Partial Text of October 26, 2004 Letter from Gregory S. Blimling, Vice President for Student Affairs, (copy to Senate Chairperson Cotter) regarding Formation of a Committee to Review Rutgers' Policy on Academic Integrity:

[Note bolded (emphasis added) text in penultimate paragraph referring to University Senate.]

Sterling Bland, Associate Dean, Graduate School
Joan Carbone, Associate Dean, Rutgers College
Dennis Benson, Associate Dean, MGSA
Mary Beth Daisey, Associate Provost Student Life, Camden
Nicole Smith, Student Representative, New Brunswick
John Gyenfie, Student Representative, Newark
Leslie Fishbein, Associate Professor, American Studies
Allen Woll, Professor of History, Camden

Dear __:

I am writing with regard to the Rutgers Policy on Academic Integrity and to request your assistance with a University-wide review of this Policy.  The background and details to my request are as follows.

In April 2002, the Committee on Student Conduct completed a review of University student disciplinary policies as required by the University Code of Student Conduct (UCSC) and issued a report (CSC Report).  The CSC Report calls for the University "to charge a committee to undertake review of all campus "Academic Integrity Policies", to recommend changes and to suggest implementation strategies."  Formal response to the CSC Report was delayed by the changes in University administration.  Upon accepting my responsibilities as Vice President for Student Affairs in July 2004, President McCormick and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Phillip Furmanski, asked me to review the CSC Report.  In consultation with President McCormick and Executive Vice President Furmanski, I have accepted many of the recommendations in the report, including the recommendation concerning the Policy on Academic Integrity noted above.

I am very pleased to inform you that Donald L. McCabe, Professor of Management and Global Business has agreed to chair a University-wide committee to undertake a review of our policies, procedures and practices related to academic integrity.  Professor McCabe has done extensive research concerning student cheating among college and high school students, is the Founding President of the Center for Academic Integrity based at Duke University and is a frequent commentator and consultant on the topic nationally.

I am appointing a small committee of students, faculty and staff from all three campuses of the University to work with Professor McCabe in undertaking this review.  I have consulted with Dr. Furmanski, the Provosts from each Newark and Camden and with Professor McCabe.  You have been identified to me as a prospective appointee.  In undertaking its review, I am asking the committee to consider all of the following:

1. How should Rutgers define academic integrity (i.e. what conduct should the policy require and/or prohibit?)?  These issues are currently addressed in Section II of the existing policy.

2. What options should be available to sanction violations of academic integrity?  Section III of our current policy establishes four different levels of violations and recommends typical sanctions for each level.  The committee should consider whether or not to retain this structure and whether there are additional or alternative sanction options that should be recommended by the policy.

3. How should possible violations of academic integrity be adjudicated?  For example, should alleged violations be adjudicated under the Student Code of Conduct as under the existing policy?  Alternatively should faculty have an opportunity to resolve some allegations directly with the outcomes simply to be reported elsewhere?  Is there a different adjudication model or a combination of models that would best serve Rutgers?

4. How should Rutgers educate faculty and students about our academic integrity policy, encourage students to value and maintain appropriate standards of academic honesty and provide faculty with information on best practices to promote student honesty?

Mr. Brian T. Rose, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs will represent my office on the committee.  Ms. Sheila Fleishman, Associate Director for Compliance, Student Policy and Judicial Affairs will provide staff support to the committee.  You will find a tentative committee roster attached.  I would also expect that the committee will openly and actively consult with faculty and student leaders and other relevant community members outside of the committee membership in fulfilling its charge.  I am hopeful the committee will be able to complete its work prior to the end of the current academic year.  Should the process result in proposed major changes to the current Policy on Academic Integrity, those changes would be subject to the consideration and approval of the University Senate as required by the existing policy.

A full review of our policies and practices concerning academic integrity is long overdue.  I hope you will agree to participate on this most important committee.  Please confirm your willingness to serve by contacting…