Comment invited on report

March 04, 2004, vol. 29, no. 5

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John Waterhouse, VP-academic, who formed the task force on academic integrity in March 2002, has posted the report on his web site and has invited comments from the university community.

“We will collect those comments and feed them back to the task force. The task force will consider the comments and determine whether it wishes to change any of its recommendations,” he says.

Waterhouse says he was surprised at the extent of self-reported incidents of cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty across North America unearthed by the task force.

“SFU is no different from a lot of other institutions across North America,” he says.

Waterhouse says he is struck by the breadth of community involvement that will be necessary to deal effectively with the underlying problem.

In a year when the university's budget is under severe pressure, it seems unlikely that significant amounts of new money will be found to fund some of the recommendations - such as the creation of two new staff positions.

“That leads me to the conclusion that we are going to have administrative engagement around the various components of the task force recommendations.

“For example dean of student services should consider student orientation sessions and the extent to which education about academic integrity issues are built into student orientation exercises.

“It seems to me that the deans of the faculties are going to have to be engaged around the question of course outlines and the kinds of information and warnings that are provided to students about academic integrity and the consequences of academic dishonesty.

“This may be an effective way of communicating expectations at a relatively low cost.”

See story at: academic honesty.

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