Three unnamed students reported the cheating allegations to the blog Poets and Quants. Credit: Flickr/Sclafani

A half-dozen students at Northwestern University’s prestigious Kellogg School of Management are accused of blatantly cheating on final exams in accounting and statistics classes earlier this fall, by sharing information and copying from each other while their professor was out of the room.

The allegations were reported earlier this week by Ethan Baron of the all-things-MBA website Poets and Quants. Baron’s sources are three unnamed students who say they reported the cheating and were subsequently warned by university officials that if they talked to anyone about it, they would be in violation of Kellogg’s “honor code.”     

The anonymous students also told Baron that, in the course of the university’s investigation into their allegations, their names were revealed to the alleged cheaters—after which they received “menacing phone calls.”

Northwestern University spokesman Al Cubbage was unable to confirm that an investigation is underway, but said Friday that:

Kellogg and Northwestern have procedures for investigating allegations of misconduct and when that kind of allegation is reported, we follow those procedures. Any kind of process that’s going on is required to be confidential; federal law prevents us from saying anything about any actions taken in regard to specific students.

As Baron notes, the “honor code” not only protects students—it also protects Kellogg’s reputation by allowing the school to keep complaints under a lid, while making it impossible to know how they’re being handled.