Monday, April 12, 2010

Ateneo de Manila University does NOT accept Pangilinan resignation

The Board of Trustees of Ateneo voted NOT to accept the resignation of Manuel V. Pangilinan. Obliquely, the fact that the graduation speech by Pangilinan may have been ghostwritten, so that Pangilinan did not know of the plagiarism, came into play.

From cbnnews:

However, citing their “Catholic moral tradition which for culpability considers...full awareness and consent (of the act of plagiarism on the part of Pangilinan), the Board unanimously decided not to accept Pangilinan’s offer to resign as their chairman.

This incident may have been an eerie replay of the Laurence Tribe plagiarism matter, wherein the copied portion of Tribe's text may have been ghostwritten by someone else. In the Tribe matter, this produces an odd argument: I'm not guilty of plagiarism because someone else did the copying, although I put my own name on the book, which I didn't actually write. Is using ghost-written material itself plagiarism?

In the context of speech writing, famous people, such as the President of the United States, have speech writers, but "pass off" the speech as their own. That's fairly standard practice. What happens when the speechwriter copies from a prior speech, without attribution? Does the speaker take the fall? Is speaking ghost-written material plagiarism? Or, as in a recent Obama speech, what happens when the speechwriter falsely attributes a quote (here, to Lincoln) when Lincoln didn't say it? Does the speaker take the fall?

IPBiz does not want to defend plagiarists, but Pangilinan, in giving a ghostwritten speech, may be less culpable than Tribe, who in turn may be less culpable than Biden at Syracuse Law or Poshard at SIU.

See prior IPBiz post:

Manuel Pangilinan offers to resign over plagiarism


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