take items not directly related to the exam to 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 class prior to the examination if aids such as calculators, notes, or textbooks are permitted.

During the examination, students are allowed to leave the room briefly with permission. No communication regarding the examination is allowed inside or outside the room. All questions about the examination should be directed to the instructor.

After each examination, students must sign their name to the Honor Pledge on their test paper. The Honor Pledge reads as follows:

“I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this examination, nor have I concealed any violations of the Honor Code by myself or others.”

Instructors are not required to grade exam papers in which the signed Honor Pledge does not appear. The Honor Code remains enforced whether or not the student signs the Pledge.

4. Coursework and Attribution of Sources

The principles of the Honor Code apply to out-of-class coursework, such as homework, programming assignments, laboratory reports, essays, class projects, take-home examinations and other activities as designated by the course instructor.

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 the Honor Pledge (see Section 8.3) 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

Assignments involving collaboration within a group (e.g., lab reports, project reports, collaborative course work) 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. University Documents

Official academic forms and records, including electronic records, are the property of JI and/or SJTU. Tampering, 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. Computer Accounts and Software

Students may not attempt to access or tamper with the class account or records of another student unless permission has been given by the class instructor and the student to whom the account is assigned. 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 ofJI 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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 §12 below. Such appeals should be addressed directly to the Dean’s Office.

11. 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.

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.

12. 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.

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 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.

13. 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).