Harvard (sort of) apologizes for secret email probe following cheating scandal

Harvard University apologized for a subject-line search of administrators’ emails on Monday, according to CNN. An email sent from Deans Michael D. Smith and Evelynn M. Hammonds explained that the search was necessary to catch who had leaked a confidential email related to Harvard’s cheating scandal. The deans said the search was successful, limited to administrators’ email accounts and was limited to messages’ subject lines, meaning no emails were opened or read…

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Can an honor code prevent cheating at Harvard?

Harvard University, whose motto “Veritas” means “truth,” has never had a student honor code in its nearly 400-year history – as far as it knows. But allegations against 125 students for improperly collaborating on a take-home final in the spring are leading to renewed consideration of the idea, the Associated Press reports. Though widely associated with college life, formal honor codes are hard to implement and fairly rare on American campuses. But some would argue they’re especially important at places like Harvard that are wellsprings of so many future leaders in government and business. Cheating and plagiarism are serious rule violations at Harvard, just like anywhere else. But Donald McCabe of Rutgers University, an expert on academic cheating, puts the number of schools that go beyond such rules with some sort of formal honor code at no more than about 100. Details vary, but the commonalities are a pledge signed – and largely enforced – by students not to cheat. Some require students also to report any cheating they witness…

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Harvard says 125 students may have cheated on a final exam

Harvard University revealed Thursday what could be its largest cheating scandal in memory, saying that about 125 students might have worked in groups on a take-home final exam despite being explicitly required to work alone, the New York Times reports. The accusations, related to a single undergraduate class in the spring semester, deal with “academic dishonesty, ranging from inappropriate collaboration to outright plagiarism,” the administration said in a note sent to students. Officials said that nearly half of the more than 250 students in the class were under investigation by the Harvard College Administrative Board and that if they were found to have cheated, they could be suspended for a year. The students have been notified that they are suspected and will be called to give their accounts in investigative hearings…

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