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View Poll Results: What would you do if asked to do a take home final for someone?
Nail her to the wall 11 32.35%
Let it go and move on 23 67.65%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-04-08, 12:24 PM   #1
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Ethical dilemma - What would you do about a cheater?

Here's the actual, not hypothetical situation. I graduated from a top 30 MBA program in the spring with a very high GPA.

On Thursday night, while at a ballgame, I got a voicemail from a current student I attended classes with. She said she "Had a business proposition for me. PLEASE call back." I left a return message and she called on Saturday.

She's been in other classes with me and even in a couple of group projects. Every group project I've been in usually is me and another student working hard and the others are tag-alongs. She was a tag-along.

She said she heard from others that I was a pro at the marketing class she is currently in. She has a take home final that she is struggling with and is very stressed and has worked with two tutors, but they are useless, etc, etc. Can I help? Her language was very fishy, so i said I'd think about it and let her know.

I get a text message from her saying that if I can make the time to do it for her, she'd pay me $200 if I included supporting materials.

Umm, no.

Here are the two options with their pros and cons:

1. Nail her to the wall. Let the professor know.

Pros:
- If she is doing it now, she's probably done it in the past
- The integrity of the degree and university
- It would assuage my indignation that although we have worked together before, she didn't think that i would be ethically challenged by this. To be honest, I'm pissed that she would consider that I'd be okay with even the suggestion.

Cons:
- This is her last class before graduation. The degree costs $65k and she would likely get kicked out.
- She actually hasn't cheated - yet.
- It is a small world out there and her bad word of mouth about me might come back to haunt me - even though i'd be in the right.
- The tattling thing - ironically, I just watched a Brady Bunch rerun about this.
- The professor probably sticks it to the whole class in one way or another.

2. Let it go.
(This is what I've done. i told her I couldn't do it. She said that's cool and quickly dropped it.)

Pros
- Nobody's life gets disrupted
- I don't ruin her future

Cons
- She will probably do it and get away with it



What would YOU do?
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Old 08-04-08, 12:29 PM   #2
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fer cryin' out loud. It's only an MBA - not like it's a meaningful degree or anything. You should call her back and help her "git-r-done" btw - this is partially a joke answer. You get to figure out which part(s).
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Old 08-04-08, 12:30 PM   #3
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I would say option 2...at some point in life it will all come back to her. Let the universe takes its toll.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:35 PM   #4
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Yes, I agree #2 is the right one.

It WILL eventually bite her. If she continues that path.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:38 PM   #5
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As a university level instructor (ok, I'm just a lowly TA), I'd appreciate that knowledge, but your word that she was thinking about cheating, really wouldn't be enough information for me to act on, so I might watch her more closely/grade her might carefully than I'd do otherwise, but I couldn't call her a cheat just on your word. Now if I'd taught you the previous semester and it was the same final and you gave her word for word what you wrote then told me so I could pull your file and compare it, that's a whole different ballgame. Really, a sting operation like that is the only way I could bust her. Maybe MBA programs differ from biology programs, but I'm not sure. That's part of the reason I don't like giving takehome finals. It's much easier to see the perforated edges of spiral-bound cheat sheet sticking out from the pages of a computer generated final (how I caught one student this year).
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Old 08-04-08, 12:43 PM   #6
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I'm hesitant to rat people out in a campus setting unless its an overt academic misconduct like faking data on a dissertation so the statistical analysis shows all the points on a perfect line, or someone buying a term paper from overseas. Most professors are smart enough to catch this, so they just silently document the attempts at cheating, so when they do give an "F", they have plenty of documentation to back it up.

There is a good likelihood the prof might not do anything, other than give a warning about collusion, and she would likely have strong suspicions who turned her in. If the prof did fail her, she likely could appeal the grade and say its someone making false allegations against her.

Either way, she will become a bitter enemy for life, and it may not matter now, but you never know who ends up your boss later on in life.

Cheating (especially plagiarism [1]) bites people in the butt later on, and I have my suspicions that the professor may be giving her enough rope to hang herself on.

[1]: I have heard of professors get credentials pulled over a decade after they are awarded a PhD because someone finds that their dissertation or master's thesis has copied paragraphs verbatim from a relatively obscure book that made it onto Google or Amazon.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:44 PM   #7
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What an effin' cheapskate. I got offered more than that over 20 years ago to cheat for others as an undergrad. I don't like cheaters because their participation in any group is parasitic and they are neither trustworthy nor competent -- not the sort of people I want to work or socialize with.

In all honesty, she won't get in trouble even if you report her because you don't have concrete proof you can show to others. Besides, others probably know what she's like anyway.

People who cheat limit themselves because you can only go so far before you have to deliver substance. I'd just steer clear of her and let her be someone else's problem.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:54 PM   #8
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gotta heart mba programs- i read somewhere that mba programs have the highest rates of cheating.. yup, to get used to how things work in the real business world. and lulz at cheating under the pretense of a "business proposition"
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Old 08-04-08, 01:01 PM   #9
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gotta heart mba programs- i read somewhere that mba programs have the highest rates of cheating.. yup, to get used to how things work in the real business world. and lulz at cheating under the pretense of a "business proposition"
Unfortunately that's right. What she did is exactly the way too many actual business deals get conducted.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:03 PM   #10
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gotta heart mba programs- i read somewhere that mba programs have the highest rates of cheating.. yup, to get used to how things work in the real business world. and lulz at cheating under the pretense of a "business proposition"
heh, furreals.

The Harvard Business School discovered that they needed to start teaching ethics, because they realized they were turning out graduates that saw no problem with cheating.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:22 PM   #11
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I would be insulted more by the lowly amount of $200. For a $65k degree, I'd expect at least a full percentage point. I wouldn't help, nor turn her in. It could screw you over later. She may be stupid or lazy, but she may know people and very well might end up in a high position, with this MBA really just being a piece of paper.

And about cheating in the business world, that isn't very surprising. Seems to fit that type of personality.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:26 PM   #12
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i'm surprised she didn't offer herself as payment. unless she isn't very attractive. then it would be an insult.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:29 PM   #13
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Hit it & quit it. Er, i mean, i'd choose the "Let it go" option. Karma's a *****.
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Old 08-04-08, 01:43 PM   #14
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Uh, as a college professor, I would say that you should explain to her the damage to her credibility should information like this get out; as for you, it could hurt your future as well. Just don't do it. I have failed a student for plagarism and this act is right up there.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:17 PM   #15
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Is she hot...need more input.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:18 PM   #16
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What an effin' cheapskate. I got offered more than that over 20 years ago to cheat for others as an undergrad. I don't like cheaters because their participation in any group is parasitic and they are neither trustworthy nor competent -- not the sort of people I want to work or socialize with.

In all honesty, she won't get in trouble even if you report her because you don't have concrete proof you can show to others. Besides, others probably know what she's like anyway.

People who cheat limit themselves because you can only go so far before you have to deliver substance. I'd just steer clear of her and let her be someone else's problem.
I have her text message.

"If its worth a business proposition, ill pay you $200 to do it 4 me with providing material bc ive hired 2 tutors n had no luck. Im desparate at this."

Anyway, sounds like a dead end and not worth it anyway.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:20 PM   #17
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Uh, as a college professor, I would say that you should explain to her the damage to her credibility should information like this get out; as for you, it could hurt your future as well. Just don't do it. I have failed a student for plagarism and this act is right up there.
You did read that it never even entered my mind to accept the offer, right?
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Old 08-04-08, 02:33 PM   #18
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oh, nail her TO the wall. Not up against the wall, totally different. I wouldnt bother telling her that she's in the wrong for even suggesting it, no doubt she knows it already.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:41 PM   #19
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take the $200 and then say your dog ate it when it's time to turn it in.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:42 PM   #20
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Oh, come on! There's a third option. You never heard of blackmail?
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Old 08-04-08, 02:51 PM   #21
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I can’t believe you all have such a low standard of moral outrage. This is exactly the type of thing that leads to ENRON. It is always harder to step up and do the right thing. It could cost you, still, it is the right thing to do, you know it is in your heart, and you need to step up and turn her in. Biting your nails, wondering if it meets the requirements for cheating, wondering if she could hurt you later in life is all pathetic rationalization and reveals a dramatic lack of character.

That’s right I said it.. flame on.
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Old 08-04-08, 02:59 PM   #22
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"If its worth a business proposition, ill pay you $200 to do it 4 me with providing material bc ive hired 2 tutors n had no luck. Im desparate at this."
She is an idiot. Not just for providing evidence that could get her in trouble, but failing to recognize that only morons would risk expulsion for such paltry sums -- so the quality of their product will be low. Skilled labor tends to cost something.

Since she seems to find the supply and demand thing confusing, she should probably spring for cosmetic surgery if she can't get by on her looks.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:10 PM   #23
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"If its worth a business proposition, ill pay you $200 to do it 4 me with providing material bc ive hired 2 tutors n had no luck. Im desparate at this."
The quality of people they accept at MBA school is appalling. Most likely she cheated her way through undergrad as well. Tag alongs like that usually find the most diligent people to work with in a group and scam off their marks. It's been done many times knowing that the well-doers won't sacrifice their marks to spite the taggers and they won't rat either because their reputation among their peers is equally important for networking.

Cheaters will always cheat until they get punished. I would rat her out, but not at the expense of my reputation. Have it done anonymously. People like her need to fall right away, not later.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:18 PM   #24
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I agree with others that you should just let it go. Somebody made a comment which I found to be quite astute, which was that there's only so far she'll be able to go without substance anyways.
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Old 08-04-08, 03:35 PM   #25
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I'd say you did the right thing. She didn't cheat so there is nothing she can really get in trouble for. Unless they start kicking people out of school for "attempted cheating" in which case you can do something.

Was she attractive? While this doesn't change anything, it is a big detail you didn't include.
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