The Chicago Tribune has reported that the great academic fraud, President Glenn Poshard, can retain his position as president of the Southern Illinois University system. Even though a faculty committee verified that the president’s doctoral dissertation was plagiarised and essentially a stolen piece of “scholarship,” this man will be allowed to continue on as president, accept his $300,000 salary and even retain his falsified and inappropriately earned Ph.D.
Mr Poshard will be allowed to “correct” his dissertation and resubmit it. Frankly I have never heard of anything like this in my academic career. A plagiarist who submitted a doctoral dissertation is allowed, AFTER his degree has been granted, to simply correct the errors as if nothing had happened.
The seven-person faculty committee, which is an embarrassment to S.I.U., has stated that the president was merely ignorant of basic academic research techniques. He had been inadequately instructed, despite his having reached the final stage of his doctoral training, on how to footnote and appropriately cite material. Frankly, this is beyond credulity and merely a cover-up of a horrific example of academic misconduct:
“Student Poshard’s usage included an informal style that some of his contemporaries also used.”
Apparently S.I.U. was and is the only university in the history of the United States that allowed DOCTORAL CANDIDATES to steal other’s scholarship, without penalty, incorporate it into their own dissertation and graduate with the highest research degree offered in the field of education.
This faculty committee was afraid, I am speculating, of recommending punishment for a well-connected political-crony president. Why should Mr Poshard be treated differently than the committee members’ OWN students who might be failed or possibly expelled for plagiarism? Even more remarkably, the committee conceded their university president’s scholarship and doctoral dissertation were egregiously falsified:
“The committee said it found some instances where attribution problems were “significant.”
“This committee’s examination of the dissertation leads to the conclusion that the bulk of the allegations pertain to unquoted and uncited texts,” according to the report. “These are pervasive. Some of these instances are significant.”
According to the Tribune, allegations that Mr Poshard plagiarised his master’s thesis were not “thoroughly” examined. Why would a committee of seven-faculty members not investigate rampant and pervasive charges of plagiarism that would apparently confirm a serial plagiarist at every stage of his graduate training? Did they consider it irrelevant to vet thoroughly his master’s thesis? Were they afraid it might alienate or upset the president or his servile board of trustees if they really went after this unethical president who allegedly plagiarised BOTH thesis and dissertation?
This is a disgraceful development for S.I.U. that simply lacks the integrity that one would hope that an academic institution would possess. If you are Chris Dussold, a faculty member, you get fired for lifting someone’s teaching statement in a tenure application. If you are a student, you may receive an F. If you are the president, you don’t even receive a reprimand, a suspension, or appropriate dismissal. You can, as it were, “simply return the money to the bank that you robbed,” and all will be forgiven.