Committee on Intellectual Integrity
Minutes of October 14, 2009

Present: Bozak, Garii, LeBlanc, Nichols, Pretzat, Pritting, Short

* The invitation to faculty/staff/students/alums/community members to submit personal statements of integrity was reviewed. It was suggested that we start with a pointer to our integrity policy (especially the preface, originally written by Gerry Porter). We will also replace the explicit reference to "writte or multimedia" with a more general statement encouraging creativity. Bozak will revise and send out for comments before formally extending it.

How to distribute the invitiation? Certainly to select individuals. Perhaps more generally to our community in the hope that students will ask their faculty to submit a statement, or each other? Perhaps to student leadership? Maybe to the Alumni folks to distribute generally to our alums? Thoughts?

* How to get faculty to follow the campus policy? Clearly, two undergraduate divisions have submitted *no* instances of discovered academic misconduct. So either none is taking place (which is unlikely) or faculty would rather handle it on their own. So we need to reach out to find out *why* the college policy isn't being followed. The idea is to draft an invitation to Deans and Chairs, volunteering CII members to meet with departments, or other groups to talk about what the policy is, what is asks of faculty and to find out what reasons faculty have for not following the policy. We cannot address their concerns (or recommend policy changes) without knowing the objections. Bozak will draft an invitation and send it out.

* Julie brought a problem to the group for discussion. A student identified themself (name, major, school) on an SU sports blog and admitted to cheating on a chemistry exam, and defended their action (which was not limited to the chemistry class). What can we do, what should we do when such a public admission is made? Without supporting evidence, we cannot file judicial charges. But we can ask the student to meet with appropriate persons (in this case, their dean and the JA officer). We need to think through what precedent we are setting, as we are likely to uncover other such instances. Julie will keep us apprised of what kind of discussion takes place with the student.

* Our major topic was to brainstorm what we would want of a module on integrity. Various ideas were proposed. Of course, as much of the reported misconduct is characterized as plagiarism, other forms of misconduct exist. For example, cheating on exams.

One idea which seemed to gain support is to present the consequences of misconduct - both real life (real world?) examples as well as real incidents of student misconduct, including the filing of judicial charges. If students do not know that some do get caught and do pay a real price, then what is the deterrence?

The tutorial should have an assessment component (quiz?), and examples such as those above could be used as a prompt for a question.

One point raised, with respect to Gary Pavela's integrity course, that we are talking about ethical matters/issues more broadly rather than the narrow forms of particular misconduct.

Could we link the tutorial/assessment to talking with a faculty member, perhaps an advisor? Could we ask for a short reflective answer, which then goes back to the student's advisor? How much are we asking of advisors - this adds to their workload. Perhaps, for first year students anyway, we could involve peer advisors, giving them something more concrete rather than serving only as a liaison between a first year student and their first year faculty advisor. It may be that this has to wait to apply to our "Integrity Checkpoint" proposal, later this year.

Can this be tied to registration? Right now we ask students to affirm any number of things before being able to use our computing system or register for courses.

Doug Hemphill reports that within the Angel icebreaker module, quizzes on iip (intellectual integrity policy) have a template drop box link to the "my expectations" page where faculty could include a link to the campus iip statements.

Stefen Short didn't think that consolidating all of the various presentations on academic misconduct into a single module would be burdensome for students, that most would welcome the consolidation and place everyone on a level playing field. We need to convince students that this topic is important so the use of student examples is very important. Perhaps we can get some student testimonials (anonymous, of course) to attest to the impact that cheating might have.

The module will need to talk about what resources are available to students. These would be campus-based as well as online resources.

Respectfully submitted,

-David Bozak

 Last Updated: 10/14/09