Misconduct proposal put to vote

By Peter Schuh

A repeat proposal to place academic misconduct notations on graduate students’ transcripts will be voted on today by NIU’s Graduate Council.

If this proposal is passed, graduate students found guilty of plagiarism, “random eyeballing” or other forms of cheating would have their transcripts red-flagged for the period of suspension or expulsion which resulted from the offense.

The proposal mirrors another passed by the council in the spring of 1991.

Jerrold Zar, associate provost for Graduate Studies and Research, said although the 1991 proposal was passed by the council, “it was sent back to the (Graduate Council Standards) Committee because the Student Judicial Council (SJC) was concerned about it and stood against it.”

In 1991, members of the SJC said the notations would make it difficult for students to be accepted to other universities or to find a job after graduation.

The standards committee’s present proposal has been modified to take into consideration one of the SJC’s concerns, Zar said. The 1991 proposal called for a permanent notation of academic misconduct, while the present proposal’s notation will be temporary and will be removed from the student’s transcript when the period of suspension or expulsion has passed. The longest term a student at NIU can be expelled for cheating is four years.

Larry Bolles, director of the University Judicial Office, had opposed the proposal in 1991. Although he refused to comment on the present proposal, he did say he still was on record against it.

If the Graduate Council passes the proposal it can be implemented immediately, Zar said. However, the University Council has the opportunity to review the proposal and if they find a problem with it, can send it back to the Graduate Council to be revised.

The Graduate Council will meet at 10 p.m. tonight in the Illinois Room of the Holmes Student Center.