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University Senate committee recommends termination of Proctorio contract

<p>Robin Parker will retire from Miami in January and will be replaced by newly hired Amy Shoemaker. </p>

Robin Parker will retire from Miami in January and will be replaced by newly hired Amy Shoemaker.

A University Senate subcommittee recommended Miami University not renew its contract with Proctorio for next year due to concerns voiced by students and faculty.

The contract will renew automatically in May 2022 if the university takes no action.

Some common objections to Proctorio include its disproportionate flagging of students with disabilities, data security concerns and legal action the company has taken against students who expose issues with the software.

In November 2020, Miami’s Associated Student Government (ASG) passed a resolution urging the university to require training for faculty using Proctorio, as many problems with the software had resulted from professors not knowing how to use it properly.

Brenda Quaye, assistant director for academic integrity issues, presented on behalf of the Center for Teaching Excellence Subcommittee at Senate’s Sept. 27 meeting. The committee made a number of recommendations pertaining to Proctorio, one of them being that the university end its contract with the company.

Quaye said the committee would explore alternative options to Proctorio to ensure academic integrity, such as paper scantrons or other forms of remote monitoring, if the university were to terminate the contract.

Bill Moser, associate professor of accountancy, posed a question to student members of Senate about whether they would consent to any form of remote monitoring other than Proctorio.

“At a minimum, I don’t want my students to cheat on exams,” Moser said. “If it’s not Proctorio, can there be another way to ensure everyone is on the same playing field?”

Student Body President Madelyn Jett responded that students are open to finding a more ethical alternative to Proctorio.

“I can’t speak for the entire student body, but I’m sure there will be a solution we can find that will work for faculty while protecting students’ rights to their data,” Jett said.

At a future meeting, Senate will consider passing a resolution expressing support for Miami ending its contract with Proctorio. This resolution would only be a recommendation, though, as Senate does not have the authority to determine the fate of Miami’s relationship with the software.

If the resolution is passed in Senate, it will be sent to the Board of Trustees for final approval. 

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Additional reporting by contributing writer Hanah Bloom.