Performance Perspectives Blog

Harvard students caught cheating

by | Feb 5, 2013

By now, you’ve probably heard about the group of Harvard University students who were caught cheating on a take-home exam. When you learn the details, I think you have to wonder about the supposed higher intelligence of Harvard students, but that’s a different matter.

My reason for bringing it up: should we be surprised? Actually, should perhaps we be surprised that such cheating isn’t more rampant?

What examples do our young people have, when it comes to integrity, honesty, hard work, playing by the rules, etc?

We’ve talked a lot about Bernie. And there are too many others in our industry who committed fraud. 

We’ve heard of the numerous teachers who either helped their students with their proficiency exams, or simply made changes, to boost scores.

In the world of sports, a source for many of our heroes, we have Lance Armstrong’s “fessing up” (after denying drug use for more than ten years), new revelations about A-Rod, and many more, who used (use?) performance enhancing drugs. We also have allegations of coaches cheating (think N.E. Patriots) and “bounties” being offered to severely injure opposing players.

Politicians are legendary for their brand of dishonesty, but fields that one would have thought virtually immune to anything but the highest ideals are proving to have way too many bad apples.

Can a day go by without some new revelation of cheating, lying, etc.?

If there’s a lesson, perhaps that in many (most, hopefully) cases, the bad guys get caught. Honesty (still) is the best policy.

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