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February 02, 2013

The Harvard cheating scandal winds down [Purp]

Collaboration / Collusion
Background stories here and here.


Last year's Harvard cheating scandal, after protracted navel gazing by the institution and childish rationalizations by some of the students involved, is apparently winding down to a decidedly tawdry and unsatisfactory conclusion. This resolution lacks catharsis for the institution and avoids imposing genuine accountability on the students involved.

While many students involved, by any generally accepted standards outside Harvard walls, obviously “cheated”, none were permanently expelled and sent off to wander the wastelands of less prestigious institutions in shame. Indeed, one gets the sense there was no shame involved at all here, only irritation over the inconvenience of being caught (Which is disturbing in itself. Some Psych grad student could probably write a pretty good PhD thesis about this incident)

One does not maintain the high standards of an institution by debasing them and allowing those who tarnished them to remain or return a year hence. These “students” were adults, who made adult choices, not 3 year old children who haven't developed enough brain function to distinguish between right and wrong.


  • The cheating in question involved a final exam.

  • The exam was “take home”.

Some of the students claimed that the rules for the exam were unclear since the rule prohibiting collaborations was only one sentence long, and since they were accustomed to working collaboratively manufacturing group generated answers for a final exam was OK.

On its face this is a preposterous defense of the sort one might expect 3 year old to offer after being caught with a shirt full of cookie crumbs, chocolate stained fingers, and an empty cookie jar hidden in their bedroom closet. Seriously, Zamora's Twinkie defense was more robust and credible. I'm sorry, but being pathetic and whiny is not exculpatory, its just pathetic and whiny.

[PUT MORE RANTZ HERE] ...I'm done ranting, these people disgust me.

Integrity is like virginity - easy to lose, hard to regain.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:42 PM

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