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Embedding Academic Integrity in Public Universities

Abstract

Particular concern about academic ethics in higher education and research institutions (HERIs) in Lithuania was addressed in 2009 by the national decision to establish an Office of Ombudsman for Academic Ethics and Procedures (Office). The decision was taken during the approval of the revised Law on Higher Education and Research by the Parliament of Lithuania. Following two failed attempts to appoint an ombudsman, the Office began to function in 2014. Since then, the ombudsman, alongside other state institutions, has been empowered to implement national higher education and research policy. At the outset of the Office activity it is important to consider how public HERIs institutionalise academic integrity, i.e. how they create an ethical environment within the academic community and what means are used to support it further. Collecting data from codes of ethics, regulations of academic integrity committees and interviews, data analysis shows that academic values manifest unevenly in teaching/learning and research. Most efforts concern the behaviour of students rather than the behaviour of academic staff (teachers and researchers). Moreover, ethics infrastructure gives a misleading image, as it lacks harmony and compatibility, despite the fact that there is a myriad of means to foster ethical behaviour. Universities should make greater effort to connect academic values with operations in teaching/learning and research.

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Acknowledgments

For providing comments on the very first version of the manuscript, I thank participants of the session on Quality and Integrity of Governance at European Group of Public Administration (EGPA) Annual Conference held in Toulouse on 26-28 August, 2015. Also, I thank reviewers for their comments for improvement of this paper and dr. Raminta Pučėtaitė, Associate Professor at Vilnius University (Lithuania) and Adjunct Professor at University of Jyväskylä (Finland) for providing comments on the revised version of the paper.

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Correspondence to Loreta Tauginienė.

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Tauginienė, L. Embedding Academic Integrity in Public Universities. J Acad Ethics 14, 327–344 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-016-9268-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-016-9268-4

Keywords

  • Public university
  • Ethics infrastructure
  • Academic ethics
  • Academic integrity
  • Institutionalization