University policy mandates that all cases of academic misconduct be reported to the honor system. Academic misconduct is defined as either plagiarism or cheating on assignments, including exams.
“With some departments, you have to question what their departmental philosophy is in regard to the honor system,” said Jon McCay, the undergraduate student attorney general.
But lack of reporting isn’t the only cause of the differences, faculty members said.
History professor Jay Smith said the level of reporting lies within the culture of each department.
“You have to look very carefully at each department to get a sense of why they practice a certain way,” he said.
“With history, the Honor Code is an issue that is almost never discussed in department meetings.”
Chemistry assistant professor Todd Austell said his department’s numbers should be low because science courses don’t typically require papers, ruling out most forms of plagiarism.
But biology lecturer Gidi Shemer said the number remains large because biology is one of the largest departments at the University.
Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls said it is difficult to pinpoint problematic departments based on the report.
“We get into a bit of a danger zone when we try to paint a department with a broad brush,” Sauls said.
“It would be low to say that because a particular academic department is not on this list, they don’t engage with the honor system.”
Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.