Loye Young was fired as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M International University for publishing on his course blog the names of six students caught plagiarizing in his management information systems class. He’d warned in his syllabus that he would “promptly and publicly fail and humiliate anyone caught lying, cheating, or stealing.”
“Plagiarism is manifestly unfair and disrespectful to your classmates,” Young wrote on his blog. “There are students taking the course who are working very, very hard to learn a subject that in many cases is foreign to them. A plagiarizer is implicitly treating the honest, hard-working student as a dupe.”
University administrators put the failing grades on hold and referred the cases to an honors council. Young, who runs a computer company in Laredo, was fired on charges of violating a federal privacy law that “bars the release of educational records about students without their permission.”
Young says the university wants instructors to keep quiet about cheating.
“People here are told that students should be babied and that we need to keep ‘em in to get enrollment and state funding,” he said. “Well, I want students — when they complete my course — to actually know something, and they can’t if they plagiarize everything.”
“Only in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ can a diploma educate a scarecrow,” Young wrote. Many TAMIU business students are unemployable because they “cannot or will not read and follow simple instructions, and they certainly cannot write simple declarative sentences.”
Should plagiarism be a private matter between the professor and the cheater?