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March 28, 2005


LEWISBURG, Pa. — After two years of discussion, Bucknell has adopted a new Academic Honor Code, which was approved by the faculty and Bucknell Student Government (BSG).

In 2003, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Teaching (FACT) reviewed several prominent national studies on cheating in higher education, learning that students from college campuses where there is a visible honor code tend to exhibit fewer acts of academic dishonesty.

Committee members felt that an honor code would raise awareness of student academic responsibility and conduct at Bucknell. They also hoped to quell any possible rise in academic dishonesty.

FACT sent the text of the proposed honor code to the Committee on Instruction for its endorsement and to BSG for student endorsement before being presented at a faculty meeting, where it was approved in a unanimous faculty vote. The code reads:

As a student and citizen of the Bucknell University community:

1. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors.

2. I will forthrightly oppose each and every instance of academic dishonesty.

3. I will let my conscience guide my decision to communicate directly with any person or persons I believe to have been dishonest in academic work.

4. I will let my conscience guide my decision on reporting breaches of academic integrity to the appropriate faculty or deans.

Faculty and administrators agree that academic responsibility is covered by the current code of student conduct but believe there needs to be a visible set of beliefs on how students ought to act.

While other colleges and universities have a code that requires students to turn in others for committing academic dishonesty, Bucknell's code is different because it is not a set of rules and regulations; those rules already exist in the Student Handbook. The new code is a statement of beliefs on how students and the university ought to conduct themselves in academic endeavors.

A board of review already exists at Bucknell to handle instances of academic dishonesty. Since the new code is a statement of beliefs, it does not change the way in which academic dishonesty is dealt with at the university. However, entering first-year students will be required to sign a separate agreement of academic responsibility and understanding of the consequences.

BSG's Academic Committee has taken the initiative to implement the code. Over the next few months, it intends to make the code visible and known, and to tie it into existing Bucknell traditions.

For further information, contact J.T. Dean '07, chair of the BSG Academic Committee, at jdean@bucknell.edu, or Joel Buckman '06, BSG president, at jbuckman@bucknell.edu.

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