Oxford College will host a conference Feb. 7–8 geared
toward bringing small colleges together to discuss the challenges
of academic integrity.
“Academic Honor: A Student-Centered Conference” will
bring to Oxford students, faculty and staff from a variety of institutions
throughout the Southeast for panel discussions, working groups and
roundtables on campus practices regarding honor code policies.
“We wanted to bring together students who serve as peer judges,”
said Joe Moon, Oxford’s dean of student affairs. He is co-coordinating
the conference with Christine Loflin, assistant professor of English.
“It’s a tough thing to do, and students often feel alone
while doing it,” Moon continued. “A lot of students
don’t support academic integrity initiatives. We wanted to
support our own students and let them know they are not alone.”
Oxford, as well as Emory and many other institutions, has an honor
code by which all students must abide. If an Oxford student is accused
of breaking the honor code, he or she must attend a hearing of the
college’s honor council. If a violation is found, sanctions
could range from a F for coursework to expulsion.
The Oxford honor council consists of a chair, secretary, four student
members, four student alternates, three faculty members and three
faculty alternates. Faculty members are appointed by the dean, and
student members are appointed by the current honor council. A majority
of Oxford’s honor council will be attending the conference
and helping run the programming.
When compiling a list of schools to invite, conference organizers
looked for institutions similar to Oxford in size and geography.
Participating schools also had to have active honor codes and student
honor councils charged to enforce that code. Invitations were sent
to students and honor council faculty/staff advisors not only from
Oxford but from Agnes Scott, Birming-ham Southern (Ala.), Davidson
(N.C.), LaGrange, Lyon (Ark.), Presbyterian (S.C.), Wesleyan and
the University of the South (Tenn.).
The effort to organize the conference began last spring, and some
of the students involved in the process have since continued on
to the Atlanta campus. Therefore, Oxford’s “daughter
campus” will be sending a contingent as well. Moon said he
expects to host about 40–50 participants. Each school will
most likely send three or four students along with one honor council
advisor. “The interest was immediate and overwhelming,”
Subjects of discussion include the challenges of educating students
and faculty on honor codes, technology and cheating, the judicial
process, peer judging, and faculty advising. Panel discussions will
take up most of the day on Feb. 8.
Judith Ruderman, vice provost and chair of the Academic Integrity
Council at Duke, will deliver the keynote speech on Feb. 8 at 1:15
p.m. in Tarbutton Hall. Ruderman has served as Duke’s vice
provost for academic and administrative services since 1995. Prior
to that, she was director of Duke’s Office of Continuing Education
for 12 years. Duke created the Academic Integrity Council in 2001
to develop programs and materials to promote the university’s
Honor Code among its students, faculty and staff.
Oxford has committed to hosting two academic-honor conferences.
Next year’s event will be similarly themed, but a bit more
While this year’s event is limited to institutions with active
honor codes, next year’s conference may include colleges that
are just starting honor-code systems or considering them. Institutions
that attend this year will run workshops.
The conference is cosponsored by Oxford, the Oxford-based Pierce
Program on Religion and the Emory Center for Ethics. For more information
refer to the conference website: www.emory.edu/OXFORD/AcademicHonor/.