Date of Award

1-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution

Department

Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Elena P. Bastidas

Second Advisor

Toran J. Hansen

Third Advisor

Robert J. Witheridge

Abstract

Technology has wrought paradigmatic shifts in societal, institutional, and individual power to instantly share and collaboratively produce knowledge, influencing the definition and perceived significance of academic ethics (AE), a continually evolving social construct. Student disregard of AE can generate wide-ranging conflicts affecting multiple student-success stakeholders: students, their families, instructors, administrators, schools, employers of graduates, and society. Dominant AE higher education institutional strategies typically position the individual student as the problem, leaving contextual influences on their academic conduct outside the AE conflict resolution discourse. The researcher conducted an exploratory research study to ascertain undergraduate students' opinions about AE at a university poised to coordinate and consolidate policy for its undergraduate student population--Nova Southeastern University (NSU). NSU recently announced the creation of a new College of Undergraduate Studies (CUS) to establish a single and unified undergraduate identity throughout its six undergraduate degree-conferring schools. Data was collected and analyzed to assess the opinions of exiting NSU undergraduate students': 1) beliefs about AE, 2) familiarity with school policies and rules, 3) perceived AE experience at NSU, and 4) awareness of conflicts generated by disregard of AE standards and objectives. Conflicts resulting from disparate understandings of academic ethics between students, faculty, and administrators can be reduced and prevented through enhanced communication. This study's findings provided a repository of knowledge to inform NSU/CUS institutional AE strategies by giving voice to students, thereby enhancing communication and the conflict resolution potential of institutional initiatives for the benefit of students and student-success stakeholders at NSU and all similarly-structured universities.

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