Cheating investigation underway at Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy


AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A cheating investigation is underway on the campus of Auburn University involving students within the Harrison School of Pharmacy.

News 3 learned of the investigation on Wednesday, February 12th, when News 3 obtained a copy of an email from Dean Richard Hansen to HSOP faculty and staff. News 3 is not able to confirm the date of the email.

The email reads:

HSOP faculty and staff

Last week we learned of potentially widespread cheating among our P1-P3 students. We are still gathering information, but I wanted everyone to be aware of the issue, the actions we are taking, and our anticipated timeline. I also want you to know we are taking this very seriously. After gathering some initial data, I addressed each of the P1 – P3 classes and offered leniency for those that voluntarily came forward. Since this time, we have met with a number of students that have revealed their actions and identified others that were involved. This continues to unfold as we uncover new people involved. My intention is to bring some closure to this issue when I further address each class on Thursday and Friday of this week. However, we anticipate some of the students that did not turn themselves in may end up with further sanctions or honor board hearings.

This is a very delicate issue so please do not address this with your student or mentees. If you would like any more information you may contact me directly. If any students approach you about the investigation please refer them to me or Dr. Jungnickel.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Richard A. Hansen PhD
Gilliland Professor and Dean
Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University

Thursday, News 3 reached out to AU’s Communication and Marketing team for a statement who shared a brief statement from Dean Hansen:

β€œOnce we became aware of an issue within a contained group of students, we took immediate action to investigate and take all appropriate steps. We hold academic integrity very seriously and are working diligently to address the situation as quickly as possible,” said Dean Richard Hansen.

News 3 is following up to Hansen’s statement with questions as we are trying to figure out how the students were allegedly cheating, how many students were involved and what type of sanctions if any they could possibly face. News 3 is also working to find out how the suspected cheating was discovered and brought to Dean Hansen’s attention.

Auburn University’s pharmacy program was founded in 1885 and is ranked among the top 20 percent in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Harrison School of Pharmacy offers the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, as well as graduate degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The school has campuses both in Auburn and in Mobile, Alabama.

The school has three academic departments (Drug Discovery and Development, Health Outcomes Research and Policy, and Pharmacy Practice) and three administrative divisions (Academic Programs, Clinical Affairs, and Outreach, and Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives).

News 3 will continue following this story and update you as new details come into our newsroom.

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