Ellison: Ad Board Statistics Still in Progress

Information on the outcomes of disciplinary cases heard in recent years by the College’s Administrative Board—originally slated for release by the end of the fall semester—is still in the process of being compiled and reviewed, according to Secretary of the Ad Board John “Jay” L. Ellison.

In September 2010, the College hired a management fellow to collect data on the decisions made by the College’s top disciplinary body, which is often perceived by students as secretive.

Ellison said that this information, which will be made available online once it has been reviewed, will include descriptions of past cases in addition to graphs charting the Ad Board’s recent work. The data is intended to help students—especially those facing a Ad Board case—better understand the process.

“I think that transparency is very important in that it gives students an idea as to where they stand,” said Megan R. Mitrovich, the management fellow responsible for compiling the data.

She predicted that the information will be released by the end of this semester.

“We could do the stats immediately, but they actually don’t tell you why one person got one sanction, why one person got another,” Ellison said.

According to Ellison, the release has been delayed primarily due to privacy concerns. He emphasized the importance of obscuring details that could link current or former students to specific incidents.

“We have to be very, very careful to provide students with enough information that they know what the board’s doing and they know how the board responds to things, but make sure that the information is carefully crafted so that the individual students are not identified,” Ellison said.

To address this potential problem, Ellison said that he and Mitrovich decided to expand the time frame covered by the data beyond the five-year period originally planned in order to make it harder to identify individual students.

“With cases that are rare and particularly difficult—sexual assault cases, for example—we’re actually going to go back most likely ten years,” he said.

In addition to compiling the statistics on the Ad Board, Mitrovich is also working on the academic integrity assessment that the College is currently conducting. The first step of this process is a survey sent via e-mail Feb. 7 to all students, teaching fellows, and faculty; the survey will close to students at midnight on Monday, Feb. 28.

—Staff writer Stephanie B. Garlock can be reached at sgarlock@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Julie M. Zauzmer can be reached at jzauzmer@college.harvard.edu.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction.

CORRECTION: FEB. 25, 2011

The Feb. 24 article "Ellison: Ad Board Statistics Still in Progress" incorrectly stated when the academic integrity assessment closes. It will close at midnight on Monday, Feb. 28.

Tags