New Academic Standards Office to implement training for faculty and students

In This Story

People Mentioned in This Story

Starting in fall 2024, George Mason University will change how it approaches academic integrity and honor code violations. A review by the Office of Audit and Compliance found that student violations have been handled inconsistently and as such, a slate of new standards has been adopted and will replace the honor code. These new standards are affirmative, rather than prescribing exact sets of behavior that is disallowed.

“The honor code was a carryover from when George Mason University was part of the University of Virginia,notes Janette Muir, vice provost for Academic Affairs. “This change provides us the opportunity to create fair and universal standards that are consistent with where Mason is going as a university. We are grateful to Tim Leslie, Academic Affairs Faculty Fellow, and his implementation team, for leading the efforts to reimagine Academic Standards and align sanctions across the university.” 

In conjunction with these changes and following the recent approval by Interim Provost Ken Walsh and support by the Faculty Senate, the Office of Academic Integrity has been renamed the Academic Standards Office. Also included in this update is a standardized set of sanctions, guidance for faculty on how to handle cases that do not rise to the level of a violation, as well as guidance on when escalated sanctions are proscribed. Starting Fall 2024, all faculty will be required to take a virtual academic integrity training module on a recurring cycle. This will ensure faculty are up to date on developing trends, university processes, and evolving guidance to maintain our academic standards. Details on training modules will be released shortly. 

Beyond the faculty, starting in spring 2025 all incoming undergraduate and graduate students—as well as those students who are found in violation—will be required to take academic integrity modules that complement the information learned during orientation and UNIV 100, ensuring that all students understand the expectations and importance of academic integrity. Local academic units will be required to invite the Academic Standards Office to at least one faculty meeting every other academic year to review academic integrity policy and processes, which will increase awareness and the ability to appropriately address academic integrity issues in ways that follow evolving institutional guidance and policy. 
Email questions to Tim Leslie, chair of the Office of Academic Integrity Implementation team.