The Jefferson Council lauds Rector Thomas Hardie, President Jim Ryan, and Honor Chair Hamza Aziz for their ringing endorsement of the Honor Code in the letter below.
Dear members of the University community:
In light of recent reforms and as the academic year begins, we collectively write to ask for your help in upholding and supporting the Honor Code and the Honor System.
The University of Virginia Honor System is one of the most significant and enduring aspects of a UVA education. At its best, the Honor System fosters a culture and a community and is internalized as a way of life. The Honor System is more than sanctions or a system of punishment for infractions. It is a shared value and commitment; it is fundamental to our ethos. It is an indelible characteristic of a Virginia graduate, and it sets our graduates apart from many others. And the Honor Code itself is an especially important part of this preparation: don’t lie, cheat, or steal. These values are the foundation of our community of trust, and this is why, each year at Convocation, incoming students sign the Honor Pledge.
At the same time, the Honor System is the hallmark of an equally significant tradition: student self-governance. The Honor System is a system run by, and for, students. Its stewardship lies in the hands of students themselves and their authority to shape the Honor System as they believe will best serve all students—current and future.
We are writing today to affirm the commitment of the Board of Visitors, University Leadership, and the Honor Committee to the Honor System and the rights of students to uphold it. But we also write with a request. Ensuring that the Honor System, and our shared community of trust, remains robust and effective requires everyone’s participation. Whether you are a staff member, a faculty member, a student, a researcher, a teacher, a mentor, or a health care provider, your support, understanding, and participation is crucial to its success. To learn more, go to honor.virginia.edu.
As we embark on a new academic year, we thank you for your engagement in our shared community of trust.
James E. Ryan
Chair, the Honor Committee