Friday, September 14, 2007

Plagiarism all right, provided one otherwise accomplishes good things?

In an article in the Daily Egyptian on 14 Sept titled Fight Club explains support for university president, one sees SIU President Poshard defended on the basis that he did many good things AFTER the plagiarism occurred:

Blake Reeves, a first-year USG senator, said he believes students may get the wrong idea from the signs posted by Fight Club.

"I do not want to give people the wrong idea. We are not supporting plagiarism," said Reeves, a sophomore from Alton studying political science. "We are supporting an individual who, in my opinion, has done great things for this university."

Picchietti agrees that students and faculty should stand by Poshard no matter what allegations are brought against him.

"If you start saying, 'Oh it doesn't really matter,' or, 'It's not a big deal,' then that hurts the university," Picchietti said. "But at the same time, if you're not supporting somebody who's doing a good job in the university, then that's also a problem."

Picchietti said Poshard has done many good things for the university.


In essence, this type of argument is the justification for the continued presence of plagiarists Laurence Tribe and Doris Kearns-Goodwin at Harvard. Plagiarism in academia is not necessarily a fatal sin, depending upon what else one has accomplished. Perhaps the retroactively-charged students at Ohio University should make this argument.

Although the reasoning of Reeves is a bit silly, and would likely cut no weight for the former students at Ohio University, one must recognize it really is no different from the reasoning employed at Harvard, and elsewhere, to excuse faculty plagiarism. Moreover, the handling of the King thesis plagiarism at Boston University is directly on point to the way the Poshard plagiarism will likely be addressed.

2 Comments:

Blogger Milton said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Milton said...

I posted this on my blog . I was at a filling station in Beardstown and my help was gassing up my Rolls Royce. Thank George Bush $3.60 a gallon. I went into the filingstation to use the facilities. I noticed a young man wearing a SUI sweatshirt.

I wondered, do the type of people who attend a school such as SUI, WIU, NIU and IS really care about academics?

"Plagiarism in a doctoral dissertation is not something that goes away once the dissertation has been accepted by the candidate's university: the scholar is always answerable for his or her work. And the nature and extent of the plagiarism in Glenn Poshard's thesis are *not* excusable on the grounds that there were no word processors 24 years ago! The kinds of copying evident in Poshard's dissertation have never been acceptable among scholars. The fact that SIU folk seem so ready to defend Poshard suggests to me that there is no real commitment to excellence there. At best, his academic work was worse than mediocre. "

Shalom,

--- Prof. Leland Milton Goldblatt

http://www.prof.faithweb.com
http://drgoldblatt.blogspot.com/

4:01 PM  

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