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Stanford Finds Cheating

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Hoover Tower seen through the arches of Memorial Square at Stanford University

Gary Reyes/San Jose Mercury News

Allegations of cheating at Stanford University have more than doubled in the past decade, with the largest number of violations involving computer science students.

In 10 years, the number of cases investigated by the university's Judicial Panel has climbed from 52 to 123.

Stanford, one of only 100 U.S. campuses with an "honor code," established its code in 1921 to uphold academic integrity by prohibiting plagiarism, copying work and getting outside help. Penalties for violations include denied credit for a class, a rejected thesis or a one-quarter suspension from the university. Students also pledge to report cheaters and do honest work without being policed.

"There's been a very significant increase," although the vast majority of the school's 19,000 students are honest, said Chris Griffith, chief of the Judicial Panel. More men are reported than women, and more undergraduates than graduates.

"Some of it is due to an increase in dishonesty," she said, "while some is due to an increase in reporting by faculty."

The findings came from new data presented by Griffith at a meeting of Stanford faculty at the academic senate. Although computer science students represent 6.5 percent of Stanford's student body, last year those students accounted for 23 percent of the university's honor code violators.

From San Jose Mercury News
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