OXFORD, OHIO: Miami University says two students have been dismissed from school for tampering with grades.
The southwest Ohio school said its information technology security department and campus police were alerted at the end of last semester by a teacher who said grades online didn’t match her paper copy. An investigation found that students used a device called a key logger to record teachers’ keystrokes, allowing them to obtain faculty usernames and passwords.
One student was charged with six misdemeanor counts related to breaching university computer systems, and the other was charged with three counts, police said. The students weren’t identified by the school.
The school said in a statement that the first student changed his own grades in 17 classes dating to spring 2011, plus grades for some 50 other students. The school said the changes to other students’ grades were minor, apparently unknown to most of them and apparently done to try to cover up his own changes.
The second student changed his own grade once and those of two other students, the school said.
The statement said the students accepted responsibility for violating the school’s code of student conduct and academic integrity policy, and accepted dismissal from the university.
Miami said it is taking steps to prevent grade hacking, including email notifications to faculty when grades are changed, weekly electronic reports of changed grades, scanning of classroom keyboards and use of tamper-proof tape.
“Miami’s core values are based on the highest standards of integrity, and our faculty and staff work tirelessly to maintain our strong academic reputation, so we take this matter very seriously,” school president David Hodge said in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed in these students, whose dishonest and selfish actions have affected their friends, families, faculty and peers.”