Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

University Overview



Accreditation, Non-Discrimination Statement, and FERPA

Accreditation

Shorter University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Shorter University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500 or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org). The music programs at Shorter University are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Teacher education programs are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Non-Discrimination Statement

Shorter University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, physical handicap, or sex in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other University-administered programs.

Enrollment & Educational Records

The registration of a student signifies the assumption of definitive obligations between that student and the University. It is an agreement on the student’s part and in the case of minors, the parents/guardians, to fulfill the terms of the contract for the semester and indicates acceptance of financial and general regulations of the current catalog. While every effort is made to provide accurate and current information, Shorter University reserves the right to change, without notice, statements in the catalog concerning rules, policies, fees, curricula, courses, calendar, or other matters. Students enrolled at the University agree to comply with the University’s rules and regulations and to accommodate to any changes necessary. The University provides eligible students or parents/guardians with the opportunity to review the student’s educational records, to seek corrections of information contained therein, and to limit disclosure of those records.

Statement of Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA)

The University respects the rights and privacy of its students and their families. The following is designated “Directory Information” which may be disclosed upon justifiable request without the student’s written permission:

  • Name; birthdate
  • School address; home address
  • School e-mail address
  • Campus box number
  • Telephone number (local)
  • Parents’ names
  • Enrollment status; dates of enrollment
  • Degrees and awards earned; date of degree or award conferment
  • Athletic information

Students have the right to withhold the release of Directory Information. To do so, a student must complete a Student Waiver of FERPA Rights Form, available from the Office of the Registrar. It should be noted that if a student asks for Directory Information to be withheld, it will be withheld from a variety of sources, including you - the student, friends, relatives, prospective employers, honor societies, and the news media. Each student is advised to carefully consider the consequences of a decision to withhold Directory Information. All students have records in one or more of the following offices: Admissions, Business, Campus Security, Dean of Students, Financial Aid, Health Services, and the Registrar. The privacy of student records may be broken at a time of emergency defined in terms of the following considerations:

  1. the seriousness of the threat to health or safety
  2. the need for access to the records in meeting the emergency
  3. whether the person requesting the records is in a position to deal with the emergency
  4. the extent to which time is of the essence in dealing with the emergency.

Student academic records are open to school officials, faculty, and staff who have a legitimate need to know their contents. Official copies of an academic record will not be released if the student has financial obligations to the school which have not been met. The records of parents’ financial status will not be released. The University will not release the educational records of deceased students without the written authorization of the executor/executrix of the deceased student’s estate or next of kin if an executor/executrix has not been appointed. The full text of the “Release of Student Information Policy” is available in the Registrar’s Office.

Mission, Motto, Core Values, and Strategic Themes

Mission

Advancing God’s Kingdom through a commitment to academic excellence, spiritual growth, Christian leadership, and global service within the context of a biblical worldview.

Motto/Vision

Transforming Lives Through Christ

Core Values

Christ-Centered: Jesus Christ should not only be the foundation of our faith (1 Corinthians 3:11), but the very heart of our existence both as an institution and as individuals (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21). Our desire is to build a thriving academic community where all can gain a greater appreciation of God’s grace, a more profound understanding of His principles and priorities, and a clearer vision of our place and purpose in the world (Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 1:18-23;1 Peter 2:9). Apart from Christ we have “no hope” either in this world or the world to come (Ephesians 2:12); however, it is Christ in us which is the “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). It can only be Christ in us that enables us to prepare the next generation to become agents of reconciliation in a world that so desperately needs Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

Excellence-Focused: Believing that we have a higher calling as Christians, it is our responsibility and privilege to reflect the image of our Lord who is excellent in all His ways (Psalm 150:2). Our commitment to excellence in all facets of life should be carried forth with a grateful spirit, a humble heart, and with an aim to glorify God. Excellence is more than occasional achievements; it is an ongoing process and a way of life. Moreover, excellence must be coupled with integrity if it is to accomplish God’s purposes in the life of an individual (Psalm 15:1-2; Proverbs 11:3). Any less than our absolute best in any and every endeavor is an affront to our Creator and an impediment to Kingdom growth. Therefore, with a clear understanding that we are designed for excellence (Matthew 5:48; 25:21), we “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Biblically-Based: Our ultimate source of authority is the Holy Bible, the written Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Since all truth emanates from God, we should indeed “examine everything carefully” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and measure all philosophies and perspectives (Colossians 2:8) from a biblical worldview. While truth in varying forms and degrees can be found in every academic discipline and every culture, all information and knowledge must be analyzed in the light of the Truth (Jesus Christ- John 14:6) and His Word. Hence, we can fulfill the biblical mandate to make our “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians10:5).

Service-Oriented: Because Christ valued individuals and exemplified servant-leadership (Matthew 20:25-28), it is imperative that we should strive to serve others with compassion (Galatians 5:13-14), treat them with dignity (Romans 12:3, 11) and encourage them to reach their full potential (1Thessalonians 5:11). Our willingness to serve people with a sacrificial spirit should nurture within them a sense of self-worth, inspire them to succeed, and most importantly, help them to discover God’s plan for their individual lives.

Strategic Themes

Shorter University’s Strategic Plan is built upon our Core Values and guided by our Mission for the definitive purpose of seeing our Motto (Transforming Lives Through Christ) become a reality. To that end, we have developed a Strategic Plan composed with the following Strategic Themes: (1) Faith Integration; (2) Student Achievement; (3) Faculty/Staff Development; (4) Distance and Adult Education; (5) Institutional Identity; (6) Responsible Stewardship

Faith Statement, Philosophy, and Principles

Statement of Faith

The Bible. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the inerrant and infallible Word of God. It was given by inspiration of God and is the only certain and authoritative rule of every aspect of the Christian life.

The Trinity. We believe there is only one true and living God. The triune God is manifested as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In all things we owe Him alone the highest love, reverence, and obedience. Members of the Trinity have distinct individual attributes, but without division of essence, character, nature, or being.

God the Father. We believe there is only one God, who created, preserves, and rules over the universe. The historical account of creation found in Genesis declares that God is the personal and direct Creator of all that exists, including the first humans Adam and Eve, from whom all human beings have come.

God the Son: Jesus Christ. We believe Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity and is the eternal Son of God. Conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, Jesus lived a sinless life, perfectly revealing and doing the will of God. His substitutionary atonement on the cross made provision for the redemption of sinful humanity. He was crucified and rose on the third day and ascended to the Father. He alone is sufficient as Savior and rules as Sovereign of the universe. He sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for believers, and He is the only mediator between God and humanity. In Him “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9) and He is “over all, the eternally blessed God” (Romans 9:5).

God the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and is fully divine. He convicts individuals of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, and He enables believers to comprehend God’s truth as revealed in Scripture. He indwells and empowers believers for godly service, for worship, and for witness.

Humanity. We believe God originally created human beings in His own image, and Adam and Eve were created in perfection. Through Satan’s temptation, they fell from their original perfection into sin. All humans are sinners, fall short of God’s standard of perfection, and are consequently under God’s condemnation. The only remedy for sin is personal salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ, wholly apart from human merit and works.

Salvation. We believe that salvation involves the redemption of the whole person and is offered as a free gift to all who accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior by repentance and faith alone. Salvation is entirely of God’s grace and cannot be achieved through any human work. To be effective, however, it must be appropriated by the God-given free choice of individuals apart from any human merit or effort. Salvation is not possible apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ, and those who die without receiving Jesus as Savior go into everlasting torment and eternal separation from a loving God.

The Church. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, comprised of all true believers in Him. Christians are to associate themselves as members of local churches and to serve Jesus Christ faithfully in carrying out the Great Commission. Each church has the authority and right from Jesus Christ to govern itself and to administer order, to worship, and to carry out its various ministries.

Evangelism and Missions. We believe that it is the privilege and duty of all believers to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ personally and by all methods in harmony with Holy Scripture. A Christ-centered education includes the ongoing integration of biblical faith into every academic discipline of the university. All subject matter is to be approached, presented, and evaluated from a biblical worldview.

Last Things. In accord with biblical prophecy, we believe that God will bring the world to its appropriate end, that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth, that the dead will be raised, and that Christ will judge all humanity in righteousness. Unbelievers will be consigned to the place of everlasting punishment, while the redeemed in their resurrected and glorified bodies will dwell forever with the Lord in heaven.

Life of the Believer. We believe that Christians should be consistent with Scripture in their character and in their conduct. We believe that the Bible is our supreme authority and that it provides the moral and ethical principles for personal conduct within and outside the academic community.

Philosophy For Christian Education

Shorter University is a Christ-centered liberal arts university dedicated to academic excellence within the context of a biblical worldview. As a Christian university, Shorter is committed to keeping an emphasis upon a biblically sound, integrated, faith-based education that promotes a zeal for academic, spiritual, and professional growth. The educational process of teaching and learning involves the whole person, and Shorter is committed to the principle that all truth comes from God and finds its fullest expression in the person of Jesus Christ. Shorter University deeply cares about the academic and spiritual development of its students and believes that students should be challenged academically and spiritually to impact culture. By providing an educational process intent on transforming lives through Jesus Christ, Shorter University seeks to glorify God through students equipped for lifelong servant leadership.

Our organizational brand and educational philosophy are reflective of and permeated by the timeless truths of Jesus Christ. Shorter University is committed to a broad-based liberal arts education, believing it is not only a task, but a calling to seek truth and apply that truth in the marketplace of life. Christ-centered scholarship has its foundation in the biblical command to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Mark 12:30) and must be pursued in every field of study. Our quality education is reflective of our founders’ vision for developing young scholars who will impact the global community as valuable servants of the Lord. As a Christ-centered institution, Shorter affirms its affiliation with and commitment to the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Educational Principles

Shorter University provides a curriculum and an educational environment that:

  1. Effectively immerses students in the historical, scientific, and cultural bases for contemporary civilization by combining intellectual discovery with critical thinking.
  2. Engages students in a discussion of the values that bind together our society in general and the Christian community in particular.
  3. Ensures that students reach the levels of skill in written and oral communication, mathematics, technology, and information literacy necessary to take full advantage of University coursework and that they continue to exercise and enlarge these skills.
  4. Persuades students of the value of integrating knowledge and forming relationships among courses and between acquired knowledge and new ideas.
  5. Promotes in students the habit of acting on their responsibilities as members of our society and of the world community.
  6. Promotes in students the habit of enriching their lives through the arts and religion.
  7. Prepares students for careers or further education.

History and Buildings

Our History

Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian university committed to excellence in education. On its hilltop campus in Rome, the Georgia Baptist institution offers a welcoming, nurturing environment where students are educated for life and career. Hallmarks of the Shorter experience include:

  • superior academic programs
  • a caring Christian atmosphere
  • individualized attention
  • opportunities for service and leadership
  • an outstanding program of intercollegiate athletics
  • academic, talent and need-based financial aid

Since 2002, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Shorter among the South’s top comprehensive colleges that focus on bachelor’s degrees. In 2005, Shorter was included for the first time as a “Best Southeastern College” in the Princeton Review.

In addition to its traditional programs, Shorter also offers classes online. Students in these programs work toward degrees at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s level.

Presidents of Shorter

1873-1873 Luther Rice Gwaltney

1873-1875 Alexander S. Townes

1876-1882 Rollin D. Mallary

1882-1891 Luther Rice Gwaltney

1891-1898 Archibald J. Battle

1898-1910 Thomas J. Simmons

1910-1922 Azor Van Hoose

1922-1925 Daniel J. Blocker

1925-1933 William D. Furry

1933-1933 Clarence Wilcox

1933-1948 Paul M. Cousins

1948-1953 Charles W. Burts

1953-1958 George Christenberry

1958-1982 Randall H. Minor

1982-1986 George L. Balentine

1986-1987 Austin Moses (acting)

1987-1992 James D. Jordan

1992-1993 Austin Moses (acting)

1993-2000 Larry L. McSwain

2000-2004 Ed Schrader

2004-2011 Harold E. Newman

2011- Donald Dowless

Shorter History Timeline

1873 - The Cherokee Baptist Female College (a forerunner of Shorter University) is founded by Luther Rice Gwaltney

1877 - Name changes to Shorter Female College in honor of the generous contributions of Alfred and Martha Shorter

Early 1900s - “The Chimes” literary magazine is established

1910 - College moves from downtown Rome to its current site

1910s - Shorter’s Alma Mater is written, and the Periscope student newspaper is created

1920s -The Argo student yearbook is established; and the college is first accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

1930s - Shorter’s music programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the first school in Georgia to be so honored

1950s - Male students are first admitted

1954 - Shorter College approved by the Georgia State Department of Education to train teachers

1958 - Shorter College begins its affiliation with the Georgia Baptist Convention

1973 - Shorter celebrates its Centennial

1990s - Shorter begins offering international programs as well as professional studies programs in the Atlanta area; the Hugh Davis Center for Ministry Education is established

2000s - Shorter begins offering online degree programs.

2010 - Shorter transitions to university status.

2012 - Shorter’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

2013 - Shorter becomes a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II, and the University purchases Thornwood, which was built as the home of Col, and Mrs. Alfred Shorter circa 1847.

2018 - Shorter’s chapter of the Alpha Chi honor society earns the national organization’s President’s Cup, marking it as the best chapter in the nation.

For a more in-depth look at Shorter’s history, see On the Hill by Dr. Robert G. Gardner, published in 1973.

Sheffield Thompson Building

Named for Mrs. Evelyn Sheffield Thompson, an alumna, Sheffield Thompson provides space for administrative offices, classrooms, and faculty offices. This building forms the third side of a formal setting with Rome Hall on the west and the Fine Arts Building on the east. The Bailor Suite, honoring Mrs. Jane Galt Bailor of the Class of 1915, occupies part of the second floor. It houses classrooms, the testing center, and Student Engagement and Success. The cafeteria, commonly known as “The Caf”, the Austin Moses Room, classrooms, and the Tutoring Center can be found on the bottom floor.

Alice Allgood Cooper Fine Arts Building & Randall H. Minor Fine Arts Building

These two buildings are connected and form a unique fine arts complex, providing up-to-date facilities for the School of Fine & Performing Arts and the Department of Communication Studies. The Cooper Fine Arts Building, named as a memorial to Mrs. J. P. Cooper, contains classrooms; faculty offices; a drawing and painting studio; and the Eubanks Reception Room. The Randall H. Minor Fine Arts Building, completed in April of 1980, is named in honor of Shorter’s former president. The facility includes classrooms, music practice rooms, a choral rehearsal room, a recital hall, faculty offices, photography lab, and the Arnold Art Gallery which and is the location of several art shows annually. In addition to a choral rehearsal room, we also have an instrumental rehearsal room (Franklin). During the 2018-2019 academic year the Callaway Theatre, located in the Minor Fine Arts Building, underwent a renovation and is now named the JW Tiscornia Studio Theatre. The theatre has a new interior and production booth and is equipped with digital sound, LED intelligent lighting, and state of the art control consoles. It is home to university productions including plays, musicals, and operas.

Alumni Hall

Alumni Hall houses the Honors Lounge, classrooms, and faculty offices on the first floor. The second and third floors provide student housing.

High Acres

High Acres, formerly the George B. Smith estate, is a beautiful Georgian home, with seven acres adjoining the campus.

Ware Hall

In 2022, Rome Hall was renamed Ware Hall in honor of the generosity of the Ware Family Foundation. Contributions from Joe & Charlotte Ware resulted in the extreme makeover of Shorter University’s sciences building, and students now enjoy four new state-of-the-art science laboratories. It contains classrooms, science laboratories, offices of faculty members, lounges, and the Robert T. Connor Animal Collection. Rome, Van Hoose, and Alumni halls are joined by a large lobby and sun deck. Dr. Ingrid Stergus was one of the South’s outstanding pathologists. She served her tenure as a pathologist at Batty State Hospital, and later at Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital from 1947 to 1975. Dr. Stergus’ collection of pathological specimens preserved during her career was donated to the Department of Natural Sciences in 1975 and is on display in Rome Hall 201.

The Livingston Library

A gift of the Roy Livingston family, the Livingston Library was dedicated in 1976 as a memorial to Mr. Livingston. Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Livingston and of their daughter, Mrs. Keller, are displayed in the library. In 2012 a new wing of the library, The Nelson and Trudy Price Learning Center, was opened and added 18,000 square feet of new library space. Access to library resources is facilitated by the online catalog and by online databases in a variety of academic disciplines. The library is an institutional member of OCLC, LYRASIS, GPALS and GALILEO, which provide on campus and remote access to multi-discipline databases offering electronic articles, proceedings, and eBooks as well as interlibrary loan sources. Students with smart phones can access the library catalog, GALILEO and many other databases via free applications.

The Fitton Student Union

The Fitton Student Union, named in honor of Mrs. Claire Jackson Fitton, University alumna and benefactor is the center of student development on campus. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Student Activities, Health Center, Campus Ministries, Residence Life, Judicial Affairs, Campus Safety, and Student Support Services are housed in this facility. The building is also home to the Hawk’s Nest Café, the campus bookstore, the Wellness Center, and the Post Office.

Eubanks Welcome Center

The Eubanks Welcome Center was completed in 1999 with the help of a bequest from the estate of Dr. J. Robert Eubanks. It provides a location at the entrance to the campus proper and houses a portion of the Shorter Museum and Archives, along with Dr. Eubanks’ trophy collection.

Winthrop-King Centre

The Winthrop-King Centre is a 54,000 square foot building which houses classrooms, offices for coaches, the J. Robert Eubanks Basketball Arena, a dance and aerobics studio, two racquetball courts, a weight training room, athletic and physical education locker rooms, and an indoor jogging track. It was named for Ada Belle Patrick Winthrop-King, student leader and athlete, loyal alumna from the Class of 1922, and generous benefactor.

Robert H. Ledbetter Baseball Complex

The Ledbetter Baseball complex was dedicated in the spring of 2000. In addition to the playing field, the complex includes press boxes and dugouts. A gift from Robert H. Ledbetter, Sr. made this construction possible.

Ben Brady Field

The Ben Brady field is located behind the University’s Robert H. Ledbetter Baseball Complex and near the Bass Village student residences. The practice field is a lighted facility with artificial turf. A regulation-size field suitable for football and soccer field, the field serves as a practice facility for the university’s varsity and junior varsity football teams, men’s and women’s soccer teams, men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and the Shorter marching band; it is also be available for intramural activities. Funding was provided by the Benjamin F. Brady Charitable Foundation, and the field is named in honor of Mr. Brady, a philanthropist who supported religious causes, including those in the area of higher education.

Thornwood Campus

The Thornwood Campus is adjacent to Shorter’s main campus and houses the Ben and Ollie Brady School of Nursing, the School of Education, and the Office of University Advancement. It serves as a venue for various athletic activities, intramural sports, etc. A large antebellum house, once owned by Colonel Alfred E. Shorter’s (the university’s namesake), is also located on the property.

Laboratory Facilities

The University’s laboratories and their associated facilities are designed to encourage individual work in the natural sciences. Audio-visual equipment and materials are used where appropriate. Made possible by the generosity of the Ware Family Foundation in 2016-2018, the Department of Natural Sciences has three renovated Biology labs. Students enrolled in Microbiology, Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Histology, Botany, Plant Anatomy, Plant Physiology and General Biology benefit from these state-of-the-art spaces. Individual study and experimentation are possible in the chemistry, biology, geology, botany, zoology, and physics laboratories.

Robert H. Ledbetter College Of Business

The Robert H. Ledbetter College of Business was completed in 2010 after a generous gift from Robert H. Ledbetter, Sr. It is located in the Midtown Crossing Shopping Center in Rome and hosts the Hopkins lecture series each spring for the Shorter and Rome communities.

Academic Integrity and Honor Code

Philosophy

Predicated upon the rigorous pursuit of liberal arts learning and the teachings of the Christian faith, the Shorter University community is dedicated to integrity in the pursuit of truth and honor in the building of community. Individual backgrounds and interests aside, as members of this community, we share a common commitment to keeping the high standards of honesty and honorable conduct required for this pursuit.

“The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) defines academic integrity as a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals into action. An academic community flourishes when its members are committed to the five fundamental values. Integrity is built upon continuous conversations about how these values are, or are not, embodied in institutional life. As these conversations connect with institutional mission statements and everyday policies and practices, a climate of integrity is sustained and nurtured. Vigorous academic integrity policies and procedures, with faculty and student support, promote the learning process and the pursuit of truth. This also helps create a stronger civic culture for society as a whole” (CAI, p4).

In the hope, anticipation, and expectation that students engage the learning process in their quest for truth and knowledge, Shorter University adopts the five fundamental values set forth by CAI. To that end, Shorter University strives to empower students in the development of their character by providing an education within the context of a Christian environment. Shorter University seeks to establish a platform from which all students can succeed. Shorter University, therefore, sets forth the following standards from the CAI publication, The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity, as the benchmark for the Shorter student. The same integrity that came with being known as a “Shorter girl” in the early days of the University is now found in being known as a “Shorter student.” The Shorter University community assumes one is honorable and a person of integrity. It is the goal of this academic community to preserve and enhance that honor and integrity for those who walk these academic halls, as well as to provide avenues to demonstrate and teach those values to those within a student’s sphere of influence while a student and as a graduate.

Honesty

“An academic community of integrity advances the quest for truth and knowledge by requiring intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, research, and service. Honesty is the foundation of teaching, learning, research, and service, and the prerequisite for full realization of trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility” (CAI, p. 5). If the adage is that one cannot lead where one has never been, then one cannot expect honesty to be a trait found in society if honesty does not begin with the individual. “Cultivating honesty lays the foundation for lifelong integrity, developing in each of us the courage and insight to make difficult choices and accept responsibility for actions and their consequences, even at personal cost” (CAI, p. 5). “Promoting student moral development requires affirming shared values. More colleges are starting to focus on one value that goes to the heart or the academic enterprise: a commitment to honesty in the pursuit of truth” (Pavela, p.6).

“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

-George Washington

Trust

“An academic community of integrity fosters a climate of mutual trust, encourages the free exchange of ideas, and enables all to reach their highest potential. People respond to consistent honesty with trust. Trust is promoted by faculty who set clear guidelines for assignments and for evaluating student work; by students who prepare work that is honest and thoughtful; and by schools that set clear and consistent academic standards and that support honest and impartial research” (CAI, p. 6).

Shorter University, therefore, seeks to be consistent among all parties to foster an environment that engenders trust among all her participants. In the academy, trust is at the core of all our endeavors. Research findings are valid only to the extent the data that generated the findings is trustworthy; otherwise, the assertions and theories that hinge on the findings lack substantiation. As professors, we make certain assumptions about research findings. Should we not, therefore, make those same assumptions about our colleagues and our students?

“Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.”

-Booker T. Washington

Fairness

“An academic community of integrity establishes clear standards, practices, and procedures and expects fairness in the interactions of students, faculty, and administrators. Fair and accurate evaluation is essential in the educational process. For students, important components of fairness are predictability, clear expectations, and a consistent and just response to dishonesty. Faculty members also have a right to expect fair treatment, not only from students, but also from colleagues and their administration…. A lapse by one member of the community does not excuse misconduct by another. Rationalizations such as ‘everyone does it’ or ‘the curve was too high’ do not justify or excuse dishonesty” (CAI, p.7).

History is replete with civilizations that have made the horrible mistake of treating different peoples differently. Whether it be the color of one’s skin, cultural background, religion, or ethnicity in whatever form, society, in general, deplores preferential treatment for some and marginalization or an ignored presence of others. Within the Shorter academic community, the treatment of individuals by differing standards is not tolerated. The community strives to treat all as equals; respecting one another for each one’s uniqueness. How should we interpret fairness?

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Respect

“An academic community of integrity recognizes the participatory nature of the learning process and honors and respects a wide range of opinions and ideas. To be the most rewarding, teaching and learning demand active engagement and mutual respect. Students and faculty must respect themselves and each other as individuals, not just as means to an end. They must also respect themselves and each other for extending their boundaries of knowledge, testing new skills, building upon success, and learning from failure. Students show respect by attending class, being on time, paying attention, listening to other points of view, being prepared, and contributing to discussions, meeting academic deadlines, and performing to the best of their ability. Being rude, demeaning, or disruptive is the antithesis of respectful conduct. Members of the faculty show respect by taking students’ ideas seriously, providing full and honest feedback on their work, valuing their aspirations and goals, and recognizing them as individuals….Part of respecting people involves fair and honest treatment, and all of this supports an environment of trust” (CAI, p.8). How then does mutual respect play out in the academy?

“That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.”

-William J. H. Boetcker

Responsibility

“An academic community of integrity upholds personal accountability and depends upon action in the face of wrongdoing. Every member of an academic community-each student, faculty member, and administrator-is responsible for upholding the integrity of scholarship and research. Shared responsibility distributes the power to effect change, helps overcome apathy, and stimulates personal investment in upholding academic integrity standards…At a minimum, individuals should take responsibility for their own honesty and should discourage and see to prevent misconduct by others” (CAI, p. 9). Shared responsibility has many attributes and conducts itself in the face of adversity and selflessness without shifting shadow.

“The thorns which I have reap’d are of the tree I planted; they have torn me, and I bleed. I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.”

-George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

Integrity

Defining integrity may be much more difficult than describing it. The CAI defined academic integrity through five attributes. Shorter University offers the following quotes in hopes of finding commonality.

“Integrity means that if your private life were suddenly exposed, we’d have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. Integrity means that our outward life is consistent with our inner convictions.” - Billy Graham

For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than doing evil - 1 Peter 3:17 NKJV.

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight - Proverbs 12:22 NKJV.

“Integrity-When you do the right thing even though no one is watching.”

-Anonymous

As this system is student-maintained, our agreement contains two parts: first that we personally adopt the standards of conduct as stated in the Honor Code; and second, that we deal responsibly with those of our peers who fail to do so. By holding one another accountable to this commitment, we ensure the integrity of our academic program and community. Our acceptance of this commitment allows us to enjoy an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect among our fellow students, faculty, and administration. The academic and social advantages therein are many: as students we are trusted to work independently; computer labs are available twenty-four hours a day; personal property is generally safe on campus; and one’s word may be considered trustworthy, both on and off campus. It is our shared interest in preserving this atmosphere that motivates our commitment to the Honor System.

Privilege bears responsibility. Thus, we at Shorter are responsible for knowing the purpose, design, and procedures of our Honor System and are required to exhibit honorable conduct in all areas of life: social as well as academic, off campus as well as on. It is solely through the consistency of this commitment that we may both trust and be trusted, respect and be respected, regardless of place or circumstance. Therefore, each of us is always expected to do his or her full part in maintaining the integrity of that commitment .

When we join the Shorter University community, we sign the Roll of Honor, and formally enroll under the pledge:

“On my honor, I will abstain from all deceit. I will neither give, receive, nor use any unauthorized aid in my academic work, nor will I permit such action by any member of this community. I will respect the persons and property of the community and will not condone discourteous or dishonest treatment of these by my peers. In my every act, I will seek to maintain a high standard of honesty and truthfulness for myself and for the University.”

A Community of Honor

As a liberal arts university committed to the Christian faith, Shorter University seeks to develop ethical men and women of disciplined, creative minds and lives that focus on leadership, service, and learning. The Honor System of Shorter University is designed to provide an academic community of trust in which students can enjoy the opportunity to grow both intellectually and personally. For these purposes, the following rules and guidelines will be applied.

Academic Dishonesty

“Academic Dishonesty” is the transfer, receipt, or use of academic information, or the attempted transfer, receipt, or use of academic information in a manner not authorized by the instructor or by university rules. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism as well as aiding or encouraging another to commit academic dishonesty.

“Cheating” is defined as wrongfully giving, taking, or presenting any information or material borrowed from another source, including the Internet, by a student with the intent of aiding himself or another on academic work. This includes, but is not limited to a test, examination, presentation, experiment or any written assignment, which is considered in any way in the determination of the final grade.

“Plagiarism” is the taking or attempted taking of an idea, a writing, a graphic, musical composition, art, or datum of another without giving proper credit and presenting or attempting to present it as one’s own. It is also taking written materials of one’s own that have been used for a previous course assignment and using it without reference to it in its original form. Students are encouraged to ask their instructors for clarification regarding their academic dishonesty standards. Instructors are encouraged to include academic dishonesty/integrity standards on course syllabi.

Procedure

  1. It is the responsibility of an instructor to certify that academic assignments are independently mastered sufficiently to merit course credit. The responsibility of the student is to master academic assignments independently, refrain from acts of academic dishonesty, and refuse to aid or tolerate the academic dishonesty of others.
  2. If an instructor determines that the student is guilty of academic dishonesty, the instructor must discuss the matter with the student. In the event the instructor cannot reach the student in a timely manner, such as when the student has gone home at the end of a semester, the instructor may assign a grade of “I” (Incomplete) until the student can be contacted and the matter of academic dishonesty discussed. The instructor then completes the Academic Violation Form which should include evidence and other necessary documentation. The instructor will determine the appropriate remedy: either assign a grade of zero on that assignment in question or a grade of “F” in the course. The student will designate whether he/she accepts the remedy for the violation of the dishonesty policy or wishes to appeal the instructor’s decision. If a student elects to appeal, the appeal due date line must be completed on the Academic Violation Form (see Appeals section).
    1. If information provided by students on any documentation turned in to the Office of the Registrar is found to be untruthful, then the Registrar reserves the right to submit an academic violation for the student. The matter will be brought to the Office of the Provost before an academic violation is submitted.
  3. Upon completion, the instructor forwards the Academic Violation Form to the Registrar’s office for the placement in the student’s permanent record. The Registrar will forward copies of the Academic Violation Form to the student, the faculty member, Department Chair, Academic Dean, Dean of Students, Provost, and President. Not appealing when the form is first completed or by the appeal due date will be taken as an admission of guilt, except under compelling circumstances to be determined at the sole discretion of the Provost.
  4. If upon receipt of the Academic Violation Form the Registrar determines that the student is guilty of a second offense, then a grade of FD (Failure Due to Academic Dishonesty) will be assigned by the Registrar for the course regardless of the remedy specified on the Academic Violation Form. Assigning the FD is to be done by the Registrar when the second Academic Violation Form is placed in the student’s record, and the Registrar will notify all parties in writing. The student is then permanently disbarred from membership in any honorary society and is permanently ineligible for any SU honor list. The student may petition the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee to have the dishonesty notation removed from the transcript after one year or upon graduating from the University if no additional dishonesty offenses occur and the student satisfactorily completes the Academic Integrity Program. The grade of F remains on the transcript.
  5. Upon receipt by the Registrar of a third offense, the Registrar will assign the grade of FD and notify all parties. After all appeals are exhausted, if the third offense still stands, the student will be permanently expelled from the University. The notice of expulsion will be forwarded to the student, Department Chair, appropriate Academic Dean, Dean of Students, Provost, and President. A copy of the final report with the three offenses will become a part of the student’s permanent record. The university reserves the right to expel the student after a first or second offense, depending on the circumstances and at the sole discretion of the Provost.

Appeals

  1. The student who wishes to appeal an academic violation charge should submit his/her appeal in writing to the Chair of the appropriate department by the appeal due date indicated on the Academic Violation Form, which is normally within ten regularly scheduled class days after the completion date of the Academic Violation Form. This statement should contain the reasons for which the student is appealing the instructor’s decision. The burden of proof lies with the student in such a case to show that an error or malfeasance has occurred. Within ten regularly scheduled class days of receiving the written appeal, the Department Chair will notify in writing both the instructor and the student of the chair’s decision. If the Department Chair is also the instructor who files the Academic Violation Form, then the student must appeal to the appropriate Academic Dean.
  2. When, in the opinion of the Department Chair, the student fails to show reasonable cause for further investigation, the Chair may deny the appeal without taking further action. When, in the opinion of the Department Chair, a student’s appeal raises reasonable doubt as to whether a mistake or malfeasance has occurred, the Chair will meet with the faculty member and with the student and render a decision within ten regularly scheduled class days of the receipt of the appeal. If the decision favors granting the student’s appeal, the Department Chair may request that the Registrar remove the Academic Violation Form from the student’s record. The Chair will notify both the student and the instructor of this action.
  3. If the student files the initial appeal or elects to appeal the chair’s decision during Maymester, Summer I, Summer II or during final exam week of the Fall or Spring semesters and if the instructor or Department Chair is not available during that time, all of the foregoing time requirements begin to run with the first day of class in the next major term. In extreme or unusual circumstances regarding the timeliness of the appeals process, the Provost will make the final determination.
  4. Any student who has exhausted the remedies open under the procedures outlined above may appeal the entire matter to the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee in writing within ten regularly scheduled class days of receiving the response from the Department Chair. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee will review the matter and issue a decision within fifteen (15) regularly scheduled class days. The Academic Integrity Appeals Committee has the authority to deny the appeal, reduce the penalties in the event of extenuating circumstances, or direct the registrar to remove the record of the Academic Violation Form from the student’s permanent record. The results of the Academic Integrity Appeals Committee are final.
  5. All results from the proceedings of the Faculty Appeals Committee should be reported to the appropriate Academic Dean, Dean of Students, Provost, and President as information.

NOTE: During the appeals process, the student may continue to attend the class in which the violation occurred.