The Faculty Senate at Concordia University Chicago moved to adopt an honor code at this institution to provide a uniform and functioning procedure for dealing with cheating, plagiarism and other types of academic dishonesty.
Faculty turned to the mission statement for guidance and to explain why an honor code made sense for this University. It would be more than setting rules and expecting everyone to follow them; rather, in developing the whole person, each individual and the people as a whole reflect upon and care about their own personal moral and ethical behavior, something fundamental to the workings of an honor code.
Indeed, the development of the entire student as an ethical and moral citizen of the world includes the notion of academic integrity and personal responsibility. An honor code articulates concretely the level of honor and integrity expected of all scholars. It instills such personal guidelines in every member of the community. It supports the development of a Christian community in which people come together for a variety of reasons, but ultimately share responsibility for their fates.
Occasionally individuals violate this trust and integrity. Any act of academic dishonesty is a serious offense in a university community. It takes unfair advantage of other students—who work within the expectations of the Honor Code—and of their instructors—who trust their work. Any violation of the Honor Code is, therefore, taken seriously as a breach of honor with the entire community and not a private matter between student and instructor.
In short, Concordia University Chicago implemented an honor code starting fall semester 2006 to emphasize further the importance of moral and ethical decision-making in every aspect of a person’s life. All students enrolling at Concordia University Chicago are required to sign the honor code pledge:
“As a student of Concordia University Chicago and a member of the larger society, I pledge to uphold an academic honor code that supports serving and leading with strong personal integrity. Specifically this includes not cheating or using inappropriate or dishonest means to complete anything I do for a grade, program, or graduation requirement. This also includes giving unauthorized assistance to, or participating in inappropriate collaboration with others. I understand that this is a privilege and it is my responsibility to uphold actively this honor system. Furthermore, this pledge signifies that I will treat others with utmost respect within the classroom and on campus as I expect others to treat me.”
The Honor Code pledge, categories of unauthorized aid, judicial protocol, violation consequences and appeal procedure are available at www.cuchicago.edu/honor-code.