Deterrence

All parties involved in the dishonesty--not just the individual whose grade is increased by it--can be punished.
Historically the job of preventing cheating has been given to the teacher. It used to be that in college the professor acted in loco parentis and was able to regulate student behavior as a parent. Thus, professors who discovered cheating could assign essentially any punishment they deemed appropriate. Students often had no mechanism for appeal. Generally, proctors were hired to patrol exams. If a case was particularly serious, a dean or other top-level administrator might have been involved. Against this inconsistent and paternalistic system, students at some schools rebelled and demanded to be treated as adults.

Honor codes
First at the College of William and Mary in 1779, and then followed by schools like the University of Virginia in the 1850s and Wesleyan University in 1893, the students, with the agreement of faculty who declared themselves dedicated to ideals of democracy and human character, created honor codes. B. Melendez of Harvard University defined an honor code as a code of academic conduct that includes a written pledge of honesty that students sign, a student controlled judiciary that hears alleged violations, unproctored examinations, and an obligation for all students help enforce the code. This system relied on student self-enforcement, which was considered more becoming of young gentlemen than the policing by proctors and professors that existed previously. Of interest, the military academies of the US took the honor code one step further than civilian colleges, disallowing "tolerance", which means that if a cadet or midshipman is found to have failed to report or outright protected someone engaged in academic dishonesty (as well as other dishonesties or stealing), that individual is to be expelled along with the perpetrator.

Mixed judicial boards
However, many people doubted the advisability of relying on an abstract notion of honor to prevent academic dishonesty. This doubt has perhaps led to the reality that no more than a quarter of American universities have adopted honor codes. Moreover, many professors could not envisage a student run trial process that treated faculty accusers fairly. In response to these concerns, in the middle of the twentieth century, many schools devised mixed judicial panels composed of both students and faculty. This type of academic integrity system was similar to the traditional faculty control system in that it relied on professors to detect cheating, except in this system cheaters were brought before centralized boards of students and faculty for punishment. By the 1960s over a quarter of American universities had adopted this system of mixed judicial boards. Still, though, over half of American universities continued to use faculty-centered control systems.

Student due process rights
Starting in the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court began chipping away at the in loco parentis doctrine, giving college students more civil liberties such as the right of due process in disciplinary proceedings (Dixon v. Alabama Board of Education, 1961). In Cooper v. Blair (1973), specifically academic misconduct was ruled to require due process, being a disciplinary matter and not an educational matter. The due process rights of students in academic misconduct cases is not to the same degree as in a court of law. For instance, the student has no right to representation and the burden of proof is not necessarily stringent. In the "General Order on Judicial Standards of Procedure and Substance in Review of Student Discipline in Tax Supported Institutions of Higher Education", (1968) student due process rights were laid out as follows:

The student should be given adequate notice in writing of the specific ground or grounds and the nature of the evidence on which the discipline proceedings are based.

The student should be given an opportunity for a hearing in which the disciplinary authority provides a fair opportunity for hearing of the student's position, explanations, or evidence.

No disciplinary action may be taken on grounds which are not supported by any substantial evidence.

These new rules put an end to the old faculty-based system of policing academic dishonesty, now students were entitled to an impartial hearing. While schools using the old honor code method or the mixed judicial system were not affected by these decisions, schools using the faculty based system generally instituted systems that relied on a committee of faculty and administrators or a dean to run the academic misconduct hearings.

Modified honor codes
Recently, Donald L. McCabe and Linda Klebe Trevino, two experts in the field of academic dishonesty, have proposed a new way of deterring cheating that has been implemented in schools such as the University of Maryland. Modified honor codes put students in charge of the judicial hearing process, making it clear that it is the students' responsibility to stop cheating amongst themselves, but at the same time students still have proctored exams and are not allowed to take pledges of good conduct in place of professor oversight. The researchers who advocate this type of code seem to think that the normal honor code is something of a special case that is not applicable to many schools. According to supporters of this system, schools with a large student body, a weak college community, or no history of student self-governance will not be able to support a full honor code. However, while modified honor codes seem to be more effective than faculty or administration run integrity codes of conduct, research shows that schools with modified codes still have higher rates of cheating than schools with full honor codes.

Comparison of different systems of enforcement
Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between forms of academic integrity system and levels of cheating at a school. Several studies have found students who attend schools with honor codes are less likely to cheat than students at schools with traditional integrity codes. Another study found that only 28% of schools with honor codes have high levels of cheating, whereas 81% of schools with mixed judicial boards have high rates of cheating. Whereas faculty or administration run codes of conduct tend to rely on policing and punishment to deter students from cheating, honor codes tend to rely on and cultivate student senses of honor and group peer pressure to deter academic misconduct. As mentioned above in the section on causes of cheating, increased enforcement or punishment is rarely effective at discouraging cheating, whereas there is a high correlation between peer pressure and academic honesty. The modified honor code attempts to cultivate peer disapproval of cheating while maintaining the traditional proctor system, although critics argue that the proctor system undermines the creation of an atmosphere of student self-policing, reducing the effectiveness of the honor code, possibly explaining why modified honor codes have not been as effective as the original version.

Faculty issues in deterring academic dishonesty
There are limitations to relying on the faculty to police academic dishonesty. One study found that up to 21% of professors have ignored at least one clear cut case of cheating. Another study revealed that 40% of professors "never" report cheating, 54% "seldom" report cheating, and that a mere 6% act on all cases of academic misconduct that confront them. A third survey of professors found that while 79% had observed cheating, only 9% had penalized the student. According to a manual for professors on cheating,

the reasons for this lack of action include unwillingness to devote time and energy to the issue, reluctance to undergo an emotional confrontation, and fear of retaliation by the student, of losing students, of being accused of harassment or discrimination, and even of being sued for these offenses and/or defamation of character.

There are other reasons as well. Some professors are reluctant to report violations to the appropriate authorities because they believe the punishment to be too harsh.

Some professors may have little incentive to reduce cheating in their classes below a point that would otherwise be obvious to outside observers, as they are rated by how many research papers they publish and research grants they win for the college, and not by how well they teach.

Others do not report academic misconduct because of postmodernist views on cheating. Postmodernism calls into question the very concepts of "authorship" and "originality." From the perspective of cultural studies and historicism, authors themselves are simply constructs of their social surroundings, and thus they simply rewrite already written cultural stories. Moreover, in the field of composition studies, students are being encouraged more and more to do group work and participate in ongoing collective revision. The postmodernist view is that "the concept of intellectual malpractice is of limited epistemological value. Under the ironic gaze of postmodernism, the distinctions between guilt and innocence, integrity and deceit permeating the scandal debates appear irrelevant." However, there is an argument that postmodernism is just moral relativism, therefore cheating is condoned as a valid academic method, even if it is morally and legally wrong. One professor wrote in an article in The English Journal that when he peeked in on an unproctored class taking a test and saw several students up and consulting with one another, he decided that they were not cheating, but were using non-traditional techniques and collaborative learning to surmount the obstacles teachers had put in their way. Issues of cultural relativism also affect professors' views on cheating; the standard objection being that "students from certain Middle Eastern, Asian, and African cultures are baffled by the notion that one can 'own' ideas, since their cultures regard words and ideas as the property of all rather than as individual property."

Another issue teachers may have with deterring cheating is that they may decide that it is not their job. The argument that "they're professors, not policemen" is often heard in academia. In economic terms, some professors believe they are being paid to provide learning, and if the student loses that learning through cheating, he is only cheating himself out of the money he paid.

Site Map