Students in the College of Business Administration are under investigation after a group was allegedly caught violating academic integrity.
Several classes were reported to have participated in some form of cheating.
According to ACU’s academic integrity and honesty policy, examples of academic dishonesty include acquiring answers for any assigned work or examination from any source not authorized by the instructor for the specific assignment, gaining access to the content of any examination prior to its being given and informing any person(s) of the contents of any examination prior to its being given.
Students who violate the academic integrity policy are subject to various consequences including, but not limited to, being dropped from the corresponding class, receiving a failing grade or redoing the assignment or exam with a penalized grade.
All violations of academic integrity result in a three-phase response from the university.
The first phase involves an investigation that determines if the action was done within the department. The second phase determines consequences, and the third phase determines how the incident is reported to the Office of Student Life and takes a look at the student’s previous history.
Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of COBA and professor of marketing, is in charge of the pending investigation.
“There was a situation where we’ve had a few professors discover some cheating,” Lytle said. “We don’t tolerate cheating – at all.”
Lytle said it was just a coincidence that multiple classes were caught in the act at the same time.
“It’s not a rigged scandal or anything like that,” he said. “It all just happened to come to our attention at the same time.”
Lytle said they are still in the discussion stages of what steps to take next. As of now, students are being dealt with one-by-one by faculty members according to whose class they are enrolled in.
“We’re determining the consequences as well as administering counseling and advice on a student-by-student basis,” he said.
Consequences given depend on what agreement is reached between the professor of the class and the student.
“There’s a code of conduct in the syllabus, so we go by that to determine what happens to the student,” Lytle said. “Consequences are typically determined on a faculty-by faculty basis.”
One concern Lytle has is administering punishment fairly.
“You find yourself wanting to tighten up, but you don’t want to penalize the honest students,” he said. “We and the faculty are working with students to see that justice is served.”
Moving forward, plans to help prevent the issue from occurring again are in place.
“We’re trying to determine why the problem happened and how we are going to remedy the problem,” Lytle said. “We want to figure out how we make a difference moving forward.”
Lytle plans on emphasizing the issue at the first departmental Chapel at the beginning of the fall semester.