Academic Discipline Committee
Annual Report, 2007-2008

This report concerns the activities of the Academic Discipline Committee (ADC) during the period from May 7, 2007, when last year’s report was filed, until May 9, 2008.

At the very end of AY2006-07 there were three alleged violations of academic integrity. An additional incident occurred during summer session. Thus far in AY2007-08, a total of five violations have been reported. Out of these nine cases, five students accepted responsibility for the infraction and accepted the penalty proposed by the professor of the course. One of these involved a repeat infraction, which the ADC considered as described below. In the other four cases that the students did not dispute, the ADC briefly reviewed the cases, as charged by file 190.6, but took no further action on them.

Hearings were impaneled for the four students who disputed either the charge or the penalty. In three cases, the students denied the charge of academic dishonesty. In one of these cases, the ADC found that the student had not violated academic integrity, and recommended that no penalty be assessed. In the other two cases, the ADC upheld the professor’s finding of plagiarism and the professor’s proposed penalty. In the fourth case, the student accepted responsibility for academic dishonesty, but disputed the proposed penalty. The hearing for this case has not yet been held at the time of this writing.

In one case at the end of AY2006-07, a student accepted responsibility and did not appeal the professor’s penalty for plagiarism; however, the Associate Academic Dean informed the committee that this incident was the student’s second offense. In accordance with the ADC’s operating procedures, a hearing was held to consider additional penalties. After questioning the student, the ADC imposed a penalty of suspension.

To summarize the nature of the offenses in these nine cases from May 2007 to May 2008, four involved plagiarism, one involved resubmission of work that had been submitted in a prior class, and four involved cheating on tests or examinations (it was one of these in which the charge was dismissed by the ADC). The nine cases this year were a dramatic decline from the 18 total cases in the identical time period last year. While it is tempting to claim that Furman is making progress on academic integrity, experience shows that these numbers vary widely from year to year, and long-term trends are difficult to discern.

In addition to the matters described above, the Academic Discipline Committee had one general meeting in early fall to introduce new members and discuss issues and procedures.

Respectfully submitted,

Joe Pollard (chair), Jack Garihan, Tamara Matthews, Savita Nair, David Roe, Charles Brewer, Vincent Hausmann, Libby Young, Laura Martino (student), Kyle Wilkins (student), Spencer Conner (student), Joinne Ruff (Student), Linda Bartlett (ex officio)

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