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Academic Integrity: Provost's Letter

An open letter to the Hofstra Community:

August 26, 2010

I strongly believe that the Hofstra community is united in its commitment to academic integrity and that we consider it to be one of our core values. Notwithstanding that commitment, many of us would also acknowledge that incidents of academic dishonesty permeate higher education nationally and are present on our own campus. With that reality in mind higher education must continue developing new and more effective strategies for reducing the number of such incidents and handling those that do occur in ways that are fair, transparent and effective. To do this we and all of higher education must ensure that violations are reported and tracked (as is now required on our campus). In addition, we should discuss publically the wide variations in penalties that are sometimes assessed for similar violations. Though Hofstra has always been committed to academic honesty, all of us in higher education can certainly do better. Our challenge as articulated by President Rabinowitz is to effectively “promote integrity in all aspects of campus life.” I enthusiastically support our doing all that we can in this area. Hofstra should be a leader in confronting and meeting the challenge of this national concern.

I appreciate the leadership role played by the Provost’s Task Force on Integrity and Responsibility in confronting this issue and I especially thank the co-chairs of the Task Force Dean Warren Frisina, Vice President Sandy Johnson, Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence Director Susan Martin and Associate Provost for Accreditation and Assessment Barbara Bohannon as well as the task force members for all their efforts. But a Task Force alone can’t accomplish a sea change. Such change requires the commitment of our entire community. To that end the Task Force on Integrity and Responsibility will be organizing discussions, surveys, workshops, and focus groups. Please participate to the extent possible. We clearly need your help and we clearly need to address this issue in a comprehensive manner.

Herman Berliner
Provost, Hofstra University

Herman Berliner