Phi Beta Cons

Columbia Prof Sets Off Cheating Frenzy

Regarding the national epidemic of student cheating, I’ve noted that one enterprising student at a California campus, who had access to student records, got into the act by charging hefty prices for making grade changes.
Along comes now a Columbia U. professor, Wen Jin, who leaked the topics of a literature final exam to dozens of students in her class, enabling them to email it to hundreds of other freshmen – and for all to have a merry cheating fest and get away with it.
The New York Post quotes one student as saying it was “pretty ridiculous” for Jin to give out the exam contents, but – if accurately reported – this incident is more than ridiculous. Rather, it signals the extent to which a culture of corruption has taken hold on campuses;  it is a sign of institutionalized dishonesty when a professor not only tolerates dishonesty but actively facilitates it.
A faculty committee is apparently meeting to decide whether Jin, a tenure-track associate professor, should be disciplined. She should, of course, for she has fundamentally violated the academic pact. She has engaged, and abetted student engagement, in fraud and deception. Together they have swindled other students who took the exam in good faith without the benefit of the professor’s “study guide.” It is hard to see that Jin should eventually be granted tenure.