Time-old professorial question: “Is it worth it to pursue students who cheat?” Here is the conclusion of a business school professor who caught a fifth of his class cheating: hell, no. In addition to being an incredible timesuck, he claims it cost him money:
Instead of the usual evaluations that were in the region of 6.0 to 6.5 out of seven, this time my ratings went down by almost a point: 5.3 out of 7.0. Instead of being a teacher in the upper percentiles, I was now below average.
The Dean’s office and my chair “expressed their appreciation” for me chasing such cases (in December), but six months later, when I received my annual evaluation, my yearly salary increase was the lowest ever, and significantly lower than inflation, as my “teaching evaluations took a hit this year”.
Granted, it sounds like he felt more comfortable pursuing plagiarists in the first place after he was awarded tenure, and probably if there is something that one is averse to doing because one is concerned about its implications for tenure, it shouldn’t be completely surprising that doing it afterward might have salary implications. Still pretty dispiriting.
(None of which is me saying one shouldn’t pursue cheaters. I do think if one starts thinking about it strictly in cost-benefit terms, one never will. Which is why it is a good thing many academics take pride in having an idealist or irrationalist streak.)