Minutes of Academic Integrity Committee
Meeting 10/30/13

 

Attendees:

 

Elliot Moore (ECE)

Peter Paquette (OSI)

Joel Sokol (ISyE)

Ken Cunefare  (EB Liaison)

Jeff Davis ECE (Chair)


I. Academic Integrity Committee Overview

 

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and explore the details of the current Sanction Model on Academic Misconduct.  This semester our committee will actively review this policy and possibly recommend some changes to this document.   

 

In this meeting we focused our discussion on “Disciplinary Sanctions”.  The discussion revolved around not only the verbiage of the model, but also the committee probed a little deeper into the policies that surround this model.

 

II. Main Topics Discussed

 

Report of Cases From Previous Years

The director of the Office of Student Integrity, Peter Paquette, reported on some statistics from the previous academic year (2012-13).  The numbers are as follows:

 

1. 300 cases of academic violations

2. 12 repeat offenders (during that same year)

 

Two students were suspended during the 2012-2013 academic year.

 

Discussion of the Number of Suspension Cases

The OSI is considering having suspension be the norm for repeat offenders.  The faculty on the Academic Integrity Committee seemed to concur that this would be in line with new verbiage in the sanction model which states “A second academic violation will most likely result in Disciplinary Suspension.”

 

Possibility of Taking Subjectivity Out of Decision

One of the items that was brought up during this meeting is should there be a non-subjective system to determine suspension.  The analogy of points on a driver license was made.  Once the points hit a certain threshold your license is revoked.  It was voiced that there be a similar system in OSI.

 

Philosophy of Sanction Model (Education vs. Punitive Measures)

There was a discussion as to whether the sanction is more of an educational piece or a punitive piece.  Military academies focus on the punitive piece, which might serve as a deterrent to cheating.  One of the committee members indicated that a study done by a professor in ISYE indicated that 30-40% admit to cheating on an exam in that school (See appendix for report).

 

Philosophy of OSI

It was pointed out that one of the main roles of OSI is to balance student rights versus ensuring the appropriate punitive measure.

 

Faculty Responsibility For Handling Cheating Cases

It was informally discussed that many faculty will handle cheating internally AND NEVER REPORT TO OSI.  The committee felt that perhaps faculty were deterred in doing this because of the excessive paperwork required. A streamlining of this process was recommended.

 

OSI is also worried about student rights in these unreported cases.

 

Faculty Education

It was recommended that a 3-4 year campaign to educate faculty on the policies in handling cheating perhaps needs to be instigated.  In addition, the new faculty orientation needs to stress the procedures for handling student cheating.  Perhaps this push could be made with an announcement that the reporting option is greatly simplified.

 

If a student is reported a second time by a faculty member who is trying to handle the case internally, the case is automatically brought to OSI for review.  The data can also be used to help track students, but also to make sure that the student’s rights are protected.

 

III. Conclusion

 

The committee encourages OSI to be stricter with the guidelines on suspension.

 

The committee also encourages OSI to streamline the reporting process in tandem with a push for departments to make sure that faculty know how to handle cheating cases in their classes.