Honor Board

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Honor Board is the group of students and professors whose job it is to enforce the Honor Code. Many believe it to be the scariest thing on campus. It is organized under the Office of Academic Affairs, with Dean Steve Bailey as the administrator in charge.

Jurisdiction and Procedure[edit]

The Honor Board handles all cases of academic dishonesty reported at Knox. Faculty are required to report suspected academic dishonesty to the Honor Board; they are not permitted to handle such matters themselves.

When charges are brought against a student or group of students, a private hearing is held with six to nine Honor Board members and the accusing faculty member. The Co-Chairs are responsible for assembling evidence and planning the hearings.

Records of Honor Board cases, with identifying information redacted, are available to the Knox community in the Office of Academic Affairs.


The standard penalty for a first Honor Board conviction is an F in the course; the standard penalty for a second conviction is expulsion. Nonstandard punishments may include anything from an F on the assignment on the low end to expulsion on the first conviction at the high end. The Honor Board only reduces a standard penalty if there is overwhelming evidence that a violation was involuntary or if there were extraordinary extenuating circumstances (a bar set rather high). The Board will only impose a stronger penalty if the academic dishonesty is very serious (involving, for instance, grant money) and has damaged Knox's reputation (for instance, if the academic dishonesty was committed in a work that has been or will be published outside of the College). When the Board reduces penalties or assigns penalties for academic dishonesty committed outside of the purview of a class, it generally attempts to prescribe a natural penalty arising from grading policies and the situation (for instance, a zero on all instances of a weekly assignment where one or more had been found to be questionable but the standard penalty is not appropriate).


There are two types of appeal: appeal to the Dean of the College and appeal to the President of the College. Appeals to the Dean of the College may result in the verdict being overturned, but they are only available in cases of substantial new evidence or gross procedural error or bias on the part of Honor Board. The Dean of the College must approve the request for an appeal. In cases of new evidence, the Honor Board tries the case again. Otherwise, the Academic Standing Committee and an Honor Board member not at the original hearing conduct a rehearing. Appeals to the President are only for a reduction in penalty, according to the Honor Board Constitution, and can be obtained through submitting an appeal to the President in writing. President Taylor, however, has reserved for himself the right to do whatever he wants in appeals, including overturning the verdict, and he may make his decision on any basis, including (to cite one possible example) the effect of a particular plagiarist's expulsion on the College's donor base.


Honor Board consists of nine students (three each from the senior, junior, and sophomore classes, as determined by graduation year) and two faculty members. New members are selected from the first-year class near the end of Spring Term, to begin service the following year. The selection process includes a written application and an interview with Honor Board members, faculty, and representatives from Student Senate. The appointment lasts until graduation, unless the member is convicted by the Honor Board or Judicial Board, or if the member is off campus for more than one term.

Honor Board Amendments 2007-2008[edit]

Beginning in November 2007, the Honor Board began to consider possible amendments to its governing documents. As consideration continued, the scope of the amendments increased, ultimately resulting in a largely new Constitution. The Board took the proposal to the Academic Standing Committee, which considered it very slowly over the course of several weeks. Ultimately the bulk of the changes were passed, but certain amendments relating to appeals (one writing out the procedures for presidential appeals and another allowing accusers/complainants to appeal to the Dean of the College) were put on hold. The rest of the changes passed in Student Senate on 6 March 2008.

In Spring 2008 the Board returned to the presidential appeals issue. The original plan had been to write out the entire procedure in the Constitution, as had long been the case with the appeal to the Dean of the College. President Taylor, however, strongly opposed the idea, claiming that it violated his privilege of absolute disciplinary power. The Board ultimately submitted a compromise allowing the President to dictate procedures and only requiring that the President inform the Board when the procedures changed, so that the Board could inform the community; the President again refused, and Dean Bailey and the faculty members of the Academic Standing Committee followed suit. The Board took the issue to Senate, asking them to indicate a preference between the Board's proposal and one from ASC that simply stated that the President or the Associate Dean of the College could provide information about the appeals process. Student Senate virtually unanimously chose the Board's alternative, but decided to wait until President Taylor had come to Senate until making a decision. Based on President Taylor's explanation of his opposition, largely resting on his authority as President, Student Senate backpedaled and voted against any changes. As a result one Honor Board member resigned and another member resigned from Senate. It was generally a clusterfuck for student rights.

The Board continued with the process of amendments, this time on the Procedural Guidelines, through Summer 2008. This document, like the Constitution, was extensively rewritten.

Members of the Honor Board[edit]

Current Honor Board (2012-2013)[edit]

Former Honor Board Student Members[edit]

Listed by intended graduation date at time of selection for service on the Board

Class of 2010[edit]

Class of 2009[edit]

Class of 2008[edit]

Class of 2007[edit]

Class of 2006[edit]

See also[edit]