University Accused of Plagiarizing Sexual Misconduct Policy

February 6, 2014

University of Akron officials are denying allegations of plagiarism from a graduate who filed a federal Clery Act complaint against the institution Tuesday. Julia Dixon told Newsweek that in researching her complaint, she discovered significant portions of Akron's sexual misconduct policies appeared to be lifted, sometimes verbatim, from Miami University of Ohio.

Officials at both campuses said Wednesday that Akron's policy did not copy Miami's, but bore resemblance because it's common for professionals to share models or best practices for writing such documents. The particularly odd overlaps -- for example, both policies reference an Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity and an "Appendix B" of the policy, but only Miami actually has those things -- were just outdated "errors" that have since been fixed, Akron Dean of Students Denine Rocco said.

Dixon alleges in her complaint, filed Tuesday, that administrators mishandled sexual assault cases and did not accurately report assaults or accommodate victims with required services. Dixon said she was also given information from campus officials that conflicted with information in the policy.

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