Friday, October 16, 2009

Ohio University Is Breeding Legacy of Cheaters

In June 2007, Ohio University professors in the College of Education approved a dissertation that contains plagiarism. The dissertation can be downloaded from the following link:
http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=ohiou1176926973 .

The doctoral graduate copied from the dissertation of another student and he copied from other articles. I marked two pages to show you. The source copied on page 47 of the dissertation is here. The first copied paragraph on page 128 is from this source. The second copied paragraph on page 128 is from this source. It is pretty pathetic when a doctoral graduate has to copy his method of experimental analysis from someone else's article.

The student's dissertation also has pages of text that is the same as another article available online. This article was published 8 years before the dissertation. Compare pages 15 to 17 of the dissertation to pages 3 and 4 of the online article. It is interesting to note that within the duplicate text the student added 5 citations for the World Factbook, but the online article has no citations.

This very recent case of plagiarism by an Ohio University education graduate raises some important questions. Do professors in the College of Education condone plagiarism? Were the approving professors and student aware of all discussions of academic honesty at Ohio University during 2006? Is this doctoral graduate still cheating?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is anyone checking anywhere?
I feel like the entire university is plagued! Who is overseeing the general legal affairs/academic misconduct committees? Do they care/does it matter?

Professor X said...

Mansour A. Aldojan is a professor at the University of Jordan.

Anonymous said...

The anxiety and frustration expressed in the first comment above is well founded and important. In trying to address it it is important to consider how long OU’s plagiarism problem has been going on now. The Higher Learning Commission knows OU’s plagiarism problem is serious and has festered for over a half-decade (since 2004). Clearly the Commission is stalling and hoping to avoid having to deal with OU’s plagiarism mess. (See the Commission’s correspondence embedded in Tom’s September 29th blog “Ohio University Lied to Us.”) This is consistent with the fa├žade that the Commission really is. It’s now time for the Commission to answer the obvious question of why, after five scandalous years, OU remains accredited. But the Commission is timid, isn’t really accountable to anyone and there has been little public outrage or pressure from, say, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). So they’ll try to quietly wait it out and see what happens.

From the faculty all the way up through OU’s Board of Trustees, OU has squandered years of opportunity to deal with its plagiarism problem. See Post Ghost’s comment in Tom’s October 16th post “Ohio University and Its graduates Can’t Be Trusted” and Tom’s letter to the editor published May 18th, 2007:

Your turn: Plagiarism scandal allowed to fester by inaction, irresponsibility
http://thepost.baker.ohiou.edu/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=20425&SectionID=17&SubSectionID=35&S=1

And the record also shows that whenever OU people think nobody’s paying attention, they will, with impunity, behave atrociously and then cover up. An obvious example of this is the gutted theses skullduggery (see Tom’s September 29th blog “Ohio University Lied to Us” and Post Ghost’s comment there) which would have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for Tom. They (university officials and professors) got caught (red handed) cheating but nothing happened to them. So now everyone knows from this fiasco that they won’t ever be held accountable by their peers, OU’s President and Board of Trustees, the public, or anyone else, even if they get caught again and again. All they’ll have to do next time is what they did last time: wait and see that nothing will happen to them (again). So don’t expect anything other than more dirty tricks and cover up from them.

After five scandalous years it’s pretty clear that OU’s plagiarism problem will grow worse in the hands of OU and the Commission. One might think that that means Ohio’s state government (OU is a public university) is the next higher authority to approach for help. But Tom has already tried that too! He wrote to the Ohio Board of Regents and Governor Taft years ago but they just passed the buck back down to OU. (Maybe you’ll blog about that too, Tom?) So when it comes to the plagiarism scandal at OU, there really is nowhere left to turn for accountability other than OU itself (and that has proven to be a complete disaster).

As for Professor X’s comment, see the October 16th post “Ohio University and Its graduates Can’t Be Trusted.” Professor X’s comment above reinforces this and also his earlier comment pointing out the irony of OU’s plagiarists moving on to successful academic careers elsewhere.