CAA discusses new student accountability subcommittee


Madelyn Kidd

Council of Academic Affairs Chairperson, Marita Gronnvoll, and Cindy Richardson at a CAA meeting on Thursday.

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

The Council of Academic Affairs discussed the new student accountability subcommittee being formed by the Faculty Senate in their meeting on Thursday.

CAA met with Anne Thibault Geen, an associate professor of theatre arts and faculty senator, to discuss the forming student accountability subcommittee within the office of student accountability and support, formerly known as student standards, looking for solutions for faculty with programs providing faculty’s stolen classwork and providing students a way to cheat on assignments and tests.

Thibault Geen is the chair of the new subcommittee, which was formed to find solutions for faculty to prevent students from uploading classwork and for future students from paying for the answers for the classwork, which counts as faculty’s personal property, within the Code of Conduct at Eastern.

Thibault Geen said the idea for the subcommittee began when Faculty Senate received a proposal from a department that could not be approved because it was not a proper proposal the senate could act on.

“There was a proposal that didn’t go through at Faculty Senate that came from the math department that was trying to address the use of places like Course Hero and online places for academic dishonesty online,” Thibault Geen said. “The proposal was sort of wanted to be very legal and kind of sue these companies, which are council candidates, and they can’t do that, they’re California based companies. Professors can sue students for uploading material, but essentially it wasn’t a proposal.”

The purpose of the subcommittee is to see if there could be an update in the Code of Conduct for Eastern students prohibiting the use of these sites and similar programs.

Thibault Geen said by uploading classwork to online sites like Chegg and Course Hero, students are opening themselves to lawsuits by faculty members for “stealing” faculty’s intellectual property.

In a conversation with Jay Gatrell, the provost and vice president of academic affairs, Gatrell explained how faculty cannot give legal advice to students, but can give students information about what is legal.

“We were talking about how there are professors suing students because it is intellectual property… the sites are clear that you’re not allowed to upload other people’s work, [faculty is] supposed to be sharing that,” Thibault Geen said. “The faculty are supposed to sign up and share our materials. That’s not what’s happening. But Jay had said, ‘Well, we can’t give our students legal advice, but we can give our students information about what is legal.’ That’s different than legal advice.”

CAA member Juanita Cross showed interest in joining the subcommittee representing CAA.

CAA unanimously approved a revision to the political science department honors program.

The proposed revision included changing the prerequisites for departmental honors for political science majors and making it easier for students, especially transfer students, to achieve honors upon graduation.

The changes included removing the prerequisite courses for the honors program and keeping the required course the same and only required to complete the political science department honors program.

The 12 credit hours, four courses, are PLS-4444 Honors Independent Study, PLS-4555 Honors Research, PLS-4644 Honors Thesis and PLS-5000-5900 Graduate Seminar.

The Honors Independent Study course will count towards the Applied Political Science Experience.

The Honors Research, Honors Thesis and Graduate Seminar may count towards the 12 hours of field electives for the political science major program as well.

The prerequisites needed are at least a 3.50 GPA on a 4.0 scale after completing 12 credit hours in political science courses including PLS-2033 Research Methods in Political Science or a transfer equivalent. 

Students must work with the department honors coordinators to fill out the application for the program.


Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]