Wednesday, July 27, 2011

UNC examining honor court after McAdoo case

Following embarrassing revelations about a former football player’s plagiarized term paper, UNC chancellor Holden Thorp told the school’s board of trustees today that the university is working on improving the school’s student-run academic honor court.

"Regardless of our situation with football, it makes good sense to look at the honor system and discus how we could provide resources to the students and faculty to help them in their academic work and understand academic honesty in the electronic age,” Thorp told the Board of Trustees today.

Earlier this month, it was discovered that UNC failed to discover that a paper in a Swahili course turned in by former Tar Heel player Michael McAdoo included substantial material copied from other texts.

The honor court failed McAdoo, suspended him and gave him an F in the course based on inappropriate bibliography citations, but did not notice the plagiarism in the paper. The material lifted from other texts was not discovered until McAdoo’s paper became public in a court case where McAdoo unsuccessfully argued to be reinstated.

N.C. State fans and later media members ran the paper through an online plagiarism checker. The News & Observer found that 39 percent of the paper was copied from other texts.

“I am deeply disappointed by the recent revelation of plagiarism in one student-athlete’s favor,” Thorp said. “…I wish we could have caught that.”

Thorp told reporters after the Board of Trustees meeting that he didn’t know what specific changes might be made to the student-run honor court, and said discussions are ongoing.

He said the situation has brought attention to the honor court, which has a long tradition at UNC.

"I am very encouraged by the discussions I've had with faculty members in the last couple of weeks," Thorp said

Students have pledged to abide by an honor code for more than 130 years. When students are accused of violating the code, they are judged by a court of their peers.

Katelyn Ferral and Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

It is a disgrace that Davis, Baddour, and Thorpe are still employees of the University of North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

Transcript of sessions:

Athlete: Yo, yo, yo, I didn't do nothing yo!

Honor Court: Word to your Mother! Case dismissed!

AB said...

Anonymous 3:53, why is it a disgrace for Davis? He has nothing to do with the Honor Court, absolutely nothing.

He hasn't been implicated in any wrong doing on his part.

I think it's a disgrace that people post anonymously...

Anonymous said...

F in the course, suspended for the semester, on probation the next. What is your recommended punishment? Double F, double secret probation?

Anonymous said...

"and understand academic honesty in the electronic age"

Maybe a required class at UNC for freshman called "Introduction to Google"

RamJammer said...

When so many courses dish out ONLY A's, why would anyone need to cheat?
This website shows a summary of how ridiculously easy they pass out A's in Chapel Hill

88 courses where everybody gets an A ?

600 courses where two out of three get A's ?

Click on some of the courses like # 597 and look at the break down per ! The cat is getting out of the bag.

ToddTurner said...

The bigger joke is that Holden Thorp declines to review the grading by the Swahili Department Head for the paper submitted by Michael McAdoo. Whether an inept or bribed TA graded it or not, this speaks poorly of the integrity of the instructor, department and Chancellor for sticking his head in the sign or further up Paul Davis' arse. Only he can make Bruce Poulton, former Chancellor at NC State look smart in defending the athletic program during times of allegations.

John Bunting said...

Is this a trend, or just a big exception that miraculously made it to press because of a lawsuit against the University? Thriller Thorp is way over his head in this one. One thing to worship Butch Davis, another one to do it and jeopardize the integrity of the academic aspects in the name of player eligibility. That Honor Court is more of a sham. Time for an independent review on the grades and programs tied to keeping students on the playing field and courts

Ryan said...

Yo, Ram Jammer, be careful what you post. The thing about most of the classes that you list is that they are graduate level courses which are based on a pass fail system. I assure you that classes at UNC (graduate c/o '06) are more difficult than pretty much any other college in NC with the exception of maybe Dook and Davidson. The Analytical Chemistry class I took freshman year where the avg of the first test was a 45 can attest to that. If you take Sociology or Geography, the classes are much easier.