Virginia Tech officials anticipate more than 250 students, faculty members, and administrators from across the country will attend the 18th Annual Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) Conference, a national event that will be held at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center Oct. 20-22.
The conference, “Promoting Academic Integrity: Teaching, Research and Practice,” will provide thought-provoking discussion on myriad topics, such as promoting student and faculty acceptance of the value of academic integrity, cultural differences and integrity, plagiarism and the Internet, and research ethics. Conference participants will examine the relationship between attitudes and behaviors related to academic dishonesty and future misconduct in such professions as business, engineering, medicine, and law.
“Attention to academic integrity is essential at any level of education, but particularly so at secondary schools and institutions of higher learning,” said Ron Daniel, associate provost for undergraduate education at Virginia Tech. “The conference will address important issues vital to the higher education community, and Virginia Tech is proud to have been selected to host this conference.”
Featured speakers for the event include Gen. Malham M. Wakin (Ret.), emeritus professor of philosophy at the United States Air Force Academy and author of Integrity First, Reflections of a Military Philosopher, and Randy Cohen, “The Ethicist” from the New York Times Magazine, author of The Good, the Bad, & the Difference, and a regular contributor to “Weekend All Things Considered” on National Public Radio.
An additional highlight that will be introduced at this year’s conference is a half-day “drive-in” program for Virginia and North Carolina high schools. The program for high school students resulted from research studies released in June by the Center of Academic Integrity, based at Duke University. The studies, conducted over a four-year period, revealed that of 18,000 students at 61 high schools, 70 percent admitted to cheating on a test at least once, and 60 percent confessed to plagiarism.
“Addressing the growing problem of cheating in high schools is a new and important emphasis,” said Center for Academic Integrity Executive Director Timothy Dodd. “The center is broadening its mission to reach back into the high schools, where the habits of cheating and plagiarism are increasingly becoming ingrained in the minds of students.”
The Center for Academic Integrity, which is affiliated with Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics, is a consortium of 390 institutions dedicated to promoting academic integrity. The primary focus of the center is to provide resources and encourage commitment to academic integrity in educational institutions, with emphasis on higher and secondary education.
“What’s unique about the Center for Academic Integrity is that we encourage and welcome students as equal partners in dialogue with other students, faculty, and administrators about the importance of academic integrity,” Dodd said. “I know of no other organization that puts student voice on equal footing with faculty and administrators.”
For additional details about the conference, go to http://www.academicintegrity.org/2005_Conference/index.asp or contact Tim Dodd or Kathy Gleim at the Center for Academic Integrity at (919) 660-3045.
This story was written by Richard L. Lovegrove.