44 students supended after project plagiarized

Oct 31, 2002, vol. 25, no. 5

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Forty four students have been suspended for up to two years for academic dishonesty in a business and economics class after they palgiarized a project last year. They were also ruled to have failed the course.

“The penalties are a strong message that Simon Fraser University has zero tolerance for cheating, and that individuals found guilty of academic dishonesty will be disciplined,” says Roger Blackman, acting dean of arts.
The penalties follow an in-depth investigation by the economics department and hearings by the university board on student discipline (UBSD).

The UBSD heard 46 cases in all, with one case still pending and another student exonerated.

The length of suspension handed down in each case depends on the extent of plagiarism involved. Fifteen cases received a one-semester suspension, 27 cases received a two-semester suspension, and two cases received a four-semester suspension.

The suspension is noted on the student's transcript and any courses taken at other post-secondary institutions during that time are not eligible for transfer credit to SFU.

Five students have appealed the decision of the president to implement the recommendations of the UBSD. Those appeals will be heard by the senate committee on disciplinary appeals within the next few weeks. The decision of the committee will be final.

The plagiarism first came to light late last year and resulted in months of investigation, interviews and deliberation.

“The in-depth investigation is a testament to SFU's commitment to fairness in reviewing each case individually,” says Blackman.

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