Saturday, January 12, 2013

Government 1310 -- What's New?

So, as many of you may remember, Harvard had a rather embarrassing cheating scandal flare up at the start of the academic year, involving over 100 students.  To be clear, that's the number apparently involved in investigations;  it's not the number punished.  That's my point here -- we don't know how many were found to have cheated, or, really, much other information. 

A bunch of Crimson articles can be found here.  There don't seem to be any after the beginning of October.  We originally heard that the students would have their case outcomes determined by November.  So, where do we stand?

I might be missing something, but I can't find any updates on the situation.  Please inform me if there's more I don't know about.  But it seems to me that the faculty -- and, arguably, the public at large -- merit some further information.  If the cases are still ongoing, a brief note saying that, along with a statement that the lessons learned will be discussed at an appropriate time, would be fine.  But honestly, I'm disappointed and disturbed (albeit not surprised) by the lack of information.

I understand that this can't be a popular topic in the administrative circles.  But at the time when the news broke there was a great deal of talk about how the incident should open the door to further discussions about cheating and pressure on students.  And certainly after the fact there should be greater understanding of what happened in this specific class and how we might prevent it in the future.  It seems to me there are basic things the faculty should know -- like whether it turned out that 10 or fewer students were required to withdraw, or more than 50.  And ideally, we should know it sooner rather than later.  In fact, it seems like the beginning of the new semester is just the right time to get this information out, as faculty share with students their expectations regarding collaborative work for this set of classes.

Perhaps the powers that be are just waiting for the semester to start.  But really, I think we're due an update, with some basic analysis of what ended up happening and how we as a community should think about responding to it.  I wonder when (if?) we'll see it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Saw this from ysterday:

You might think the school would at least let its members know what is going on rather than letting Reuters do it....