Harvard University announced today it is investigating about 125 undergraduates accused of cheating on a take-home final exam in the spring.
About half the students in a class of more than 250 are suspected of either working together to come up with answers, or copying off of each other, according to reports by the Harvard Gazette.
While the school did not name the course, The Harvard Crimson reported this afternoon that the students were enrolled in “Introduction to Congress,” taught by Assistant Professor of Government, Matthew Platt.
In a letter to students, Jay Harris, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate education, said he wanted to alert students to “deeply disturbing allegations of academic dishonesty” and to remind them of their duty to “embrace our ideals” of academic integrity.
“More is necessary, though, than simply knowing rules and refining practices. We must all work together to build a community that fully embraces the ethos of integrity that is the foundation of all learning and discovery. Without integrity, there can be no genuine achievement,” Harris said.
The students were instructed not to collaborate on the take-home exam, however groups of students appear to have worked together through email and other means of communication to come up with responses to short questions and an essay assignment, according to the reports.
In the coming weeks, the school’s administrative board will meet with each student whose work is in question, seek to understand all the relevant facts, and determine whether any faculty rules were violated, Harris said.