Passing ClassCon Plagiarism?

The Malone University President has stepped down amidst some plagiarism allegations, inter alia:

Ms. Thomas said concerns about plagiarism became public after students noticed similarities between a chapel address given by Mr. Streit on January 13 and online work written by others.

For example, Mr. Streit began the speech with a description of the Roman figure Janus: “In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, of doors, of beginnings and of endings. His most prominent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January, which begins each new year. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions.”

The Wikipedia entry for Janus reads: “In Roman mythology, Janus (or Ianus; “archway”) was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings. His most prominent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January, which begins the new year. He is most often depicted as having two faces or heads, facing in opposite directions.”

Later in that speech, Mr. Streit used material that is nearly identical to portions of two Associated Press articles and a mythology-influenced Web site called Penumbra.

… wow; you’d think someone who was a university president — if he or she were going to plagiarize — would seek out some a little less ‘common’ than Wikipedia …

via Malone U. President Steps Down Amid Plagiarism Accusations |The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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One thought on “Passing ClassCon Plagiarism?

  1. I think that’s the issue with what constitutes plagiarism. A sloppy use of common sources in a relatively informal setting isn’t nearly the same as willfully passing off another’s research as your own. I sincerely doubt there was any intent to deceive. If there were, then you *would* think a university president would be more careful. But this is really about carelessness and not theft, though for an academic both are significant, especially when it would mean disciplinary action for a student in the same position.

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