Auburn University Addresses Cheating in Pharmacy School


Sarah Roach, Writer

Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is currently under investigation for alleged cheating. These claims come from their Pharmacy 1 through Pharmacy 3 classes. At the moment, it is unknown how many students have been caught cheating, but more are being discovered rapidly.

The news site received a copy of an email from the school’s dean, Richard Hansen. The email includes a confirmation that the situation is being taken seriously, with the dean addressing all the classes and going to speak to them personally. Along with this, he has said that those who willingly come forward and confess will receive more lenient punishments. Those who wait will be punished severely, and may be required to attend an honor board hearing. Many students have come forward and confessed as well as exposed others involved. Since the means by which the students cheated have not been discovered, an investigation is still taking place.

An attempt was made to contact Mrs. Lawson, the school’s Biomedical Innovations teacher, and Mrs. Koler, the school’s pharmacy teacher, for their opinions on the difficulty of pharmacy school at Auburn, but no response was received.

Bob Jones students were asked if they ever had the impulse to cheat in the past, and the answers were nearly split in half. Out of 39 students, 19 said they have never cheated before and the remaining 20 said they have. What tempts students to cheat? Some say it’s the overwhelming need to maintain good grades in a school that idolizes them. A senior at Bob Jones remarked, “There is SO much pressure on education coming from all angles. Parents, Admin, College Reps, and teachers can be so overbearing in making sure you test well, rather than if you have retained the material.” Another student said that “good grades are put above everything else, including sleep, health, and, when it comes to cheating, morals.” Other students concluded that forgetting to study is why students cheat; it’s the easy way out of the situation. One student commented, “Students cheat because of lack of preparation or just because they don’t understand the teacher because the teacher didn’t elaborate well.”

No new information about the cheating has been brought to light, but the university is doing everything they can to get to the bottom of the scandal. Harrison School’s Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct lays out repercussions for cheating including “disciplinary letters, failing grades for courses in which the offense occurred and suspension or expulsion from the school.”