Dr. Michael Rosewall | Associate Academic Dean
The Academic Honor Board plays an important role on campus, though its work sometimes goes unnoticed. Each semester, the Honor Board meets to listen and make decisions when cases of academic misconduct occur. The Board is made up of students and faculty who volunteer for this difficult but important job.
When new students arrive at St. Norbert, each is asked to sign our Academic Honor Code statement. This statement is an agreement with the college, in which the student pledges to abide by the rules of academic integrity on campus. When these rules are broken – through plagiarism, cheating, falsification or other academic misconduct – it can become a matter for the Academic Honor Board.
Of course, the Board does not hold a hearing for every honor code infraction. For example, if a faculty member discovers an instance of academic misconduct, he or she may offer the student the option of failing the assignment and/or a lowered grade for the course. However, for repeat offenses and instances where the student chooses to dispute the charge, the case is automatically sent to the Academic Honor Board. If academic misconduct is proved, sanctions can range from a lowered grade, to failure of the course, or suspension or expulsion from the College.
During the spring semester of last year, 25 instances of academic misconduct were reported on campus. Most of the cases were first-time offenses and settled – typically as reduced credit or no credit for the assignment in question – between the student and the faculty member. The Honor Board, however, did have the task of hearing three of these cases. In one instance, the student was sanctioned with a mandatory academic tutorial. Another hearing resulted in a failure of the assignment. And the last led to the student failing the course in which the misconduct occurred.