Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thought experiment

A hypothetical that is likely true. . . .

If reports are accurate, the academic cheating scandal has been going on for nearly a decade. If that’s the case, it’s highly likely that students who were admitted under false pretenses have completed their educations and have graduated. Once they got there, they (theoretically) did the work required to earn a degree. Do you take away their diploma? Can you? And if you do endeavor to strip a student of a degree he has ostensibly earned, what does it say about the academic rigor of your institution and the value you provide?

5 comments:

Bike Bubba said...

You start at least by publishing graduation rates vs. those of their peers, and I'm guessing that for a lot of young people, they learned the hard way that being on the wrong end of a Stanford bell curve is no fun. That's what you see, for example, with graduation rates for those "benefiting" from affirmative action. On the flip side, if it's "close fit but no go", say a rise of 50-80 points on the SAT or 3-4 on the ACT, you're going to see that it worked out well for a lot of kids.

Only revoke degrees if it's clear the kid knew of the fraud.

Mr. D said...

I don’t know that you could revoke a degree that was earned. My assumption for these kids is (a) their families paid full boat tuition after getting in, and (b) they did sufficient work to graduate. On what basis would a university have recourse to do that? It would almost certainly lead to a lawsuit and a lot of discovery that would be more embarrassing to the university than letting the kid slink away with the sheepskin.

Bike Bubba said...

There are probably some cases where revoking could be done, though I'd agree with you that it's problematic. One example that wasn't quite revocation among private universities is that it's claimed that one school issued straight Fs to one student who was expelled for violation of student rules.

At the very least, unless it was very clear the young person was heavily involved, yeah, let them slink away.

R.A. Crankbait said...

It just makes me wonder how many of those favored kids were out marching against inequality during their college days.

The struggle is real, though. It apparently takes a couple hundred thousand dollars to equal a drop of Indian blood from Elizabeth Warren.

Bike Bubba said...

One other interesting thing; one of the kids was about to spend a few days on a party yacht owned by one of USC's trustees until this scandal broke, after which she abruptly debarked. Kinda suggests that this scandal is going to get a lot deeper, as most students don't get that opportunity.