History of the Code

The adoption of the Honor Code in 2014 represented five years of work by many different community members, including deans, teaching fellows, House Masters, faculty members, and students from six classes (2012-2017). In practice the Code and the Honor Council trace their roots to the formation of the Committee on Academic Integrity in 2010. The Committee included College and GSAS students, faculty members, and administrators who met regularly to consider ways to better promote academic integrity in the undergraduate experience.

Early in the Committee's work, members began to explore the value of Honor Code systems. After reviewing the academic literature and studying Honor Code systems at other institutions, the Committee recommended the development of a modified Honor Code system. A drafting subcommittee, of whom a majority of members were students, developed a comprehensive Honor Code and Council composed of students, faculty, administrators, and teaching fellows. The proposed Honor Code system also included students as Student Academic Integrity Fellows (SAIFs) to provide guidance and support to students under investigation by the Honor Council.

The Committee held meetings through the Fall of 2013 to solicit feedback and support. A subcommittee prepared an Honor Code proposal for review by the Committee, which then brought legislation first to the Faculty Council, and then to the full Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which passed Honor Code legislation in May 2014. This legislation provided for the creation of the Honor Council, to adjudicate cases concerned with potential violations of the Honor Code and rules on academic dishonesty. The Committee further prepared legislation for the Honor Code Affirmation, which was approved by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in April 2015.