Week 6: The VT Graduate Honor System, Part II

I think “The Lab – Interactive Movie” exercise provided some good insights on various situational factors, including some potential challenges that one may face when dealing with suspected academic integrity issues. The line between personal affiliations and professional responsibilities may sometimes play into how we react and address critical issues relating to academic dishonesty. For instance, in the case of the plagiarized Ph.D. nursing dissertation, there is a strong personal relationship between the former interim provost and the former president of Chicago State University, and in “The Lab” exercise, there is a close relationship between the principal investigator and researcher who committed acts of research misconduct. These relationships may sometimes make others reluctant to report cases of potential misconduct.

In addition, I strongly believe faculty members are more than just course instructors. They are mentors and facilitators, and as such, must act as a reliable resource for students, to help check for plagiarism and check the work of students for improprieties. I think there is a general lack of, or faculty non-committal to student mentorship.

My opinion is that all faculty members should have an inherent student mentoring responsibility. I feel like some issues of academic dishonesty, especially, unintentionally plagiarizing by students, such as, inadequate citation and improper attribution, could be addressed if more faculty members commit and exercise their mentorship responsibilities to students. Ideally, faculty have to proof and approve the final written research of students, building student confidence and promoting academic success. To be clear, the student-faculty mentorship is build on a genuine commitment on both students and faculty. Overall, the teaching of ethics and academic integrity must not be limited to graduate school only but must start at the undergraduate level.