Meeting casts spotlight on academic integrity

A full-day retreat brought together academics, administrators and student leaders Friday to discuss issues surrounding academic integrity.

The event was organized by the office of student and international affairs.

“I pick a theme each year for the purpose of giving the staff in my area a chance to engage with the campus,” said Clayton Smith, vice-provost, students and international.

He said Friday’s session, which included an update on the Academic Integrity Review Action Plan and group discussion of related issues, provided a chance to take stock.

“We know we must check in with the campus community to get a sense of how we’re doing,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for a look back as well as a look forward.”

Dr. Smith noted the conversations ranged from efforts to educate students and faculty about their obligations regarding academic integrity to proposed changes to the investigation and enforcement procedures.

“The retreat is highly interactive, with the small group discussions really the heart of the day,” Smith said.

At the end, he said, there was broad agreement to focus on enhancing academic integrity education efforts and developing sanctions that teach students more about the importance of doing their own work. To that end, he hopes the university will move to a model of investigating minor offenses within academic units while moving major infractions to university judicial panels.