U. of Utah Fires Faculty Member Deemed to Have Plagiarized

August 19, 2011

The University of Utah has fired a political science professor after concluding that he engaged in a "pattern of plagiarism," the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The newspaper said that a faculty panel determined that Bahman Bakhtiari, former head of the university's Middle East Center, had committed plagiarism, but that the panel recommended against dismissing him. But according to documents provided to the Tribune, it said, Utah's interim president overruled the faculty body. "Plagiarism -- holding out the work of another as one’s own -- strikes at the very core of academic integrity," the newspaper quoted the interim president, Lorris Betz, as writing in a June 30 letter. "The only appropriate sanction in this case is dismissal, which is necessary to preserve the academic integrity of the institution and to restore public confidence in the university." Bakhtiari has contended that the overlap in his work and that of others was unintentional and too limited to qualify as a pattern.

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