History of the Academic Integrity Council

Duke University is a young honor code school. Although it has had various honor code statements and "commitments" over the decades, it did not institute its first true undergraduate honor code until 1993. Seeking to strengthen its culture of integrity, in 1999-2000 Duke participated in a pilot project called Assessing Academic Integrity, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, led by the Center for Academic Integrity, and conducted by Professor Donald McCabe of Rutgers University. The project had two parts: evaluation of Duke's academic policies and procedures and participation in a national survey of undergraduates on academic integrity. (Duke had participated in McCabe's surveys in 1990 and 1995 as well).

The review of policies and procedures surfaced some inconsistencies and areas for updating or strengthening. The results of the survey -- as reported to the Arts and Sciences Council and the Engineering Faculty Council in joint meeting on March 8, 2001 -- were disappointing. Our undergraduates self-reported engaging in some forms of cheating at disconcertingly high rates and at higher rates than students at other private institutions with honor codes. At the same time, our survey of faculty revealed that, on the whole, Duke faculty paid less attention to promoting academic integrity than faculty at other schools.

As a result, the assessment committee in charge of administering and interpreting the survey recommended that Duke University take several actions. First and foremost was the creation of an Academic Integrity Council, to be composed of faculty, students, and staff. The Council was approved and charged with serving as an umbrella organization for the promotion of academic integrity: facilitating information sharing, coordinating efforts, conducting assessment activities, serving as consultants. It started with seven faculty members (five from Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and two from the Pratt School of Engineering), two undergraduates (one from the Duke Student Government and one from the Honor Council), one graduate student teaching assistant, and four administrators.

The Academic Integrity Council has in the succeeding years broadened its purview to graduate and professional student issues although it still concentrates largely on undergraduates. Its membership has expanded to include a third faculty member in engineering, three graduate and/or professional students (appointed by the Graduate and Professional Student Council), representation from the Undergraduate Judicial Board, and additional undergraduates from the Honor Council.

In 2005-2006 Duke again surveyed its students and faculty on academic integrity to follow up on the McCabe studies. Conducted by the Academic Integrity Council, the survey results suggested that there had been a reduction in academically dishonest behaviors at Duke over the five years between surveys. In Fall 2007 the Academic Integrity Council moved to new leadership in the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

The Duke Community Standard, 2003-Spring 2007

Duke University is a community of scholars and learners, committed to the principles of honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and respect for others. Students share with faculty and staff the responsibility for promoting a climate of integrity. As citizens of this community, students are expected to adhere to these fundamental values at all times, in both their academic and non-academic endeavors.

The Pledge
Students affirm their commitment to uphold the values of the Duke University community by signing a pledge that states:

The Reaffirmation
Upon completion of each academic assignment, students may be expected to reaffirm the above commitment by signing this statement: "I have adhered to the Duke Community Standard in completing this assignment." [Student Signature]

The Duke Community Standard, Current

Duke University is a community dedicated to scholarship, leadership, and service and to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect, and accountability. Citizens of this community commit to reflect upon and uphold these principles in all academic and non-academic endeavors, and to protect and promote a culture of integrity.

To uphold the Duke Community Standard:

* I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors;
* I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors; and
* I will act if the Standard is compromised.