The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, April 15, 2005

When Professors Steal

The Chronicle of Higher Education report on the latest plagiarism scandal at Harvard.:

"A Harvard University investigation has concluded that Laurence H. Tribe's failure to cite the source for several passages in a 1985 book was 'a significant lapse in proper academic practice' but was unintentional, according to the Associated Press.

Several sentences in God Save This Honorable Court by Mr. Tribe, who is a law professor at Harvard, mirror ones in a 1974 book by Henry J. Abraham, a professor emeritus of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia. Mr. Tribe mentions Mr. Abraham's book in the index but does not place the borrowed passages within quotation marks.

What is it with these 'noted scholars?'

Last year another Harvard law professor, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., was found to have copied about six paragraphs in a recent book from a book by a Yale University scholar. A Harvard investigation found that Mr. Ogletree had committed a 'serious scholarly transgression.' Mr. Ogletree apologized for the lack of proper credit but blamed it on others involved in the editing of the book. "

Add to this roster Doris Kearns Goodwin and you have a growing little industry of plagiarists. Ironic since Harvard has typically dealth severely with students caught plagiarizing - in general suspending them for several semesters and occasionally expelling them (I think they use the word expunge actually since they like to brag no one has ever been expelled from Harvard. When you are expunged, all records of your presence at Harvard are removed.)


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