Task Force Examines Academic Integrity at Mason

Posted: November 1, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Emily Yaghmour

Provost Peter Stearns has joined Karen Rosenblum, vice president of university life, to establish a task force on academic integrity. “The charge to the task force,” Stearns said in a recent memo to the faculty, “is to consider the state of academic honesty at George Mason, to assess the effectiveness of the Honor Code and its implementation, and to develop programs to involve faculty and students in understanding the issues and acting to enhance academic integrity throughout the university.”

To get a better sense of the condition of academic integrity at the university, the task force is composing a survey to distribute to a representative sample of George Mason faculty members, says Jim Fletcher, Philosophy and Religious Studies, who has agreed to serve as task force chair. Fletcher expects distribution of the survey to begin this week and hopes to hear back from at least 10 percent of the faculty.

The survey will seek to determine how aware faculty members are of the procedures, as set forth in the university’s Honor Code, for reporting academic violations. It will ask faculty members about their experiences with academic violations at George Mason and how they have dealt with them. The survey also will ask faculty members to share suggestions they have for fostering academic integrity.

Fletcher sees the mandate of the task force to be broader than simply determining the extent to which students are cheating and how to stop them. He believes the larger role that the task force can play is to foster dialogue at the university about what academic integrity means and how to promote it.

Fletcher encourages anyone who has thoughts and suggestions on the issue of academic integrity to contact him at jfletche@gmu.edu.

See the full story in the December issue of the Mason Gazette.

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