The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) strives for the total development of the student into a professional. When entering MUSC, students become part of a much larger professional community and therefore are expected to uphold the moral integrity and ethical standards of their profession. This transition includes consistently abiding by moral character and honorable principles.
The University Honor Code provides the framework in which each student may further develop principles of character and integrity. Each college’s Honor Council’s primary goal is to educate students on the precise nature of their mistakes and only secondarily to discipline them for those mistakes. In their deliberations, Honor Councils will adjudicate cases based on the principle that students should be accountable for their actions and decisions.
Students are responsible for holding themselves and their peers accountable to the University Honor Code. The close relationship students enjoy with the faculty enables the Honor Councils to meet the needs of individual students and MUSC equitably. All have a fundamental investment in the enterprise of academic work, and all must share the responsibility for ensuring its integrity.
The central purpose of the Honor Code is to sustain and protect an environment of mutual respect and trust in which students can enjoy the freedom to develop their intellectual and personal potential. The foundation of the Honor Code depends entirely upon the willingness of every individual to adhere to the basic principles of honesty and agree never to lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Students or faculty who believe that a breach of the Honor Code has occurred are obligated to report the suspected breach to their college’s Honor Council. A breach of the Honor Code is a serious offense. Such a violation is an affront to each of us independently as well as collectively.
The adoption of the Honor Code leads to an atmosphere of trust where students are expected to tell the truth, live honestly, advance on individual merit, and demonstrate deep respect for others in the academic, clinical, and research communities. The acceptance of the Honor Code assures that the integrity of students is unquestioned and accepted by all in the academic, clinical, and research communities.
The Honor Code presumes the absolute honesty of each individual. As a result, students live with the freedom of knowing that: 1) their integrity, intentions, work, and word are unquestioned; 2) their personal property and academic work is respected and free from theft; and 3) classroom, clinical, and research environments for learning and evaluation are honorable. Trust in these beliefs is established, maintained, and protected by students rather than by faculty.
The Honor Councils subscribe to the following concepts in attempt to adjudicate cases fairly for the accused, MUSC, and all others concerned:
- Presumption of innocence -- The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty based upon a preponderance of the evidence.
- Expediency -- All charges will be investigated and resolved as quickly as possible within the guidelines of a thorough investigation and ample opportunity for the accused to prepare a defense.
- Confidentiality -- Information pertaining to Honor Council hearings or any matters under investigation are confidential. Only those persons involved in a particular case or with a legitimate need to know will be informed.