Harvard Cheating Probe Under Way for About 125

While he wouldn’t discuss specifics, Jay Harris, dean of undergraduate education, said school officials believe that electronic communication was part of the apparent rule violations. Students who have been raised in the Internet age may view all kinds of media differently than past generations, he said.

About 125 Harvard University undergraduates are being investigated for cheating on a final exam earlier this year, the most widespread academic misconduct scandal known at the school, college officials said.

All of the students, who were in a class of more than 250, will face hearings before Harvard’s Administrative Board, Jay Harris, dean of undergraduate education at the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based school, said today in an interview.

Harvard professors probed the incident with months of reading through the take-home exams beginning in May, Harris said. Students found to have violated university rules may be required to withdraw from school for a year, Harvard said in a statement.

“These allegations, if proven, represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends,” Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement on the college’s website.

The Administrative Board’s actions are confidential, and Harvard won’t reveal the identity of the students or the name of the course, Harris said. Harvard is using the incident to increase student awareness of the importance of academic integrity, he said.


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