Academic Standards Charge #3 Recommendations (Discussion)

Please limit the discussion to the recommendations for charge #3 listed below.  It would be helpful if you note which recommendations you are commenting on by number prior to making your comments.

Pertaining to Charge 3:

7.  Regarding methods of addressing academic dishonesty by students (reporting and sanctions):

            7a.  The OSC web site should put online the standard format of the letter to be sent to students, or several different sample letters; and should include a link for faculty which would include all the information faculty need to report, verify, and learn about penalties for academic dishonesty.

            7b.  The curriculum of the voluntary course in ethical decision-making for students currently being offered through the Office of Student Conduct (see pp. 31-32 below) should be evaluated by the committee.  The committee should work with Sally Morgan, bearing in mind our specific curricular recommendations of several years ago, to design a course that fits both her and our needs.

            7c.  The committee should propose specific language to be added to the conduct code related to retaking of courses.  The Graduate School should be made aware of and take steps to implement our committee’s earlier recommendations regarding the Q course and implement this policy as soon as the grade has been approved for use.  The committee should discuss whether, with these changes, the current policy is adequate.  If there are other issues not addressed by the current policy or by our other recommendations, the committee should identify them and make specific recommendations for Graduate Council consideration.

            7d.  A mechanism should be developed for noting on the student’s transcript actions taken regarding academic dishonesty that does not involve a specific course (e.g., research projects, TA work, etc.).  The permanence of this notation should be treated in the same way as the Q grade for in-class dishonesty.  The Graduate Council should look into this issue and make sure that a consistent policy is in place.

            7e.  The Office of Student Conduct should put in place a mechanism for notifying the home department of students involved in incidents of academic dishonesty.

            7f.  Sally Morgan should be asked to follow up with the Provost to ensure that changes recommended by the committee in the past (regarding the development of sanctioning guidelines to guide faculty in the academic sanction area) are in fact implemented into the Code.

8.  Regarding ways of discouraging academic dishonesty among students:

            8a.  The committee should discuss the importance of having the Provost’s or President’s office address publicly the issue of academic dishonesty, and of establishing how the administration will promote the importance of the issue.

            8b.  As regards the modality of conducting faculty workshops, face-to-face workshops should be scheduled regularly and online options be made available.

            8c.  As regards faculty and student websites on academic dishonesty issues and resources, UNR’s webpage should be revised to include links to other web pages (as indicated in Appendix A, p. 35 below).

9.  Regarding policy clarity and future directions:

            9a.  Based on the help and facilities available to Sally Morgan, a definite timetable should be set up to ensure the implementation of the committee’s earlier recommendation that the University Code of Conduct and Policies should, in separate sections, lay out explicitly the nature of possible academic and administrative sanctions, and distinguish these two types of sanctions clearly.

            9b.  Policy language should include the instruction that the committee should revisit the policy three years after it was enacted to  determine how well or ill it has functioned.


3 Responses to “Academic Standards Charge #3 Recommendations (Discussion)”

  1.   jstrauss Says:

    I’d like the senate to work on these aspects of academic standards, charge 3– academic dishonesty:
    1) build common definitions of what constitutes academic dishonesty, 2) create recommended penalties for various infringements, and 3) build consistency from faculty up through the appeal channels.
    See the recommendations Elliot, I, and others made to COBA – this includes a survey of faculty and students that is very illuminating:

    Judy Strauss

  2.   elliott Says:

    Almost every semester I find some students who have plagiarized parts of their papers from the internet, and I have been using to great effect. I will try the new webcampus facility this next semester, since it will save me money and could become the university’s new standard. I also have cases of students who cheat on exams. I have mostly figured out the rules and figured out standard responses that work for me, and I have a good working relationship with Sally Morgan and the OSC.

    But I often hear complaints from others in my college that their decisions are overruled by OCS, that deadlines are too short and they are not allowed to proceed as they judge best. Faculty tell me they find the process burdensome and too much biased in favor of the student, and they say that they do not bother to do anything about academic dishonesty as a result, and certainly do not want to report these cases to OCS. There is also the problem that we treat these cases individually and confidentially, with the result that we have no consistency across faculty. Some deal with AD harshly, some not at all, with the results that students don’t know what to expect.

    I have no objection to 7a, 7b, 7d, and 7e, and generally support the ideas. On 7c, there are administrative difficulties with the Q grade proposal that may make it hard to implement any time soon, but that does not make it a bad idea.

    On 7f, the executive board has decided to charge all standing committees with reviewing the status of past proposals that received senate approval, so good ideas do not simply fall off our radar screen. If I remember correctly, a few good proposals from the last couple of years might have addressed the concerns of my colleagues, but I am not aware that anything has happened on implementing them. We need to draft and publicize consistent standards and processes, and we need to review our deadlines and processes to make them less burdensome.

    My college had some good ideas that we are trying to implement, if you are interested, but they have not gotten a lot of traction yet as we waited for the university to act first. Another ad-hoc committee is forming again to look into it again, but it sometimes seems to be such a waste of faculty effort.

    I have no particular problem with 8a, 8b, or 8c. Recommendation 9a could be automatically part of the charge for next year’s committee, as I mentioned above, and I like the basic idea of 9b in general, in that we should occasionally review what we implemented to see if it worked, as long as that review is not burdensome.

  3.   sigmangrantm Says:

    You requested input on what issues FS might wish to focus on this year. Given what we heard from Jannet regarding the Health Systems unit, I think we should closely monitor what is being done. I am particularly concerned that there are existing units across campus that should be engaged in overall planning discussions (assuming there will be some) that are not currently part of the HS. For example, in UNCE we have a statewide health and nutrition team that conducts off-campus teaching and research in health-related issues. Similarly, there is a nutrition department within CABNR that is involved with resident education, research and outreach that could contribute. The health issues concerning NV are tremendous (we are in the worst categories for many health parameters) and the potential impact of the HS unit could be huge if approached strategically. I would be interested in working on this issue, if help is needed.

    Is there to be any follow-up regarding the restructuring of the CHHS, particularly to ensure that the students and faculty from the units have not been negatively impacted by the change?

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