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The Plagiarism Plague
In the internet era, cheating has become an epidemic on college campuses

  In This Issue

(Photo by John Starkey, Black Star for CrossTalk)

Caitlin Ward, 21, expects to receive her associate's degree from the Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis campus in May. Attending the inexpensive two-year school enabled Ward and her two older brothers to be in college at the same time. Indiana has high hopes for its new community college system and college prep curriculum.
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The Plagiarism Plague
In the internet era, cheating has become an epidemic on college campuses

Dillard’s Dire Straits
Historically black college struggles to survive amid New Orleans’ post-hurricane diaspora

Small State’s Big Challenges
Rhode Island’s educational system grapples with transition from manufacturing economy

Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars
A new community college system and college prep curriculum are improving the state’s position

Enrollment Squeeze
Virginia’s community colleges cope with increasing demand and a changing world

Other Voices
Higher Education’s Dirty Little Secret
Hidden college fees have become a “stealth tuition”

Got College?
Universities are being marketed just like “Brand X”

Colleges at a Crossroad
The future of higher education is a vital concern

By Don Campbell
Atlanta, Georgia

The problem of cheating in academia hit Tom Lancaster in a very personal way more than a decade ago: The Emory University political science professor found his own research being plagiarized by one of his students.

Lancaster, now senior associate dean for undergraduate studies, had learned while researching elections in Greece that women and men use different polling booths and that their votes are recorded by gender.

"Internet plagiarism is probably by far the most common form of cheating or academic dishonesty," says Didi Kuo, a 2005 Emory University graduate who chaired the university's honor council.
(Photo by Robin Nelson, Black Star, for CrossTalk)
He subsequently had his students enter the polling data from each precinct and do papers comparing gender voting patterns in different sections of Greece. Two years later, in a similar class on southern European politics, a student wrote a paper about gender differences in voting in Greece—even though that topic was not assigned—using data that could only have been obtained from students in the previous class.

"The student," said Lancaster, "had clearly in my mind simply plagiarized a previous paper—not necessarily the words—but had simply pulled out the data." Lancaster took the case to the Emory honor council, but the council judged the student not guilty because the data had not been published. The student admitted finding it in a fraternity file. (continue)


Dillard's Dire Straits
Historically black college struggles to survive amid New Orleans' post-hurricane diaspora

By Robert A. Jones
New Orleans, Louisiana

Dillard University was built in the 1930s as a collection of sugary, neoclassical buildings set amidst green lawns and oak groves. Few small colleges have been blessed with such a gracious setting. Until last September, when hurricane Katrina struck, Dillard's grounds seemed a place from another time, untrammeled by academic building booms, parking hassles, and the other devils of modern campuses.

The Dillard University police building was among those heavily damaged by the hurricane and ensuing flood. Total campus damage was more than $250 million, of which only a portion is covered by insurance.
(Photo by Vanessa Brown, Black Star, for CrossTalk)
Oddly, the storm itself did little damage. If the destruction had stopped when the winds and rain subsided, Dillard's future as a historically black college would not have been threatened. Even the vast majority of oak trees survived the initial storm.

But then came the water, flowing toward the campus from three directions. Dillard sits in the middle of the city's Gentilly district, a lower-elevation neighborhood bordered by canals to the north, east and west. All of them broke and, within hours, Gentilly and the Dillard campus had been converted to a lake. (continue)


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