Skip to comments.NYU Professor Catches 20% Of His Students Cheating, And He's The One Who Pays For It
Posted on 07/20/2011 8:25:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Panagiotis Ipeirotis, a computer science professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, recently shared in a blog post that he caught a bunch of his students cheating last fall, but says he will never do it again because the school punished him financially for it (via Bloomberg Businessweek).
He found many cases of cheating through Turnitin, which compares documents to a giant database of sources in order to detect plagiarism.
Some of the students had blatantly cheated, and Ipeirotis confronted the entire class about it by email. By the end of the semester, 22 of the 108 students in his class had admitted to cheating on assignments. He gave those that plagiarized bad grades.
When it came time to fill out teacher evaluations, the students hit their professor hard, and his average rating went down about a point. As a result, the newly-tenured professor received the lowest annual salary increase he has ever gotten, and the school specifically cited the lower evaluation score, he says.
Here's what Ipeirotis had to say about the whole experience on his blog:
Was it worth it? Absolutely not.
Not only I paid a significant financial penalty for doing the right thing (was I?) but I was also lectured by some senior professors that I should change slightly my assignments from year to year." (Thanks for the suggestion, buddy, this is exactly how I detected the cheaters.) ...
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
His final statement in the blog caught my eye:
“Will I pursue cheating cases in the future? Never, ever again!”
(These are students who will be our future industry leaders)
Why he decided to expose it through a blog post instead of going to the administration is beyond me. Unless he felt the administration would take a blind eye to it all. But even then, it would have been the right approach.
It’s a shame Professor Panagiotis Ipeirotis mishandled this so badly. He should have stood up proudly for what he did, explained why the kids were better off being caught now than continuing to think their behavior was acceptable, and said he did the right thing and that ethics mattered more than pay (because character does matter more than dollars). As the whine was stated in his blog, he was implicitly endorsing their conduct when he implied that the effect on his pay mattered more than the underlying values, just as the students believed the effect on their grade mattered more than honor.
He’s just as morally corrupt as the students. He’s not willing to stand by his morals when it costs him financially. Instead, he caved to the corrupt system. So, how is he any better?
Cheap whore will sell his morals down the drain for a slightly larger salary increase.
He deserves the students he's got.
Thank you. I concur.
I am lucky that when ever I caught cheating in my classes, my superiors stood behind what ever decision I made, including failing 12 out of 28 students.
I don’t know if I’d be able to work in a school that didn’t.
The Catch-22 in the modern American university system is that professors are judged by their customers. In almost all other cases this is a good thing, as the customer is in the best position to judge the quality of goods and services purchased from a vendor. In education, however, students want As, whether they deserve them or not. The evals a professor gets often tracks the grade distribution pretty closely. As a result, professors who hand out As are rewarded (with tenure and promotion) for keeping the customers happy. This provides a dis-incentive for professors to hold a student’s feet to the fire.
A better way would be to:
1. Factor in evaluations of employers who hire graduates. Are they happy with them? Do they continually come back to the school to hire?
2. Have the graduates fill out survey at every year after they graduate (for 5 consecutive years) to rate a professor. Often a “hard”, but effective professor is better appreciated years later than during the actual class.
Both of the above are problematic, however, as they don’t provide the timely feedback needed for personnel decisions. Likewise, peer evaluation (from the same Dept) is often useless.
And, yes, I am a college professor too.
Now that he has publicly stated that he cannot be bothered to uphold (what should be) the standards of his profession and the elementary ethics our society should require, he is part of the problem.
Not to forget that he has publicly asserted that the “cost” to him in whatever salary increase he thinks he lost represents his “price” for ignoring cheating.... i.e., for that amount of money (or possibly less) he would rather ignore the cheating.
RE: So, how is he any better?
He’s not. He prefers the security of his tenure and his comfortable salary than to rock the boat (much like a lot of our politicians everywhere).
This professor then shows his foolishness by posting his thoughts in a BLOG instead of confronting the students head-on or informing the administration.
If someone in the administration of NYU ever reads that blog or even this thread ( it is now PUBLIC on the internet ), He/She OUGHT to do something about this mass cheating.
If this culture of cheating continues without anything being done about it, it will be the end of NYU as we know it ( or what’s left of it ).
Maybe not the best way of handling this. If the students admitted cheating, then they at least have a conscience. I would have given them a chance to redo so that their belated honesty wasn’t merely punished. Now, the real problem is the students who cheated and didn’t come forward.
I graduated from NY (I O )U and am embarrassed for the university. He should have gone directly to the administration about those caught cheating. They should have been expelled from the school (so that MY degree is not tainted by this). At the least, those who were caught cheating should not have been allowed to evaluate the professor (kind of like the criminals running the prison, no?) Instead, we have whiney kids caught doing what they may well have been doing all throughout their education and not for one minute willing to deal with the consequences of their own actions.
In my view, the professor should have gotten the biggest raise of his career—it means a) he was auditing the students’ work carefully and b) valuing integrity/honesty and imposing consequence on short-cutting/cheating.
It’s really very sad that he sold out for what, in the long run, is so little. Esau selling his birthright, for a bowl of pottage. Every time I’ve caught students cheating, they always look stunned. First, that I”ve caught it (they think they’re being so sneaky-not); and second, that it’s a big deal. Since these students are going to be teachers, guess what, it’s a huge deal.
If you only knew what college is really like now, especially at the private schools that charge in excess of $45,000 a year. The school does not want to lose that money. The school does not want to be sued because little Suzie didn’t get an A.
Yes, the president’s office gets frequent calls from lawyers who want a grade changed or some other special favor for a student. The administration does not want unhappy students and unhappy parents. If it means bending the rules and pretending not to be aware of cheating they’ll do it.
These days a student can skip >50% of their classes and do poorly in the class and still expect to pass with a grade above a C.
Did NYU have an honor code when you attended? The college my daughter attended had a pretty rigorous honor code, and students could be either sanctioned or tossed out, just for violating that. Then again, the school also really cares about its reputation.
RE: I graduated from NY (I O )U
Very good play on words my friend. NYU has the distinction of being one of the most expensive colleges to enroll in nowadays.
Hope you’ve paid off all your student loans (or maybe you have rich patrons?) :)
Those students should be absolutely ashamed and the school should have given him a pass on the lower eval scores. There is more than one side to every story, but I'm with the professor as of now.
Higher Education is a total sham funded by the government to keep the Left alive.
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