Friday, February 04, 2011

Penn State B-school applicants plagiarize essay on principled leadership

From BusinessWeek on an incident at the B-school at Penn State revealed by the admissions staff examining 360 pending applications submitted for Smeal's 2010 admissions cycle:

They uncovered 29 cases of students who had lifted entire sentences or paragraphs from online sources, including a 2009 essay titled "Principled Leaders: A Model for the 'Reset' Economy," by Deborah Merrill-Sands, then dean of Simmons School of Management (Simmons Full-Time MBA Profile) in Boston. The case was even more surprising because all applicants to Smeal are asked to sign an honor code before submitting the application. Said Marcinkevage: "It was the perfect storm of plagiarism."

The heart of the matter: The plagiarism was found in submitted essays responsive to a request for B-school applicants to write on the topic of connections between principled leadership and business. The prospective B-schoolers, not having an familiarity with principled leadership, had to copy from someone else to complete their applications.

As they say at the Harvard Business Review, plagiarize with pride.
Harvard Business Review article: Plagiarize with Pride

keywords: Carrie Marcinkevage, Penn State's Smeal

***from Live Chat: Admissions Essay Plagiarism
tgoral: After having discovered the plagiarized essays, did you go back and review previously admitted student essays? I'm wondering whether you were able to discover other incidents of plagiarism.

CarrieAtSmeal: Indeed. We dropped everything else and immediately went back through all essays of those applicants who had been admitted, invited to interview, or were awaiting decisions. We did discover several who'd been invited to interview—those candidates were notified and not admitted. And we unfortunately found one who'd been admitted. That decision was rescinded.

***But in fact this story was about one year old. From US b-school uncovers rampant essay plagiarism, revokes admission calls & interviews, most of them Indians , posted 18 Feb 2010:

Distressed by rampant plagiarism in admission essays, USA’s Smeal College of Business, Penn State University has decided to revoke the admission of one student and cancel six interviews. The common thread between them? They are all Indian save one. The school has also found at least 18 cases of mild and moderate plagiarism from the 250 applications reviewed for admissions to the class of 2012, of which at least 10 are Indians. Clearly an embarrassing moment for Indian applicants.

***See also Scientific plagiarism in India


Blogger Unknown said...

Quick comment on the title of your post - fortunately, these were not "Penn State B-students," but rather "Penn State B-applicants." Those who plagiarized were not admitted. It was ironic that the plagiarism was in the Principled Leadership essay.

12:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home