Alleged Serial Plagiarizer on Leave From Arizona State

September 18, 2015

A professor of history at Arizona State University who’s been accused of plagiarism multiple times was placed on administrative leave this week as the university looks into new allegations of misconduct, The Arizona Republic reported. While previous allegations against Matthew Whitaker involve his published research, the most recent complaint involves Whitacker’s extracurricular consulting business.

Last month, the city of Phoenix demanded a refund of the $21,900 it had already paid the Whitaker Group to develop cultural consciousness training material for its police force, according to The Republic. The city said more than half of some 80 slides Whitaker produced were ripped from the Chicago Police Department, with minor, if any, changes. Lonnie J. Williams Jr., Whitaker’s attorney, said he questioned why the university would investigate a matter in which it’s not involved, and that Whitaker had been up front about his intention to borrow the Chicago material.

Mark Johnson, a university spokesman, said the institution is reviewing claims that Whitacker’s behavior fell short of that expected of a professor and scholar. Phoenix’s $268,800 contract with Whitaker reportedly came under scrutiny earlier this summer, after the professor was demoted to associate professor following a second plagiarism charge in four years, regarding his book, Peace Be Still: Modern Black America From World War II to Barack Obama.


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