The Faculty Forbids Cheating (1841)
    by Emily Richards, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Architecture, 3rd year)

On June 1, 1841, during the first meeting following the school year during which Professor John Davis was shot and killed, the faculty makes a substantial decision that mirrors the University’s future honor code. In an attempt to “secure the honors of the University,” and feeling that cheating on examinations lowers the merit of the University and lessens the value of the work completed by honest students, the faculty chooses to forbid it.

They resolve that any student who cheats on an examination or any student who aids another in cheating will be refused a degree or any sort of academic distinction whatsoever. Although this decision likely stems from an initiative to create peace in a time of enormous tension and tragedy at the University, there is no explicit mention of Professor Davis's death being a motivating factor, nor are students involved in the ruling.

See also: A Reward for Honesty (1836);

University of Virginia. Faculty Minutes. Vols. 4 and 5, Part 8 (1 June 1841): n.p.

Cite This Entry
Richards, Emily. "The Faculty Forbids Cheating (1841)." JUEL, June 18, 2015.

First published: June 18, 2015 | Last modified: