Plagiarist, or just a student who hasn't made up an excuse yet?

Prof. C is "hesitant" to let me give the student a zero on the paper below. His involvement in grading has so far been nil, and I imagine he's afraid failing a student after the drop deadline will reflect poorly on his evaluations.

From his e-mail, "If she immediately comes clean and gives you a credible reason for her action, high F would be in order (you make the call, perhaps a 50)." I responded to ask what exactly qualifies as a "credible reason" for copying and pasting four pages of text from nine different websites - no word back yet.


Theo said...

At my school, there is a university-wide policy that academic misconduct does not lie in the hands of the professor. All instances must be reported to the university where a formal hearing process occurs. If a professor does not report all instances, the professor herself faces a hearing process to determine the appropriate sanctions.

If a student is found not in violation, all records of the instance are destroyed and the student returns to the university. If a student is found to be in violation and she is charged with something as egregious as plagiarism, the student is either suspended or dismissed from the university. In either case, the student is expected to immediately evacuate all campus dorm facilities. If the student fails to leave campus within a day, she is escorted from campus by campus security.

With regard to grades, plagiarism carries with it an E (that's what everyone else calls an F) in the entire course (and a 0 on that assignment, though that really doesn't matter at that point).

In fact, if the student drops the course immediately *after* the ruling, the university re-enrolls the student and assigns the failing E grade. (though if the student anticipates being found in violation and drops the course before the end of the process, there are no grade consequences).

So from what I understand, that's pretty serious.

So I don't know if that helps. Maybe you could convince the professor that if the student was going to a different school, that student would be out of housing right now... And your professor wants to give her a 50. That's pretty generous, relatively speaking.

Juan Dixon's Number 1 Fan said...

The fraud probably sees some of himself in her, and hence is nervous.

What excuse could she have? "I was so stressed out I forgot to remove the hyperlinks?" "I didn't know cutting and pasting 2/3 of my paper was plagiarism?"

I've dealt with plagiarists and irresponsible profs in the past - document everything, and do what you think is right. Coleman always backed me, and I imagine that both halves half of the current administration will back you.

Mister Vertigo said...

J.Bro, does your school have a policy like Theo's? It would be very suprising to me if you didn't. I would think a school like yours would have a zero-tolerance policy in place in regards to plagiarism. I know if I had attended a school like yours and I got caught for plagiarism, I would expect to have VERY harsh consequences.

Spice said...

I will write more later, but suffice it to say that we definitely do _not_ have a zero-tolerance policy regarding plagiarism at UW!

J.Bro said...

Sadly, Spice is right about UW's plagiarism policy. I don't want to steal her thunder, but I'll give you the teaser and say that it's a system that very unfriendly to TAs and more than accomodating for cheaters.

Juan Dixon's Number 1 Fan said...

While the University administration doesn't like to back people on plagiarism - it might interfere with alumni fundraising if they did - the department is pretty good about it. And given the general dislike for Prof. C within the higher echelons, this could work to your advantage.

Ms. A said...

All I can say about plagerism is that if your going to use is do it right. Dont be stupid about it.