If anyone's interested, I have amassed 200 signed notes from God to get out of the retake, they weren't easy to obtain so they won't come cheap.. I'm working on the in-person delivery part, that one's a bit tricky.
I'm surprised that more didn't confess
given that his explanation and evidence was (largely) statistical, and the way that he speaks about statistics with ease, I can assume the class has at least something to do with the topic
now, you can notice that when he mentions being able to "give a list to the dean and guarantee that every name on the list is a person that cheated", he says that it would require more "forensic analysis of the data". now, you can pull patterns and such out of statistics, but reaching conclusions with the results isn't such an exact science. there's no "guarantee" that you couldn't be a student that just studied really hard, didn't cheat, and still end up on that list of cheaters. there's always a margin of error
then, with ALL students being made to retake the (new) midterm, the choices (regardless of if you cheated or not) are as follows:
claim to have cheated, retake the midterm, take a four-hour ethics class, and no record of cheating will end up on your permanent record and no further repercussions will follow
do not claim to have cheated, retake the midterm, and run the risk of being accused of cheating and get expelled from the university
now if the students are intelligent at all, they ALL would have said that they cheated. it only costs 4 hours, and you get your peace of mind.
it also would have been amusing, considering the professor also said that the cheaters had been narrowed down to 1/3 of the class. I wonder how he'd explain a 100% rate of confession with his statistics then
There are quite a few claims going around that the accused didn't actually cheat, that they just revised using a publicly available resource (sample exams from the test bank.). If they didn't get hold of them through illicit means, I don't have a problem with it. The professor might not like it, but if he's going to use those resources that are also available to students, I don't think he's in a position to punish them.
As for how to identify those who did cheat, it depends somewhat on the format of the test. If it's a computerised one, often the more sophisticated set ups will record how long it took them to answer. There's generally going to be a fairly decent relationship with how hard the question is (Even in those who studied well), and how long it takes someone to answer it. Showing no relationship is a good indication that someone knew the answer beforehand.
Not to mention, they're likely able to access logs of activity/emails/attachments sent over their network if needs be. I'd imagine they'd be quite careful with evidence with such an accusation, I can imagine a student (particularly if they're innocent, and rightly so) being quite ready to come back with legal action.
Academic affairs/services tends to be a pretty broad admin thing, ours (and it's sub-services), encompassing stuff from quality control to employment to student services. They also have a role in staff/student training and learning services (e.g. the library and room management).
I imagine dealing with stuff like cheating is a pretty small part of what they do, but if quality control and student admin is their deal, then their might well be a few questions in regards to how such a leak (if it was one) happened.
And in my experience, admin folk generally don't seem too impressed when you give them additional admin to deal with...