11.13. Conclusions to Investigations for Class II Charges

If the investigatory panel elects to tentatively classify a charge as being of the Class II variety, then the panel will name a counselor. A counselor is a faculty member who will work with the accused person to help the student understand what he/she has done wrong; help the student develop some strategies to avoid future accusations of academic fraud; and to help the student arrive at a proposed sanction for the current liability. If the original complainant was an instructor, or if the complainant was not an instructor but the alleged violation occurred in the context of a particular course, then the instructor in the course will be the counselor, providing that he/she is willing to serve. If the instructor is not willing to serve in this capacity, or in any other case not covered by the forgoing propositions, then the investigatory panel will appoint a faculty member (or an “alumni” faculty member) of the honor council who has not been involved in the current proceedings to serve as counselor.

The accused and the counselor will have five academic business days to confer and send a summary report back to the secretary. The report is expected to be very brief, minimally stating what sanction the counselor and accused propose. As soon as possible thereafter, the investigatory panel will reconvene and will classify the original charge as a Class II violation and liability if and only if the following are all true:

11.13.1. The accused freely agrees to the sanction jointly developed with the counselor. The sanction must, in the opinion of the investigatory panel, be less severe than would have likely been levied by a judicial panel if the charge had led to a first Class I liability; at the same time, the sanction must be nontrivial. For instance, the recommended sanction for a Class I violation stemming from an instance of relatively minor, unpremeditated cheating in a course is that the student receives a zero on the assignment. A far less serious, yet nontrivial, sanction which would be appropriate for an analogous Class II charge would be for the student to receive a one- or two-letter grade reduction on the assignment in question. As a second example, the recommended sanction for a Class I violation deriving from an instance of cheating involving considerable premeditation or extensive collusion would be that the student receives an “F” in the course. An appropriate Class II counterpart which is nontrivial might be for the student to receive a one- or two-letter grade reduction in the class.

11.13.2. The entire plea and proposed sanction are evaluated by the original investigatory panel. The panel has the option of accepting, rejecting or modifying the arrangements made by the counselor and the accused. In the case of a modification or rejection, the case will be again sent for a conference between the counselor and the accused until all parties are in agreement about the sanction. If an agreement acceptable to all parties has not been reached within ten academic business days of the original investigatory panel meeting in the matter, the option for a Class II charge is revoked and the case will revert irreversibly to Class I status. In this event, a judicial panel will meet to establish the sanction. The accused is not present for this hearing, and the sanctions are likely to be severe, possibly even more severe than the original investigatory panel’s estimate of what a judicial panel would assign had the charge been Class I all along.

11.13.3. The accused agrees to complete the “Academic and Intellectual Traditions” course (see 11.22.) within the timeframe specified by the investigatory panel.

11.13.4. A fully-adjudicated Class II case (meaning one where the provisions of Sec. 11.13.1. through Sec. 11.13.3. have all been satisfied) is not appealable according to the provisions of 11.23., which covers only Class I liabilities.

A Class II liability is essentially a warning, a “teachable moment.” The Class II verdict and sanction are still recorded by the honor council for purposes of maintaining the council’s own internal records.

If the accused does not successfully complete the Academic and Intellectual Traditions class within the timeframe mandated, then the case is retroactively and irreversibly given Class I status. As soon as possible thereafter, a judicial panel will meet to establish the sanction. The accused is not present for this hearing, and the sanctions are likely to be severe, possibly even more severe than the original investigatory panel’s estimate of what a judicial panel would assign had the charge been Class I all along.

A student can only have an honor code charge classified as being of the Class II variety if he/she has no previous honor code liable pleas or decisions, although (as noted above) even a first alleged instance of cheating is not automatically accorded Class II status. If a Class II charge has been fully adjudicated (meaning the provisions of Sec. 11.13.1. through Sec. 11.13.3. have all been satisfied), then if that same student is later charged with another honor code violation, the second (and any subsequent) charge will automatically go down as being of the Class I variety.

In no case will an investigatory or judicial panel consider reducing a bona fide Class I charge down to the Class II level.