Monday, September 17, 2007

Email confidentiality issue in flap about poll over whether Poshard should resign

The SIU Daily Egyptian discussed the poll by the Springfield State Journal Register about whether or not SIU President Poshard should resign over plagiarism charges.

An issue is the involvement of Poshard friend Hugh Muldoon who apparently emailed people urging them to vote "no" in the poll.

The SIUDE noted:

As a friend of Poshard's for more than 20 years, Muldoon said he felt he could help by sending the messege.

"Him coming into the presidency was a breath of fresh air for me," Muldoon said. "His passion, his vision, his commitment have been unparalleled. So when I see this opportunity for the university under threat and at risk, I feel something."

IPBiz notes that the primary matter at hand is whether or not Poshard conformed to proper citation practices at the time of his graduate work. The university is not under threat. If, hypothetically, Poshard did not conform to proper practices, SIU could determine what, if anything, to do with Poshard. Laurence Tribe committed plagiarism, and is still at the Harvard Law School. The treatment of the thesis of Martin Luther King at Boston University is even more directly on point.

The SIUDE also noted:

He [Muldoon] said responses to the e-mail varied from support to discomfort at participating in the poll to frustration that the focus is on plagiarism and not larger world issues.

University spokesperson Mike Ruiz [University of Chicago Law School, 1993] said the university would not take an official position or comment on what any person sent from his or her personal e-mail address to another.

"I don't think employees would want the university to comment on that," Ruiz said.


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