The Honor Code at the University of Lynchburg is based on the expectation that students will not lie, cheat, or steal in academic and non-academic matters. The Honor Code has a dual function of protecting both academic integrity and personal integrity.
The importance of honorable conduct has been emphasized at the University of Lynchburg since its founding in 1903 as Virginia Christian College. A professor of history wrote, “The College…stands for all that is noble…and will be sadly disappointed in any student who so forgets her precepts as not to stand for her teachings in every…honorable way.” During the 1933-1934 academic session, students and faculty adopted a formal honor code of the institution, renamed Lynchburg College in 1919. At that time students stated, “It is not too much to require of any person that he be honest and that he conduct himself in an honorable way.” With modifications, the Honor Code has been in continuous operation since its adoption, succeeding because most students in each generation have respected it and have given it a high place in their obligations as Lynchburg students.
In describing the importance of honor at Lynchburg, Dr. John M. Turner, Jr., former dean, wrote:
Honor makes possible excellent academic achievements without a system of police proctoring. Honor makes possible satisfying social relations in a spirit of confidence and trust.
The heritage that we have at Lynchburg College is a most valuable one. May all of us preserve the spirit of honor, strengthen it by our conduct, and thus transmit this valuable heritage to those who follow us.
Because the Honor Code is of central importance in the University of Lynchburg community, every student is expected to adhere to the University Honor Pledge:
I understand the importance of honor in any community. Only by maintaining a strict standard of honor can we expect to achieve any measure of academic or social excellence. I, therefore, pledge that during my tenure as a student at the University of Lynchburg, I will not lie, cheat, or steal either in University affairs or in the environs of the University, nor tolerate such actions by fellow students.
Students are expected to abide by the Honor Code themselves and not to tolerate actions by fellow students that breach the Code. In matters of honor, any reluctance to report a violation is transcended by each individual’s responsibility to the entire student body. If a student witnesses or discovers any infraction of the Honor Code, the student witness should report the offense or ask the person(s) at fault to report the offense to the appropriate professor, to Community Expectations and Restorative Practices, or to the Student Judicial Board, which have been granted authority to address such matters. When an alleged Honor Code infraction is resolved through a judicial board hearing, the hearing is conducted by either the Student Judicial Board or the Administrative Board, as assigned by Community Expectations and Restorative Practices.
The academic integrity section of the Honor Code includes the following A-level violations:
(A1.1) Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any educational exercise
(A1.2) Fabrication: Falsification or invention of any information or citation in an educational exercise
(A1.3) Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to violate any provision of the Academic Integrity Code
(A1.4) Plagiarism: Representing the ideas or language of another as one’s own in any educational exercise. Read the Statement on Plagiarism.
Integrity is critical to all educational endeavors and is a core value of the University of Lynchburg. Recognizing the complexities of upholding both the rights of a charged student and academic freedom of faculty and of maintaining an educational environment from which all students benefit, the following actions are available for resolution of an academic integrity violation:
Action by the Faculty Member
A faculty member may resolve an academic integrity violation through implementation of only one of the four options listed below. The faculty member must notify the student in writing of the identified academic integrity violation and of the action taken.
- Grant no credit for the examination or assignment in question (100% of the course grade is based on all other work).*
- Assign a score of zero for the examination or assignment in question.*
- Recommend to the associate provost that the student be assigned a final course grade of “F.” When this recommendation is upheld by the associate provost (or designee), the student is dismissed from the course for the remainder of the academic term. The associate provost (or designee) notifies both the student and the faculty member whether the recommendation is upheld.*
- Refer the possible academic integrity violation to Community Expectations and Restorative Practices for review through student disciplinary procedures detailed in the Honor and Student Conduct Codes and Regulations (see “Disciplinary Procedures”).
- When a faculty member refers an academic integrity matter to Community Expectations and Restorative Practices for resolution and the course is still in session, the faculty member does not assign a final grade for the academic work in question or for the course until disciplinary review of the matter is concluded through student disciplinary procedures, which may include student-initiated appeal. If the course ends before the allegation is resolved, the faculty member shall assign the temporary grade of “I” (work incomplete) until one of the following occurs:
- When the final outcome of the disciplinary review is a finding that the student is not responsible for an academic integrity violation, then the professor must adhere to the disciplinary decision, grading the academic assignment as legitimate work.
- When the final outcome of the disciplinary review is a finding that the student is responsible for an academic integrity violation, then the professor may implement one of the grading options detailed in Actions 1, 2, and 3 above. (Additional appeal of the grade assignment is not available).
* When implementing Action 1, 2, or 3 above, the faculty member is strongly encouraged to notify Community Expectations and Restorative Practices that an academic integrity violation occurred and was resolved by the faculty member. Such notification is necessary to identify recurring problems and to maintain accurate academic integrity records; however, no new action to address the violation will be taken by Community Expectations and Restorative Practices.
Appeal of Action by the Faculty Member
A student found responsible for committing an academic integrity violation has the option of submitting one written appeal request, as detailed below. If no appeal is submitted, the original resolution becomes the final outcome of the academic integrity concern.
When an appeal request is submitted concerning address of an academic integrity violation, the student is typically not afforded a meeting with the person resolving the academic integrity appeal request. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal request, the charged student is notified in writing of the appeal outcome. Appeal outcome decisions are final decisions of the University; additional appeal is not available.
Appeal requests resulting from implementation of Actions 1, 2, or 3 must be submitted to the Office of the Provost within two weekdays (Monday-Friday) after the date of notification of the original resolution outcome. Appeal requests resulting from Actions 1, 2, or 3 are resolved by the provost and vice president for academic affairs (or designee).
Appeal requests resulting from Action 4, which involves referral of the alleged academic integrity violation to Community Expectations and Restorative Practices, are resolved in accordance with appeal procedures detailed in the Honor and Student Conduct Codes and Regulations (see “Appeal Procedures”).
Action by a Student Witness
A student who witnesses or has other information regarding a possible academic integrity violation is strongly encouraged to take one or more of the following actions:
- Address the student believed to be in violation of the Honor Code, encouraging the student to report the infraction to the professor.
- Inform the professor of what was witnessed.
- Inform the provost of what was witnessed.
- Inform Community Expectations and Restorative Practices of what was witnessed.
Action(s) by Community Expectations and Restorative Practices
- A possible academic integrity infraction reported to Community Expectations and Restorative Practices for resolution is reviewed in accordance with disciplinary procedures described in the Honor and Student Conduct Codes and Regulations.
- If it is determined that a possible Honor Code infraction will be resolved through a judicial board hearing, the hearing is conducted by either the Student Judicial Board or the Administrative Board, as assigned by Community Expectations and Restorative Practices.
- If a student is found to be responsible for an academic integrity violation, appropriate outcomes are assigned, which may include suspension. However, mitigating and aggravating circumstances of the incident may affect the outcomes imposed. Expulsion may be issued for more serious circumstances, and lesser outcomes (typically not fewer than 30 hours of community service and a period of disciplinary probation, or the equivalent) may be issued for less serious circumstances.
- A student found responsible for an academic integrity violation has the option of submitting one written appeal request in accordance with appeal procedures detailed in the Honor and Student Conduct Codes and Regulations (see “Appeal Procedures”).
- When the final outcome of the disciplinary review is a finding that the student is responsible for an academic integrity violation, Community Expectations and Restorative Practices notifies the course professor of the finding. The course professor may then implement one of the grading options detailed in Actions 1, 2, or 3 of “Actions by the Faculty Member,” even if a grade for the academic work in question and/or for the course was assigned before the faculty member was notified of the academic integrity violation by Community Expectations and Restorative Practices. (Additional appeal of the grade assignment is not available).
The personal integrity section of the Honor Code includes the following A-level violations:
(A2.1) Lying: Any statement, action, or behavior with the intent to deceive or mislead
(A2.2) Stealing: Knowingly taking, appropriating, or carrying out actions to take or appropriate something that is not yours without the permission of the owner
(A2.3) Possession or use of false identification for any purpose, including purchase of alcoholic beverages
(A2.4) Eluding or Evading: Any statement, action, or behavior with the intent to prevent the truth from becoming known, including but not limited to running or hiding from University personnel and destroying evidence being sought.
Suspension may be issued in response to a personal integrity infraction; for more information, refer to the section titled “Outcome Guidelines.”
Last updated 8/3/2022.