September 29, 2008
Convocation keynote speaker Melora Sundt is the associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Photos by Artie Limmer.
University Convocation kicked off the new school year for Texas Tech Sept. 9 with a message of academic integrity.
“Convocation is the traditional beginning of the academic year,” said President Guy Bailey. “It is a time for the entire academic community to come together and orient our newest members, our freshmen, into the values of the university.”
Convocation began in 1925 when Texas Tech welcomed its first class. Convocation, or in Latin, convoco, meaning “calling together,” is an occasion at the university for faculty and staff to bring together students and welcome them to the Texas Tech family. It was last held at the university in the 1960s before being revived a few years ago.
Melora Sundt, associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Rossier School of Education, focused her keynote address on choices and academic integrity.
“We want people behaving with integrity because it’s the right thing to do, not just because they might get caught,” she said.
Sundt teaches a number of student development-based courses at USC. She has conducted evaluations of nationally and internationally based educational partnerships and programs for federal agencies and foundations.
Convocation offers an opportunity to outline the academic expectations for the coming year and discuss academic integrity. Ethics and academic integrity are part of the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP, a five-year program, is a requirement for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
“When a student enters higher education there is a new value system to learn,” Bailey said. “Integrity and honor are important parts of our value system. Think of the words of the Matador Song, strive for honor. Honor and integrity are taken very seriously at Texas Tech.”