Committee on Intellectual Integrity
Minutes of September 16, 2009

Present: Bozak, Clendenning, Evaneski, Knowles, Pretzat

The draft of the report on the pilot project (use of Turnitin) was reviewed. Some typos and grammatical issues were corrected. Given that the assessment tools did not find any strong support, the conclusion as stated in the draft was supported. Bozak will correct the language in the draft, put the draft online, along with the results of the assessments and then send a memo to the Provost and FA Chair notifying them of the results.

Bozak passed out a copy of the violations report produced last fall for the previous year (Summer '07 through Spring '08). There was discussion of the report and what changes might be useful for the next report. We should include any information on repeat offenders, those that are sent on to Judicial Affairs. Evaneski reported on some good experiences with such students, who seemed to really "get it."

We talked about revising the notion of an "integrity checkpoint" to be mandatory for first offenders - an educational intervention. We believe that such outreach, if understood to occur, would encourage more faculty to report misconduct. We had earlier talked about creating our own online program which we might then be able to provide (for a fee) to other SUNYs. Now that Gary Pavela is SU's integrity officer, it might be seen as "stepping on toes" since he has such an online course available commercially. We need to investigate this further.

There is a sense, too, that faculty aren't all that clear as to what happens with academic misconduct reports and it might be beneficial for us to visit departments to talk about this with faculty directly.

The question of an "XF" - failing grade due to misconduct - was raised. Most "XF"-type grades show up at institutions with honor codes, and are supported by a process for their removal. A recent news report spoke of British Columbia University's new "FD" grade, failed for academic dishonesty, that stays on a transcript for two years post-graduation and then converts to a regular "F" grade. The FD can only be assigned by department chairs. That might be a good idea for a sanction for repeat offenders here (short of suspension/expulsion and perhaps more of a deterrent). However, until we have more educational support and interventions in place, it would likely be hard to justify such a process to APC and governance.

We discussed the manner in which students face judicial hearings (hearings v. disciplinary conferences), and discussed the judicial process in general.

We will renew our attempt to attract student representation. While it might be the case that those students most interested would likely be those that don't cheat, they also might not want to give up the time to join our meetings. Perhaps appropriate students with interests in grad school might find this a good experience to include in their grad school application. Bozak will contact Card and Chambers in Philosophy and Karns in Business to see if they might recommend some students.

It was also thought that perhaps our group might benefit by meeting with an ethics class, to get their take on this subject. There are 5 different ethics classes running this semester in the philosophy department, none of which meet at our meeting time. Perhaps something can be arranged.

Respectfully submitted,

-David Bozak


 Last Updated: 9/16/09