Academic Senate


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President's Notes

April 16, 2015


MPC Academic Senate April Meetings:

April   23

President forums first week of April


Budget Advisory Committee Met April 13

Received and discussed a very nice five-year summary of the General Unrestricted Fund and transfers in and out of it.

Five-year Unrestricted General Fund History

Probably the biggest point for me was the difference between the budgeted deficit and the actual deficit based on year-end audited numbers. As is consistent with sound accounting practices, the actual deficit is smaller than the budgeted deficit.

You may want to take a look at this document in preparation for Friday's Budget 101 Seminar at 11:00.


From Larry Walker:



I have a meeting conflict for the 23rd and would not be able to attend the Senate meeting. Just to let you know that this time of year my schedule gets booked well in advance and adjustments become increasing challenging.


With that said, I had an email exchange with Merry Dennehy on the subject of plagiarism and have adapted my response to her below to be even more general. Maybe you can share my email with the Senate and the I can speak briefly to it on the 16th. As I mention below, I believe it is more appropriate to have the incoming VPSS speak to the issue from his/her perspective.  I don’t think there would be significant change in the process since the catalog provides guidance and consistency for all of us on the issue of plagiarism.


Here we go…


In short, if it is a first and only conduct violation, I would do the following:

1.      Provide a hard copy and review the “Standards of Conduct” outlined in the Catalog (p.44-45)

2.      Speak to the specific conduct violation

3.      Review the “Applicable Penalties” from “Admonition through Expulsion”

4.      Inform the student that if any further conduct violations (plagiarism as well as any other conduct violations) may result in further disciplinary sanctions.


As stated above, once a student is referred to the VP of Student Services for plagiarism, it becomes a disciplinary matter and the Catalog outlines the process for dealing with this type of violation of the Student Conduct (p.44-45) policy.


I can tell you from my experience over the past year that there are several variables that come into play when making a decision on the applicable discipline for plagiarism. Information is gathered from the instructor (is this the first time it occurred in the class or has the instructor dealt with previous instances directly); from the student (important for due process to get the student’s perspective); and other applicable information (other conduct violations that may or may not be related to plagiarism, etc…) to determine the level of discipline.


My experience has shown that once a student is referred to the VP’s office for a first offense of plagiarism, that student has not shown up for a second offense.


In the context of plagiarism, I firmly believe that “interventions” to correct student conduct violations should always be the first option when working with students. Interventions are collaborative an often informal and I have seen them work well in regards to faculty dealing directly with plagiarism issues. Another option, if such interventions are not working, is “discipline”. In my opinion, an instructor’s voice is critical and weighs heavy in determining the level of discipline. Some instructors only want to send a warning message to the student when referred to the VP while others want drop the student from the course. Whatever the recommendation from the instructor, I believe the administration of the discipline should be between the student and the VP.  I am not sure if it is in the best interest of the college to include faculty or staff in the disciplinary process meetings. It raises many questions, such as, “when do we include or not include faculty or staff on the application of discipline” or “is the student’s right to privacy being compromised by having others present”?


Hope this helps.