Education and changing the way cheating cases are investigated and adjudicated are the best ways to discourage students from cheating, according to an LS&A faculty-student committee.
Presenting the LS&A Joint Faculty-Student Policy Committees report at last Mondays LS&A faculty meeting, David Schoem, committee chair, asked the faculty for feedback on its report. If implemented, some of the recommendations would require changes in the Colleges Faculty Code.
Student cheating is a problem at the U-M, as it is at colleges and universities across the nation, the committee reports. According to nationwide surveys of college students, between 40 percent and 90 percent of the general student population admit to some form of academic cheating.
The committee acknowledged that this range may not reflect the situation at the U-M, but noted that it has received testimony indicating that cheating is widespread at the U-M, and that many students do not believe cheating to be as serious an infraction as lying or shoplifting.
Adding to the problem is the fact that few faculty use LS&As academic judiciary when they discover students cheating. The committee notes that even if we are to assume that our students fall near or below the lowest estimates of cheating nationwide, the 4050 cases annually that are brought before the judiciary are insignificant compared to the level of cheating we believe is taking place in LS&A courses. Faculty either ignore cheating or handle cheating cases on their own without the benefit and protection of due process, both for themselves and for students, that would ensure fair and impartial hearing and adjudication.
For the College to provide an optimal educational environment and develop leaders, academic dishonesty cannot be tolerated, the committee says. The committee rejected the idea of establishing a rigid honor code.
The committee recommends that the College:
The committee recommends that the College define cheating and plagiarism and encourage faculty to:
The committee also recommends that LS&A: