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From the Editor: Time and Paper, Making the Most of Both

Last issue we shared how the global paper shortage has complicated magazine production. Those challenges continue. It’s why we’ve combined summer and fall editions into this issue. Maybe we should call it a special issue, the special part being that we found the paper to print it on.

Richard Gard

The supply-chain kink conferred at least one coincidental benefit. It gave us through the completion of the academic year to report on the state of the Honor System, the subject of our cover story. We had been gathering string since the fall to undertake an honest look at the Honor System, the reality on the ground juxtaposed to the higher ideal.

We had breakthrough discoveries at both levels. At ground level we turned up a discrete one-semester spike in Honor cases coming from the School of Commerce. It took months to pinpoint the origin and then flesh out the circumstances. It enabled us to show, not tell, as we say in the business—to provide a firsthand narrative of the Honor System from the front lines of the classroom.

We also unearthed the Stanford Study, an outside appraisal of the Honor System, shelved not long after its completion in 1991 and yet resonantly insightful today. It provides historical and philosophical context, and could well show a way forward for Honor stewards in search of one.

The extra reporting time couldn’t overcome one hurdle we encountered: obtaining good statistical data. We had to limit our reliance on the Honor Committee website largely due to its frequent omission of underlying case counts, critical information considering the Honor System’s consistently low volume. Direct queries got us some raw numbers, but the information still wasn’t complete. You’ll see in the story we had to fill a large gap in the data with a large caveat.

There’s no shortage of statistical data in our roundup of UVA’s national rankings. It’s our most comprehensive approach to this perennial story. These figures too come with caveats, that being the nature of college rankings.

We hope you’ll also enjoy our piece on personal UVA keepsakes, an eclectic assortment of Wahoo memorabilia, from bowling shirts to bone spurs. That’s not a typo, and they’re historic, we’re told.

We’re hoping combining issues will be a one-off oddity of its own, in which case today’s printed issue can be tomorrow’s keepsake. I mean, everyone saves their Virginia Magazines, right?

Richard Gard (Col ’81)
Vice President, Communications, UVA Alumni Association