Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
UCSD Responds to Cheating Report: "We Prefer to Think of It As Preparing Students for Success."
UCSD Dept. of Graduate Admissions: "If by 'cheating,' you mean 'optimizing performance,' then I'm not sure why we're having this conversation."
"Anyone who has a problem with appropriating someone else's work as their own has obviously never been on the Internet."
SNORTING DISMISSIVELY AMONG THE EUCALYPTUS GROVES, UCSD CAMPUS - "Look," says UCSD Director of Graduate School Admissions Roger Harkness, "China isn't getting ahead in the tech wars by doing their own R&D, okay? Everybody knows that. Investment bankers aren't buying private islands because they work hard and keep their noses clean. Kennedy didn't become President by insisting that every voter in Chicago had to be alive. And Captain James T. Kirk didn't beat the Kobayashi Maru scenario by coloring inside the lines. You want to win? You have to be creative. There will always be haters who call that kind of behavior cheating. But frankly, that kind of above-the-fray moral snootery is a luxury that today's college student simply cannot afford."
Harkness was responding to a recent report authored by UCSD physics faculty member Michael G. Anderson and Christine Killora, an admissions counselor at the University of San Diego, which found that "the rate of cheating [at UCSD] is assumed to be much higher than what is officially reported and is thus considered a significant problem at the University."
"Anderson is a tightass from way back," thundered Harkness. "He's welcome to do his little experiments in 'gotcha' class-management - he's got tenure, he can do what he wants. But can you honestly expect someone who's had the same cushy job for 30 years to understand today's academic job market - let alone the larger, real-world job market? I mean, I'm sure there a lot of old-school biology teachers who got their undies in a bunch when The Origin of Species was published, but guess what? Times change."
Apparently so. Harkness says that he plans to turn Anderson's findings to his own advantage. "We're working on a campaign right now: 'UCSD: We Know What it Takes.'"
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