As the uplifting strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" echo through the quads of colleges and universities during graduation season, teary parents and ecstatic students celebrate a job well done.
You know the story line: Hard work triumphs. We dutifully pass knowledge from one generation to the next. The phrase etched into the red sandstone of a soaring building at my alma mater, Colorado College, sets out our ideals: "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."
But look more closely at the professors and administrators in those quads and on those stages. Some may seem a little nervous, crossing their fingers behind those flowing gowns, hoping that every student truly earned a diploma. Unfortunately, stories of cheating are rife. One well-respected university unwittingly gave a master's degree — with honors, no less — to a student who paid thousands of dollars for the piece of paper.