Saturday, September 1, 2007

President Poshard Defends HImself

According to today's Southern Illinoisan, President Poshard has asked the College of Education to review his dissertation and tell him what changes should be made.

In a conversation I had today, the person I was talking with argued it was acceptable practice at the time, when quoting large blocks of text, to indent and footnote the cited text rather than highlighting it with quotation marks. I don't recall this as appropriate during my undergraduate years but my memory is hazy on the subject. Anyone more certain on the subject?

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As far as I know, it's long been standard to block indent extended quotes, omitting quotation marks (but including citation). Throughout my college career (spanning 1961-1987) dissertation and term paper style was to block indent and use single space while the rest of the text is double spaced; manuscripts submitted for publication double space everything. This remains the style for long quotations in the U.S., though I'm not sure about double spacing -- computer word processing has altered some standards slightly.

Jane Adams
PhD University of Illinois 1987
Professor, SIUC
I just looked at the passages in question as they were reprinted in the Thursdays DE, and, if they scanned the pages correctly, there's no indication of block indenting of the disputed text.
In the real world quotation marks are really not that important.
Poshard is doing a great job in the opinion of most the tax payers in Southern Illinois. Everyone should stop this negative nit picking and get on with the business of rebuilding SIU-C.
If this is a revenge for Wendler's
woe's it should stop as well.
It is time to
move on
to the future.

Poshard is directly taking $300,000 per year from us. In some circles, that is theft.
Tax payer, how would you feel if someone in your place of business took credit for your work? Probably pretty pissed off, especially if it influenced your future with the company. Plagarism is thievery, plain and are taking something from someone else for your self.

Heck, what if he were stealing a few thousand dollars? I mean, that's not that much money out of a large SIU budget. He's doing a good job, so why would be offended? (Note to the confused: Poshard does not steal money, its an analogy.) I don't see how this situation is any different.

That said, you should at least be offended by the sloppiness and laziness of it. If he cuts corners on something like this, what does he do for the really important and hard things when they get tough? Plus, why is giving someone else credit such a tough thing for folks? Doesn't it suggest an underlying arrogance and hubris? As I tell my students, people who plagarize are demonstrating a lack of character. And, once its gone, it doesn't come back.
Do you really think that taking credit for someone elses idea is unusual? I can promise you many of the ideas that politicians take credit for are not theirs.
It happens thousands of times everyday more blantantly and at a profit.
300,000.00 salary
Poshard was offered the money to do the job he took it. If you don't like his salary he is not the one to complain to. However, there are plenty of people who do very little to improve the region and the University who are overpaid, due to tenure.
Offended by ...
If Poshard were in a teaching position or an adminstrative clerical position or a wtiter for a publication. I would then be offended by his "sloppiness" because it directly relates to the profession.
Of course, Poshard is arrogant, I thought that was on the job description for faculty and administration at SIU-C.

Do you think his review committee bares any responsibility here?

My point is if the man fails or really does break the law then he should be fired. However, I see the Univerisity moving towards improvement. I know he is heavy handed from the academic worlds point of view. In the buisness community results are far more important that what we perceive as
errors in writing a paper that very few will ever read.

Things are changing at SIU-C, I say get with the new program or move on.

Why does know one report on professors who teach 2 classes per semester and make 90,000.00 per year?
Why does know one report on professors who teach 2 classes per semester and make 90,000.00 per year?

Fortunately, because most people understand that professors do far more than teach two classes a semester as part of their compensation.

That you don't understand that is the problem.
Things are changing at SIU-C, I say get with the new program or move on.

Look at the very best universities in the nation and I guarantee you all of them take plagarism seriously. If SIU-C wants to be the best it can be, then we need to stop letting our students (and administrators) do anything less than their best. That means not stealing someone else's work and ideas.

I don't know why you think I'm not "with the program." If anything, I've spent my time at SIU doing things that the Wendlers and Poshards of the world like. I'm here for the long haul and, unlike some folks at the university, see no reason why I shouldn't do what I can to make it a better place to be.

But, that's all irrelevant to whether this kind of thing is right or wrong. You don't overlook bad ethics just because someone is "getting things done." That's how you end up with the Worldcoms and Enrons of the world. It all starts with the little decisions like this and we've now had two principal leaders at SIU send the message that its ok to cheat, bend the rules, what have you. Is that really what you think students at SIU ought to be learning?

Even if that isn't persuasive, surely the fact that we're once again the poster boy institution for idiocy at publications like the Chronicle should demonstrate the seriousness of this charge. Bad publicity in that venue hurts our reputation which in turn limits our chances at students, publications, federal grants,....all the stuff we need to do to be better.
Let's just shut the whole damn university down....geez people...quit whining...
Its sad when people think that expecting administrators, facutly, and students to meet our standards is considered "whinning."
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