It is disgraceful for an academic to inflate the marks of students in exchange for bribes so that they can pass their examinations. This is despicable.
It seems that the institution concerned, Curtin University, Australia, does not have a foolproof system to detect and check on possible abuse by academics.
I think all institutions should have an examination board rather than one person to decide on grades etc. When I was managing the academic operation of a college, all examination decisions were made by the examination board and no individual, including the head of academics had the right to make decisions on grades. The check and balance system worked very well. Also proper and judicious record keeping is crucial. In my case, for the lack of a functional examination operation system, I invented the use of Google Docs and the many features to provide a full paper-trails (or electronic trail, to be more precise) of all decisions and operational work. This allowed me to deal with all the malicious accusations made by people with ulterior motives and exposed their ill intend.
I feel that the institution is just as responsible as the disgraced academic on this issue.
Malaysian lecturer escapes jail over bribery charges in Perth
DECEMBER 6, 2013
MELBOURNE, Dec 6 — A former Malaysian-born Perth university lecturer has escaped imprisonment after admitting he took thousands of dollars in bribes to increase exam marks for students who would otherwise have failed.
The Australian Associated Press said Foong Tuck Cheong, 54, pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court in June to three charges of corruption and two counts of bribery following a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into offences committed at Curtin University in 2012.
Foong increased the marks of two students who should have failed units for their Bachelor of Applied Science (Construction Management and Economics) degree.
For a third student — whose father in Malaysia had known Foong for many years — he increased the marks on one assignment and gave him a pass mark on another project even though the assignment had not even been submitted.
Judge Philip McCann on Friday sentenced Foong to 16 months’ jail, suspended or two years.
He said the offences were very serious and had the potential to cause serious damage to Curtin University’s reputation.
While it was important to send a message to others that jail would follow such offending, and that academic integrity was taken seriously, McCann acknowledged Foong’s behaviour was “irrational and out character”, and accordingly suspended the sentence.
It followed Foong being told he was about to be made redundant after 24 years with the university, which left him “emotionally devastated” and affected his judgment.
Foong was also fined A$6,000 for his actions relating to the Malaysian student. — Bernama