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Viewing Results for Faculty Survey about the VT Graduate Honor System

Are you familiar with Virginia Tech�s Graduate Student Honor System (GHS) at and in the Graduate Student Catalog?

62.37%\% Yes (58/93 responses)
37.63%\% No (35/93 responses)
95.88% of the people who took this survey
(93 / 97) answered this question.

If you responded yes, please describe how you became familiar with the Virginia Tech's Graduate Student Honor System.

\% Response: (0/0 responses)
56.7% of the people who took this survey
(55 / 97) answered this question.

Text Responses (55 for this question)
"1) Preparing for a research methods course that I teach, I reviewed the information regarding the GHS in a lesson about research ethics. 2) Preparing syllabi each semester, I reference the GHS in warnings about consequences of plagiarism in the course. 3) Was involved in a GHS case."
"All students are bound to the same honor code"
"As director of our graduate program, I have had to learn about it."
"As part of researching the policy information I place in my syllabi."
"Attended two presentations made by different student reps of the Grad Honor System. Both were at the Northern Virginia Center."
"Because I had to file a plagiarism case on a graduate student lsat year."
"Cheating is rampant on this campus,so it pays to know the system"
"department drew attention to it"
"faculty panelist"
"found it in catalog"
"General background information that I know about how the university works"
"Grad student talked to department and new grad students."
"GTA workshop"
"Had to use the system with a graduate student that fabricated data."
"Have grad student who has been charged with a violation"
"have included the link in my syllabi and brought a case before the Graduate Honor System"
"I ask graduate students to review the website."
"I explored the website"
"I had a student plagiarize something in a rough draft, so I needed to familiarize myself with the Code to deal with that situation."
"I have had to refer cases to the GHS."
"I have read it and I require my students to read it and to sign a statement saying that they've read it and agree to abide by it."
"I have referred a grad student to it."
"I have reviewed it."
"I have served as a faculty member on review committees; and I have had to report a violation in the past; so I had to become aware of the rules"
"I have served on many GHS panels."
"I have served on reviews. I reread the code when a student brought a complaint that had allegations not supported by the written record"
"I have studied aspects of the GHS in the process of trying to administer graduate courses, including the preparation of course syllabi. More recently I had to report a violation and needed to study some of the specific procedural details."
"I have volunteered as a graduate student and faculty to serve on panels."
"I know that it exists."
"I needed to refer a student to the Honor system. I was also aware of it before then, from my department head, other faculty, and Dean's office."
"I read the catalogue when I came to VT as a professor."
"I saw it when I looked over the Grad Catalog."
"I used to handle cases involving academic integrity at another university so I routinely look at this document at every institution that employs me."
"I was a student and I read about it."
"Only slightly while making a syllabus for a class - I referenced it."
"Presentations at meetings for our students."
"Read it in the graduate student catalog and discussed with colleagues."
"Read it when first became grad pgm director in my department"
"reading material and honor system discussions at GTA conference"
"Reading on-line material as distributed by email"
"Searched for it and read it"
"Serving on pannels, submitting cases"
"Student presentation some time ago."
"through CGS&P; then through advising a grad student with a violation"
"Through Graduate School website, colleagues, etc"
"Through other faculty"
"we have the chief justice speak at new student orientation"
"While i was a student at VT"
"Word of mouth and GHS and Graduate School web sites for details."
"Word of mouth; website"
"Written documentation and experience with students referred to the system."
"Years ago, I was on two panels."

Do you typically discuss standards of Western scholarship with your students at least once during each course?

43.62%\% Yes (41/94 responses)
56.38%\% No (53/94 responses)
96.91% of the people who took this survey
(94 / 97) answered this question.

Do you typically discuss academic integrity with your students at least once during each course?

33.33%\% No (31/93 responses)
66.67%\% Yes (62/93 responses)
95.88% of the people who took this survey
(93 / 97) answered this question.

Would you be in favor of there being a short online tutorial about academic integrity and the Graduate Honor System to be taken within a student's first semester of graduate education at Virginia Tech?

89.13%\% Yes (82/92 responses)
10.87%\% No (10/92 responses)
94.85% of the people who took this survey
(92 / 97) answered this question.

Would you be in favor of the development of an alternative, decentralized mediating process that could be used prior to or in lieu of initiating formal Graduate Honor System procedures?

51.65%\% Yes (47/91 responses)
48.35%\% No (44/91 responses)
93.81% of the people who took this survey
(91 / 97) answered this question.

Comments on the Virginia Tech Graduate Honor System. Please let us know if you have participated in the Graduate Honor System, and, if so, what was your experience?

\% Comments (0/0 responses)
49.48% of the people who took this survey
(48 / 97) answered this question.

Text Responses (48 for this question)
"Brought a student up on charges of altering a graded exam. The investigation and case was done thoroughly and fairly and ended up in a decision against the student."
"Doesn't make sense to decentralize with the current graduate school leadership. Most straightforward and honest to be centralized from the beginning."
"Education of grad students, especially foreign ones, about plagiarism is desperately needed."
"Have not participated. I am not aware of any other faculty who have participated."
"I am a first year faculty member. In the initial FDI training I remember hearing lots about the undergraduate Honor System, but I can't remember the Honor System mentioned with respect to graduate students at all."
"I don't think it is working."
"I have been told that a suspected graduate system honor violation must be filed within 10 days of the infraction. I have not looked through the GHS documentation to confirm if that is correct. But if it is correct, I think that is far too short a time, and it should be changed to along a longer "statute of limitations." I think the undergrad honor system limit is 30 days, and I believe that even that is probably too short. Probably something like the longer of the remainder of the current term or 45 days would be something reasonable to consider as a standard."
"I have both pursued cases through the GHS and, some time ago, served on GHS panels. My experience has been very positive. I believe that the process is fair to both students and faculty. The GHS process is thorough in seeking the truth. Penalties are reasonable -- sufficiently harsh but not overly so. My only complaint is that progress is often very slow. It takes too long to bring cases to a hearing and to resolve appeals."
"I have brought more than 100 cases to the undergraduate honor system, but I have yet to pursue a graduate case."
"I have never participated in it."
"I have not had any Graduate Student Honor Code violations, so I am not familiar with that aspect. (I trust that it is more effective than the undergraduate Honor Code Court which is dysfunctional."
"I have not had the need to participate in the GHS."
"I have not participated but witnessed several cases from close-up. The 10-day period within which a violation must be reported in order to be valid is too short. Graduate students who witness a violation need more time to work through their conflicting emotions towards their offending peer(s)."
"I have participated and my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. I hope some ideas currently being discussed, such as a separate GHS for Northern Virginia, are NOT implemented."
"I have served on many judicial panels and some investigative boards. The system works very well in general, with only a few minor amendments required, such as the one mentioned above: a decentralized mediation process. Also, the timeline of 10 class days after noting a GHS violation to report is should be lengthened - this is fine for faculty, but not always for students who may hesitate to come forward."
"I hope you would make the tutorial available for faculty as well..."
"I must be honest -- my experience with the Graduate Honor System was mixed. It took a very long time for the case I prepared to be heard -- almost an entire semester. And while I was satisfied with the initial outcome, the student appealed and so reduced the consequences of her action (although not the guilty finding -- that stood as originally decided) as to make the process almost entirely meaningless. In many ways, I feel as if the appeals process in this case almost completely undermined my ability to uphold standards of academic integrity and honesty among my graduate students -- and has left me wondering if I even want to continue working with graduate students at all."
"I think such a decentralized system is a good idea. In a sense it already exists, with professors talking to each other or to their Chair, deciding whether or not to pursue official sanctions. Guidelines to this effect should be made official."
"I think the system in place allows professors the opportunity to take offenses to a safe environment where students are treated fairly. I believe students should continue to be advised on the integrity this University expects. The system in place is a just and lenient system for students. I propose keeping the Graduate Honor System"
"I would be in favor of tightening the standards and penalties. Kick cheaters out. Tech should be better than others. By announcing high standards we will attract more students of integrity. There is a culture of permissiveness on this campus, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It needs to stop if we are to be taken seriously."
"If it isn't broken, don't fix it. Decentralization of the Honor System will simply introduce ad hoc inconsistencies."
"In cases of direct and easily documented plagiarism, I have not always been very happy with the action taken by the Honor System. I do not think these kinds of offenses should be removed from a student's record, when he or she is found guilty. These are major ethical violations."
"It seems built on an undergraduate model with an emphasis on punishment. I'd like to see the emphasis be on education for all but the most egregious cases."
"It seems to work fine to me. Other than having a resource that an instructor can point students to, I see no need to change the existing system."
"It should be addressed with a breadth of subjects not just this one"
"Its adequate for my needs."
"More emphasis on preventive rather than punitive measures will increase compatibility with our mission, which is indeed educational rather than punitive."
"My experience as a faculty was good - I felt understood and supported by the process and the hearing."
"My experiences with the Undergraduate Honor System have been so awful that I avoid both the undergrad and grad systems."
"My participation with a graduate student that fabricated data was a fair and favorable experience."
"No" - ( 2 responses)
"One student referred. Was asked to consider mediation (I agreed). Student was allowed to withdraw from the class (not by my choice) and there was no notation made on her record of the violation. I think this is inappropriate. I have another referra pending now."
"Online tutorial could be optional. My impression: students in some fields know quite well what is acceptable and what is not. In other fields (and from other cultures), not necessarily."
"Our international students certainly have a different viewpoint of cheating than our national students. Their attitude seems to be "any means justifies the end" in some cases. I think the idea of a tutorial about "right" and "wrong" would be a good step."
"Pannelest -- it waqs good."
"Perhaps a brochure of the kind available in Sue Magliaro's waiting room coule be modified and made part of the firsrt year curriculum for all of our newly admitted graduate students. Importantly, they would be tested on its contents as part of a designated course"
"Presentations to faculty about the honor system and how it works were great. Really learned a lot from them. Having an online mandatory tutorial for students would be wonderful. Need to make faculty use it too."
"Prior to submitting my own first GHS report, I wouldn't have said that a decentralized mediating process would be preferable to the formal GHS process currently in place. I'm a big fan of formalized judicial procedures because they seem intrinsically less arbitrary. That opinion, however, was pased on (several) very good experiences with the undergraduate VT Honor System. In the UG HS, uou submit a report, and then there is a (small) panel, and a decision is rendered quite promptly. All of that seems very efficient to me. There seems to be a sense that the GHS needs to be much more "serious" than the UG HS, but I honestly don't see why it needs to be. When I submitted a violation to GHS during the current academic year, I found the process to be excruciating -- tedious "interviews" are conducted, which seem to be completely redundant of anticipated panel testimony, and the process drags out forever. I'm never notified of what the status of my case is. This inefficiency is a disservice to everyone involved. I realize that Mr. Kane and his staff are men and women of high integrity and that they are working as hard as they can. So, I don't know what the solution is for GHS but they've got to figure out how the whole system can be made more streamlined, or the temptation for faculty members to solve these problems "in house" will be hard to resist."
"see above"
"The Honors Systems have not worked well during my tenure at Virgnia Tech. Student "officers" are under-trained, under-staffed, and under-funded. But this should come as no surprise - many programs share this fate."
"The system only works if you use it."
"very good"
"works well. Much better website now than a year ago.Not enough participiation from members in the national capital region. Members here do no like to commit"
"Yes, I have participated and I found the experience to be highly frustrating, to the point of understanding why some of my colleagues have decided not to refer cases to the honor system. My sense was that the participants were so predisposed to the student being innocent that they rationalized explanations for the alleged behavior that the student had not even raised in his own defense. I could tell before the vote was taken what the outcome would be just from the comments from the panel."
"Yes, I have participted and thought the system was administered well, was fair, and reached resolution within a reasonable time."
"Yes, I have, and it worked beautifully."

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