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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2018 / February 

Undergraduate Honor System making international impacts

January 31, 2018

James Orr leads Virginia Tech's Undergraduate Honor System

James Orr
James Orr leads Virginia Tech's Undergraduate Honor System

Virginia Tech’s Undergraduate Honor Code and its learning-centered approach to academic integrity has not only been having a positive effect on the university, it is also influencing the broader higher education academic integrity community.

James Orr, assistant provost for academic strategy and policy and director of the Undergraduate Honor System (UHS), is a member of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), serving on the ICAI Board of Directors and conference planning committee. In this capacity, Orr helps to coordinate multiple webinars, outreach events, and yearly conferences around the country.

The ICAI is an organization that focuses on cultivating a culture of academic integrity in primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational institutions around the world.

Orr, along with several representatives from Virginia Tech’s UHS, will be presenting at the ICAI’s 2018 Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Orr is giving an invited talk on “Navigating University Governance Processes: Cultural Change through Policy Revisions.”  He will also team with Sarah Orren, coordinator of education and marketing, and student leaders to present, “Academic Integrity Education Programming and the Development of an Academic Integrity Seminar.” Orr and Jeremy Hall, assistant director for undergraduate academic integrity, will speak on “Student Leadership & Alternate Resolution Processes: Not All Cases Require a Hearing.”

Each of these sessions will provide analytic and in-depth discussions about the positive changes the UHS implemented recently. In fall 2016, the honor code underwent significant modification to make it more consistent with 21st-century policies, promote fairness to students, and engage both students and faculty as partners in resolving cases of academic misconduct.

The Undergraduate Honor System has also been working toward the creation of an effective and groundbreaking Academic Integrity Education Program.

“By providing an educational environment, as opposed to a punitive one, students are able to learn from their missteps and utilize the process to become even better students,” said Hall.

As a result of UHS’ leadership within the academic integrity community, multiple administrators from the Republic of Moldova will visit Virginia Tech in February. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), these administrators will work closely with Orr to plan a site visit that focuses on our academic integrity philosophy and overall approach.

UHS is seeking to become a model for how institutions around the world should respond to instances of academic misconduct. Through participation in ICAI programs and initiatives and multiple consultations this academic year, Virginia Tech is working hard to realize this vision.

“Through faculty seminars, in-class presentations, and a more-efficient process for reporting and resolving issues related to academic misconduct, the UHS continues to effectively assist faculty in promoting a culture of integrity on our campus,” said Buddy Howell, faculty chair of the Honor Council.

Faculty members are encouraged to attend upcoming UHS workshops. All faculty who attend will also earn one NLI credit. These presentations are listed below:

Feb. 21: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Torgersen 1100

April 25: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Torgersen 1100

“Virginia Tech’s Undergraduate Honor System is continuing to grow and is quickly creating a framework that institutions across the country and beyond can pattern themselves after,” said Orr.

For more information on the Undergraduate Honor System, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity at honorsys@vt.edu or visit honorsystem.vt.edu.  

Written by Sarah Orren

 

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