Harvey Silverglate and Zachary Bloom
At first blush, the ongoing cheating scandal at Harvard
College appears to raise serious questions about academic integrity at that
fabled institution. If the allegations that 125 students inappropriately shared
notes and answers for a take-home exam in violation of the exam’s rules prove
true, the result will be a massive blot on Harvard’s near-perfectly manicured
public image–especially now that top athletes have been implicated.
But let’s remember that because of the course’s confusing rules and guidelines concerning collaboration, no one, likely not even the
students themselves, can say right now whether their conduct was illicit. Worse
yet, we may never know the truth, much less have a just verdict on the
propriety of the students’ actions, now that the case is securely in the hands
of the spooks haunting Harvard’s notorious Administrative Board.