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Duke Cheating

elsijfdlelsijfdl Registered User Posts: 2,369 Senior Member
edited April 2007 in College Search & Selection
from The Chronicle of Higher Education
Monday, April 30, 2007

Cheating Incident Involving 34 Students at Duke Is Business School's
Biggest Ever
By JEFFREY R. YOUNG

In what officials say is the largest reported cheating incident in
the school's history, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business
found that 34 first-year M.B.A. students cheated on a take-home
test in a required course last month.

Though the test was open book, the professor, whom business-school
officials would not identify, noticed an uncanny level of
similarity in many of the answers. The school's Judicial Board
conducted hearings and found 33 students guilty of inappropriate
collaboration on the test, and one student guilty of lying. The
hearings exonerated four other students.

Nine of the convicted students are facing expulsion, and 15 students
are to be suspended from the school for one year and will get a
failing grade in the course. In other punishments, nine students
will receive a failing grade in the course, and one will receive a
failing grade on the exam. The students are likely to appeal.

A national survey released last year found that more than half of
graduate business students -- 56 percent -- admitted to cheating at
least once in the past academic year, compared with 47 percent of
graduate students in nonbusiness programs (The Chronicle, September
19, 2006). Academic researchers debate why such a pattern exists at
business schools and what effect that might have on workplace
ethics at a time when corporate officials are under pressure to
play more strictly by the rules. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,
which was passed by Congress after a wave of corporate-accounting
scandals, mandated stricter governance and financial-reporting
rules for public companies.

At Duke's business school, the honor code requires the chairman of
the Judicial Board to release a brief summary of board hearings. In
the letter about this incident, dated Friday, the board's chairman,
Gavan J. Fitzsimons, said that "while the honor code requires that
the Judicial Board members keep the details of the case
confidential, you should note that the Judicial Board considered a
great deal of evidence, including extenuating circumstances."

"I hope this saddening situation serves as a strong reminder of how
much honor means to each and every one of us," wrote Mr.
Fitzsimons, who is a professor of marketing and psychology.

Mike Hemmerich, associate dean for marketing and communications,
said in an interview on Sunday that the incident was "very unusual"
for the school. "In the past, we haven't had this number of
honor-code violations to any extent," he said. "The number of
honor-code violations in any given year is generally in the low
single digits."

Every classroom at the business school contains a sign with the
preamble from its honor code: "Duke University's Fuqua School of
Business is a community of scholars and learners, committed to the
principles of honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, and respect for
others." Incoming students are also required to take a weeklong
course at the beginning of the academic year that focuses on
leadership and ethical issues.

"Fuqua depends on every member of its community to uphold the code
in both spirit and action," Douglas T. Breeden, dean of the
business school, said in a written statement. "This is why we
require, as a condition for enrollment, that all students
acknowledge their personal acceptance of the code."

Mr. Hemmerich said the school had no specific plans to change its
efforts to encourage academic honesty. "We're an educational
institution, so we learn from experiences good and bad and try to
take lessons from them and incorporate them ... to improve our
methods," he said. "This obviously will be another element in our
refinement process that we have ongoing."

James R. Bailey, a professor of leadership at the George Washington
University School of Business, said in an interview on Sunday that
it is possible that business schools, by the nature of the material
they teach, breed a certain amount of academic dishonesty. Mr.
Bailey is editor of Academy of Management Learning & Education,
which dedicated an issue last September to ethics in business
education.

"Business schools generally have a culture of competition and
self-interest," he said. "In our theory classes, we're teaching
theories of advancing one's self-interest."

"All the formal mechanisms in the world -- honor codes, having
everybody read it during classes, an ethics class -- can't overcome
culture," he said.

Besides, he pointed out, if students are collaborating on a
take-home test, they may be building useful skills -- even if it is
against the rules. ("The professor's asking for it when you give a
take-home exam," he said.)

"They were enterprising, they took initiative, and they worked
together," he said. "Aren't those all the qualities we're trying to
encourage of business school students?"
Post edited by elsijfdl on

Replies to: Duke Cheating

  • hazmathazmat User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 8,435 Senior Member
    34 first-year M.B.A. students

    This is a graduate school post.
  • Cards4LifeCards4Life Registered User Posts: 1,211 Senior Member
    Not related, but how do you pronounce "Fuqua"? Fook-wah? Because that was NOT my first guess.
  • elsijfdlelsijfdl Registered User Posts: 2,369 Senior Member
    This is a graduate school post.

    thanks, i always wondered why i could never find out the requirements for an MBA major in my undergraduate course catalog.
  • redcrimblueredcrimblue Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    on top of lacrosse scandal (not the crime alleged but the admitted underlying conduct) this is not good p.r. for the school, nor is it a particularly heartening portrait of business ethics
  • ckmets13ckmets13 Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    youre kidding, right? College students drinking surprises you?
  • redcrimblueredcrimblue Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    If you consider a university team of white boys from wealthy public schools and prep schools hiring black strippers from the neighboring town to be "students drinking" then I expect everyone from the administration on down at Duke would strongly disagree with you. Duke has rightly punished the offenders.

    The absence of a felony conviction does not mitigate the underlying conduct. I am not so naive as to believe this has not happened elsewhere, but I doubt it ever will again at any school that cares about its students or its reputation. To equate it to "drinking" is the type of myopic knee jerk reaction born of discrimination and quasi-elitism that Duke has so rightly condemned.
  • waiting_waitingwaiting_waiting Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    wow. sounds like my school, albeit its a small private h/s. similar situation. ecxcept our school doesnt do anything to "cheaters"
  • ckmets13ckmets13 Registered User Posts: 2,294 Senior Member
    this is not a class issue, stop making it out to be one.
  • choking_victimchoking_victim Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    "If you consider a university team of white boys from wealthy public schools and prep schools hiring black strippers from the neighboring town to be "students drinking" then I expect everyone from the administration on down at Duke would strongly disagree with you. Duke has rightly punished the offenders."

    Why the need to point them out as white boys and black strippers?
  • redcrimblueredcrimblue Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    Because it is true.

    And because the hiring of the strippers who performed for these boys was followed by racial invective on both sides, starting with a lacrosse player who filled an email with racial epithets and class-based remarks. Without his scurrilous writing, the racial and socioeconomic aspects of the situation would not have been nearly as predominant. In his email, the Duke player threatened to kill the "b******" and "cut their skin off while c****** in my duke issue spandex." He also claimed that two other Duke players joined him in this plan.
  • elsijfdlelsijfdl Registered User Posts: 2,369 Senior Member
    aren't you amazed by the 56% of MBA students who admit to cheating? Think of those who "don't consider what they do cheating."

    although i think a lot of the point of the MBA program is group dynamics and group education
  • SweetLax88SweetLax88 Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    Redcrim, they're innocent. Get over it.
  • warblersrulewarblersrule Super Moderator Posts: 9,953 Super Moderator
    Redcrimblue is just glad to see another incriminating article besides certain nameless institutions and plagiarism. ;)
  • elsijfdlelsijfdl Registered User Posts: 2,369 Senior Member
    i don't personally see anything wrong with participating in a willing market... stripping...

    if you really want to take up issue take it up with the fact that girls who attend NC State are more inclined to strip than girls who go to duke, but then again, duke has higher SAT scores...

    and as far as race is concerned, both sides were uttering racial epithets, that doesn't mean it was ok for either side
This discussion has been closed.