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Southern Illinois University an Official Laughingstock
August 30, 2007 - 8:50pm



UD hesitates to declare any university a laughingstock -- there are always plenty of smart, hard-working, good people at any school, and this declaration makes things worse for them. But with its cynical Saluki Way project (spending all its money on athletes and administrators), its cheesy motivational speakers stuck in front of appalled or fleeing faculty, and its across-the-board plagiarizing executives, Southern Illinois University has earned the title.

The latest? Yet another plagiarist, this time the president himself.

Before I quote from it, let me say how impressed I am by the SIU newspaper. The student journalists are doing the hard work -- along with a faculty committee set up to keep track of rampant plagiarism among its leaders (the plagiarizing president describes this group as "academic terrorists") -- of protecting the integrity of their university. Bravo.


[The president is] the third high-ranking SIU administrator to be linked with plagiarism or academic dishonesty in the past two years. ... Former SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler was twice accused of plagiarism in 2006, while Southern Illinois Edwardsville Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift came under fire for similar allegations in February of the same year. [Vandegrift, who plagiarized a Martin Luther King speech], said he and his staff did not believe attributions were necessary because the speech was given in a non-academic setting.'

Ah yes, the non-academic setting plagiarism exemption... Keep in mind that these are the highest-ranking academic officers at an American university talking... As for Poshard, here's his excuse:

'Poshard said August 1984 - when his dissertation was completed - was one of the busiest times of his life.

..."I had a family. I worked two jobs...."

...Poshard said his method of citing, which he said allowed for omitting quotes when information is cited in a footnote, could help explain several examples where he used long verbatim passages without quotation marks.

"No one on my committee said that when you reference and cite something correctly that you have to go up and put quotes around it," he said. [Poshard is president of a university.]'



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