Sullivan: Honor code, communication cultivates culture of honor, integrity

Laurence Léveillé | Staff Writer

Lauren Rock | Staff Photographer
Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, closes out Week Seven, themed “The Ethics of Cheating,” with an address on student cheating and creating cultures of honor and integrity.

Honor codes within the education system can instill a long-lasting culture of honor and integrity.

Teresa A. Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia, framed Friday’s morning lecture in the Amphitheater around how communities can maintain a culture of those traits to end Week Seven, themed “The Ethics of Cheating.”

The millennial generation, which includes anyone born since 1980, can be characterized by several key traits, Sullivan said. Those individuals are more confident, more team- and peer-oriented, more inclined to rely on peers for reinforcement and approval, face increased pressure to succeed, and focused on the future and long-term career success.

“Most of these characteristics can be positive when properly directed,” Sullivan said, “but you can see how the tendencies and attitudes could draw college students to succeed at any cost, even if it means cutting corners in college.”

College students today are facing societal pressures that drive them to cheat, which is becoming easier to do because of new technologies, she said.

In a 1964 study conducted by sociologist William Bowers, 5,000 students at 99 campuses were surveyed about college cheating. He found that three-fourths of students had engaged in some form of academic dishonesty.

Professors Donald McCabe, Linda Trevino and Ken Butterfield conducted research for the past few decades to follow up on the 1964 study. They found a modest increase in college cheating overall, but there were three areas with a significant increase: cheating on tests, among women and in collaborative work.

In a study at Arizona State University, 84 percent of 2,000 students surveyed said those who cheat should be punished. Two-thirds of them admitted they had cheated.

“Research has shown that while most students believe cheating is wrong and ought to be punished, most of these same students still cheat,” Sullivan said.

The students mostly cheated on their homework, and they believed academic integrity standards should be different for homework and exams, she said.

The highest levels of cheating are among fraternity and sorority members and international students, as well as students with highly educated parents.

Cheating was less prevalent among students who receive financial aid, non-degree-seeking students and first-generation students. Freshmen are also less likely to cheat, but the amount of cheating increases at a linear rate throughout college years, Sullivan said.

“This seems to suggest that if we can instill a sense of academic honor and accountability in students early in their college years, it might help us create the culture of honor that we desire,” she said.

There are several reasons why students cheat. A study conducted by McCabe and Trevino found that peer behavior is a main factor.

The two researchers wrote that academic dishonesty is learned from observing peers’ behavior. Students begin to see academic dishonesty as an acceptable behavior to stay ahead, because non-cheaters feel they are at a disadvantage among those who do cheat.

“Students who start cheating do so to level the playing field with their classmates who are already cheating,” Sullivan said.

When students cheat, they rationalize their actions through a process called neutralization of deviance. Sullivan suggested that college students who cheat use the same rationale as delinquents use for their own behaviors.

The justifications include: denial of responsibility, which means the person’s act is a result of outside sources; denial of injury, or the thought that no one will be hurt; denial of victim, or the thought that even if someone is hurt, he or she was “asking for it”; condemnation of the condemners, which means the person blames those who disapprove; and appeal to higher loyalties, meaning the person commits acts to meet others’ demands.

In a survey conducted at Santa Clara University, 75 percent of students who cheated did it because they wanted to please their parents, Sullivan said.

Students cheat in ways including copying others’ exams, taking an exam for someone else, purchasing term papers, faking illness to avoid exams, using notes and books during exams in which it is prohibited, giving test questions to students in another class, developing a personal relationship with the instructor to get information about tests, bribery and blackmail, hiring a ghostwriter, altering university documents and collaborating on homework or take-home exams that should be done independently.

“The rise of the Internet and other new technologies has presented opportunities for cheating that would have been inconceivable to my generation,” Sullivan said.

As technology-based teaching increases, universities are becoming more aggressive to prevent cheating. Sullivan described methods the University Testing Center at the University of Central Florida uses to prevent academic dishonesty.

Students at the center cannot chew gum, because the mouth movement can be used as a disguise to speak through a hands-free cellphone, Sullivan said. A test proctor also monitors students through a surveillance camera. If the proctor suspects someone’s behavior, he or she watches the student through the camera and can record the student’s computer work.

“This testing situation sounds more like a CIA interrogation room,” Sullivan said, “but the sophistication of the technology students can use to cheat has forced administrators into a prison-guard mentality.”

Though students can use technology to cheat, professors can also use it to their advantage.

In 2001, a U.Va. professor realized students in his introductory physics class were handing in similar papers throughout several semesters. When he became suspicious, he developed a computer program that could detect similarities in papers. By using the program, he learned that about 122 students might have plagiarized.

Forty-five students were expelled, and three degrees were revoked from those who had cheated while they attended the university.

Inadequate communications about the expectations of integrity have played a role in the amount of academic dishonesty at colleges, Sullivan said. Research has shown that individual faculty members ignore university-wide policies and handle cheating on their own, she said.

To overcome acts of academic dishonesty, Sullivan encourages using an honor code — a pledge not to lie, cheat or steal. An honor code creates an environment of trust within the community and gives people more freedom, Sullivan said.

At U.Va., students sign a pledge when they arrive on campus. The honor system at the university is also run by students, rather than by the faculty or administrators, she said.

The honor code at the university was developed after a Nov. 12, 1840, incident when a masked student shot and killed a popular law professor who had gone outside to get students under control, Sullivan said.

“Sobered by this incident and ashamed of their misbehavior, the students agreed to a plan in which they account for themselves and each other by agreeing to report misconduct,” she said.

Students can leave their laptops unattended while searching for a book in the library, and when they return, the laptops will still be there, she said.

“This degree of trust harks back to the innocent days when people could leave their cars unlocked in their driveways,” Sullivan said.

Studies have shown that the use of honor codes at universities leads to lower rates of cheating. Students are also less likely to rationalize cheating and more likely to talk about integrity when upheld to a code, Sullivan said.

“Students at honor-code schools seem to value the freedoms and privileges of the honor-code environment as compared to campuses where administrators enforce academic integrity with a threat of punishment,” she said.

McCabe and colleagues conducted a survey in 1999 to determine the effectiveness of honor codes and why they make a difference. They found that students who attend universities with an honor code frame issues of academic integrity differently than students at other universities.

Though honor-code students face the same societal pressures as non-code students, they are less likely to use those pressures to justify cheating, Sullivan said.

“Rather, they refer to the honor code as the integral part of culture of integrity that permeates their institutions,” she said.

Honor codes help cultivate a culture of honor and integrity, because they create a sense of community in which students are accountable, Sullivan said. But they are not limited to universities, as honor codes can have a long-term effect and extend to the workplace.

In one study, Sullivan said, rates of dishonesty in the workplace were lower for participants who graduated from honor-code schools. Companies that implement a code of ethics or conduct also see lower rates of dishonesty.

In another study, 62 percent of employees who worked at a company with a code of conduct felt it helped shape their behavior and affected decision making. Seventy-six percent believed they had a better understanding of the company’s values.

“Just as the campus honor code shapes student behavior, a corporate code of ethics can shape employee behavior,” Sullivan said.

Though an honor code can develop a community of trust and discourage people from being dishonest, it can only do so successfully if leaders articulate their expectations, Sullivan said.

One of the lowest rates of cheating was at a school without an honor code, and one of the highest rates of cheating was at a school that did have one. That was a result of school leaders communicating their expectations to students.

“Though the first school did not have a formal honor code, its leaders managed to develop and foster a deeply ingrained culture of academic integrity over the years,” she said.

Because the second school did not articulate its expectations regarding proper conduct and academic integrity, the code was not truly part of its culture.

Universities without an honor code are capable of creating a culture of honor and integrity as long as they communicate their expectations of academic honesty to students.

“Today’s college students are tomorrow’s business leaders, teachers, investment bankers and politicians.” Sullivan said. “This is an opportune moment for our college and university leaders to take the necessary steps to create a culture of honor in the ways we have discussed today.”


Editor’s note: This Q&A has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: I’ll start by asking you the question about these students who are going to appear on campuses in a few weeks. And say they are our child or our grandchild, and they call us in October and say, “I don’t know what overcame me, but I did cheat on this test. What should I do now?”

A: It’s an important question. It’s also a moment to learn to take responsibility for your actions. The fact that a student can conceptualize that as “I cheated” shows that they’ve overcome the rationalization and the neutralization of the behavior. So that’s good. And I would recommend to that student, as hard as it is to do, to go and talk to the professor, and just say, “Here’s what I did. I’m ashamed of it, and I want to make it right. Tell me what I have to do.” We actually have a process for this at Virginia called informed retraction. If you have cheated — and this has to be done before you’re formally accused before the honor committee ­— you can go to the honor committee and say, “I wish to make an informed retraction. I cheated, I regret it, I’m willing to take the consequences.” And then you go to the professor, you tell the professor what you did, and that professor’s punishment sticks, whatever it is. If you go through the honor committee and you are convicted, there is only one sanction, which is expulsion from the university. So we do try to give some benefit to the student willing to take responsibility for his or her own behavior.

Q: In today’s society, what does it mean if you “take responsibility” for some type of unethical action?

A: Well, I think it means first that you have to own it, and that’s hard to do. Because most of us become skilled at rationalizing our behavior, or what Sykes and Matza called “neutralizing the behavior.” So admitting it and owning it is something that is the first step in doing it. I’m Catholic; we have a highly organized way of doing this. And it’s called the examination of conscience, which is a regular program of looking at what you have done that may have fallen short of your own standards. But we need to challenge ourselves to maintain high standards. And one way of doing that is by acknowledging and admitting where you’ve fallen short of the mark, even though the consequences may be hard to take.

Q: Is faking illness technically cheating, and how so?

A: So, I’ll tell you a true story about a University of Virginia now-graduate. He was a young man, a fourth-year student, accepted to medical school, and he caught the flu, and he told the professor, “I’m sorry, I’m sick, I can’t take the test.” The professor said, “Fine, let’s do it next Tuesday if you’re feeling better.” So next Tuesday came, and the student actually was feeling much better, but still hadn’t quite studied, and he called the professor and said, “I’m sorry, I’m still sick, I can’t take it yet.” Then he thought about what he had done, and he went to the room of the chair of the honor committee, and walked in and said, “I’ve done something terrible, and I have to make it right.” And the chair of the honor council said, “Well, what did you do?” And so he described it, he said, “I said I was sick, I wasn’t, it was a lie, and I did it because I hadn’t studied enough.” And so the process of informed retraction was explained, the young man went to see the professor with great trepidation. He had already been accepted to medical school, it was the same medical school his father and his grandfather had gone to. And this course was required for medical school. So he went to see the professor, he said, “I told you I was sick, that was a lie. I was not sick, I was just not ready for the test.” And the professor gave him an F for the course. And the medical school withdrew his acceptance. But they had an appeal process. And so he went through the appeal process, and there were five physicians in their white coats, and they brought him into a room, and they said, “So what is your story?” And he told him the story, and they said, “Fine. Would you please leave the room; we’ll let you know what we decide.” So he left the room, of course in great anxiety, and maybe a little despair. When they called him back in the room, all five of the physicians stood up, and they said, “Young man, you’re the kind of person we need in medicine. You’re re-admitted.”

Q: Is there research or evidence of cheating among professors, or otherwise within the academy, perhaps especially among non-tenured faculty?

A: So there’s a great deal of concern about scientific misconduct. And one form of scientific misconduct is plagiarizing — taking the work of another without attribution. Another form of scientific misconduct is making up the data, which is a really serious form of lying, because particularly in the medical field bad decisions might be made about someone’s health based on data that you made up. So every university now has methods for dealing with allegations of scientific misconduct. And so we do seek to police it. It does happen. There are journals that retract articles, because they’ve been found to be plagiarized or the data’s been found to be made up, whatever. There are certainly pressures on non-tenured faculty to produce as much published work as they can, not unlike the pressure on undergraduate students to get good grades. So the pressures are certainly there. On the other hand, the penalties are quite serious, too, and I believe that most scientists do their best to maintain honest work of high integrity. Most allegations of scientific misconduct, in fact, are eventually not borne out. The plagiarism cases are different, those are usually easier to prove, but the issues of data often result in — it often comes from a legitimate error that was made in a computer calculation or something else, rather than just making up the data. But there are unfortunately cases of people who have fraudulent data as well, and it’s a serious issue that we care about a lot with our faculty.

Q: How does one go about continuing to work with an individual who has demonstrated unethical behavior?

A: That’s a difficult issue, and it’s one that many people of course face in their workplace or sometimes, sadly, in your family. I think part of it is for you to be able to define clearly in your own mind the nature of the behavior, and how it affects your relationship with this person. If you can bring yourself to talk about it, I think that that helps to clear the air. And you may find what you viewed as unethical the other person did not. There’s often a difference of expectations, or a difference of definitions, or maybe some of that neutralization going on. I think in the case where it’s employer and employee, it’s much more serious, because then the issue of whether you can continue to trust this person working for your company, I believe, is very serious, and sometimes, I have to say, I think it justifies termination, if it’s something that is integral to the core values of your company. And furthermore, a manager who will not take that step is often jeopardizing not only his or her own position, but also that of the company. In some of the cases of corporate dishonesty we have seen, if people had taken a stand earlier, they would have prevented a much more serious and difficult situation than what they eventually had to deal with.

Q: How did U.Va.’s honor code play in your recent crisis?

A: Well, in this case, the board of visitors asked me to resign, and I did, because they asked me to, and my major concern was the welfare of the university. And so basically, in the 16 subsequent days, I limited my public announcements solely to things that I thought would be for the benefit of the university, and did not talk about my own situation, because I felt that was not constructive and would not help. Rather to my surprise, and complete gratification, every constituency of the university rallied. And I was reinstated 16 days later, by unanimous vote of the board. What role did the honor code play in this? Well, the honor council raised the issue of the community of trust, and whether this was consistent with the university of trust. It was a very carefully worded document. They did not suggest anybody had violated the honor code, but they talked about what it meant to have a community of trust. And I also made allusions to the community of trust and said it was not just for the students, it was for all of us, that we need to be able to trust each other. And the other thing I did when some of the people at the university began to get abusive in their behavior to the dean, who had been named the interim president — I sent a message to the entire community saying that civility was the way we behaved at the University of Virginia, and I expected that to continue. The board had held an all-night meeting before naming the interim president, and that meeting broke up at about 3 in the morning. And a number of people who were protesting were still there on the lawn, and one of the associate deans talked to the one police officer who was there and said, “This must have been a terrible night for you.” And he said, “No. Not at the University of Virginia. If this had happened on the West Coast, we’d have had riot gear and gas masks on, but this is the University of Virginia; I was the only police officer on duty tonight.” And I do think that tells you something about our community of civility and trust.

Q: Do you believe that millennials need to understand prior generations, our values, morals, work ethics or develop their own?

A: Well, I think it’s very important for them to understand it, because it’s so likely that their boss is not going to be a millennial, and because it is important for them to understand the reactions of other generations to them, and their somewhat different take on things. I teach a class in the January term called “Sociology of Work,” in which I work with about 16 third- and fourth-year students, talking about what it’s like to be in the modern workplace. And one group of my students did a study of the millennials and how they fit into the workplace. Well, as it happens, a lot of millennials really are having trouble, because they don’t understand the values that their baby boomer or younger managers may have. So there probably is room for more cross-generational understanding here than we have right now.

Q: What happens to students who have their diplomas rescinded?

A: Well, first of all, let me say that the honor code is not a capricious process. It is enforced with a good bit of due process. But essentially, the student receives a letter which says that, “Your transcript will note that your degree has been revoked, and you may not represent yourself as a graduate of the University of Virginia.” And that’s it. For a student who is expelled in the course of study, we will try to help them relocate to another college or university on the theory that although they’ve broken trust with our community, they deserve to have a second chance at another community. But we explain the circumstances; the other college has to understand it and accept them.

Q: How does the academic honor code translate to social integrity and proper conduct like drug, alcohol abuse and date rape?

A: Boy, that’s a great question. And I’d like to say that students are perfectly congruent in their behavior, both when they’re on the university grounds and when they’re not. But that’s not true. We do still have problems with both drug abuse and alcohol abuse, which students tend not to see as falling within the lie-cheat-steal continuum. Students are completely indifferent to using a fake ID as an example of lying. They do not define that as a case of lying, although I think most faculty members would. One other area in which I think we have a real difference of opinion in terms of moral code is downloading copyrighted material, like movies or music. Many of our students do not see that as stealing, and they don’t understand why we do. So there are areas where we have struggle over the moral high ground, and that’s true at Virginia as it is elsewhere.

Q: How do university presidents maintain and safeguard what should be their absolute authority over head coaches and athletic directors?

A: Gee, I wonder why that question came up. So when I first came to U.Va., one of the things I did was to change the reporting line of the athletic director, so that he reports directly to me, which did not happen in the previous administration, but I felt that if I was going to demonstrate institutional control that I needed to know what was going on in the athletic program. I also make it a habit to sit down with the head coaches and talk with them one-on-one about the issues they have, and also my expectations for the academic program that their student athletes follow. I have found that coaches welcome this, enjoy talking to me about it, and I’ll just tell you about my last such interview with Mike London, who is our third-year head football coach. So Mike sat down and said, “I know that you’re going to be renovating such and such hall, which has a lot of classrooms in it. Do you think you’ll be changing the times classes meet?” And I said, “No, I don’t think we’ll have to do that. Why do you ask?” And he said, “Well, I went to see the registrar …” And I made a mental note: Head football coach knows where registrar is. “… and I asked to see how many classes were being offered at every hour. And what I saw was that — because we were having practice in the afternoon — my guys were being cut out of a lot of electives they really wanted to take, but there were very few classes offered at 8 o’clock in the morning.” So this year, we’ve moved practice from the afternoon to 8 a.m. So the guys all have to be there for breakfast at 6:30, and then by 10 o’clock, they’re finished and ready to go to class. And this spring, they had the highest GPA that the football team has had in memory. But Coach London also visits classes that his players are supposed to be in to see if they’re there, and if they’re not there, it’s bad news for them. They’ll be doing a lot of extra physical exercise. And in every way, I think he communicates that they are students first and then athletes. In fact, he brings me to meet when they have the day that the recruits come in — he brings me in to talk to the recruits and their parents. And the parents, I think, are particularly interested in what I have to say, and basically my message to the parents is: “Look, once you leave this place, people can take away your job, they can take away your car, they can take away your house. But they can’t ever take away your education. And that’s what we want your young men to get while they’re here. It’s great if they have a wonderful playing career, if they want to go professional, God bless them, but what’s really important is that they leave here with a degree.” And our athletes have exhausted their eligibility; they are graduating at a rate of 93 percent.

Q: How do you protect whistleblowers?

A: How do you protect whistleblowers? Really good question. One of the problems is retaliation can often be very subtle, and what you want to do is to protect the subtle kinds of retaliation. When I hear of something — and I will say at our university, people who are whistleblowers will often email me directly, or they’ll copy me on email they’ve sent to somebody else — and the first thing I do with that is to send it to the general counsel’s office, because I want to preserve the rights of the whistleblower against any retaliation. And I think that letting people know that’s what you’ll do is really your best policy. Now, I will also say that people sometimes falsely claim whistleblowing because they’re in a genuine discipline problem over something they’ve really done in the workplace, and they want to use this as a rationalization. But there are people who are really and truly whistleblowing, and they do need that protection.

Q: For three years in college, my father proofread and edited my papers. I never thought of this as cheating, and highly doubt that he did. What do you think?

A: I think it depends on the professor. In my own classes, I say to students: “It is fine with me if you consult with librarians, or writing tutors, or others, people who edit your work or give you suggestions about your writing. I don’t have a problem with that. But, the ideas and the final expression of those ideas must be your own.” So at least in my class, that would not have been cheating. But one of the things that’s really important is that professors do have to explain what their expectations are to the students. A problem we see pretty often happens in engineering classes, where the students have been divided up into work groups to do the work all through the semester, and then you get to the final exam, and the professor understands that’s to be independent work, but the students understand that they can still work with their groups. And so those conflicting assumptions need to get aired and addressed. And we try to actually spend time training the faculty as well as the students about the honor code, so the faculty know they have a serious responsibility to explain to students what they consider to be dishonest in this class.

Q: Could you comment on grade inflation; isn’t that a form of teacher cheating?

A: So grade inflation is something that some people have traced to the Vietnam War, when there was a fear that men who flunked out of college would immediately get drafted. I think grade inflation also has something to do — at least at an institution like Virginia — with how good the quality of the entering students is. They genuinely are getting better. And at least some faculty also are seeking to take a mastery approach to the class. So they want everybody in the class to learn the Spanish conjugations, or they want everybody in class to learn the calculus, and they’re willing to give students lots of rehearsal and practice to get them to that level of mastery. That may mean that the grades may be higher in that class than otherwise. But sometimes, faculty members are simply lazy about their grading, and when they are, they are not giving students actually the preparation they need to go out in the world, because shoddy work is not well-received in the marketplace. And a student who consistently submits shoddy work and gets a good grade for it is being sent the wrong message about what the world is like. I will say though that that is not the complaint I get at the university about grade inflation, I get the opposite complaint: “I have never made anything below an A in my life. What do you mean I’m getting…?” You know. That’s much more likely to hear.

Q: Is there a gender difference among cheaters?

A: The gender gap appears to be closing, based on these studies that I’ve cited to you. It used to be women were far less likely to cheat. They appear to be moving up, so to speak. But men are still ahead, in terms of those who admit to cheating.

Q: How are you working with your fraternities to foster and emphasize honorable behavior?

A: That’s a good question. I had a meeting with the presidents of the fraternities this spring. In Virginia, hazing is against the law, and a university president is required to inform the commonwealth attorney if the president becomes aware of an incident of hazing. So I informed the fraternity presidents that I had the commonwealth attorney on speed dial. And there was just going to be no question if I heard about something that sounded like hazing that I was going to turn them in. And we had a serious discussion about what membership is, and what hazing is, and why no one is willing to put up with hazing these days, the fact that old alumni from your fraternity talk about what it was like in “the old days” doesn’t mean that those same people as parents today want to see their children abused that same way. So we had a very frank discussion about hazing, and then the young men had a very frank discussion with me about how hard it is to be a leader in a fraternity these days, which was pretty interesting, because a lot of them knew the right thing to do, but they felt they couldn’t always lead the rest of the men in the same direction. So we had a good discussion about leadership. And of course part of that leadership is academic integrity. I do think the honor code is prized by the members of our fraternities, and so I think that we’ve probably got somewhat less of an issue of the fraternity test file, where all the tests are kept and passed from brother to brother, but I wouldn’t say it never exists. By the way, I also meet with the presidents of the sororities, and I have a somewhat different message for them, because the behavior I worry about with sorority women is their sort of lack of awareness when they’re out walking alone past midnight. And so when the bars close at 2, there were a certain number of young women who then would then walk alone to their sorority house, and that’s — even in Charlottesville, which is pretty safe — that’s not a completely safe behavior. So that message was, “People should walk in groups at night and not alone, and it’s really for your own protection.” We also talked about leadership with them, too, because they also have their own issues. But in terms of behavior problems, fraternities outrank sororities almost any day of the week, and especially Saturday.

Q: Why do so many colleges require essays on their admissions application when it’s so easy to cheat on?

A: Well, it’s a really good question, and it is. And then you sometimes look at the student and you say, “How did you get admitted? Who wrote that essay for you?” One way that we have sought to overcome that is the new writing portion of the SAT, which is done in the testing environment, and so you don’t have the opportunity to get help on it, including editing. So some colleges have started evaluating that one more rigorously in terms of writing ability. But the essay is often used for the student to reveal something about their background that doesn’t appear in the application anywhere else. And so it’s read as much as a way to learn more about the student as to learn about their writing ability. But I agree that the notion of carefully tailored, and edited and even pre-packaged essays is a real problem.

Q: How can we get an honor code for our politicians?

A: That’s a great question, and I wish I knew the answer. Start off with that lie part. I think it’s very difficult in today’s political climate. I admire the people who are willing to run for political office today, because the vilification that starts immediately is so personally destructive. By the way, Thomas Jefferson had the same problem in his elections, and as a result stopped reading newspapers in his second term as president, so it’s not a new problem with us. But the notion of at least exaggeration, if not downright lying, I think, is a real issue. I notice some journalists have come to our assistance by producing truth meters, in which they assess the relative degree of truth — or maybe it’s truthiness — of various political ads. That’s one way that we can try and put a check on the politicians, but I agree that we’ve got a serious issue with it.

Q: And last question. How can we as parents or grandparents create an honor code in our family?

A: That’s a great question. I think one of the best things you can do is to talk with children and grandchildren about what’s important and why. It’s important to us that the engineers were honest in building the bridges, because otherwise, the bridges will fall in. It’s important to us that the people we work for are honest in terms of payroll, or else we wouldn’t get the money we need to buy our groceries. There are lots and lots of ways that even a young child can understand why being honest is important. And young children particularly are often bothered by dishonesty and would like to talk to you about it, but if you have not legitimated that conversation, they won’t bring it up. You see this sometimes with young children today, for example, who like to follow baseball, but they’re very troubled about steroid use, and see that as cheating, but they don’t know if it’s OK to talk about that, because sports writers and others seem not to want to address the issue straightforwardly. But you as a parent certainly can. And I think talking about things that have happened in the press that raise issues of integrity or honor is a great way to get kids thinking along those lines. And of course, if you have an option in terms of where they go to school, you can talk to the school administrators about how they inculcate a culture of integrity in the school and what their policies are. Those are some ways that I think are very effective, but showing by your own behavior that it’s important to you is maybe the single best thing you can do. And I thank you very much for being such a wonderful audience.

— Transcribed by Kelsey Burritt