Looks like the first-years aren’t the only ones taking shortcuts. A tipster forwarded us an e-mail from a nameless, irate Music Hum teacher, threatening dire consequences for the miscreant who swiped a pile of final papers. Bwog cowers on your behalf, paper-thief. Here’s the e-mail:

jjj“Dear all–

“I apologize that there has been a delay in submitting final grades for graduating seniors, and that there may be an extended delay in submitting final grades for all other students.  This delay is due to an incident involving theft of a handful of final papers from my mailbox, and for reasons that I am not at liberty to disclose, it is now clear that these papers were stolen by a student from our class, presumably for his or her own benefit.  Though I have already communicated with several of you whose papers were stolen, the majority of you know nothing about this.  One of you, however, knows exactly what I am talking about.

I regard this as a very serious offense.  It involves not only theft of personal property–papers belonging to individual students–but almost surely plagiarism.  I will absolutely get to the bottom of this, no matter how long it takes to resolve.  I have already contacted the Music Humanities Chair about the incident, and we are about to assemble a team of administrators to investigate the matter thoroughly.

Final grades for seniors will be submitted shortly, and again, grades for everyone else may be delayed for a while.  All grades, however, including grades for seniors, are to be considered provisional.  This means that any student’s grade is subject to change pending the outcome of this investigation, and my authority to do so has just been reconfirmed by the administration.

The student who is responsible for the theft of these papers will want to consider very carefully what I am now offering, for it is both simple and significant: as I already alluded to, certain matters have come to my attention that leaves no doubt in my mind that it is not only a student from our class that is responsible for the theft, but that the identity of the particular student will soon be very clear.  I am offering you the rare opportunity to have a private conversation with me about your role in this before I bring all of my information to a disciplinary committee.  I myself have served on various disciplinary committees for academic dishonesty at Columbia, and have twice chaired the adjudicating proceedings.  I have personally witnessed students receiving very harsh punishments, including expulsion from the University, for matters less serious than this incident.  I strongly encourage you to heed what I am saying here.

All but one of you can safely ignore all of this as it doesn’t concern you.  That said, I regret having to send such a disturbing mass e-mail to a class that I genuinely like and respect a great deal.  While this is a very serious matter, I also don’t want to end on such a negative note: I remain happy and feel fortunate to have spent the semester with you in class, and the experience was rewarding for me overall.  Congratulations again to the graduating seniors, and best of luck to everyone.”