Academic Discipline Committee
Annual Report, 2005-2006
The Academic Discipline Committee (ADC) was formed by action of the faculty in the fall term of 2005. The committee met twice during the winter term in order to discuss formal operating procedures for student hearings. A three-page document outlining working guidelines was adopted by the committee, and a form for faculty to use when reporting violations of academic integrity was also discussed and adopted. These documents were submitted for review by the university attorney, who was satisfied that they were consistent with due process.
The committee held one formal hearing on February 2. It is worth summarizing a few details of this case, because it is a good example of some of the new policies and procedures on academic integrity that were adopted last fall. In this case, the professor found that a paper had been plagiarized. The student accepted that finding, but requested an appeal of the professor’s proposed penalty, under the terms of file 190.6. The ADC reviewed written materials submitted by both the professor and the student, and interviewed both parties. As a result of this hearing, the committee recommended to the professor that a less severe penalty might be appropriate in this case. It is our understanding that the professor did reduce the penalty as a result of this suggestion. The committee also required the student to complete a series of tutorials on ethics and plagiarism conducted by Dean Bartlett.
The hearing described in the preceding paragraph was the only case this year in which a student disputed a professor’s penalty for academic dishonesty. The revised file 190.6 also requires the ADC to review reports of academic dishonesty in which the student accepts the professor’s finding and penalty. The committee received four such reports, three involving internet plagiarism and one involving unauthorized collaboration between two students. In all cases, the students had no prior violations of academic integrity, and the committee did not recommend any further action.
Prior to the formation of the ADC, Dean Bartlett handled five reports of academic dishonesty, of which three involved plagiarism and two involved cheating. In each of these cases, the student accepted the professor’s penalty. Thus, the total activity in this academic year has been ten cases involving eleven students. Unless a rash of academic dishonesty occurs in the remaining weeks of spring term, this represents a substantial improvement over recent years. Some of this may be attributable to the use of “turnitin.com.”
Joe Pollard (chair), Tony Arrington, John Batson, Michael Brodeur, Ruby Morgan, Savita Nair, Paul Thomas, Robin Visel, Betsy Butler (student), Dixon Dabbs (student), Margaret Harouny (student), Wendell Kimbrough (student), Linda Bartlett (ex officio).