The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

Academic Integrity Task Force

Last updated on 5/25/04

The most recent additions to this page are nearer the top; earlier entries are further down.

MAY 2004

  1. The open forum in March was extremely well attended, Larry Zicklin's comments were widely judged to be excellent, and the discussion afterwards was lively. The Student Guide is now in the hands of the college's Publications office and should be available for distribution in July.
  2. The academic integrity bookmarks for faculty were distributed to faculty mailboxes. The student bookmarks were distributed primarily through the bookstore and the Advisement Center, but also by members of the faculty in classes.
  3. We have arranged to discuss the CAI's assessment instrument with Don McCabe and hope to be able to tailor it to the nation's most diverse camous. If that proves feasible, we expect to participate in the CAI study in 2004-2005.
  4. Other efforts for Fall 2004 include renewed presentations in departments and at faculty meetings. We expect to initiate discussions on academic integrity with student groups as well.
  5. In early May, the Provost's office sent a memo to all members of the faculty about proctoring finals -- urging careful proctoring, offering proctoring assistance to large classes, and suggesting a range of best practices for the weeks leading up to exams and the exams themselves. A version of that memo is online here.

MARCH 2004

  1. Those present at the January meeting reviewed the tutorial and quiz favorably and suggested that completing it become a requirement for all Baruch students. Details as to how to incorporate it within the curriculum need to be worked out, but there seems to be general support for this among administrators. Dennis Slavin will bring this up at the next meeting of the Joint Curriculum Committee in April.
  2. The open forum with Larry Zicklin on March 18, which will take as its starting point The Student Guide to Academic Integrity will be an important component of Ethics Week. The two bookmarks will be distributed to faculty and students. (Students will receive the "Myths and Facts" bookmark.)
  3. Members of the task force will return to the Philosophy Department on Tuesday, March 16 at 12:30.

JANUARY 2004 AND LOOKING AHEAD: THREE ITEMS

1. Task Force Meeting: Thursday, January 29, 12:30 p.m.

We will meet in the Provost's Conference Room to review progress since our last general meeting in January 2003. (Lunch will be provided.) One agenda item will be presentation by Alan Bailin, Library, on the online plagiarism tutorial and Blackboard-based plagiarism quiz that he created with assistance from members of the English Department. That presentation will be followed by discussion that might include suggestions for improving the tutorial/quiz, but we will consider also whether successful completion of the tutorial should be mandatory for all of our students. Should the quizzes remain in Blackboard, attached to specific courses (currently they are widely used in English 2100 and 2150), or should they be moved to the web? There are logistical, curricular, and even philosophical issues associated with these decisions, and the task force is not empowered to make them. But discussion could be quite helpful and we can make recommendations. Any additional items for the agenda should be forwarded to Dennis Slavin.

2. The Student Guide to Academic Integrity

  • In November, the draft Guide was produced and distributed in hard copy as well as published as an ad in the Ticker. The open forums created to discuss the Guide were not well attended. To address that problem we have organized an open forum for March 18 at 12:45 that will be sponsored by student clubs and will feature a talk by Larry Zicklin.
  • The March 18 event will fall within "Ethics Week" at Baruch College this spring. The Myths and FACTS bookmarks will be distributed for that week-long series of events.

3. Meetings with Departments (as of 1/15/04)

  • The only meeting scheduled for Spring '04 is with the Department of Psychology on Thursday, February 5, at 1:15 p.m.
  • The departments that have not scheduled sessions for discussion of academic integrity with members of the task force are: Communication Studies, Economics/Finance, Marketing, Statististics/Computer Information Systems, and Sociology/Anthropology.

NOVEMBER 2003: THREE ITEMS

1. The Student Guide to Academic Integrity

  • The draft Guide is scheduled to be published as an ad in the Ticker during the week of November 17.
  • Two forums for public discussion have been scheduled: Tuesday, November 25 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Room 14-266.

2. Remaining Meetings with Departments (as of 11/13/03)

  • Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature:  Thursday, November 20, 1:00 p.m.
  • School of Public Affairs:  Thursday, November 20, 2:00 p.m.
This is a draft of a text that the admninistration hopes to reproduce in the form of a bookmark to be distributed to all faculty and students. It is too long. Please feel free to suggest cuts, revisions, and necessary additions to Dennis Slavin.

 

October 2003:  Upcoming Meetings with Departments

Following is the schedule (as of 10/20/03) of upcoming meetings with departments. It will be updated as new meetings are arranged:

Department of Math

Thursday, October 23

12:45 p.m. (VC 6-215)

Department of Philosophy

Tuesday, October 28

3:45 p.m.

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Thursday, November 13

12:45 p.m.

Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature

Thursday, November 20

1:00 p.m.

September 2003: revised summary for faculty, student guide, department meetings

The revised summary on academic integrity for faculty was distributed by email to full-time and adjunct faculty members on Septmeber 18.

A draft of The Student Guide to Academic Integrity is ready and soon will be distributed to student groups throughout the college community. A group of dedicated students met throughout the summer to create this draft. Many thanks (alphabetically) to:

  • Jennifer Bartlett
  • Dov Berger
  • Kathlene Burke
  • Vanessa Cohon
  • Mathew Elsner
  • Jimmy Low
  • Joanne Wong
  • Shazana Zumpfe
  •  

Meetings with Departments

Following is the schedule (as of 9/10/03) of meetings with departments for this semester. It will be updated as new meetings are arranged:

Department of Black and Hispanic Studies

Thursday, September 4

5:30 p.m.

Department of Political Science

Wednesday, September 10

12:45 p.m. (VC 5-210)

Department of History

Thursday, September 11

12:45 p.m.

Department of English

Thursday, October 9

12:45 p.m.

Department of Math

Thursday, October 23

12:45 p.m. (VC 6-215)

Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Thursday, November 18

12:45 p.m.

Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature

Thursday, November 20

1:00 p.m.

Department of STAT/CIS

TBA

 

June 2003

Students interested in working on the Student Guide to Academic Integrity will meet with Ron Aaron and Dennis Slavin on Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30 in VC 2-290.

Hard copy of Academic Integrity at Baruch College: Summary for Faculty distributed to faculty teaching in summer 2003.

The taskforce has begun to make arrangements to meet with departments in Fall 2003. The planned meetings include:

History Department

Thursday, September 11

12:45 pm

May 13, 2003
A version of the following email was sent to members of the taskforce. Comments, especially on the XF grade, are welcome. (Send comments to Associate Provost, Dennis Slavin.)

Recent Meetings Four meetings with departments have taken place in recent weeks; most participants seemed to find them useful. An issue that's emerged is the general difference between disciplines in which the integrity problems tend to be in the area of cheating, as opposed to plagiarism. Larger rooms in which students can sit further apart might help (as can several different exams on different colored paper); we are looking into using one or more of the gymnasiums for final exams next fall and at ways to make Mason Hall more exam-friendly.

XF Grade An approach we have discussed is a grade that would be used only for academic integrity violations. Unlike the traditional F, such a grade (let's call it XF) would not be susceptible to the F grade replacement policy. At our meeting with the Accountancy Department, one faculty member wondered whether such a grade might be too harsh: for someone who cheats or plagiarizes just once, perhaps as a freshman, wouldn't such a black mark on the transcript, the meaning of which would be apparent to future employers, be unfair? Several of us have been discussing this and contemplating the use of an XF grade (or otherwise-coded F) that would remain on a student's transcript until his/her last semester, when it would turn into a straight F -- eliminating the possibility of replacement. (NB: This would not mean that the student could not re-take the course -- for required courses they would have to -- merely that the F would remain in the transcript and be part of the GPA.) That does seem more fair. (Obviously, we'd have to work out the wrinkles for transfer students.) In the end, any new grade will be up to CUNY, but we'd like to know what you think.

Syllabus Items The faculty handbook now includes a page with sample paragraphs on academic integrity. Faculty can cut and paste these into their own syllabi or be inspired to create their own. Comments are welcome.

Student Guide to Academic Integrity Ron Aaron (646-312-4577) and Carl Kirschner (646-312-4578) are arranging for a first meeting of students interested in working on the guide. Students: meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30, VC 2-290.

May 2003
Members of the taskforce met with faculty and students of the Departments of Accountancy, Law, the Library, Management, and Natural Sciences for wide ranging discussions on academic integrity issues.

April 24, 2003
Since Fall 2001, our colleagues at Queens College have experimented with requiring students implicated in acts of academic dishonesty to meet as a group to "encourage discussion of their unethical behavior." The groups have been led by Barbara J. Moore, Assistant Professor of student personnel and a counselor at the Counseling and Advisement Center at Queens College. Her report of last year's discussions was published in About Campus (September/October, 2002) as "Truth or Consequences." (The link is to a typescript; it is distributed with Prof. Moore's permission.)

March 17, 2003 and March 27, 2003
Members of the taskforce met with the Chairs and the Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences (3/17) and the Zicklin School of Business (3/27) for wide-ranging discussion of academic integrity issues. We agreed that in light of issues specific to the various disciplines, the next step would be to bring the discussion to each department and to involve both full- and part-time faculty and students. These conversations will take place during the remainder of the spring semester and during fall 2003.

March 11, 2003
The taskforce met on Wednesday, March 12 in the Provost's Conference Room. The discussion took as a starting point the Next Steps memorandum circulated to the members in February.

January 17, 2003
The taskforce met for the first time on January 16. Those who attended are listed at the bottom of this page. Faculty interested in attending future meetings please contact Associate Provost Dennis Slavin. A brief summary of the Jan. 16 discussion follows.

January 16, 2003 Discussion

Summary
Consensus emerged around the idea that all members of the Baruch community need to understand our interrelationships as "collaborative" and not "adversarial." In an environment dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge and the pursuit of truth, our educative mission depends on trust. Communicating that mission and the processes it entails might start with orientation sessions and the freshman seminar, but it should remain a significant theme in classes: faculty should clearly communicate their understanding of their own and student responsibilities through syllabi that are discussed in class; procedures in cases of academic dishonesty should be spelled out and enforced -- including informing the Office of the Dean of Students; and treatment of students (and treatment of faculty by students; indeed treatment of all members of the community) must begin with respect.

This emphasis is intrinsic to our mission, but it also transcends the immediate academic environment. Within the workplace, students will derive at least two significant benefits: having learned to work independently and to think critically, they will be able to bring those skills to their careers; by earning a reputation that our programs emphasize honesty, the college will bring added value to the degrees we grant.

Next steps
On Thursday, Feb 6, the Provost will speak to the Faculty Senate about faculty rights and responsibilities. Our efforts in promoting academic integrity throughout the community will be one focus.

Creation of effective syllabi will be the subject of a faculty seminar and will be the focus of an effort by the Provost's office this semester -- as will be a move towards more systematic and effective peer observations.

The Schwartz Communication Institute will work this semester with individual departments to discuss and develop discipline-based approaches to academic integrity; these will be coordinated with the Provost's office and with members of the taskforce.

Potential steps
Creation of a Student Guide to Academic Integrity parallel to the faculty guide, written by students with the assistance of the Office of the Dean of Students.

Creation of a "generic" websites modeled on efforts to communicate the significance of academic integrity such as Richard Holowczek's website or Taylor's letter or "best practices" memo. Faculty could use such generic sites, or the sites could serve as the basis or inspiration for individual efforts.

Attendees
Ron Aaron, Associate Dean of Students
Glenn Albright, Chair, Department of Psychology
Paul Arpaia, Director, Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute
Jerry Bornstein, Library
David Dannenbring, Provost
Mindy Engle-Friedman, Ombuds and Department of Pschology
Bert Hansen, Department of History
Muhammad Iqbal, undergraduate student
Sam Johnson, Dean of Students
Carl Kirschner, Director, Student Support Services
Barbara Lawrence, Associate Provost
Alison Lovell, Writing Fellow, Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute
Salome Makharadze, undergraduate student
Robert Myers, Chair, Faculty Senate and Department of Communication Studies
David E. Rivera, MBA student
Donald Schepers, Department of Management
Dennis Slavin, Associate Provost
Eric Williams, MBA student
Joanne Wong, undergraduate student