Honor Code Policy and System
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs and Dean (or designee)
Policy related to Standard 3 (environment) and Standard 10 (technical standards)
ACGME Common Program and Institutional Requirements
Policy related to Program Requirements VI.B.6. (environment) and VI.B.7. (addressing professionalism concerns); and Institutional Requirements III.B.6.d (environment)
All IUSM community members, which includes full-time, part-time, affiliate, and volunteer faculty; staff; and learners, including health professions, medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows (graduate medical education and postdoctoral), in all School of Medicine educational programs.
Embarking on a career in the life sciences, medicine, and other healthcare professions is a privilege that carries lifelong moral and ethical responsibilities that begin the moment an individual becomes a member of the academic medicine community. The IUSM Honor Code outlines the core values governing research, education, and clinical practice that all IUSM community members are expected to uphold.
All IUSM community members are expected to review and commit to the Honor Code pledge upon employment, academic appointment, and/or upon beginning their educational program, as applicable. IUSM community members may be asked to re-review and re-commit to the Honor Code at other intervals during their time with IUSM. However, all IUSM community members are subject to and bound by the Honor Code and all other university policies regardless of whether they formally sign the Honor Code.
Reason for Policy
IUSM has had a long-standing commitment to the values articulated in the Honor Code, and these values are foundational to the School’s mission and strategic plan. Therefore, IUSM expects all community members to act in ways consistent with these values as described in the Honor Code; embodying such values is essential to warrant the trust placed in IUSM community members by patients, families, peers, and society at large and to begin to address existing disparities in healthcare. Periodic renewal of each IUSM community member’s commitment to the Honor Code underscores the importance of the values outlined in the document and ensures IUSM community members are perpetually aware of the expectations the Honor Code contains and the pledge they have taken to uphold it.
IUSM recognizes the fact that free intellectual inquiry, debate, and constructive dialogue are vital to the university’s academic mission and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial. Accordingly, any form of speech or expressive conduct that is protected by state or federal law, including the First Amendment, is not subject to this policy. This policy is meant neither to proscribe nor to inhibit discussions of complex, controversial, or sensitive matters.
Each unit should strive to integrate the IUSM Honor Code and its expectations into the foundation of the work and/or learning environment. Examples of when the IUSM Honor Code could be discussed include orientation programs, initial and ongoing trainings, and annual reviews.
IUSM community members should engage in routine self-reflection to ensure they are upholding the expectations contained in the IUSM Honor Code and are abiding by the pledge contained therein. IUSM community members are also encouraged to hold themselves and one another accountable when an IUSM community member’s actions fall short of the expectations contained in the Honor Code. IUSM strives to be a place where all IUSM community members assist one another in reflecting, learning, and growing.
Private communications between IUSM community members may sometimes be appropriate to address and resolve an individual’s failure to meet the expectations of the Honor Code. However, IUSM community members always have the option to formally report complaints or concerns related to the IUSM Honor Code, including through any of the following channels:
- IUSM Mistreatment Portal
- IUPUI Office of Equal Opportunity
- IUPUI Student Conduct Office
- IU Research Integrity Office
- IUSM Ombuds Office
- IU EthicsPoint
- IU Health Trustline
- IUSM, IU, and/or IUHP Human Resources offices
- Health system medical staff offices
Nothing in this policy is intended to invalidate or interfere with any procedures or processes established by specific units or departments within IUSM, IU Health, IUHP, university-wide policies or procedures, or applicable law. The governing organization for each unit shall set its policies and standards consistent with the Honor Code values. Complaints or concerns that are reported to another university office, including, for example, the Office of Equal Opportunity or the IUPUI Office of Student Conduct, may be addressed via those offices’ existing policies and procedures.
Investigating Complaints and Concerns
Complaints or concerns related to the IUSM Honor Code received by IUSM via any channel will be assigned to the appropriate office or official for review and, as may be applicable, further investigation, response, remediation, and/or sanctions. Resources, coaching, and feedback will be offered to affected individuals when appropriate, regardless of whether a policy violation is substantiated.
Retaliation against anyone who has reported a complaint or concern related to the IUSM Honor Code, provided information, or participated in an investigation into a complaint or concern is prohibited and may be considered and addressed as a potential violation of this policy or other applicable university policies. Acts of retaliation include intimidation, threats, and/or harassment, whether physical or communicated verbally or via written communication (including the use of e-mail, texts, and social media), as well as adverse changes in work or academic environments, or other adverse actions or threats.
The Honor Code and the Policy herein will be reviewed at least once every three years. The appointment of an ad hoc committee is at the discretion of the dean or dean’s designee.
IUSM community members recognize that a career in medicine, medical education, and/or biomedical research represents a lifetime of learning and development. Being open to feedback when one has fallen short of the standards articulated in the Honor Code is a critical skill for IUSM community members. Accordingly, the goal when addressing Honor Code violations is to change behavior through education and professional development rather than through punishment. If an Honor Code violation also represents a violation of university policy, sanctions may be warranted as outlined by the applicable policy.
- Developed by the Honor Code Taskforce in 2020-2021.
- Approved by Faculty Steering Committee on 19 August 2021.
- Approved by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee on 17 August 2021.
- Approved by the School Executive Committee on 1 November 2021.
- Published to the policy portal on 14 January 2022.
- Policy updated on 07 April 2023 to reflect change in University Office title.