Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Defining Academic Fraud and It's Consequences

A topic that recently has come to my attention and that I haven't written very much about lately is academic fraud in it's many guises. Some recent research into the subject happened upon an excellent definition from the 2010Academic Fraud Today: Its Social Causes and Institutional Responses by Richard A. Epstein journal article.

"Academic Fraud involves a deliberate effort to deceive and is distinguished from an honest mistake and honest differences in judgment or interpretation. Academic fraud is defined as plagiarism; fabrication or falsification of evidence, data, or results; the suppression of relevant evidence or data; the conscious misrepresentation of sources; the theft of ideas; or the intentional misappropriation of the research work or data of others."
A related article from The Prospect titled, "Why not to exaggerate on your scholarship applications" by Katlyn Tolly includes a section called Don’t Commit the Crime if You Can’t Do the Time.

"When it comes to scholarship or college applications, lying is taken very seriously. According to the Voice of America website, Kara Jo Humphrey, an admission counselor at Truman University quoted, “If an outright lie is detected, the student has already agreed through signing the application for admission that they accept the grounds for dismissal from the institution and the inability to participate in any and all other privileges that go along with attendance. Other consequences may bar them from ever applying/being accepted to attend the school at a later date.” In other words, if you’re caught lying, the school has the right to expel you from the university or worse. You now have a permanent label attached to your name and record as “the student who lied on their application.” It may be difficult for you to make a comeback in the college scene."
And in a fairly recent case reported in The New York Times, Yale Student is Accused of Lying on Application by Karen W. Arenson the consequences can reach from beyond mere academia.

"To Yale admissions officials, Akash Maharaj was an appealing prospect: He had earned straight A’s at Columbia University. Now he wanted to transfer. Yale not only admitted him; it gave him a $32,000 scholarship as well.
Since then, however, much of his application information has turned out to be false, Yale said, and he is facing charges in Connecticut of larceny and forgery. "

We're going to explore this topic in much more detail in the coming weeks.

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