(Continued from May 14, 2011) ..... However, I told her that I had to know ALL of the facts before I would place a telephone call. The last thing that I wanted to do, I told her, was to call the professor or his supervisor and THEN receive additional information that would make it seem foolish that a telephone call had been made.
Karen began to cry over the telephone. She then gave a few more details that she had previously withheld.
While Karen had maintained an “A” during the semester, her final exam, which included a research project that had to be handed in on the day of the final exam, had been plagiarized. Yes, Karen, the All-America kid and former student, had cheated on her final exam and she had been caught.
Her explanation was that she had been stressed, overworked, and ran out of time to properly complete the project. She knew that she was wrong, but still wondered, actually she begged me, if I could intervene.
Similar to disciplining your own children, I had to explain to Karen that she had committed an egregious act; the professor could have, and probably should have, failed her for the class; the professor could have, and probably should have, sent her report to the compliance office, whereupon Karen would have been expelled from the university.
As such, I told her that I would not be intervening on her behalf. Rather, she should consider herself as fortunate, as her grade of a “D-“, while looking poor on her report card, helped to save her standing in the university. I also told her to NEVER cheat again, as it is never a solution to any issue. Proper planning, as she had done as far back as her middle days with me, is the only way to get through college.
I also told her that she would need to explain everything to her parents and face the music there. As her parents would soon be seeing her report card, it was best if she explained the situation before the card arrived.She agreed that she had erred; that she would accept the “D-“; and that she would tell her parents.
(So, Karen told her parents and they thanked me for my intervention, right? Well, come back next week to discover the "joy" that awaited me!)
Paul W. Reeves