While the Carbondale campus of Southern Illinois University seems to lack a sense of academic integrity in its refusal to demand the firing or resignation of a fraudulent president, the Edwardsville campus has brought honour and distinction to itself.
The faculty senate voted 45-5 to seek the resignation of an individual who stole both his doctor of philosophy degree and allegedly his master’s degree in submitting a plagiarised dissertation and thesis.
The Edwardsville Facutly Senate statement:
“The academic integrity of the university has been undermined. The plagiarism policy is not being applied equally across all groups. Our students have questioned us on this already.”
This is what a professorate should do. Hold administrators to the SAME standards they are held to. Chris Dussold is fired from S.I.U. for having plagiarised a two-page teaching philosophy statement and submitting it as his own during a tenure-review process. Yet Mr Poshard is permitted to plagiarise both his doctoral dissertation and allegedly a master’s thesis without any consequences other than the withdrawal of his dissertation from the S.I.U. library and a request to “fix it” presumably without a deadline.
In addition the St Louis Post-Dispatch, which is an underrated newspaper and the most informative in its coverage of the Poshard Scandal, has exclusively revealed that several faculty at the Edwardsville campus near St Louis seek to disengage S.I.U.E. from the S.I.U. system that besides Carbondale, also includes campuses at East Saint Louis, Alton and Springfield. A petition is being circulated, which already has 20 signatures, to seek an independent status for the campus. A sense of shame and embarrassment is gripping the S.I.U. community as Mr Poshard has the temerity to show up for work, occupy his office, make appointments and cash his roughly $25,000 a MONTH salary. I wonder if this man is capable of thinking about his sense of professional responsibility or if he cares about those who have laboured honestly and decently as professors or administrators? How can an individual, who cheated the VERY university that he presides over as president, continue to display an utter lack of regard for its well-being and future growth as an institution? Does he not feel any remorse, any guilt or any shame that his serial plagiarism has seriously undermined the academic reputation of the S.I.U. university system?
I would urge both campus faculties to seek a vote of no-confidence in the administration of Mr Glenn Poshard.
I would attempt through organised protests, rallies and sit-ins to compel the Board of Trustess to fire this sullied president.
I would explore the possibility of contacting North Central–the accreditation agency for most Midwestern universities –to inquire if there is a danger of losing accreditation.
I would even contact other universities in the Missouri Valley Conference to see if some would be willing to boycott S.I.U. and in the spirit of academic solidarity, refuse to engage in athletic competition with an institution that has condoned such reprehensible behaviour on the part of its imposter president.
I would consider the possibility of work stoppages or selected faculty strikes as a possible last resort unless there is a collective bargaining agreement with a no-strike clause.
The honour and integrity of S.I.U. hangs in the balance!!!
Postscript: I have stated before that any plagiarism is wrong and inappropriate. Yet we are not witnessing incidental plagiarism but entire pages of text that were lifted and inserted into a dissertation: “The Provisions for Gifted Children Education From 1977 Through 1983 in 22 Southern Illinois Counties.” These plagiarised materials were either not accompanied by a footnote or quotation marks. An occasional act of plagiarism, while never to be condoned or excused, would merit some regard for the error. In this instance plagiarism was planned, purposeful and a clear indication of an inability to perform research. The essence of submitting and defending a doctoral dissertation is to demonstrate a facility to do ORIGINAL research and contribute to the pursuit of truth within a discipline. President Poshard failed to demonstrate such a capacity and his Ph.D. should be revoked in order to salvage some academic credibility for the institution and the Department of Educational Administration and Higher Education in particular.