Arts & Sciences investigates Physics 192 academic integrity breach

| Senior News Editor

The office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and the Physics Department are currently investigating an incident in which Physics 192 exam solutions were posted on Chegg during the exam period.

Photo by Stephen Huber

The department has informed all students registered in the course that if they come forward by the end of the day today, they will receive a zero without being referred to the Academic Integrity Committee.

“We have evidence that problem solutions posted there were accessed and used during that time,” the course instructors wrote in a Canvas announcement on the course page. “In other words, we are dealing with [a] serious breach of academic integrity. We are working with the office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences to fully investigate these issues.”

Sean McWilliams, one of the Academic Integrity Deans of the College of Arts & Sciences, declined to comment.

Students who are otherwise found guilty without coming forward by the deadline will be referred to the Academic Integrity Committee, who will determine if the students’ actions have violated the University’s academic integrity policy. Sanctions for violating the policy vary depending on the severity of the offense, but can include course failure, disciplinary probation and expulsion from the University.

Sheryl Mauricio, the Associate Dean for Student Conduct and Community Standards did not respond to requests for comment.

The University is also working with Chegg in its investigation process. According to Chegg’s Honor Code posted on their website, the company will comply with any investigation conducted by an academic institution. The website, which hosts tutoring services, homework solutions and other study materials, says that using any of their services for graded assignments is prohibited.

“Chegg is designed to support learning, not replace it,” the honor code reads. “We expect our users to follow our Honor Code. We take misuse of our products and services very seriously and users and/or tutors who do not follow this code will be censured, including potentially being banned from our platform.”

The Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Jennifer Smith, declined to comment on the situation specifically, but maintained in a statement to Student Life that “academic integrity is something we take very seriously whether a course is remote or in person.”

The Physics 192 instructors did not respond to requests for comment.

This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.

Subscribe