Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another university president plagiarizes

In bit of almost comic stupidity, President Raj Chopra of Southwestern University in California (Chula Vista) plagiarized a Thanksgiving greeting from the CEO of Southwest Airlines.

The text was a trivial allusion to President Lincoln, but it copied too much:

The paragraph in question reads:

“Even during the dark days of 1863 during the Civil War, President Lincoln found much for which to be thankful: 'The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.' I hope your own year has seen fruitful fields and healthful skies.”

The only difference between Chopra's message and the one from Gary Kelly of Southwest Airlines is the last sentence. Kelly wrote, “On behalf of the Southwest Family, I hope your own year has seen fruitful fields and healthful skies.”
(as reported by the San Diego Union Tribune)

The Union-Tribune also noted: Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said Chopra's use of the passage is “a trivial bit of copying, not worthy of the name plagiarism.”

One wonders "where" Kirk Hanson was when Allison Routman walked the plank.

One recalls Glenn Poshard copied from a book to summarize, in his Ph.D. thesis, a period of literature, even though the book was published BEFORE the period in question.

Sometimes, it's not the copying that's so bad, it's what was copied...


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