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Announcement of the Honor Code

April 29, 2004

To:   Outgoing Presidential Student Advisory Committee
        Incoming Presidential Student Advisory Committee
        University Leadership Council
        Faculty Council Executive Committee
        Staff Council Executive Committee

Dear Colleagues:

It is my pleasure to announce that we are adopting the following honor code:

The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the University is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.

For some years, various organizations within the University have suggested or recommended the adoption of an honor code. Momentum gathered during the 2002-2003 academic year, especially in the hands of student leadership. Last September, I included this passage in my Address on the State of the University:

My interest in an honor code stems from my belief that we could become a much more powerful, much more useful university if we had a simple, effective means for reminding all of our members—students, staff, faculty—of their own interest in standards of integrity and civility. I do not seek, nor do I recommend an elaborate honor code with an attendant justice system and penalties for transgressions. Neither would I support any sort of required oath. One sound sentence, widely embraced, could do it—just a steady reminder that civility and integrity do have meaning and that there are legitimate expectations concerning these virtues within our university.

In the late fall and early winter, the Senate of College Councils, Student Government, and the Graduate Student Assembly jointly agreed on language for an honor pledge and forwarded it to me with their recommendation that we adopt it. It was discussed in meetings of the Faculty Council, the Staff Council, and the University Leadership Council. On the basis of the broader discussion, I have worked with the Presidential Student Advisory Committee, containing the leadership of the three student governance organizations, and with the Faculty Council Executive Committee and the Staff Council Executive Committee to refine the language. All groups accept the text given above.

This is an important achievement, and I congratulate our community for coming together in this process for the clear purpose of improving the quality of our academic and social enterprise.

We now begin a process of implementation. I will shortly appoint a committee of faculty, staff, and student leaders to find appropriate ways to integrate the honor code into the life of the University. Given the late date in the current academic year, most of the work toward that end must await the fall semester, but I will ask the committee to take some steps to introduce the code at Summer Orientation for new students and to make it more broadly known on campus at the start of the fall semester.

I thank all who have made this code a reality, and I look forward to working with all who will be involved in implementation.

 

Sincerely,

Larry R. Faulkner
President

 


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