July 4, 2020

19° C, Thunderstorm

Full Forecast



Advertise With Us

BU nursing students punished after exam 'compromised'


Advertise With Us

The Brandon University Health Studies Complex. (Drew May/The Brandon Sun)

The Brandon University Health Studies Complex. (Drew May/The Brandon Sun)

An entire class of second-year nursing students at Brandon University is facing disciplinary action over a final exam the school has deemed "compromised."

"There is strong evidence to corroborate the fact that the 71:250 Nursing Foundations II course (Fall term, test II, Final Exam) was compromised by a large number of students," reads a letter from the dean of the faculty of health studies at BU to the class.

A copy of the letter sent by the dean of the faculty of health studies to students in the affected class provided by an anonymous source. Brandon University confirmed to the Sun that the letter is authentic. (Submitted)

A copy of the letter sent by the dean of the faculty of health studies to students in the affected class provided by an anonymous source. Brandon University confirmed to the Sun that the letter is authentic. (Submitted)

The letter was given to the Sun by a source who wished to remain anonymous.

"Please be aware that any further acts of academic dishonesty and/or misconduct will result in more severe penalties being imposed," the letter continued.

According to the university, there were between 46 and 48 students enrolled in the course in question, taught by Dr. Ali Salman. 

Students have the option of retaking the exam with a penalty applied to make it so that the maximum possible attainable mark is 70 per cent. If after the retaken exam a student believes that the penalty was too harsh, they can file an appeal.

They are also able to appeal the discipline altogether, but risk receiving a grade of zero on the exam in the event their appeal is denied.

Penalties for academic dishonesty at Brandon University for cheating include receiving a mark of zero, receiving a failing grade for the course, being expelled or suspended from the school, class or school team and receiving a permanent mark of academic dishonesty on a transcript.

"Brandon University is committed to maintaining academic integrity," the university wrote in a statement provided to the Sun. "The value of every BU degree is built on meeting a common standard of knowledge and behaviour. Integrity is especially critical in a field like health care, where trust relationships are central.

"Recently, Brandon University learned that a final exam in a nursing class was compromised by a large number of students. Academic dishonesty is always subject to penalties on a scale appropriate to the level of the infraction, possibly including a grade of F and a permanent mark of Academic Dishonesty on a student’s transcript.

"Given the circumstances of this particular case, BU has worked with the faculty member, the students’ union and the students in the class to fairly and appropriately deal with this serious infraction."

According to the university’s policy on academic dishonesty posted on its website, there are several steps an instructor accusing a student of dishonesty has to go through. 

The instructor must inform a student they are being accused in writing and set up a meeting to discuss the matter. The department chair or dean may be present for this meeting.

If the student admits to dishonesty, they will discuss an appropriate punishment for the action. If the punishment is agreed upon by both parties, it will be forwarded to the appropriate dean for review.

When an instructor and student agree on guilt but do not agree on a punishment, the matter is sent to the department chair for them to mediate an appropriate punishment which will then be reviewed by the dean.

In the case of a student being accused of dishonesty by a professor and not admitting guilt, a subcommittee is formed to adjudicate the matter.

Students who receive a penalty for dishonesty by a dean or the school’s president can file an appeal to the university’s senate.

The Sun reached out to Whitney Hodgins, the vice-president internal at Brandon University Students’ Union, for comment, but she declined to speak on the matter.

Multiple attempts were made to speak with members of the class, but no requests for comment were returned.

If any students would like to come forward to speak on the matter, please contact Sun education reporter Colin Slark at cslark@brandonsun.com or by phone at 204-571-7444.

» cslark@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @ColinSlark


Advertise With Us

We need your support!
Local journalism needs your support!

As we navigate through unprecedented times, our journalists are working harder than ever to bring you the latest local updates to keep you safe and informed.

Now, more than ever, we need your support.

Starting at $4.99/month you can access your Brandon Sun online and full access to all content as it appears on our website.

Subscribe Now

or call circulation directly at (204) 727-0527.

Your pledge helps to ensure we provide the news that matters most to your community!

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Brandon Sun website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Brandon Sun print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Brandon Sun Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us