Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TWSC Researchers Miguel Paolo P. Reyes and Joel F. Ariate Jr. Present their Research on Academic and Authorial Integrity in the University of the Philippines Diliman

The Research Presentation
L-R, facing the camera: Joel F. Ariate Jr., Third World Studies Center (TWSC) university researcher, Dr. Ricardo Jose, TWSC director and professor of history, and Miguel Paolo P. Reyes, TWSC university research associate. L-R, with their back turned to the camera: Dr. Maria Ela L. Atienza, associate professor of political science and Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez, professor of broadcast communication.

L-R: Dr. Benito M. Pacheco, UP Diliman vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of engineering; Dr. Zosimo E. Lee, professor of philosophy and former dean of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy; Prof. Josephine C. Dionisio, chair of the Student Disciplinary Council and assistant professor of sociology; Atty. Vyva Victoria M. Aguirre, former dean, School of Library and Information Studies, and Prof. Jely A. Galang, TWSC deputy director and assistant professor of history. 

L-R: Atty. Vyva Victoria M. Aguirre, Prof. Jely A. Galang, Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez, Dr. Cecilia A. Florencio, university professor emeritus of nutrition; Dr. Maria Ela L. Atienza, and Dr. Milagros P. Querubin, associate professor of nutrition.

L-R: Dr. Cecilia A. Florencio, Dr. Henry J. Ramos (partly hidden), Ma. Cecilia B. Olivar, cleck of the now defunct Student Disciplinary Tribunal; and Dr. Maria Ela L. Atienza.

Reactions from the Research Participants

Dr. Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem, professor of political science.

Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez, professor of broadcast communication.

Prof. Josephine C. Dionisio, chair of the Student Disciplinary Council and assistant professor of sociology.

Dr. Elizabeth L. Enriquez, Dr. Cecilia A. Florecncio, Dr. Maria Ela L. Atienza, Dr. Henry J. Ramos, director of the Diliman Project Management and Resource Generation Office, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development and professor of physics; and Dr. Milagros P. Querubin.

The Researchers Respond

Summary of the Draft Research Report Presented to the Research Participants on 24 November 2014, 2:00-5:00 p.m., Conference Room, Third World Studies Center, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UP Diliman

This research is an attempt to understand, and in turn demonstrate this understanding to the public and the academic community, how plagiarism and similar forms of fraud, has coursed through the veins of academic life in University of the Philippines-Diliman (UP Diliman). By plagiarism we mean the transgression of perceived standards and commonly understood values for the proper attribution of ideas. Our definition, informed by our understanding that standards are historically contingent and values breed its own unbelievers, may seem to run counter to the image of unbending, unchanging rules that the phrase “academic and authorial integrity” connotes. But then there is the truism that even integrity is also a matter of perception. That UP Diliman upholds academic and authorial integrity seem to be a statement that needs no further proof. Until one looks into the specific instances on how UP Diliman has dealt with those who were accused of violating this central academic and ethical tenet. When a student or a member of the faculty is accused of plagiarism, fabrication or theft of research data, or has misrepresented the extent of his or her authorship in an academic work, certain investigative and disciplinary procedures are at hand to address the issue. The usual point of reference are the “Rules and Regulations on the Discipline of Faculty Members and Employees (RRDFME),” approved by the UP Board of Regents (BOR) in 1963 and the “Rules and Regulations in Student Conduct and Discipline (RRSCD),” approved by the UP BOR in 1976. Both have been amended and modified. On 07 August 2014, the RRSCD was superseded by the 2012 Code of Student Conduct (Student Code). The changes to these sets of rules indicate a degree of responsiveness and flexibility on the part of the University. Though these changes for the most part were attempts to make the application of disciplinary processes more transparent, accessible, and rational, the changes have also led to unresolved questions, in particular on provisions on intellectual dishonesty and academic fraud and its corresponding penalties. The established approach is to determine if the act under consideration rises to the level of a misconduct that violates the university’s legal and administrative codes. This process has been saddled both by the refusal of some academics to pass judgment on their colleague and the inherent legalism and tedious legalistic proceedings that it entails. There are also procedural interstices that allow for arbitrary and improvised processes. Gaps that allow a professor to punish a student plagiarist with a failing grade and for administration officials to so expedite a process for a faculty member to be cleared by the BOR of any ethical wrongdoing in a matter of months—in stark contrast to those who have to wait for years to receive a ruling. Then there are also those who were accused of intellectual dishonesty in the course of their work as UP Diliman academics who have decided to seek redress in trial courts outside of the University. Based also on the cases and instances reviewed, UP Diliman seem to be able to deal with intellectually dishonest students in a more straightforward manner and punish some of them with greater severity than the ethically errant members of the faculty. An expulsion or a two-year suspension from the university hardly equals the surreptitious resignation of some faculty members who were caught red-handed in plagiarism cases. These quick-fix maneuvers do not contribute to the formation and sustenance of a more robust, fair, and transparent institutional mechanism that can pass timely and commensurate judgment on ethically compromised members of the academe.

The presentation is part of the research activities of  “The UP Diliman Handbook on Academic and Authorial Integrity” funded through the Source of Solution Grant under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development (Project No. 111108 SOS.

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