Daily Israel Report

Dozens Suspended in 'Unprecedented' Harvard Cheating Scandal

Dozens of students at Harvard University have been suspended and disciplined in one of its largest cheating scandals to date.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 2/3/2013, 3:43 PM

Harvard University logo
Harvard University logo
Reuters

Dozens of students at Harvard University have been suspended and disciplined in one of its largest cheating scandals to date.

About 70 of 279 students in a government class were suspected of cheating on a take-home final exam given last May.

While the university did not note the specific number of students who will be disciplined, administrators said that “nearly half” of the class was suspected and would have their cases reviewed by the Administrative Board.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences dean Michael Smith wrote in a letter to faculty members and students on Friday that "somewhat more than half" of the cases under investigation ended with students being required "to withdraw from the college for a period of time."

"Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action," Smith wrote in a campus-wide email.

When the scandal first became public in August, Harvard said that as many as 125 students were suspected of helping sharing information on a final exam.

The university said a large number of undergraduates "may have inappropriately collaborated on answers, or plagiarized classmates' responses, on the final exam for the course."

Harvard, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the most exclusive universities in the world, with students paying about $63,000 a year to attend after winning a place in a highly competitive admissions process.

Smith called the scale of the cheating incident "unprecedented" and said reforms were being drawn up to "promote academic integrity and a deeper understanding of it within our community."

"We all can do better," he wrote in the email.