Professors fail ethics tests

By Picker

Many students fear being failed by their professors, but some university professors have recently failed their own annual on-line ethics tests by finishing them too quickly.

Regardless of whether they answered the questions correctly, professors are penalized if they complete the test in less than 10 minutes. The ethics test is a segment of the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, which was signed by Governor Blagojevich a year ago.

Professors who finish too quickly are required to take the test again. John Bambanek is an information security practitioner and opinions journalist who took the test in under 10 minutes. He believes that even non-state employees would find it simple.

“I’m a speed reader. The material’s not difficult. I certainly didn’t need a cheat sheet. Most people with common sense don’t.”

Bambenek says the time it takes to finish the test is also affected by multitasking.

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“People, and I’ve spoken to some, ya know, they might have taken 30 minutes but that was not because they were studying the material very closely. It’s because they were interrupted or had other things to do and decided to check their email.”

Illinois Deputy Inspector General Gilbert Jimenez thinks of the test as a training program. Jimenez did not wish to comment on tape, but adds that the state is more concerned with the careful reading of the material rather than the questions answered.

The state estimates that it should take 30 minutes to one hour to complete the exam. Over a thousand employees were subject to disciplinary actions after finishing the test too fast.