Board Room—PM Breakout Session  

  • Tolerance (USMA, USAFA, T A&M) 
  • Discourage/culer? 
  • Coercion (Norwich) 
  • Honor oath (USAFA) 
  • Conspire to Decieve 
  • Honor Concept (USCGA) 
  • Act and Intent 

How soon is too soon in teaching the idea of an Honor Code? 

  • Appreciation for the Honor code may not come until after out of the institution 
  • Making/building character vs. revealing character 
  • Theory X—“Pain avoidance” may be best for particular age group 
  • Theory Y—“Right thing to do” may better serve older group 
  • There may be cultural, societal, differences in accountability at younger ages 
  • There may be communication/interpretation challenges with different age groups 

How difficult is it to turn in a classmate/colleague? 

  • Stigma may attach as the enforcer of the code 
  • Integrity and honesty can’t be a “ some time” thing 
  • Conundrum: Loyalty to Peers vs. Duty to Code/Institution 
  • For the system to work, it must be “All or Nothing” 
  • Disciplinary actions can be constructed for age appropriateness 
  • Use removal of “reward” for younger students 

Should “intent” be a factor in determining violations of Honor Code? 

  • “Ignorance” is no excuse 
  • Does the end justify the means? 
  • Does environment circumstance influence “Cherry Picking” through the Honor Code? 

Is there a universal moral compass? 

  • One set of conduct codes at the institution; one set for a “secular” environment (Peer pressure; social norms) 
  • “Friends don’t let friends lie, cheat, steal. . .” 
  • Basic goodness and sense of “right” should prevail—is this a safe assumption? 
  • Choose your friends carefully 

Should an Honor Code be “Situational” vs. “Bright Line”? 

5 October 2010, 1030 Breakout Session, Gouldthorpe (facilitator) 

  • Does a “Single sanction” system run counter to a learning environment? 
  • There are ample opportunities to ask questions to avoid violations 
  • Enforcement serves as a reminder and proof of accountability 
  • Toleration may reduce reputation of institution and the value of its credentials and degrees 
  • Isn’t rehabilitation a part of the learning process? 

 Overcoming the Challenges to Leader Development 

  • How do we overcome the stigma to asking for help in academia and beyond 
  • Honor system versus a real world which tolerates a lack of ethics 
  • Diffusion of values 
  • Lack of Code outside of military academies 
  • Misunderstanding of the terms “character” and “morality” 
  • Breakdown of the family unit 
  • Loss of absolute values 
  • Lack of discipline and consistency academically 
    • Liability issues at school 
  • Separate values professionally and personally 
  • Who’s in charge of discipline and character building? 
  • Divide between academic and residential life 
  • How do we teach leadership and character development institutionally as a unit? 
  • Defining ethical platform- Can we agree on certain absolute principles? 
  • How do we assure that faculty consistently embrace the core mission? 
  • Moral-ethical dilemma of ranking values 
  • Lack of commitment/loyalty in business, military… 
  • Education recognizes almost exclusively individual effort and performance rather than leadership 
  • Lack of effective communication due to technology, social networking, lack of attention 
  • How do we address constant change? 
  • Role of media in influencing values (mainly negative) 

What we need: 

  • Balance of change and continuity 
  • Positive reinforcement 
  • Leading by example 
  • Encouraging mentorship 

5 October 2010, 1425 Breakout Session, Gouldthorpe (facilitator)  

Honor Systems as Components of Leader Development 

Nature of Honor in academic and social settings: 

  • Perceived honor/ reality 
  • Many companies encourage employees to simply accumulate billable hours without  
  • Which are the companies seen as “good,” held in high esteem? 
    • Apple, google, Chick-Fil-A, Disney, GM…military 
  • What do these companies have in common? 
    • They give workers flexibility but expect professional work 
    • Comfortable work environment 
    • Take care of employees (stock options, etc) 
    • Value people 
  • But, how do they treat past employees? 
  • Does the honor code exist in the corporate world? 
    • No           
      • Debt 
      • Unethical practices (Enron) 
      • Only if someone gets caught 
  • Where does it start? 
    • Leadership 
    • Home, family 
    • “they” are only a reflection of us (poor leadership, congress, etc) 
    • It’s about more than self; unit, culture, values 
    • Adhering to an honor code does not equate to living honorably 
  • What do “good” companies do with new employees? 
    • Training 
    • Mentorship 
    • Outline expectations 
    • Code of conduct 
    • Familiarize them with company values 
    • “Inspect what you expect” 
  • Code of Conduct 
    • Is it voluntary? 
    • Great organizations have trust, honor, horizontal communication, upside down pyramid   


  • How do we get around toleration in the honor code? 
    • It is better for you not to tolerate 
    • Loyalty to the unit/organization comes first 
    • Don’t let dishonorable people get ahead 
  • What qualifies as an honor code violation? 
  • Should honor codes sanction all violations equally? 
  • Should all military academies have a uniform honor code? 
    • One and done? 
    • Single sanction? 
    • Rehabilitation? 
  • Does a second chance system encourage dishonorable behavior? 

General Conclusions: 

  • Need integrity in having and living core values 
  • Assure common values in order to have happy employees and success 
  • Students and officers have the obligation to uphold their organization’s honor code and make necessary improvements. 
  • Distinction should be made between conduct and honor 
  • Education and Enforcement are necessary in conjunction