Ethics Quote of the Week: Harvard Dean Jay Harris

“We always stress academic integrity with our students. It’s very hard to explain to someone that this raises ethical concerns and that it’s not OK.”

—-Jay Harris, Dean of Undergraduate Education at Harvard College, where about 125 students in a Government course are under investigation for cheating on a take-home final. Similarities in the tests handed in for Government 1310 ( Introduction to Congress) raised suspicions of copying or collaboration. It is the largest cheating scandal in Harvard history.

Wait…what?

Yeah, right.

Harvard stresses academic integrity, but about half a class cheated as soon as some lazy professor was willing to trust the students with a take-home exam? Well, you’re not doing a very good job stressing integrity,are you, Dean? But why does Harvard have to stress integrity—aren’t these supposed to be the best and the brightest? Doesn’t the nation’s most prestigious college only admit students with integrity, or did they cheat to get into Harvard, too? Isn’t part of “best” being honest, and doesn’t “brightest” mean “doesn’t have to cheat”? I’m so confused!

Please help us understand, Dean Harris! Continue reading