At an institution that prides itself on upholding high standards of academic integrity, several students and faculty members said they believe the punishments doled out by the Honor Committee and the Committee on Discipline for academic violations are unnecessarily severe. Members of the committees, however, defended their punishments, explaining that their decisions are based largely on precedent and that they take into consideration a wide variety of factors when determining penalties.
Many college students wouldn’t think twice before feigning illness or computer malfunctions to explain to a professor why an assignment is late. But at the University of Virginia, that could get you expelled. At the other extreme, Yale has no honor code. With a disciplinary system administered by a combination of students, faculty and administrators who hand down punishments ranging from probation to expulsion, Princeton charts a middle course among peer institutions with its standards of integrity.
This discrepancy between the number of students who said they cheated on in-class exams and the number who said they cheated on take-home assignments reflects the dramatic distinction at Princeton between these two types of academic work — a distinction which is highlighted by the jurisdictional divide between the University’s Honor Committee and its Committee on Discipline.