Committee on Intellectual Integrity
Minutes of February 7, 2006

Committee on Intellectual Integrity
February 7, 2006

Present: Ameigh, Bozak, LeBlanc, Shaffer

update on academic integrity survey:

* changes to surveys suggested last meeting have been incorporated into the survey by McCabe. The surveys are ready to go, we only need to let McCabe know when we want to start collecting data.
* the survey has been submitted to the Human Subjects Committee for approval. Bozak is part of that committee, which meets on 2/13.
* Bozak has contacted Ian Farrell, SA President, to discuss the survey and ask for his endorsement.
* Bozak has created an invitation, based on the samples provided in the Assessment Guide, to both faculty and students to participate in the survey. McCabe has reviewed them, updating some figures. What is open is who the invitation should come from - the President? Provost? Dean of Students? It certainly should include the SA President, to gain student endorsement. Ameigh will talk with the Provost about this, asking for her to lead in choosing who the invitation should come from.
* In our 11/23/5 meeting there was some discussion that we needed to get final approval for the survey from President's Council. Ameigh will look into this.
* When the survey is ready to go, Bozak will contact the Oswegonian to get a story in the student paper promoting participation. Bozak will also contact Susan Camp, to promote the survey at Faculty Assembly.

other items:

* Chambers has two students who have expressed interest in participating. She is waiting to hear from one before asking the second.
* LeBlanc will be following up on his request for a graduate student member.
* Bozak will talk with Walter Opello to see about getting an international student to serve.
* Susan Camp has asked Bozak about this committee ("When can we expect a report?" and Shaffer has indicated that Susan has asked about the March conference in Albany. Ameigh indicated there was no known limit to the numbers of attendees per campus.
* Ameigh provides the Provost with a copy of the minutes of each of our meetings.

educating faculty

* Bozak sees two types of education topics here, one of which doesn't seem appropriate for the committee to create as a body. Bozak and/or Santos can create a summary, perhaps visual, of the current process as it should unfold on the academic side and on the judicial side. This can then be reviewed by the committee and modified as needed. The processes exist, so what is needed is a way to provide a simple to follow explanation of that process.
    The second topic is tougher: what types of cheating/plagiarism exist; what strategies exist for faculty to minimize their occurrence; what (progressive) penalties should exist?

* Bozak had previously emailed a list of 11 types of cheating/plagiarism, taken from incidents reported to the CAS Dean's Office and from the McCabe survey. One suggested change was in bullet eight: Paraphrasing and quoting without citing (traditional or electronic source).
* Shaffer will dig around for earlier work she had done to provide some strategies to avoid cheating in the classroom.
* We need, perhaps, to focus on the principles that should guide a faculty member as they decide on an academic penalty to assign. These would need to take into account the magnitude of the offense. One principle, perhaps, would be that faculty consider this an educational and not a punitive matter. Another might be that we believe in progressive penalties.
* Should there be an educational component, similar to the "checkpoint" classes that students engaged in underage drinking and drug use must take? These would be time consuming for the student, potentially embarrassing and like "points" on your driver's license, would be significant in ways a poor grade would not. For example, a student who cheats in an attempt to not fail a course hasn't lost anything if they are caught and failed for the course for cheating. An "integrity checkpoint" class would be a significant consequence.
* Should this be available for all situations? A student that takes the time to create a crib sheet and sneaks it into the classroom for an exam clearly knows they are acting inappropriately, so what would such a course teach them?
* Could this be an example of where a progressive penalty isn't appropriate? Couldn't we, or wouldn't we want to fail a student for the course in such an instance? The current range of penalties available to an instructor go from no action to "E" for the course. Suspension and Expulsion are penalties that cannot be assigned by the instructor but can only result from a judicial process. We need to work through this with more discussion.

For next meeting, please consider contributing your thoughts to:  
    types of cheating/plagiarism
    strategies to prevent cheating/plagiarism
    guidance to faculty in assigning penalties

Our next meeting is in two weeks, February 21, from 3:45-4:45 in 702 Culkin.

respectfully submitted,

-David Bozak

 Last Updated: 7/9/07