For Harvard Cheaters, an Uneasy Return to School
They face new campus culture as university looks at honor
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 17, 2013 2:00 AM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2013 8:23 AM CDT
Pedestrians walk through a gate on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

(Newser) – Last year's Harvard cheating scandal earned some 70 culprits the boot; now, with the new school year beginning, they're returning to campus. But things are different now, the New York Times reports: For one thing, interactions with fellow students are fraught with unspoken tension. "I think everybody knows why I was gone, and it’s what they were talking about the whole time, but nobody says anything to my face," says one of those accused.

Meanwhile, the university is overhauling its approach to cheating. Now, academic honesty is "talked about in every class, it’s on every syllabus—what kind of collaboration is allowed, what the rules are," says a sophomore. Harvard is considering creating a special panel—which would include student representatives—to address charges of cheating. The school may also institute an honor code—a set of guidelines, like those used at some other schools, that often require student signatures. But questions remain over whether faculty members have faced adequate scrutiny over their own roles in the scandal. Click for the full piece.

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Sep 17, 2013 8:20 PM CDT
Its easy to solve cheating once and for all. The University of Oklahoma put cheating under the Office of Academic Affairs. Think of it as an academic police force. Step one was to require all students participate in Blackboard. That allows all instructors to check in each student via their official account photo. No sending in subs to take a class for you. Next is to require all instructors and professors to collect all writing assignments via the Blackboard system. It in turn uses a subscription with a plagiarism investigation system that searches previously submitted papers from students and those papers submitted by the hundreds of other member schools. The database of papers also includes peer reviewed papers and records for thesis and dissertations. In other words, it accesses hundreds of millions of already written papers. It then flags phrases that appear and are not cited in the foot or end notes. If the act of Bidening reaches a certain level, the office of Academic Affairs will look at the paper and make a decision whether to send it back down to the professor and send it up to Student Affairs for disciplinary action. If its sent up, a hearing is scheduled with the student. If it is apparent they Bidened a paper, they usually get an academic suspension. If its sent back down, they must correct the paper with correct citations but will get an automatic grade reduction. Students have found out the entire system is highly automated and in many instances, the entire matter is handled without even the professor getting involved if the level of Bidening is high enough.
Sep 17, 2013 3:05 PM CDT
This story teaches me that I can now hold my head high with the newly found pride in knowing that I honestly earned every C+ in the community college from which I barely graduated.
Sep 17, 2013 2:23 PM CDT
If they were outed as cheaters, why were they allowed back? Oh, I get it. most of them would have been cheats in life anyway, they just got early.