Is Humiliation an Ethically Appropriate Response to Plagiarism?
by Loye Young
Editor’s Note: In mid-November, 2008, Loye Young was dismissed from his position as a part-time faculty member at Texas A & M International University. Young had told his students that plagiarism in his course assignments would result in public humiliation in addition to any punishment doled out under the auspices of university policies. He subsequently found that half a dozen of his students had engaged in plagiarism and he published their names on his course blog on November 3rd.
I’m a business owner in Laredo, Texas. I had never taught a college course before, and I never asked to teach. The department asked me to teach this course. I accepted because of my commitment to Laredo’s future.
I worked hard on the syllabus, and everything in the syllabus was deliberate. Specifically, the language about dishonesty was based on moral and pedagogical principles. The department chairman, Dr. Balaji Janamanchi, reviewed the syllabus with me line-by-line, and I made a few changes in response to his comments.
I was surprised by how common and blatant plagiarism turned out to be. Six students in one class is an extraordinarily high number. I thought and prayed about what to do for
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