Faculty flames cheat sheet: Advice to the up-and-coming college student: Don’t try to tell professors what to do.
After student leaders, along with a broad-based university committee, spent two years coming up with a draft policy to discourage cheating and plagiarism on campus, Chico State University’s Academic Senate on April 6 looked ready to throw the seven-page document in the circular file.
Thomas Whitcher, the Associated Students commissioner of university affairs who presented the draft Academic Integrity Policy, said it was an effort to create a new, formal standard of ethics for the university to live by.
But several professors said the document was unclear, lacked key definitions and above all placed too much responsibility on faculty members and infringed on their academic freedom.
“I’m really disappointed at what is coming forward here,” said Prof. Jim Postma. “Students should have more at stake than faculty.”
The draft calls for, among other things, asking faculty members to vary exam formats to discourage cheating, explain on syllabi what study aids are allowed and report suspected cheating.
Prof. Marc Siegall worried these things would take a lot of time and also put ideas in potential cheaters’ heads. The idea of having faculty members spell out what is permissible “is ridiculous,” Siegall said.
In the end, the Senate voted, with A.S. President Michael Dailey abstaining, to refer the document to its executive committee.
Let the cuts begin: Chico State’s Associated Students has struck a deal with the university, agreeing that if the proposed A.S. fee increase passes, student leaders will cut $50,000 from the A.S. budget.
In a list presented to the Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) by Chela Patterson, the staff member who directs the activity fee, and A.S. Executive Vice President Adam Dondro, $60,174 in cuts was suggested, adding to the $28,456 already cut from the student government office budget this year.
They’d cut least $1,000 from programs ranging from rape crisis intervention to Earth Month.
But the most contentious idea was to forgo the annual 3 percent increase typically given to A.S. programs such as the Children’s Center to fund growth or salary increases. This idea irked A.S. President Michael Dailey, especially since students are being told that, if they pass the fee increase, they’ll preserve programs. “We’re lying to the students if we don’t give the 3 percent,” he said.
As a stop-gap solution, the GAC voted to OK the 3-percent increases, but only if the fee increase passes.
Dam you, DWR: The California Department of Water Resources threw the county a screwball last week when it announced that participants in ongoing Oroville Dam relicensing discussions must sign confidentiality agreements to stay at the table.
The decree is bad news for those working to gain concessions from the state and may be a violation of the Brown Act. Bruce Alpert, the county’s top lawyer and head negotiator on the project, apparently will defy the state and refuse to sign the agreement.
If the state sticks to its guns, it may decide to withhold settlement reports from entities that don’t sign, giving those that do a leg up in the process.