Friday, September 14, 2007

Thoughts on the Poshard Situation

I was discussing the Poshard situation with a friend last night. No matter what happens, it hurts the university. Now, I'm working from the position that it was plagiarism or if not, sure smacks of it. I don't think anyone with any authority will ask for or force President Poshard to resign over this. He has too much support on the BOT and among faculty and staff as evidenced by the support he's gotten despite the fear of the AFAC. Additionally, there's no one waiting in the wings and a resignation would really impact the forward motion the university is showing. So, barring a third shoe dropping, not gonna happen.

On the other hand, given the excuses and justifications that have been made, what's to keep other plagiarists from offering up the same reasoning and request a do-over or the opportunity to bring their mistakenly plagiarized work up to accepted standards? If it's acceptable for the president of the university to be allowed to rework his work, why not a student? And I'm sorry, but I don't buy into the "standards have changed over the past 30 years" argument. I remember having to maintain standards when I wrote papers in the 70's and 80''s that were the same as what we have to do today. However this outcome, except to academic types, will hurt much less than the alternative of a resignation.

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You are exactly right when it comes to standards. When I did my master's thesis in '87 the definition of plagiarism was clear and the style of citation was definitive. And, unlike David Kenney's assertion in a letter to the Southern, it was not an "art" to do it properly. I'm not passing judgment, but Dr. Poshard's excuses have reflected very poorly on him. He can survive this but he will be forever impacted.
I look at this situation this way.
Poshard was not hired to the position because of what or how he wrote his thesis. He was hired
due to his dedication to the area, his political experience and has been accepted as a leader.
Yes, it is ok in this case.
The professor who was fired for plagarism did so on his job application. He also as I have been told was having an affair with a student in Edwardsville.
I suspect one is less embarrassing than the other for the institution and the professor.
Should this be a green light maybe it should. Just think it could change academia. What would the AFAC do for fun then?
the college of ed, diploma mill from the 80's exposed.
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