11.8.7. Honor Council Officers

11.8.7.1. Presiding Officer

At each investigatory or judicial panel meeting, a presiding officer is elected by student members from among the student members present. The presiding officer should, when possible, be chosen from among the student members who are affiliated with the same academic program as is the accused. It is expected that all student members will have the opportunity to serve in this important role, although those with prior experience are to be favored early on. The duties of the presiding officer include informing the accused of the charges and evidence against him/her; leading the questioning of witnesses and accused persons; answering questions put to the council by accused persons and witnesses; and generally maintaining order.

11.8.7.2. Secretary

A tenured, senior faculty member with prior honor council experience serves as secretary. The secretary is appointed by the provost for a period of at least one year.  The secretary’s duties include coordinating training, education, election and selection of members; coordinating, along with others, training of new students and faculty in the honor code and its requirements; receiving reports of suspected honor code violation and carrying out related activities (such as interviewing complainants and potential witnesses); scheduling hearings; summoning accused persons and witnesses who are expected to testify against the accused; keeping records of all proceedings and of the disposition of all cases; notifying appropriate parties of the outcomes of investigations and hearings; and other related duties. A secretary is required to be in attendance at every honor council meeting. If the secretary is unable to be present at a given meeting, he/she may appoint an experienced faculty honor council member to serve as secretary in his/her stead. Additionally, each spring semester the secretary will present a report to the faculty at one of its final two regularly scheduled meetings, discussing the cases that have come forward in the previous twelve months and indicating any suggested revisions to the code, to be voted on by the faculty.

11.8.7.3. Process Information Officers

Early each semester, at least one, and up to three, process information officers (PIOs) shall be selected from among the TU students serving on each of the two full honor councils. While each full honor council can decide how its PIOs are determined, students with prior honor council experience are to be favored, as are those who express interest in serving in this capacity. Each PIO will receive additional training and instruction in honor council and honor code requirements and procedures, and each will be required to pass an examination (written and/or oral) prior to any actual PIO service. The term of service is approximately one semester, although reappointment following successful service is allowed.

When a student is notified of a pending honor code charge, he/she will also be given the name and contact information of one or more PIOs. The accused student will be encouraged to contact a PIO to set up an appointment. While the accused is not required to meet with a PIO, such a meeting is strongly advised. Meetings between the PIO and the accused shall be scheduled at the PIO’s convenience. The offer of a PIO is extended as a courtesy to the accused, not a right.  This courtesy is intended to facilitate the general knowledge and decision making ability of the accused.  This courtesy may be waived by the accused.

The PIO’s duties will be to supply:

  • Accurate information to the accused about honor code and honor council processes, terminology and timelines. Examples would include informing the accused about the meaning of Class I and Class II charges (and what controls whether a given charge receives one or the other of these designations), liable and not liable pleas (and the possible consequences of each such plea), investigatory and judicial panels (and what each does, and how), how honor council decisions are made, potential sanctions, etc.;
  • Accurate advice to the accused concerning his/her rights under the code, including the right to offer an opening and closing statement, the right to examine all evidence prior to the conclusion of each meeting, the right to query honor council members, accusers and other witnesses, and so forth. See 11.11. for a more extensive list of rights.
  • Accurate information to the accused concerning his/her responsibilities under the code, including showing up for each scheduled meeting (or requesting an extension, if appropriate), interacting honorably with the honor council, keeping honor council matters confidential, etc.

A PIO will never be permitted to:

  • Give an accused student advice on how to circumvent or stymie the honor code or honor council or their various processes.
  • Advise the accused on how he/she ought to plead.
  • Serve as an advocate for the accused.
  • Serve as a character witness or advisor during any subsequent meeting of an investigatory or judicial panel which will consider the accused student’s case.
  • Serve on any investigatory or judicial panel involved in adjudication of the accused student’s case.
  • Proffer an opinion on the likely outcome of the accused student’s case or on the likelihood of potential sanctions.

While PIOs are always TU students, the PIOs will serve students in all academic programs (TU and ADP) who have been accused of suspected honor code violations.

While PIOs are highly trained and are expected to accurately inform accused students in the ways described above, it is the responsibility of every student to know and understand the honor code. Therefore receiving allegedly inaccurate advice from a PIO will not be cause for finding a student not liable of a cheating charge, nor will it be a mitigating factor concerning selection of a sanction.