Academic integrity expert talks about steps; commends Russ College for commitment
May 25, 2007
By Elizabeth Boyle
In the past month, 34 MBA students at Duke University were found to have violated the institution's honor code on a take-home exam and 46 dental students at Indiana University were caught hacking into test files.
"These cases happen all the time," said Tim Dodd, a national expert on academic integrity who spoke on campus Thursday. "It's only those colleges that have some moral force that confront [the cases]."
The executive director of Duke University's Center for Academic Integrity, speaking in-person to a crowd of about 50 and the entire university via a live Web cast, said Ohio University is one of those institutions. But as the university has begun to think harder about what academic integrity means on campus, he said, the next step is to begin creating a campus where students, faculty and administrators share the responsibility for encouraging those values.
"I know of no school that has expended as much care and effort as OU. OU has produced a valuable template for others to adopt in their efforts to stem cheating and plagiarism on their campuses," he said in an e-mail before his lecture.
"We need to move from the point where there is support for academic integrity guidelines to where there is support for a campus culture of ethics," he told the audience Thursday.
In the Stocker Lecture presented by the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Dodd provided tips for the development and implementation of a university-wide honor code. He said that a good honor code, in which both students and faculty must have a stake, is used as a teaching document that promotes dialogue.
"Bringing students, faculty and administrators to the table as partners in the promotion of academic integrity is the 'gold standard' in our profession," he said.
Dodd, who heads a consortium of more than 360 institutions as the executive director of the Center for Academic Integrity, added that an honor code is only one element to creating an ethical campus culture. "We have to do more," he said. That includes ethical course management by faculty -- in which faculty create clear guidelines about assignments and ethical expectations for students -- and the inclusion of campus events that help students practice ethical behavior and encourage a positive culture, he said.
"Invest in opportunities for the expression of a culture of integrity," he encouraged. "There are no shortcuts in the practice of integrity."
"I'm very proud of how our faculty, staff and students have come together to address the issues in a positive way," Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin said. "Clearly, the commitment is one of moving forward to create a strong culture of academic honesty."
Download the PowerPoint from Dodd's presentation, found at the end of the Academic Integrity Resources list at www.ohio.edu/engineering/integrity/resources/.
A Web link to an archived video of Dodd's presentation is available at www.ohio.edu/engineering/video/dodd/, and DVD copies will be available for loan as they become available. Contact Colleen Girton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-593-1488 for more information.