Quantcast
Latest Stories

Harvard: Dozens disciplined over exam cheating



BOSTON— Harvard University said Friday it issued academic sanctions against about 60 students who were forced to withdraw from school for a period of time in a cheating scandal that involved the final exam in a class on Congress, drawing criticism from a high-profile alumnus.

The school implicated as many as 125 students in the scandal when officials first addressed the issue last year.

The inquiry started after a teaching assistant in a spring semester undergraduate-level government class detected problems in the take-home test, including that students may have shared answers.

In a campus-wide email Friday, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith said the school’s academic integrity board had resolved all the cases related to the cheating probe.

He said “somewhat more than half” of the cases involved students who had to withdraw from the college for a period of time.

Harvard said that the length of a student’s withdrawal period is usually from two to four terms.

Of the cases left, about half the students got disciplinary probation. The rest weren’t disciplined.

Some athletes became ensnared, including two basketball team co-captains whom the school scratched from its team roster in the wake of the cheating investigation.

Past reports in The Harvard Crimson also linked football, baseball and hockey players to the scandal.

Smith’s said in Friday’s email that the school wouldn’t discuss specific student cases. A school spokesman, citing student privacy, also wouldn’t say if any athletes had withdrawn or say which teams might have been affected.

The dean said a school committee is working on recommendations to strengthen a culture of academic honesty and promote ethics in scholarship.

“This is a time for communal reflection and action,” he wrote. “We are responsible for creating the community in which our students study and we all thrive as scholars.”

Staples founder Thomas Stemberg, a Harvard graduate whose son is a student, on Friday criticized the school’s handling of the probe.

“If you challenge the entire faculty at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Law School to come up with a process that took more time, cost more money, embarrassed more innocent students, and vindicated guilty faculty … that could not have outdone the process that took place,” he said.

Stemberg, a supporter of Harvard’s basketball team, knows some of the students caught up in the scandal and his son knows others.

He wrote a complaint letter to Harvard’s president in early January claiming that the professor who taught the government class changed the rules after several exams in which “open collaboration” was encouraged.

He alleged that for the take-home exam in question, instructions to students said they couldn’t collaborate with professors, teaching fellows “and others.”

“If the message was so clearly expressed, why did some of the teaching fellows go over the exam in open session … If they did not get the message, could one expect the students to understand it?”

Stemberg went on to say that while some students “went too far, literally cutting and pasting their answers,” others only wrote answers from notes “derived in the collaborative atmosphere the class encouraged.”

The class was known as “Introduction to Congress,” and widely seen on campus as an easy way to get a good grade.

Harvard Undergraduate Council President Tara Raghuveer said Friday that the cheating investigation has been a hot topic on campus for months. She said some students started the new school year without knowing if they’d be allowed to finish it because of the lengthy period of time the probe took.

The 20-year-old junior also said there are a lot of questions about whether the take-home exam’s instructions were clear enough when it came to expectations about group work. She said both students and professors are being careful to discuss collaboration policies now.

Raghuveer also said the school community should make an effort to embrace the students who withdrew for disciplinary reasons when they come back to campus.

“The students who are implicated in this scandal from last spring still need to be recognized as members of our community … They shouldn’t feel alienated from Harvard,” she said. “This was an unfortunate incident. Students are being punished accordingly.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:

No related posts found!


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: cheating , Harvard University , Michael D. Smith , Thomas Stemberg



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Marketplace