Academic Honesty Awareness Week at Adelphi University

Topics: Blog, Spotlight

Adelphi is modern metropolitan university on Long Island with a mix of colleges and professional schools. We have approximately 5,400 undergraduate students and 2,800 graduate students.

Our Committee for Academic Honesty is composed of equal numbers of students and faculty members, along with representatives from key University functions. The Committee is charged to promote an atmosphere of academic honesty, including the development and distribution of materials to promulgate the Code of Academic Honesty. A review of violation data over the past five years indicated that an upswing in academic honesty violations occurs beginning in week 10 of a 15-week semester. The Committee therefore created coordinated programming during week eight of the semester in an effort to raise awareness of academic honesty and the resources available on campus to help students and faculty work together to minimize violations.

During the awareness week, student-focused events are held in the high-traffic area outside our University Center, and have included a ‘Reach Higher’ game involving full-height and half-height basketball goals, a cheaters’ carnival with a dunk-the-cheater tank and ‘most egregious cheater’ display, and an ice cream social with a choice of real or imitation toppings. Faculty-focused events have included local and invited speakers discussing small teaching and plagiarism-proof assignments, along with workshops for new and/or adjunct faculty. Events are consolidated over the middle portion of the day between 11:00 – 2:00, which includes the mandatory no-class time on W 1:00 – 2:00 that is set aside for student activities. The committee itself uses that time slot to hold an outdoor meeting during the event.

Awareness week events are supported by social media, website banner displays, and campus-wide, famous quotation lawn signage. Examples of the latter include “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity…” – Bob Marley, “Anyone who doesn’t take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted with large ones either.” – Albert Einstein, and “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey.

A unique academic honesty message pen was also created as an engaging giveaway and has become very popular with the students. The messages rotate between ‘Plan Ahead to Prevent Cheater’s Dread,’ ‘Academic Integrity Matters,’ ‘Learn to Cite at the Writing Center,’ Academic Honesty Reflects My Values,’ ‘The Truth Shall Make Us Free,’ (the University motto) and ‘Be a Panther not a Cheat-ah’. The panther is the University mascot, and Paws the Adelphi Panther often makes an appearance at our event sometime during the awareness week.

Our first Academic Honesty Awareness Week was held during the spring semester of 2017 and we have now held five events including the most recent one held this past March. The Office of the Provost continues to provide earmarked funding for these events during the fall and spring semesters, with yearly funding equivalent to about $1 per enrolled student.

We’ve already begun planning for our fall 2019 event to be held in mid-October. The theme will be a ‘Cheaters’ Graveyard’ and will engage students from our anthropology club.

About the Author
Brian Stockman is an Associate Professor and Chair of Chemistry at Adelphi University. He has served on the university's Committee for Academic Honesty since 2010 and as its chair since 2014.
css.php