Saturday, September 15, 2007

SIU's Trevino forms faculty committee to investigate plagiarism charges against Poshard

The Southern Illinoisian noted that a committee has been formed to investigate plagiarism accusations against SIU President Poshard:

Chancellor Fernando Treviño kept his promise to act expediently when he announced Friday the formation of a committee made up of seven senior Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty members to review plagiarism allegations against SIU President Glenn Poshard.

"The members of this group are among the most respected faculty members on our campus. Each is well known for their integrity, their scholarship and their commitment to the academic reputation of this university," Treviño said.


The committee's work will adhere to the student code of conduct for former students.
[IPBiz: a code of conduct for "former" students???]


[SIU Spokesman] Sievers said the chancellor believes the committee's work will conclude by Sept. 30. At that time he will receive their findings and recommendations, which will be forwarded to the SIU Board of Trustees.

Note also a post by Peter Kirstein: Chicago Tribune Calls for Dismissal of SIU Disgraced President ...

See previous IPBiz posts including:

A piece by Robert Bruce Ware in the Chicago Tribune includes the text:

By way of defending himself against these charges, our president [Poshard] has publicly stated that he was too busy with other things to type quotation marks around the passages that he typed verbatim from various sources. Media reports have referred to this as a "cut-and-paste methodology," but cut-and-paste technology was not available when our president did his writing. In those days, writing was an act of letter-by-letter deliberation. And, how can anyone be too busy to type a quotation mark when it is just another stroke?

Poshard also has stated that his two theses are deficient in the basic elements of attribution and punctuation because none of his teachers at SIU helped him to understand these things. This is to say, that he received both a MA and a PhD from SIU without having learned the things that every American learns before entering high school. He also has said his SIU doctoral and master's advisers signed off on his theses even though they contained many instances of what he has described as "mistakes."

So this is our predicament: Either thousands of people will see our university as run by a group of plagiarists, people who cannot hold themselves to the standards that they require of their subordinates and their students, or our university will be seen to have academic standards so low that it could not hold a doctoral candidate to the level of any ordinary high school. Either way, SIU and everyone who ever has been, or ever will be, associated with it is harmed.

IPBiz notes that the point --people who cannot hold themselves to the standards that they require of their subordinates and their students-- was exactly the point raised by the Harvard Crimson during the Laurence Tribe plagiarism incident.

Of the potential conflict of interest within the committee now appointed by Trevino, Ware writes:

Instead of resigning, Poshard wants to submit these plagiarism allegations to a review by a faculty committee. Unfortunately, this wouldn't help to clear the name of SIU or the name of our president. Few people will believe that he was impartially evaluated by a group of people who operate under his authority and whose careers are dependent on him. Few people will believe that SIU's board of trustees acted impartially when it stated its support for Poshard in advance of the review. Some will notice that until recently, Poshard was the chair of the board of trustees. He previously headed the people who now oversee him, just as he now oversees the people who will review him.


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

The Belleville NewsDemocrat ran an AP story on the composition of the panel evaluating Poshard's work:

A look at the panel of tenured faculty at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale who will review plagiarism allegations against SIU President Glenn Poshard:

-Ramanarayanan Viswanathan: professor of electrical and computer engineering and president of the school's faculty senate. Viswanathan will head the committee.

-Peggy Stockdale: psychology professor and faculty senate vice president.

-David Worrells: associate professor of aviation management and flight; faculty senate secretary.

-Spyros Tragoudas: professor of electrical and computer engineering; chairman of ISU graduate council.

-Brad Colwell: professor and chairman of Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education, from which Poshard received doctoral degree; graduate council vice chairman. Review panel formed after Colwell's department declined Poshard's request to resolve the plagiarism claims.

-Lenore Langsdorf: professor of speech communication; vice president of the school's collective-bargaining faculty association.

-Philip C. Howze: professor of library affairs; faculty association member.

11:52 AM  

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