Handling an Honor Issue

In order to adhere to the notions of truth, integrity, and respect that we as community members swore to uphold, it is your responsibility to not only avoid violating the honor code yourself, but also address suspected violations committed by your peers. It is natural to feel uncomfortable when addressing an issue regarding another person's integrity. It is important to remember that you are a member of the Columbia Business School community and that the community's reputation is only as good as that of its members.

What do I do if I suspect someone of breaking the honor code?

Approach the person for clarification.

  • Position the conversation as constructive and informational to avoid defensiveness.
  • Ask about what you saw (clarification, not accusation).
  • Approach soon after observation (preferably within 24 hours) so recollection is clear.
  • If a satisfactory explanation is given, the situation is "clarified" and no further action is required.

Reach out to someone you feel comfortable talking to.

  • If you do not feel that the person satisfactorily explained their behavior then contact your Cluster's Honor Board Member, your professor, or the Dean of Students. Your conversation will remain confidential and you have the option to remain anonymous should disciplinary proceedings be required.
  • Formally disclosing a charge of a violation will initiate disciplinary proceedings, which may result in an Informal Resolution with a professor or a Formal Resolution that includes a hearing conducted by the Standing Committees on Discipline.
  • Hearing panels are populated by members from two committees: Faculty Standing Committee for Discipline and the Student Standing Committee for Discipline (comprised of Honor Board Members). The process is administered by the Assistant Dean & Dean of Students.

What do I do if I have been charged with an infraction?

  • A student accused of academic dishonesty or misconduct will receive written notice of the complaint at least two weeks before he or she is required to appear before the Disciplinary Committee. The student will meet with the Assistant Dean & Dean of Students for the MBA or EMBA program, depending on which program the student is enrolled. The Assistant Dean & Dean of Students will advise the student alleged to have committed academic dishonesty or misconduct of his or her rights, the requirements of confidentiality, and the procedures for the disciplinary proceedings.
  • Confidentiality is of utmost importance in the disciplinary process, and the University strives to maintain absolute discretion in any proceedings related to the Honor Code and integrity.
  • The Ombuds Office also provides impartial, confidential consultation on any University matter. The Ombuds Office advocates for fair process, considering the rights and interests of all parties. Use of the Ombuds Office is not, however, a substitute for the procedures outlined above. Visit its Web site at: www.columbia.edu/cu/ombuds.