CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Harvard University revealed Thursday what could be its largest cheating scandal in memory, saying that about 125 students might have worked in groups on a take-home final exam despite being explicitly required to work alone.
The accusations, related to a single undergraduate class in the spring semester, deal with “academic dishonesty, ranging from inappropriate collaboration to outright plagiarism,” the administration said in a note sent to students.
Officials said that nearly half of the more than 250 students in the class were under investigation by the Harvard College Administrative Board and that if they were found to have cheated, they could be suspended for a year. The students have been notified that they are suspected and will be called to give their accounts in investigative hearings.
學校官方稱，在選修該課程的250多名學生中，有近半數的人在接受哈佛學院行政委員會(Harvard College Administrative Board)的調查，并且如果他們被證實確有作弊，將可能被迫休學一年。校方已告知這些學生他們被懷疑作弊，并將要求其參加調查聽證會，進行供述。
“This is unprecedented in its scope and magnitude,” said Jay Harris, the dean of undergraduate education.
哈佛大學本科教育教務主任杰伊·哈里斯(Jay Harris)表示， “此次事件涉及范圍之廣，影響之大，前所未有。”
Administrators would not reveal the name of the class or even the department, saying that they wanted to protect the identities of the accused students. The Harvard Crimson, the university’s student newspaper, reported that it was a government class, Introduction to Congress, which had 279 students, and that it was taught by Matthew B. Platt, an assistant professor.
校方不愿透露該課程、甚至相關院系的名稱，稱他們想保護被指控學生的身份隱私。據哈佛大學學生報紙《緋紅報》(The Harvard Crimson)報道，該課程是一門政府課程，“美國國會概況”，共有279名學生，授課老師是助理教授馬修·B·普拉特(Matthew B. Platt)。
Professor Platt did not respond to messages seeking comment.
When final exams were graded in May, similarities were noticed in the answers given by some students, officials said, and a professor brought the matter to the administration immediately. Over the summer, Harvard’s administrative board conducted an initial review, going over the exams of all of the students in the class for evidence of cheating. It concluded that almost half of them showed signs of possible collaboration.
“The enabling role of technology is a big part of this picture,” Mr. Harris said. “It’s the ease of sharing. With that has come, I believe, a certain cavalier attitude.”
The university said it planned to increase efforts to teach students about academic integrity.
“The scope of the allegations suggests that there is work to be done to ensure that every student at Harvard understands and embraces the values that are fundamental to its community of scholars,” Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, told The Harvard Gazette, the university’s official newspaper.
哈佛大學校長德魯·吉爾平·福斯特(Drew Gilpin Faust)在接受學校官方報紙《哈佛大學報》(Harvard Gazette)采訪時表示，“此次指控涉及廣泛，這表明，我們仍需努力，確保每一位哈佛學子了解并且秉承哈佛大學學術圈的根本價值觀。”
Harvard’s student handbook says that students must “comply with the policy on collaboration established for each course,” and notes that such policies vary from department to department, from class to class, and even from assignment to assignment within a class.
The news comes as Harvard students are returning to campus for the fall term, which begins on Tuesday.