A Positive Comes Out of Duke Cheating Scandal

Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on June 8, 2009

Remember the Duke cheating scandal from a few years back?

If not, here’s a brief recap: In April 2007, school officials at Fuqua took disciplinary action against 34 of the school’s first-year MBA students—almost 10% of the class—for allegedly cheating on an open-book, take-home final in a core course. In all, 24 of the students were either suspended or expelled by the school. It was the largest episode of cheating in the school’s history.

At the time, it seemed like a devastating blow to a B-school that consistently found itself mentioned amongst the elite MBA programs in the country. But it turns out that the scandal has actually had a positive—and unexpected—result.

According to Fuqua Dean Blair Sheppard, the school’s response to the scandal resonated with the United States military. So much so, in fact, that Fuqua now boasts 28 military personnel among the classes of 2010 and 2011, including 13 who are currently on active duty. In addition, the graduation speaker representing the MBA Class of 2009 was a veteran.

In the aftermath of the scandal in 2007, Sheppard (who took over as dean two months after news of the scandal broke) and his team have ramped up efforts to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. Today, students publicly sign an honor code and student leaders have created ‘honor representatives’ for each class section. Also, the honor code is present on all class assignments and exams.

“We’re very serious about ethical leadership being an integral part of the curriculum at Fuqua, and that appeals to those with a strong sense of honor and integrity,” says Elizabeth Hogan, assistant dean for marketing and communications at Fuqua.

The US Armed Forces obviously like what they see.

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June 19, 2009 12:39 PM

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