Harvard: Dozens disciplined over exam cheating - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Harvard: Dozens disciplined over exam cheating

Posted: Updated:

BOSTON (AP) - Harvard University said Friday it issued academic sanctions against approximately 60 students who were forced to withdraw from school for a period of time in a cheating scandal that involved the final exam in a class on Congress, drawing criticism from a high-profile alumnus.

The school implicated as many as 125 students in the scandal when officials first addressed the issue last year.

The inquiry started after a teaching assistant in a spring semester undergraduate-level government class detected problems in the take-home test, including that students may have shared answers.

In a campus-wide email Friday, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith said the school's academic integrity board had resolved all the cases related to the cheating probe.

He said "somewhat more than half" of the cases involved students who had to withdraw from the college for a period of time.

Harvard said that the length of a student's withdrawal period is usually from two to four terms.

Of the cases left, about half the students got disciplinary probation. The rest weren't disciplined.

Some athletes became ensnared, including two basketball team co-captains whom the school scratched from its team roster in the wake of the cheating investigation.

Past reports in The Harvard Crimson also linked football, baseball and hockey players to the scandal.

Smith's said in Friday's email that the school wouldn't discuss specific student cases. A school spokesman, citing student privacy, also wouldn't say if any athletes had withdrawn or say which teams might have been affected.

The dean said a school committee is working on recommendations to strengthen a culture of academic honesty and promote ethics in scholarship.

"This is a time for communal reflection and action," he wrote. "We are responsible for creating the community in which our students study and we all thrive as scholars."

Staples founder Thomas Stemberg, a Harvard graduate whose son is a student, on Friday criticized the school's handling of the probe.

"If you challenge the entire faculty at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Law School to come up with a process that took more time, cost more money, embarrassed more innocent students, and vindicated guilty faculty ... that could not have outdone the process that took place," he said.

Stemberg, a supporter of Harvard's basketball team, knows some of the students caught up in the scandal and his son knows others.

He wrote a complaint letter to Harvard's president in early January claiming that the professor who taught the government class changed the rules after several exams in which "open collaboration" was encouraged.

He alleged that for the take-home exam in question, instructions to students said they couldn't collaborate with professors, teaching fellows "and others."

"If the message was so clearly expressed, why did some of the teaching fellows go over the exam in open session ... If they did not get the message, could one expect the students to understand it?"

Stemberg went on to say that while some students "went too far, literally cutting and pasting their answers," others only wrote answers from notes "derived in the collaborative atmosphere the class encouraged."

The class was known as "Introduction to Congress," and widely seen on campus as an easy way to get a good grade.

Harvard Undergraduate Council President Tara Raghuveer said Friday that the cheating investigation has been a hot topic on campus for months. She said some students started the new school year without knowing if they'd be allowed to finish it because of the lengthy period of time the probe took.

The 20-year-old junior also said there are a lot of questions about whether the take-home exam's instructions were clear enough when it came to expectations about group work. She said both students and professors are being careful to discuss collaboration policies now.

Raghuveer also said the school community should make an effort to embrace the students who withdrew for disciplinary reasons when they come back to campus.

"The students who are implicated in this scandal from last spring still need to be recognized as members of our community ... They shouldn't feel alienated from Harvard," she said. "This was an unfortunate incident. Students are being punished accordingly."

  • LocalMore>>

  • Mexican American Fest kicks off in Perrysburg

    Mexican American Fest kicks off in Perrysburg

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:02:33 GMT
    Good music, delicious eats, and lots of dancing are three staples at the annual Mexican American Festival in Perrysburg. The yearly event brings in thousands of dollars to the Perrysburg Heights Community Center. Organizers needed a successful festival in 2013 to keep the center open. This year their financial outlook is better, but there are still big plans for the money. "We are finally going to step back in the neighborhood," says Jason Craig who runs the center and the festival. "We're ...
    Good music, delicious eats, and lots of dancing are three staples at the annual Mexican American Festival in Perrysburg. The yearly event brings in thousands of dollars to the Perrysburg Heights Community Center. Organizers needed a successful festival in 2013 to keep the center open. This year their financial outlook is better, but there are still big plans for the money. "We are finally going to step back in the neighborhood," says Jason Craig who runs the center and the festival. "We're ...
  • Michigan Health Director Stepping Down

    Michigan Health Director Stepping Down

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:27:14 GMT
    LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says that state health Director Jim Haveman is resigning after having a mild stroke. Snyder said in a statement Thursday that Haveman originally planned to remain as head of the Michigan Department of Community Health into 2015 but moved up his departure because of the Memorial Day stroke. Snyder says Haveman will quit Sept. 12 and says Chief Deputy Director Nick Lyon will become director. The governor credits Haveman with promoting "an ambitious health ...
    LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder says that state health Director Jim Haveman is resigning after having a mild stroke. Snyder said in a statement Thursday that Haveman originally planned to remain as head of the Michigan Department of Community Health into 2015 but moved up his departure because of the Memorial Day stroke. Snyder says Haveman will quit Sept. 12 and says Chief Deputy Director Nick Lyon will become director. The governor credits Haveman with promoting "an ambitious health ...
  • Group wants Redskins name barred from Minnesota Field

    Group wants Redskins name barred from Minnesota Field

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:24 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:24:35 GMT
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A coalition demanded Thursday that the NFL team from Washington be barred from using its "Redskins" name on University of Minnesota turf. The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media held a news conference outside TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1q9vzoU ) reported. The Minnesota Vikings are leasing the university's stadium for two seasons while their new $1 billion stadium is built on the site of the former Metrodome in downto...
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A coalition demanded Thursday that the NFL team from Washington be barred from using its "Redskins" name on University of Minnesota turf. The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media held a news conference outside TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1q9vzoU ) reported. The Minnesota Vikings are leasing the university's stadium for two seasons while their new $1 billion stadium is built on the site of the former Metrodome in downto...