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Accrual Fools' Day!

cheating
Photo illustration of a student using a cell phone with text messaging capability to cheat during a class test or exam.

Phew, thank goodness, we were afraid we would have to close the book on April Fools' Day '09 without so much as a moderately amusing prank to show for it.  Fortunately, Wharton has come to the rescue:  Today students in ACCT 102, a bread-and-butter course for Wharton sophomores, recieved a decidely troubling e-mail about their most recent midterm.  It alleged cheating! Scheming! Betrayal! Exam rescheduling! Annoying and bummer-inducing, but not totally without historic precedent.  Until students recieved a follow-up e-mail claiming that the previous message had not been sent by the professor: "I did not send the email that you received nor did I have any control over its distribution. Nevertheless, I am sorry for the anxiety that it has caused you."  Um, what?

Update: an astute commenter tells us that, in between e-mail #1 and e-mail #2, ACCT 102ers received the following unsigned message, seemingly from their professor's e-mail account: “No midterm this Saturday. April fools! Gotcha!!!”

Both e-mails in full, after the jump.

The first e-mail reads:

Dear ACCT 102 Students,

After a series of complaints from students and a final interview with some TAs, we have determined that a number of students cheated on the last exam. We have not been able to isolate the single individuals who partook in this scheme. In order to maintain the integrity of this course, I am requiring everyone to retake the midterm. We will hold this exam this Saturday at 10AM in JMHH G06 for last names A-H, SD 105 for I-M, N-Z @Claudia Cohen Auditorium. I am truly disappointed in the students who violated the code of ethics of the University and even more upset by the fact that there were many students who stood by as this cheating took place. I understand that this announcement is last minute, however we will make an exception for those who observe the Sabbath. If you can prove that you are observant by note from your rabbi, we will let you reschedule for the gentile Sabbath, Sunday. For those of you who did not take part in betraying my trust, I apologize on behalf of your peers.

Sincerely,

V. J. Defeo, Ph.D. Department of Accounting The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania

The second e-mail reads:
I have just learned of an email that has been distributed to you over my name. The email claims that cheating on the last exam has been discovered and that, for that reason I am requiring that everyone enrolled in the class must retake the exam on Saturday (April 4).

LET ME ASSURE YOU THAT THE EMAIL DID NOT ORIGINATE FROM ME AND THAT NONE OF THE ASSERTIONS CONTAINED EMAIL IS TRUE.

1) THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT ANY CHEATING OCCURRED ON THE LAST EXAM.

2) YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO RETAKE THE EXAM ON SATURDAY OR ANY OTHER DAY.

At this time, I do not know who sent the email but I am very concerned that someone has used my name falsely. If it was someone's idea of an April Fools joke, I'm not laughing. I intend to do everything that I can to identify the source and to deal with that source as harshly as possible.

I did not send the email that you received nor did I have any control over its distribution. Nevertheless, I am sorry for the anxiety that it has caused you.

Sincerely

Victor J Defeo, Ph.D. Undergraduate Advisor Department of Accounting The Wharton School

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