Officials at Stanford University say they're investigating an unusually high number of students suspected of cheating.

The San Jose Mercury News reported Friday (http://bayareane.ws/1HUEBzN ) that University Provost John Etchemendy sent a letter to faculty members highlighting the troubling allegations.

The newspaper says students in a number of classes are being contacted; one instructor believes that 20 percent of students in a large introductory course may have cheated.

Etchemendy says all new students are told of the university's honor code and agree to abide by it.

He says the students are cheating themselves and risk severe consequences.

University spokeswoman Lisa Lapin says such concerns are routine. She says that in the 2013-2014 academic year, 83 students violated the honor code. Students caught cheating for the first time face suspension.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com