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Claudine Gay and the Cheating Crisis on Campus

Not only that, try publishing that's an unpopular idea or goes against the progressive wisdom and you won't/can't get into a major scientific publication not to mention your chances of getting canceled are great.

Ex. anyone who expresses contrary or moderating ideas about climate change.

In fact, I was personally denied tenure at Harvard's Physics Dept, simply because I never took a Physics course (& the fact that I'm White)

Claudine Gay and the Cheating Crisis on Campus

Academic dishonesty and crime are alike: No one will prosecute them if justice is hard to come by.

By Allysia Finley, WSJ

Jan. 7, 2024 3:16 pm ET

The Harvard Crimson published an op-ed on Dec. 31, written by an anonymous undergraduate, titled “I Vote on Plagiarism Cases at Harvard College. Gay’s Getting Off Easy.” Two days later, Claudine Gay resigned as president. Could it have been the catalyst?

“When my peers are found responsible for multiple instances of inadequate citation, they are often suspended for an academic year,” wrote the student who sits on Harvard’s honor council, which adjudicates peer academic-integrity violations. “When the president of their university is found responsible for the same types of infractions, the fellows of the Corporation ‘unanimously stand in support of’ her,” as the body declared in a Dec. 12 statement.

By shrugging at Ms. Gay’s plagiarism, the Harvard Corp. showed that its commitment to academic integrity was as phony as its other ideals.

Ms. Gay’s defenders accuse conservatives of using allegations of plagiarism to take her down, which is true. But it’s also true that such lapses, and even more-serious academic-integrity offenses, are too often ignored or excused—much like petty crimes in cities with left-wing governments. The result: declining standards and increasing dishonesty on college campuses.

The Harvard Honor Council in the 2021-22 school year heard 100 individual cases, mostly involving plagiarism and exam cheating. Twelve percent of accused students were required to withdraw from the college, usually owing to serious and repeated violations of the honor code. Most were given a stern warning or put on probation.

Academic-integrity infractions, however, often aren’t caught or reported. According to a Harvard Crimson survey, 25% of the class of 2023 reported having cheated, including nearly one-fifth of those with 4.0 grade-point averages. This may underestimate the behavior. Respondents said they expected about half their classmates had cheated at some point during their studies.

Friends who teach at colleges say faculty often don’t report plagiarism or cheating to administrators because the process of doing so is laborious, and students often get off with a slap on the wrist. This is the same reason police in Democrat-run cities don’t make arrests for crimes such as shoplifting. It isn’t worth the hassle since the punishment is trivial.

Nontenured professors also worry about poor student evaluations—which may determine whether their contracts are renewed. Cheating can be difficult to prove, especially among the more discreet. Software that flags plagiarism has been available for more than 20 years, but professors often don’t use it. As a result students get away with plagiarizing, intentionally or not, and continue to do so.

This may explain Ms. Gay’s repeat offenses, which should have been identified by peer-reviewed journals that published her papers. Yet peer reviewers typically are unpaid and often hand the task over to grad students who are reluctant to criticize esteemed academics’ work.

Faculty are also often intimidated by students who impugn their motives if they try to clamp down on cheating. Consider the student uproar last year at Stanford over a proposal by faculty to change the college’s 1921 honor code to permit instructors to proctor exams. Under the college’s honor code, students are supposed to report on misconduct by peers, but instructors aren’t allowed to supervise exams. Teaching assistants hand out tests and then leave.

Yet faculty, especially in STEM disciplines—science, technology, engineering and math—have noted an uptick in cheating, which students aren’t reporting. Of the 720 honor-code violations reported between the 2018 and 2020 school years at Stanford, only two were by students. Faculty say cheating has become pervasive but students don’t want to snitch on their peers.

Stanford’s Faculty Senate last spring passed a motion to amend the honor code to permit exam proctoring because “current mechanisms are insufficient to ensure the academic integrity of our degree programs.” The Undergraduate Senate tried to block the amendment, claiming it violated Stanford’s “shared governance” model.

Students howled that the faculty’s honor-code amendment “disenfranchised” them, undermined trust, showed disrespect, and was “a complete abuse of power.” They also charged that proctoring would damage students’ mental health and result in discrimination against minorities owing to professors’ unconscious bias.

There’s no evidence for any of the students’ complaints. But professors of introductory STEM courses say some students may feel increased pressure to cheat because they lack precalculus skills. Could it be that Stanford is admitting unprepared students to meet its diversity goals, which makes it more difficult for them to succeed in STEM courses?

Stanford’s faculty ultimately backed down and agreed to conduct a two- to four-year study on the effects of proctoring. The episode illustrates how colleges, even when they recognize and condemn academic dishonesty, are too feckless to do anything about it.

Much as the retreat from “broken windows” policing has produced more crime in progressive cities, colleges’ failure to enforce academic-integrity standards has created an air of impunity among students that is leading to more bad behavior, including harassment of Jewish students. Is it any surprise so many students graduate lacking a moral compass?

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