Qualitative assessments for admissions and a new plagiarism policy are currently under discussion between the Management Undergraduate Society (MUS) and the faculty’s administration.
The MUS is discussing adding more qualitative measures to the current admission requirements for prospective BCom students.
Currently the Faculty of Management only considers incoming students’ transcripts. MUS Vice-President Academic Affairs Ross McDonach said proposed changes were being researched by a working group— including six professors, the associate dean of student affairs, the admissions policy secretary, and himself, due to the increasingly widespread use of qualitative assessment methods in schools across Canada.
“We’re one of the only schools in Canada with a purely quantitative admissions policy; we only look at transcripts and numbers,’’ McDonach said. “Hopefully we’ll have some small additional [qualitative measures] to [the proposal].”
Hussam Maqbool, U3 Management, said the use of qualitative measures would be beneficial in revealing a student’s capabilities to both the university and future employers.
“They should put more emphasis on extracurricular [activities] when it comes to admissions because grades don’t always reflect someone’s potential,” Maqbool said. “Employers are now demanding well-rounded students, so it doesn’t make sense to take on students just based on academic prowess.”
Methods that other universities use that could potentially be implemented by the Faculty of Management include admissions essays and interviews.
While no details have been confirmed as to when these changes could take place, McDonach said he hopes to present a proposal to the Faculty Council by next year.
A new plagiarism policy under discussion could reintroduce the use of “Turnitun”—a software program designed to detect plagiarism. The program was previously used by the faculty, but was cancelled for this year due to budget cuts.
McDonach also expressed interest in mandating that students submit a statement of originality with all assignments.
“A statement of originality […] basically wants [students] to put [their] name on it and say that […they] did not use any unacknowledged sources,” McDonach said. “[It is] taking the student code of conduct, condensing the points relevant to essays and assignments, and putting it on a paper so students understand what they’re responsible for.’’
Jamie Kawkabani, U3 Management, said both measures would act as disincentives for plagiarism.
“Provided it’s effective, I see no reason not to adopt [the software],” Kawkabani said. “As for the signed document, I feel that it would not be taken seriously unless there were serious legal ramifications of failing to abide by it; but ultimately it would be more of a deterrent rather than a detector, of plagiarism.”
The plagiarism policy is currently in its discussion phase. McDonach said he intends to create student surveys on the ideas prior to presenting them to Faculty Council sometime next year, though this has not yet been confirmed.
“The plagiarism policy has already been to Council for discussion purposes only,” Donach said. “We’re just taking advice [….] I do want to see what students think and then next year, I think it will be ready for presentation.”