for Reporting Infraction(s) of the Honor System
Procedures for Reporting and Adjudication
When a member of the Wake Forest University Community has reason to believe that a physician assistant student has violated the Honor Code, he or she should discuss the complaint with the Honor Council Chair. The Honor Council Chair will advise the accuser of the disciplinary procedures which will occur and will emphasize confidentiality of all information pertaining to this matter.
To then bring a formal charge before the Honor Council, the accuser should report the complaint in writing to the Chair of the Honor Council. At this time, he or she must disclose his or her name, the name of the accused student and the suspected violation.
Upon a non-guilty verdict by the Honor Council, the charges against the accused shall be dropped without further review at any level.
Upon a guilty verdict by the Honor Council, a formal written report shall be made to the Department Chair or his designee. Additionally, the Honor Council may offer recommendations regarding disciplinary action. The Honor Council Chair will convene the committee and will communicate with the student.
All communication regarding alleged violations will be documented and reviewed during investigation and hearing.
Rights of the Accused
Any student who has been accused of violating The Code shall have certain rights which shall be explained to him or her in writing when he or she receives initial notification of the charges.
- To immediate written notification of the charge(s) against him or her
- To have all details of any charges and knowledge of the PA Honor Council
proceedings kept confidential, so that only those individuals specifically outlined in the notification document shall have any knowledge of PA Honor Council business and proceedings
- To be subjected only to investigations of possible violations which are reported
to have occurred within the preceding 30 calendar days from the moment the
violation became apparent to the time when the violation was reported
- To a prompt hearing (within 10 business days after a formal complaint has been received, excluding scheduled vacation days, except under extenuating circumstances)
- To know (after notification that a hearing is to be conducted) the names of his or her accusers, names of any witnesses to be called in the hearing and access to any documents or evidence gathered in the investigation which is to be presented in the hearing
- To be accompanied at the Hearing by a student advocate. This advocate
student of the Wake Forest School of Medicine must be currently enrolled
and not a licensed attorney, professional counsel, or paid advisor
- To present a statement in his or her own defense or refuse to testify at the
- To call and question witnesses at the Hearing
- To be presumed innocent until a determination has been made that there is
substantial evidence that an action or behavior of the accused student is in violation of the Code
- To be judged solely on the evidence and testimony presented during the Hearing
- To appeal decisions as outlined in this document, on the grounds of procedural
unfairness or harmful bias
Investigation of Charge
The PA Honor Council shall immediately begin collecting the details surrounding the suspected violation. The Committee shall:
- Interview the accused student
- Interview the person(s) placing the complaint
- Conduct interviews with any others, including students or faculty, who may have pertinent information relating to the alleged infraction
- Review any document(s) or other evidence relevant to the suspected violation
- Inform the Department Chair of the investigation
Following collection of all available facts pertinent to the suspected violation, the PA Honor Council will:
- Schedule the date for the Hearing, if warranted; except under extenuating circumstances, the date of the Hearing will be no later than ten business days after the formal complaint has been received, excluding scheduled vacation days
- Compile the list of formal charges
- Deliver the charges to the accused and inform him or her of the date of the Hearing
- Send notices to all persons who must be present at the Hearing, including all witnesses and other persons needed to present evidence
During the investigation, the accused shall have access to all evidence to be presented at the Hearing.
The PA Honor Council Hearing
All hearings are closed. In a closed hearing, only the following people are to be present:
- Accused and his or her designated advocate
- Members of the PA Honor Council
- Witnesses, allowed 1 at a time and only during their own testimony
- Other participants to present testimony as deemed necessary by the Honor Council or the accused
Records of Proceedings
A formal record of all proceedings of the Hearing, except the deliberations of the PA Honor Council, shall be kept in a locked file in the Office of the Department Chair or his designee for a period of 2 years from the date of the Hearing, and then shall be destroyed for protection of the accused student.
This record shall be in the form of an audio recording. These tapes shall be the sole property of the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Access to these tapes shall only be allowed with joint permission of the Chair of the Honor Council and the Department Chair or his designee.
Minutes of the proceedings will be kept and forwarded to the Department Chair.
The Chair of the Honor Council shall:
- Call the Hearing to order, reminding those present that in a PA Honor Council Hearing the members of the Wake Forest University community are bound to honesty and integrity
- Read the formal statement of charges
- Call for the presentation of evidence of the PA Honor Council in summary format
- Call for the testimony of involved individuals as called by the Committee; each presentation is followed by a period of time set aside for questioning by the Chair, the accused and his or her advocate, followed by members of the PA Honor Council
- Call for the presentation of evidence by the accused in summary format
- Call for the testimony of involved individuals as called by the accused; each presentation is followed by a period of time set aside for questioning by the accused and his or her representative, the investigators, followed by members of the Committee, in that order
- Call for clarifying remarks and final questions
At the conclusion of the Hearing, all present are dismissed with the exception of the Chair and members of the PA Honor Council.
It shall be the duty of the members of the PA Honor Council to determine if there is substantial evidence that the accused student has committed the action of which he or she is accused and that such actions constitute a violation of The Code. By this definition, the accused student is presumed innocent until the PA Honor Council determines that burden of proof was met in the presentation of evidence at the hearing.
Upon completion of the deliberations, the members of the PA Honor Council shall vote on the verdict of the case. Two-thirds of the voting members must return a vote of guilty in order for a guilty verdict to be reached.
If the Honor Council has decided that a violation of the Code has occurred, a formal written report shall be made to the Department Chair or his/her designee, which includes the name of the student who was found in violation of the Code, the infraction(s) committed, a brief summary of the events surrounding the violation, the PA Honor Council decision and recommendation for disciplinary action.
The Council shall have discretionary authority to recommend disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion. This notification should be hand delivered to the Department Chair or his designee before the end of the first business day following a Hearing.
If the PA Honor Council has decided upon a not guilty verdict, the charges against the accused shall be dropped without further review at any level. The accused shall promptly be informed by the Honor Council that no violation has occurred.
All guilty verdicts will have formal documentation by the Department Chair in student file.
Updated May 2011