Friday, a Harvard exam cheating investigation led to 60 students receiving discipline for academic dishonesty. Officials at the Ivy League school said dozens were forced to withdraw over violations of a professor's exam instructions. What's more, the Harvard University cheating scandal implicated as many as 125 students.
Citing a Feb. 1 report, the SFGate said university officials announced sweeping discipline to a number of students after the scandal first broke last year.
The cheating probe at Harvard centered on an exam taken by students, many of whom heard the class on "Introduction to Congress" was an "easy way" to get a good mark.
Last year, a teaching assistant observed something out of order when the test was administered last spring. No details were given in terms of what the assistant found, but it is likely a large number of students had the same or similar responses on the test.
An investigation began into possible cheating on the Harvard exam. And as months went by, news about the scandal widened.
In the end, 60 students were told to withdraw from the school, about an equal amount received academic probation, which is equivalent to a slap on the wrist and the remaining students were exonerated.
Perhaps, just as shocking as the cheating scandal at Harvard was news that high-profile athletes from several campus sports were among the alleged cheaters.
In wake of the Harvard exam cheating probe, the University dean is trying to restore a since of credibility in the school's reputation. Obviously, as a premiere academic organization, any action to help strengthen community, cultural and social solidarity is warranted.
However, a prominent business leader spoke out against the sanctions and attacked the manner in which school officials handled the matter.
Thomas Stemberg, Staples founder, a graduate of Harvard, whose son is a current student, spoke out fiercely against the investigation.
"If you challenge the entire faculty at the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Law School to come up with a process that took more time, cost more money, embarrassed more innocent students, and vindicated guilty faculty ... that could not have outdone the process that took place," Stemberg said.
At issue here is whether or not the professor, who administered the exam, was explicit in the instructions given to students.
While the directions clearly prohibited partnering with professors, teaching fellows "and others," it was considered an "open collaboration" test.
Opponents of the sanctions say the instructions were vague and the students were punished unfairly. However, others believe the current culture of exam cheating at Harvard University and other prominent colleges is wide-spread and not all that surprising.
Justin in case you're wondering, here's some famous people who are graduates of Harvard: Tommy Lee Jones, President John F. Kennedy, Matt Damon, Ashley Judd, President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.