On the April 27 assembly of the School Senate, arithmetic professor Richard Taylor launched a movement — alongside mechanical engineering professor Juan Santiago and political science professor Justin Grimmer — that will enable in-person proctoring beginning within the 2023–24 educational 12 months. 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 school shall preserve “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 educational 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 Pupil Council (GSC) has continued to help the movement.
The School Senate’s movement, handed on a 21–12 vote, doesn’t embody the C12-recommended Educational Integrity Working Group (AIWG) research into proctoring that will have conditionally permitted the apply and solely broadly allow proctoring after a two-to four-year interval. The united statesdeciding to vote in favor of the AIWG research would supersede the movement and cease proctoring from starting in September.
The newly inaugurated UGS is about 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 Assessment Committee, also called the C10, was tasked with wanting into the query of whether or not the Elementary Commonplace and the Honor Code had been in want of updates or revisions. The C10’s work slowed down in 2020, partly as a result 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 School Senate in autumn 2021, however pupil objections to proctoring prompted the committee to request further time to plot an answer that might consider school issues about educational integrity and pupil issues across the perils of proctoring.
“The Stanford Honor Code is a privilege that was given to the scholars by the college in 1921,” based on an ASSU Honor Code Research Subcommittee assertion revealed in The Every day on Feb. 4, 1955. Though this assertion refers to “school” reasonably than the School Senate — which might not be established for one more 13 years — Taylor wrote that this distinction is “irrelevant,” in a press release to The Every day, including that the School Senate is empowered to behave for the college.
“If the college is sad with a call of the School Senate, they’ll 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 the earth, with a handful of exceptions,” which embody 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 lately Caltech has incrementally shifted away from its former established order wherein proctoring was “strongly discouraged.”
Of the 720 Honor Code violations filed within the final three years at Stanford, two had been student-reported, based on the suggestions doc.
“It’s well known that the coed reporting side of the Honor Code doesn’t operate as initially supposed,” 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 instances come up from pupil reporting,” based on the C12’s findings, and for greater than 40 years at UVA, there’s been a self-reporting system known as “conscientious retraction” wherein college students can report on themselves earlier than anybody else accuses them of a violation. “That idealistic strategy is coupled with an especially sturdy pupil tradition of engagement with the Honor Code bearing little resemblance to the state of affairs at Stanford,” the report learn.
How do School Senate motions work?
When a School Senate movement is forthcoming, the Educational Secretary and the Affiliate Educational Secretary assessment mentioned movement and decide whether or not it’s to be launched in a gathering. These selections are primarily based on an array of guidelines, statutes, laws and precedent, based on Chair Kenneth Schultz M.A. ’93 Ph.D. ’96, political science professor. Generally, the Workplace of the Basic Counsel may additionally be consulted, which was the case for the movement of Taylor, Grimmer and Santiago.
An “in depth assessment” of the background of the Honor Code was carried out, 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 “endeavor of the scholars individually and collectively,” based on the Workplace of Neighborhood 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 attempting to get the School Senate to behave by itself authority.
“Time was very quick — we had about 36 hours to agree the textual content of a movement and clear it with the management of the School Senate,” he wrote in a press release to The Every day. “This was not simple.”
The Board of Judicial Affairs, each ASSU legislative our bodies, the School Senate and the President of Stanford should all approve any revisions to the Honor Code proposed by the C12 for them to enter impact, based on the C12’s constitution.
“So far as I had considered it in any respect, I assume I anticipated the C-12 proposal to cross,” Taylor wrote. “Solely after 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 critically take into account attempting to get the School 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 will be very unwise to agree.” Moreover, Taylor wrote, he was unsure that the School Senate had the authority to enact such a plan, as he suspected it would contradict the Articles of Group of the Educational Council.
So he appeared deeper into the historical past of the Stanford Honor Code and contacted the C12 and School 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 towards suggestions introduced by the AIWG, however there isn’t a such rule in place concerning a proposed modification to the Honor Code itself from one other physique.
Due to the School 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. For the reason that 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, based on Taylor.
Within the week following the April 27 School 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 known as the School Senate’s resolution “disrespectful” and “extremely flawed” in the course of the newest UGS assembly.
Darryl Thompson ’23, ASSU Government President on the time, was current on the School Senate assembly when the movement occurred and mentioned, “College students need to be part of what they create and never what they’re pressured 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. pupil and member of the GSC, in the identical assembly. “I feel as [the] School 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 school and college students.
Safran then spoke from her experiences learning in highschool and school in nations exterior of the U.S., which she mentioned revealed to her that “in locations the place pupil tradition has traditionally been extremely oppositional to college, strict proctoring doesn’t remove dishonest … dishonest turns into a problem, the truth is, an artwork type.”
UGS School Senate Consultant Gurmenjit Bahia ’24 mentioned that the C12 supplied an Honor Code that will enable for a research of proctoring, whereas the School 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 educational integrity is being questioned,” she mentioned.
In passing the movement, Bahia mentioned, the School 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 resolution making,” she mentioned. “Such a change would utterly obliterate the belief between school and us.”
“I feel the united statesis unwilling to contemplate any modifications to the Honor Code that embody a elimination of the prohibition on proctoring,” Berg wrote in a press release to The Every day. “The explanations given about points with research design are inaccurate at finest, and reveal a lack of information 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 Every day. “The proposal to type the Educational Integrity Working Group was the results of a years-long course of to forge such a compromise,” he wrote. “So a substantial amount 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 School 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 Every day Princetonian, which discovered that 20% to 30% of nameless respondents admitted to some type of dishonest on an project 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 latest know-how could be anticipated to worsen.”
“How torn many sincere college students should really feel between doing the best and the improper factor once 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 12 months wherein nearly a 3rd of the 465 enrolled college students retracted their 48-hour midterm exams, believing they could be came upon for unpermitted collaboration.
This course’s midterm examination “turned out to be more durable 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 lots of breaking of the principles,” based on pc science professor Moses Charikar Ph.D. ’00, who spoke on the matter at April 13’s School Senate assembly.
In correspondence with the Workplace of Neighborhood Requirements, Charikar supplied 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 pupil opinions with an nameless ballot, “And a few of them mentioned, ‘, the examination was so tough, … you guys created an undue temptation to cheat,’ and we had been accountable.”
“Some questioned how we might 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 in regards to the college students … whose ethical compass truly prevents them from breaking the principles they usually undergo.”
The proctoring modification
Comparative literature professor David Palumbo-Liu — additionally a member of the School Senate — wrote an Op-Ed in The Every 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 School Senate decision.”
He argued that this violated the ideas upon which the School Senate and Honor Code originated and expressed concern over “how prepared many senators had been to lump all undergraduates into one prison class.”
Taylor acknowledged pupil issues that proctors might disproportionately surveil college students primarily based on race or different traits of id, as a result of unconscious bias or another issue, noting that “that is one thing to which we must always stay alert.”
Nevertheless, he wrote that he personally didn’t see why school or graduate pupil proctors can be any extra more likely to exhibit these biases than undergraduates monitoring one another would possibly.
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 employees.
What comes subsequent?
The united statesmeets 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 on the whole.
Berg wrote that he, in addition to the GSC as a complete, stays open to compromises apart from simply the C12 suggestions, however to this point “the united stateshas not produced any options to the presently ineffectual honor code system.”
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne remains 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.