Responsibilities of the Position
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) seeks an experienced individual committed to student development, equity, and inclusion to serve as the Director of Undergraduate Academic Integrity. The Director oversees the Office of Academic Integrity, the steward of the University’s Undergraduate Honor System (https://honorsystem.vt.edu). The Undergraduate Honor System emphasizes the personal responsibility of all University community members to promote academic integrity at Virginia Tech. The Director provides leadership and oversight of all activities of the Undergraduate Honor System and the Honor Council and supervises and mentors a professional team of five (5) individuals. The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity engages students and faculty as partners and leaders in a learning-centered model designed to uphold academic integrity through education and adjudication. This position reports to the Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education in Undergraduate Academic Affairs within the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
Additional responsibilities include:
- Ensure Undergraduate Honor Code processes and procedures are conducted in accordance with established policies and appropriate due process requirements.
- Review Undergraduate Honor Code policy and procedures regularly and collaborate with representatives of University governance and the upper administration to propose updates as appropriate.
- Provide ongoing assessment of the Undergraduate Honor System processes and procedures and regularly update the campus community on the activities of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity.
- Participate in professional organizations designed to promote academic integrity.
Qualifications and Characteristics of the Successful Candidate
The successful candidate will have a master’s degree and experience working within a university student conduct, academic integrity, or community standards system. Experience with adjudication and due process, working knowledge of best practices in academic integrity, demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and supervision of a team of employees are all required of the next Director.
Preferred qualifications include a PhD in a relevant field and experience delivering educational programs, teaching in higher education, working with faculty, mentoring students in leadership roles, and knowledge of student conduct software.
In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders identified the following capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:
- Solid understanding of academic affairs and issues facing the different disciplines.
- Strong understanding of how to assist students as they move through a process in an equitable, clear, and supportive manner.
- Demonstrated experience working with academic violations and/or adjudicating student disciplinary cases with excellent attention to detail and organization.
- Ability to work with faculty and assist with curriculum development to help alleviate methods that may foster academic violations.
- Demonstrated skills as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, and inclusivity, along with a willingness to stand up for these values.
- Excellent and transparent communicator and collaborator who can reach all constituent groups, including students, faculty, parents, and upper-level administration.
- Experience in diplomacy and mediation—politically savvy with the ability to develop consensus around complex issues.
- An unquestioned commitment to integrity, with the ability to always remain fair and unbiased.
- Able to incorporate diverse opinions and ideas and collaborate to develop proposed changes or new policies.
- A dedicated and compassionate supervisor who clearly communicates expectations, delegates effectively, and supports staff professional development and continuing education.
- Foster a culture of care and empathy throughout the Office and Honor System.
- Project energy and enthusiasm for the role, passion for the work, a positive attitude even in the face of adversity, a personable and approachable demeanor, charisma, and the ability to have fun on the job, even though the subject matter can be heavy.
- Ability to bring metrics, data, and statistical analysis to bear on the Office and its work.
- Ability to make hard decisions when necessary, to conduct difficult conversations when pertinent, to listen to all sides of an issue, and to remain “cool under pressure” no matter the situation.
- Ability to be flexible or adaptable when appropriate and warranted.
- Strong adjudication experience balanced with compassion and empathy.
- Ability to genuinely connect with students and foster trust and credibility.
- Sound understanding of academic violation prevention strategies and experience implementing creative programs and services to aid prevention.
History of the Position
In the Fall semester of 2016, a fully updated honor code was implemented. This new code allowed the Undergraduate Honor System to operate under a modified honor code system. The new system allowed the University to focus on moving from a punitive system to an educational one by creating teachable moments for students that are leveraged into transformative experiences. At its inception, the Director of the Undergraduate Honor System oversaw the implementation of the new code. After a national search in 2019, a new Director of Undergraduate Academic Integrity was hired. This Director did an outstanding job furthering the development of the honor code system, training staff and students, and working collaboratively with faculty.
The new Director will find a well-defined system, a dedicated staff, and a supportive community at Virginia Tech.
Opportunities and Challenges of the Role
In transitioning to Virginia Tech, the Director of Undergraduate Academic Integrity will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key campus stakeholders:
- Virginia Tech is a large and complex environment. The Director will need to learn the culture, systems, people, and procedures of the University and the Office. As part of the acclimation process, the Director must develop, reinforce, and enhance collaborative relationships among essential stakeholder groups on campus.
- The Office has worked tirelessly to successfully process the outstanding cases due to the pandemic. This new Director will be starting without the weight of these cases to resolve, allowing more time to work on policy updates and educational outreach.
- The new Director will need to “hit the ground running” working to quickly understand the University Honor Code and the Undergraduate Honor System, as the Office experiences roughly 300 – 400 cases annually.
- The Director will need to work towards enhancing a preventative academic integrity model that integrates faculty through their pedagogy and encourages positive student behavior. This is an excellent opportunity to help faculty think differently about their course design and approach.
- Artificial intelligence continues to represent a challenge; Virginia Tech has adopted a learning mindset toward generative AI and its implications for higher education, including academic integrity. At present, the University believes the current undergraduate Honor Code is broad enough to encompass violations that involve misuse generative artificial intelligence.
- The Office is currently experiencing positive momentum. This momentum can help others begin thinking differently about the adjudication process, create opportunities to bring more people into the process, and continue outreach efforts to faculty, students, and families.
- With the position housed in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Office may feel a bit isolated as natural peers within this structure do not readily exist. As such, the Director will need to find partners and create connections with colleagues in Student Affairs and other campus departments.
- As the Director transitions into the position, developing a strong staff team and building working relationships emphasizing a collaborative work environment will be very important.
- The Director must be respectful of the accomplishments of the Office and the previous Director while simultaneously moving forward to implement innovative academic integrity initiatives that positively impact the campus community.
- The staff desires an experienced leader who will focus on relationships, infuse new energy and innovative ideas, and provide direction within the organization. The Director will also need to emphasize the professional growth of staff to enhance broader leadership skills and promote trends and best practices.
- The Director must be articulate, confident, and capable of holding firmly to the University Honor Code.
Measures of Success
The items listed below will define the new Director’s success throughout the first two years of employment:
- Strong relationships, partnerships, and trust have been established across various campus stakeholders.
- The Office’s professional and student staff feel supported and valued. They are considered a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating with stakeholders and demonstrating commitment to student success.
- The Director will maintain a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on campus that is credible, collaborative, and positively received.
- The Director has built strong connections with faculty, and academic departments are integrated into the process; faculty support the Director and feel comfortable with the system and process.
- A solid collection of educational programs and training opportunities have been developed and implemented.
- All cases continue to be well-managed with an empathetic and respectful approach.
- Decisions emanating from this Office are seen as fair and equitable (even when those decisions are not always popular).
- Faculty and the student community are aware of the Honor Code and their rights and responsibilities.
- A clear vision is in place that will map out the direction for the Office and the program over the next few years.
Overview of the Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity
The Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity is poised to help students become successful through their academics and leadership involvement. The Office seeks to foster an environment that promotes fairness, personal responsibility, and integrity. It supports the campus in its efforts to promote the highest standards of integrity and honor for students.
Office of Undergraduate Academic Integrity homepage
Undergraduate Honor Code
The Virginia Tech Undergraduate Honor Code embodies a spirit of mutual trust and intellectual honesty that is central to the very nature of the University and represents the highest possible expression of shared values among the members of the University community.
The fundamental beliefs and ideals underlying and reflected in the Undergraduate Honor Code are:
- That trust in a person is a positive force in making that person worthy of trust.
- That every student has the right to live in an academic environment that is free from the injustices caused by any form of intellectual dishonesty.
- That the honesty and integrity of all members of the University community contribute to its quest for truth.
Honor Code Policy and Manual
Virginia Tech is a public land-grant research university committed to pushing the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. Inspired by its land-grant identity and guided by the motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech is an inclusive community of knowledge, discovery, and creativity dedicated to improving the quality of life and the human condition within the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the world. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and a leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers about 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students across the commonwealth and manages a research portfolio of more than $556 million. Virginia Tech has a 2,600-acre main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia; a significant presence across the commonwealth, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia, the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke, and sites in Newport News and Richmond; educational and research facilities across the state; a study-abroad site in Switzerland; and an 1,800-acre agriculture research farm near the main campus.
Mission Statement and Facts
Timothy D. Sands, President
Timothy D. Sands is the 16th President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a professor in the College of Engineering. Since joining Virginia Tech in 2014, President Sands has set the University on a course to become a leading modern, global, land-grant Institution aligned with the needs and opportunities created by a rapidly changing world in the evolving landscape of higher education.
President Sands initiated InclusiveVT in 2015, leading an effort to increase the enrollment of underrepresented minority (URM) students by 88 percent while closing the four-year graduation rate gap from ten (10) percentage points to one (1) percentage point.
The Student Body (2023-2024 Data)
Total Enrollment: 38,294
Principles of Community
To read the complete principles of community statements of Virginia Tech, please see here.
Virginia Tech offers employees a robust benefits program, from comprehensive insurance plans to tuition assistance. This full range of benefits, services, and discounts is an integral part of the University’s total compensation package and is just one of the many things that make Virginia Tech a great place to work.
Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email email@example.com.
The base compensation package for this position is between $85,000-$95,000, along with relocation assistance and a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, paid leave, retirement, tuition assistance, and more.
Visit the Virginia Tech website at https://www.vt.edu/
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