By: Howard Riell
CUNY students wouldn’t cheat on exams just because they are working from home due to the pandemic – would they?
One professor says yes.
The professor, Warren Gordon, wrote a letter on May 27 missive to CUNY’s vice chancellor in which he alleged that is exactly what has been happening. Virtual classes went into effect back on March 19.
Located in the heart of New York City, Baruch College is continually recognized among the nation’s best colleges for quality and value by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Princeton Review, and others. A faculty that includes internationally and nationally acclaimed professors lead programs and courses at Baruch’s three nationally ranked schools – The Zicklin School of Business, The Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, and The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.
Gordon, who has headed the math department at Bernard Baruch College for three and a half decades, insists that he and his colleagues elsewhere have uncovered what he terms a “scandalous” amount of cheating going on, according to an email viewed by The New York Post.
Department heads “and their faculty were overwhelmed by the amount of cheating, students coming into the final exams with failing averages producing perfect or nearly perfect papers,” the Post reported. “The mean and median scores on the final exams are well above normal. Some of our faculty found their exams on various online sites including Chegg, students working together in chat rooms, or on Google Docs and the like, and then submitting the work as their own. Chegg is an online tutoring site that has been implicated in cheating scandals at other colleges including Boston University.”
According to the Post’s story, Gordon is pointing the finger of responsibility squarely at public university system. He says officials have not done all they could have to make electronic testing more resistant to cheating.
“The university had at least three months to find a secure software that could have been used this semester, and at the eleventh hour decided not to use it,” Gordon wrote, according to the Post’s story. “The summer and fall semesters are quickly approaching, it is likely that most of our courses will begin, and possibly remain online. The university must provide a software that would improve the security of the examinations.”
The story included a comment from CUNY spokesman Frank Sobrino, who said, “The university takes allegations of cheating very seriously and requires any faculty member who finds there has been an act of academic dishonesty to immediately report the incident to their campus’ Academic Integrity Officer to impose the academic and disciplinary sanctions warranted. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, but under no circumstance will cheating be tolerated.”