A Fate Worse Than F

Simon Fraser University is instituting the grade of FD, a grade worse than F, for “egregious cases of academic dishonesty.” It can only be given by authorities higher up than professors and it would have possibly long lasting implications:

The FD would remain on a student’s transcripts during their time at SFU and for two years after graduation, which could affect the possibility of postgraduate studies or even getting a job if a potential employer asks to see transcripts.

Severity of the offence and incidences of previous cheating would both be considered before handing out an FD.

“If a student thinks they have been unfairly dealt with, they have the opportunity to appeal (to the ombudsman),” said Gordon. “I thought we would have a lot of push-back from students but (student response) has been overwhelmingly favourable.”

The University of Alberta hands cheaters an F8 or F9 grade, which can be reduced after three years to an F.

Plagiarizing is the cardinal sin of academia.  The ideals of studying to learn and the meaning of grades as accurate and fair assessments of students’ knowledge and abilities are both undermined in principle when students plagiarize.  Glad to see this unusual offense against the academy recognized with a mark of its own.

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