Hillsdale College faculty are in the process of revising the school’s Policy on Academic Honor.
With developments in technology, the internet has made cheating easier than ever before, necessitating changes to the policy, Professor of Business Law David Paas said. Additionally, since plagiarism is the single offence addressed in the policy, the faculty is looking to change it so that it differentiates between minor and major infractions, giving leeway to honest mistakes, he said.
“My opinion is it’s time to make changes,” Paas said. “We weren’t taking into account minor infractions.”
Hillsdale faculty has written a proposal to alter the policy, and it is currently in the Educational Policy Committee for a rewrite. Once it passes the committee, the entire faculty can vote on the proposal. Mark Nussbaum, professor of chemistry and former dean of faculty, said if the faculty approves the change, the college Board of Trustees will be the ultimate deciding step of the policy’s adoption.
Provost David Whalen said at an institution with rigorous academics like Hillsdale, cheating is a temptation and faculty must be vigilant.
Although the policy does outline sanctions, its purpose is to encourage students to show integrity in their coursework, Whalen said.
“There are positive and negative ways to remove the temptation,” he said. “The positive way is to move students to see and appreciate the value of academic honesty.”