The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday August 3rd

UNC discusses academic honesty, graduation

The University’s educational policy committee discussed plans for dealing with academic dishonesty and for students who take more than four years to graduate, among other issues, at their meeting Wednesday.

Beverly Foster, director of the School of Nursing, recommended that the committee of student conduct and the educational policy committee work together to analyze the results of a faculty survey focusing on plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

The educational policy committee and the committee on student conduct — which oversees the Honor System — developed the survey to illuminate instructors’ experiences with the system following several complaints last year from faculty about problems with how the Honor Court addressed academic issues.

Committee members also said there was a need to make University and registrar policy memoranda more accessible to students and faculty.

One current memorandum states that students who can not graduate in eight semesters, along with as many summer school sessions as they wish, must file a request for a ninth semester.

This policy went into effect with the class entering in the fall of 2007.

“We did a lot of outreach and communication with the class of 2011 about this so that it would not come as a surprise to anyone,” said Bobbi Owen, senior associate dean for undergraduate education.

She added that anyone who can not possibly graduate within eight semesters would be allowed to stay, but that student would only be allowed to graduate with a single major and no minors.

Foster said she thinks policy information needs to be available online so students and faculty can stay informed.

Committee chairwoman Andrea Biddle said she was concerned that the policy would force students into choosing minors early in their academic careers.

“I’m assuming students decide to pick minors pretty early on,” Biddle said. “If they have made that choice, which is a smart choice, are we going to penalize them for it?”

The committee did not directly address Biddle’s question, but did plan to discuss it further at the next meeting — the last of the school year — on April 13.

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