AUC holds first academic integrity conference in Middle East And North Africa

Published December 5th, 2010 - 06:22 GMT
The American University in Cairo (AUC) held the first academic integrity conference in the Middle East and North Africa under the theme “Fostering Academic Integrity,” addressing a number of timely topics, including means of preventing violations of academic integrity; intellectual property rights; research ethics; business ethics; academic integrity and culture; as well as academic integrity for K-12 schools. “This is an occasion for promoting cooperation on academic integrity between institutions across the region, and presents a venue for sharing experiences and exchanging lessons learned with input from the international academic community,” said AUC Provost Lisa Anderson. The conference was attended by Fathy Sorour, head of the Egyptian Parliament, Safwat Zahran, president of Benha University, Professor Donald McCabe, founding president of Clemson University’s Center for Academic Integrity and professor of management and global business at Rutgers University; Daniel Wueste, director of the Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics at Clemson University; Teddi Fishman, director of the Center for Academic Integrity, Rutland Institute for Ethics; and Tricia Bertram Gallant, academic integrity coordinator for the University of California, San Diego, in addition to members of AUC’s Academic Integrity Council. According to education experts, the need to foster attitudes and practices of academic integrity in educational institutions is a major issue among academic institutions worldwide. Studies show increasing incidents of cheating, plagiarism and other violations of academic integrity over the past decade. More attention has been given to this issue as its impact extends well beyond academic boundaries to influence professional practices and social behavior. “There is undisputed evidence that cheating and plagiarism are on the increase in light of abundance of data and increased competition,” said Professor Mohamed Abou Zeid, chairman of AUC’s Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering and the chair of its Academic Integrity Council. According to Abou Zeid, AUC has been on the front lines of this issue for several years. It is considered a regional leader in promoting academic integrity and in creating and enforcing positive attitude changes among all the stakeholders at the university. “Producing a campus-wide code of academic ethics, reviewing integrity policies, restructuring integrity committees, creating awareness materials and launching orientation sessions on every level are but a few examples of AUC’s efforts over the past six years,” Abou Zeid noted. “I hope that the region will hold many more conferences such as this. AUC will definitely assist and host some of them,” explained Abou Zeid. “This is an ongoing issue,” he added.

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