Harvard working to restore academic integrity

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February 1, 2013, 6:28 pm
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(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Cambridge, Mass.) - Behind the brick walls and rod-iron gates of Harvard University, the highly revered Ivy League school is trying to close the chapter on last year’s cheating scandal.

"It’s good that they take academic integrity that seriously and we’ve been getting lots of emails about it and stuff," freshman Ratna Gill said.

Friday, Dean Michael Smith sent an email to the faculty, students and staff at Harvard to discuss academic integrity at the Cambridge-based school.

Dean Smith also laid out what he could about what came of disciplinary hearings for the roughly 125 students accused of cheating on an open book, take home exam in a government class last Spring.

He said, "... somewhat more than half of the Administrative Board cases this past fall required a student to withdraw from the College for a period of time. Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action."

"I do think it’s shocking that half of them did withdraw," freshman Jessica Reese said.

"I feel that at the same time it’s a very big problem and a very big issue and they had to address it and so I think the school in some sense did have the right to expel some of the students," government major Tiffany Lazo said.

There is some concern among students that with the nature of the test being open book and take home that maybe the instructions weren’t clear.

"I think it’s a lot more gray than people think it is, it’s not so black and white, yes it was a open book, take home test so I think at that point the lines aren’t very concrete," sophomore Stephen Kim said.

Students say it does send a message to current and future students that cheating in any form will not be tolerated at Harvard.

Freshman Mir Ibrahim said, "It’s kind of like a deterrent maybe for the future, students not to do something like that so that definitely works."

Tags: massachusetts, Cambridge, Alysha Palumbo, Harvard University, Harvard cheating scandal, Harvard academic integrity, Dean Michael Smith
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