On the April 27 assembly of the College Senate, arithmetic professor Richard Taylor launched a movement — alongside mechanical engineering professor Juan Santiago and political science professor Justin Grimmer — that may enable in-person proctoring beginning within the 2023–24 tutorial yr. If upheld, the movement would modify the Honor Code and explicitly enable proctoring at Stanford for the primary time since 1921, when the Honor Code established that college shall keep “confidence within the honor of its college students by refraining from proctoring examinations.”
The movement is a departure from a 102-year-long precedent of “shared governance” on tutorial integrity points between Stanford college students and school — a transfer that was dubbed the “nuclear possibility” by Vice Provost of Undergraduate Training Sarah Church.
The movement follows the Undergraduate Senate’s (UGS) preliminary rejection of proposed Honor Code modifications, which the united stateshas since doubled down on. The Graduate Scholar Council (GSC) has continued to help the movement.
The College Senate’s movement, handed on a 21–12 vote, doesn’t embrace the C12-recommended Educational Integrity Working Group (AIWG) research into proctoring that may have conditionally permitted the observe and solely broadly allow proctoring after a two-to four-year interval. The usdeciding to vote in favor of the AIWG research would supersede the movement and cease proctoring from starting in September.
The newly inaugurated UGS is ready to reintroduce the Honor Code proposals and vote on them this coming Tuesday.
The Committee of 12 and the Educational Integrity Working Group
In 2019, the Judicial Constitution Evaluation Committee, also called the C10, was tasked with trying into the query of whether or not the Basic Commonplace and the Honor Code had been in want of updates or revisions. The C10’s work slowed down in 2020, partly as a consequence of disruptions associated to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier than reorganizing because the Committee of 12 (C12), the C10 was poised to introduce its suggestions to the College Senate in autumn 2021, however scholar objections to proctoring prompted the committee to request further time to plan an answer that might keep in mind college issues about tutorial integrity and scholar issues across the perils of proctoring.
“The Stanford Honor Code is a privilege that was given to the scholars by the school in 1921,” in line with an ASSU Honor Code Examine Subcommittee assertion revealed in The Each day on Feb. 4, 1955. Though this assertion refers to “college” relatively than the College Senate — which might not be established for one more 13 years — Taylor wrote that this distinction is “irrelevant,” in a press release to The Each day, including that the College Senate is empowered to behave for the school.
“If the school is sad with a call of the College Senate, they will name a gathering of the entire Educational Council to rethink the matter,” he wrote.
Taylor additionally famous that “proctoring is utilized by nearly each college on this planet, with a handful of exceptions,” which embrace Stanford College, Princeton College and the College of Virginia (UVA).
Among the many 23 establishments which responded to the C12’s outreach, seven have an Honor Code: the College of California, Berkeley; the California Institute of Expertise (Caltech); Harvard College; the College of California, Davis; the College of San Francisco; Princeton and UVA. Three of those — Caltech, Princeton and UVA — should not have teacher proctoring, though in recent times Caltech has incrementally shifted away from its former establishment through which proctoring was “strongly discouraged.”
Of the 720 Honor Code violations filed within the final three years at Stanford, two had been student-reported, in line with the suggestions doc.
“It’s widely known that the coed reporting facet of the Honor Code doesn’t perform as initially meant,” it learn. “As current examples: throughout 2018-19 there have been 136 Honor Code violations reported of which 2 got here from college students, throughout 2019-20 there have been 191 Honor Code violations reported of which 0 got here from college students, and through 2020-21 (distant instruction) there have been 393 Honor Code violations reported of which 0 got here from college students.”
At Princeton, “a big majority of all Honor Code violation circumstances come up from scholar reporting,” in line with the C12’s findings, and for greater than 40 years at UVA, there’s been a self-reporting system referred to as “conscientious retraction” through which college students can report on themselves earlier than anybody else accuses them of a violation. “That idealistic strategy is coupled with an especially sturdy scholar tradition of engagement with the Honor Code bearing little resemblance to the state of affairs at Stanford,” the report learn.
How do College Senate motions work?
When a College Senate movement is forthcoming, the Educational Secretary and the Affiliate Educational Secretary overview mentioned movement and decide whether or not it’s to be launched in a gathering. These selections are based mostly on an array of guidelines, statutes, laws and precedent, in line with Chair Kenneth Schultz M.A. ’93 Ph.D. ’96, political science professor. Typically, the Workplace of the Normal Counsel may be consulted, which was the case for the movement of Taylor, Grimmer and Santiago.
An “in depth overview” of the background of the Honor Code was performed, Schultz wrote.
The shared governance mannequin
The Honor Code was initially written by Stanford college students in 1921 as a mutual settlement amongst college students and school. It has been an “enterprise of the scholars individually and collectively,” in line with the Workplace of Group Requirements’s web site.
“The college on its half manifests its confidence within the honor of its college students by refraining from proctoring,” the web site reads.
It was not till April 25, when the united statestwice struck down the C12’s proposals, that Taylor started to contemplate making an attempt to get the College Senate to behave by itself authority.
“Time was very brief — we had about 36 hours to agree the textual content of a movement and clear it with the management of the College Senate,” he wrote in a press release to The Each day. “This was not straightforward.”
The Board of Judicial Affairs, each ASSU legislative our bodies, the College Senate and the President of Stanford should all approve any revisions to the Honor Code proposed by the C12 for them to enter impact, in line with the C12’s constitution.
“So far as I had thought of it in any respect, I suppose I anticipated the C-12 proposal to move,” Taylor wrote. “Solely once I heard on the night of April 25 that the united stateshad overwhelmingly voted down the C-12 proposal on the Honor Code did I significantly think about making an attempt to get the College Senate to behave by itself authority.”
Taylor wrote that he turned extra concerned within the dialog round proctoring in mid-April, when the members of the C12 had been requested to incorporate in its proposal an “undergraduate veto” on any future change to the Honor Code, which he thought-about a “energy seize by ASSU, to which it might be very unwise to agree.” Moreover, Taylor wrote, he was undecided that the College Senate had the authority to enact such a plan, as he suspected it’d contradict the Articles of Group of the Educational Council.
So he seemed deeper into the historical past of the Stanford Honor Code and contacted the C12 and College Senate management. Finally, his perception from the analysis was that the revised C12 proposal explicitly wanted approval from all stakeholders, together with the UGS, which has repeatedly voted in opposition to suggestions introduced by the AIWG, however there isn’t any such rule in place relating to a proposed modification to the Honor Code itself from one other physique.
Due to the College Senate’s guidelines of operation, it’s comparatively simpler to suggest a movement on a subject that’s already on the assembly agenda than to get a brand new subject added to the agenda. Because the C12 was already slated to current on April 27, a dialogue of the Honor Code was already on the agenda, which meant for a “sturdy incentive” to suggest the proctoring movement then and there, in line with Taylor.
Within the week following the April 27 College Senate assembly, the GSC and UGS diverged as the previous reaffirmed help for the C12’s Honor Code suggestions and the latter doubled down on its opposition. UGS co-chair Amira Dehmani ’24 referred to as the College Senate’s choice “disrespectful” and “extremely flawed” through the newest UGS assembly.
Darryl Thompson ’23, ASSU Government President on the time, was current on the College Senate assembly when the movement passed off and mentioned, “College students wish to be part of what they create and never what they’re compelled or strong-armed to adjust to.”
“Most of us come from establishments the place [proctoring] is the norm and the expectation,” mentioned Lawrence Berg, fourth-year chemistry Ph.D. scholar and member of the GSC, in the identical assembly. “I believe as [the] College Senate, it’s inside your purview to train your energy at this level to allow your graduate college students to do a correct job when serving to educate the scholars right here at Stanford.”
Jewish research and Slavic languages professor Gabriella Safran acknowledged sentiments from the ASSU and agreed with Church, additionally calling the movement “a nuclear possibility.” She added that passing the movement would drive a deeper wedge between college and college students.
Safran then spoke from her experiences learning in highschool and school in international locations outdoors of the U.S., which she mentioned revealed to her that “in locations the place scholar tradition has traditionally been extremely oppositional to school, strict proctoring doesn’t get rid of dishonest … dishonest turns into a problem, in reality, an artwork kind.”
UGS College Senate Consultant Gurmenjit Bahia ’24 mentioned that the C12 provided an Honor Code that may enable for a research of proctoring, whereas the College Senate was motioning to permit proctoring prematurely, past the intentions of the research and with out oversight.
“We worth our involvement and collaboration however discover it unacceptable that our tutorial integrity is being questioned,” she mentioned.
In passing the movement, Bahia mentioned, the College was “ignoring college students” and “utterly dismissing” the shared governance mannequin. “The College prides itself in a shared governance mannequin and has continued to make sure that college students are included in choice making,” she mentioned. “Such a change would utterly obliterate the belief between college and us.”
“I believe the united statesis unwilling to contemplate any modifications to the Honor Code that embrace a removing of the prohibition on proctoring,” Berg wrote in a press release to The Each day. “The explanations given about points with research design are inaccurate at finest, and reveal a lack of knowledge of the C12 proposal.”
College students who haven’t intently adopted the intricate particulars of the C12 developments might not respect that the suggestions have been years within the making, Schultz wrote in a press release to The Each day. “The proposal to kind the Educational Integrity Working Group was the results of a years-long course of to forge such a compromise,” he wrote. “So quite a lot of time, effort, and outreach, by a committee composed of school and college students, went into this proposal earlier than it got here to the votes within the GSC, UGS, and College Senate final month.”
A shifting panorama of educational integrity
Whereas presenting the proctoring modification, Taylor referenced senior exit surveys by The Harvard Crimson and The Each day Princetonian, which discovered that 20% to 30% of nameless respondents admitted to some type of dishonest on an task or examination throughout their undergraduate careers. He later wrote in an Op-Ed with Grimmer and Santiago that the established order of dishonest on exams at peer establishments and Stanford alike is “dire, and with the arrival of recent expertise might be anticipated to worsen.”
“How torn many sincere college students should really feel between doing the best and the mistaken factor after they see the numerous numbers of their classmates dishonest,” Taylor mentioned whereas introducing the proctoring modification. “If we fail to take motion, we’re sending the message we don’t actually care and that we’re successfully encouraging this dishonest.”
The professors used an instance from an providing of CS 161: “Design and Evaluation of Algorithms” final yr through which nearly a 3rd of the 465 enrolled college students retracted their 48-hour midterm exams, believing they may be discovered for unpermitted collaboration.
This course’s midterm examination “turned out to be tougher than anticipated,” Taylor, Grimmer and Santiago wrote, and was carried out as a 48-hour take-home. Subsequently, the instructors of CS 161 “heard that there was quite a lot of breaking of the principles,” in line with pc science professor Moses Charikar Ph.D. ’00, who spoke on the matter at April 13’s College Senate assembly.
In correspondence with the Workplace of Group Requirements, Charikar provided college students the chance to retract their midterms with out additional penalty — at which level 30% of scholars retracted them.
After the retractions, Charikar mentioned, he solicited scholar opinions with an nameless ballot, “And a few of them mentioned, ‘You recognize, the examination was so tough, … you guys created an undue temptation to cheat,’ and we had been responsible.”
“Some puzzled how we could possibly be so naïve in order to imagine that college students wouldn’t cheat. And a few college students relieved their struggles with following the principles, whereas they had been totally conscious … their classmates had been dishonest,” Charikar mentioned. “I do actually fear concerning the college students … whose ethical compass really prevents them from breaking the principles and so they undergo.”
The proctoring modification
Comparative literature professor David Palumbo-Liu — additionally a member of the College Senate — wrote an Op-Ed in The Each day following the April 27 assembly, the place he argued that the unilateral movement “blackmailed the Undergraduate Senate (UGS) into both accepting the C-12 proposal it had unanimously voted down or accepting the College Senate decision.”
He argued that this violated the rules upon which the College Senate and Honor Code originated and expressed concern over “how prepared many senators had been to lump all undergraduates into one legal class.”
Taylor acknowledged scholar issues that proctors might disproportionately surveil college students based mostly on race or different traits of identification, as a consequence of unconscious bias or another issue, noting that “that is one thing to which we should always stay alert.”
Nevertheless, he wrote that he personally didn’t see why college or graduate scholar proctors can be any extra more likely to exhibit these biases than undergraduates monitoring one another may.
Within the C12’s analysis and correspondence with a handful of different universities, none detailed in its report examples of bias on the a part of course workers.
What comes subsequent?
The usmeets this Tuesday and can reintroduce a vote on the C12 proposals. In the event that they approve the C12 research, the C12’s model of the Honor Code — which permits proctoring just for researching examination conduct — will supersede the amended April 27 Honor Code movement — which might enable proctoring generally.
Berg wrote that he, in addition to the GSC as a complete, stays open to compromises except for simply the C12 suggestions, however up to now “the united stateshas not produced any options to the presently ineffectual honor code system.”
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne continues to be contemplating the C12’s proposed proctoring research. Even within the occasion that Tessier-Lavigne approves, although, the research won’t transfer ahead with out approval from the UGS.
Sebastian Strawser contributed reporting to this text.