Over 60 students at the Harvard University have been forced to withdraw and several others disciplined after being implicated in one of the largest cheating scandals that shook the Ivy League institution last year.
Dean of Harvard's faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael Smith said more than half of the 125 cases heard by Harvard College's administrative board resulted in "required to withdraw" verdicts.
About half of the remaining cases resulted in disciplinary probation, while the rest resulted in no disciplinary action, Smith said.
In one of the largest cheating scandals that rocked the prestigious Cambridge-based university last August, half of the 279 students enrolled in an 'Introduction to Congress' course were suspected of "academic dishonesty" ranging from "inappropriate collaboration to outright plagiarism" on a take-home final exam.
The university had launched an investigation into the cheating scandal last August after professor Matthew Platt reported suspicious similarities on a handful of take-home exams in his course, the Harvard Crimson reported.
"The large number of administrative board cases this past fall highlighted the fact that we, as a faculty, must redouble our efforts to communicate clearly and unambiguously to our undergraduates about academic integrity," Smith said.
After the cheating scandal came to light, the university had said that the magnitude of the case is "unprecedented in anyone’s living memory.
" Smith said the forced withdrawals were retroactive to the start of the school year.
Forced withdrawals usually last two to four semesters, after which a student may return, according to the administrative board's website.
In the wake of the cheating scandal, Harvard had faced criticism for its handling of the case, including the amount of time it took to resolve the cases and the public outing of some accused students.