Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ohio University Gets Away With Deception

Last month a judge ruled in favor of Ohio University in the defamation case filed by Dr. Mehta (one of the professors scapegoated for allowing plagiarism). Someone wrote an editorial in response to the judge's decision which implies that Ohio University is now trying to hold all professors accountable for plagiarism.

I have first hand experience that that is not the case. Last March, I wrote a letter to Dean Dennis Irwin requesting that the 4 professors who approved one of the worst cases of plagiarism I have seen be held accountable. I enclosed with the letter over 30 pages from the thesis with the plagiarism highlighted. This is undoubtedly one of the worst cases of plagiarism that I have seen, and it ranks right up there with the worst that Dr. Mehta approved. By the way, it is an Electrical Engineering thesis.

Much to my dismay and inconsistent with public perception, I received a letter from Ohio University's Legal Director, John Biancamano, indicating that the professors will not be held accountable.

Whoever wrote the editorial for the Dispatch was either duped by Ohio University or it is someone who wants to further mislead the public.

More Plagiarism Approved by the Honesty Chairman

I can't get over how ridiculous Ohio University's leaders were to select a professor who is involved in allowing plagiarism as their Honesty Hearing Chairman.

In 2003, Dr. Ingram served as a thesis committee member for one of Dr. Alam's students. That student worked in Dr. Ingram's lab, but rather than writing all of his own thesis, the student decided to copy parts.

To illustrate my claim, I marked a few pages of the student's thesis. Compare those pages to the source of the student's copying. There are more examples of plagiarism in this thesis.

I think this thesis clearly shows that Dr. Alam and Dr. Ingram condone plagiarism. Did they really believe their student wrote with such expertise?

Ohio University Plagiarism is not Limited to Mechanical Engineering

Most people who have followed the Ohio University plagiarism scandal probably think that Ohio University's plagiarism problems are isolated to the Mechanical Engineering department. While the ME department does have a number of professors who condone plagiarism, there is a significant amount of published plagiarism in the Ohio University's Electrical Engineering department. I will get to that some other day.

Perhaps even more important than engineering plagiarism, is the plagiarism I discovered in a Physics doctoral dissertation which was approved in 2003 by Dr. David Ingram, the chair of the Academic Honesty Hearing Committee.

Anyone can download the dissertation from the following link:

The link may not work after a few days or weeks because I reported this case to Ohio University legal affairs back on August 28, 2009.

To show how obvious the plagiarism is, I marked a few pages from the dissertation. The source of the copied material is a paper written by A. Grill. Notice that Dr. Ingram's student even copied the citations from the paper; that is a nice way for a doctoral student to do research without ever setting foot in the library.

There are many more examples of plagiarism in the dissertation. Just google search the first sentence of Chapter 2 and you will find that Dr. Ingram's student copied page after page from a website.

Some people have correctly suggested that Ohio University outsource their plagiarism investigations. Unfortunately, Ohio University leaders chose an internal person who has direct involvement in allowing plagiarism as the judge of their cases. Now I understand why Dr. Ingram approved a thesis rewrite that still contains plagiarism.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ohio University Lied to Us

On March 28, 2007 Ohio University announced the end of their plagiarism investigations with a quote by Industrial Engineering professor Dr. David Koonce, "I see no need to investigate further."

Based on my previous knowledge of plagiarism cases at Ohio University, I knew that they were attempting to cover-up the real situation. Over the past years I have been collecting information which proves that Ohio University's plagiarism problems are ongoing and the problems are much more serious than most probably know.

Also, over the years I have made numerous efforts to convince Ohio University leaders of their responsibility to their honest students, alumni, professors, and the public in general to hold their cheating students and professors accountable. Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful.

I have now decided to catalog my findings through this blog.

One of my more recent and very important discoveries is that Ohio University leaders chose a professor who is directly involved in allowing plagiarism as their Plagiarism Hearing Committee chairman, Dr. David C. Ingram. Back in 2007, I questioned the selection of Dr. Ingram because I knew that two of Dr. Alam's students who worked in Dr. Ingram's lab published the same experimental procedure in their theses (plagiarism in my opinion). Dr. Angie Bukley eventually tried to tell me that the experimental procedure was attached to the machine and was therefore public domain. She did agree to let Dr. McLaughlin make a final judgement, but President McDavis ordered a stop before it occurred. (I will plan to post all the pertinent emails later).

Since then, I have noted additional ethics violations committed by Dr. Ingram. I tried to get President McDavis to act on those violations in an April 9, 2009 letter I wrote to him. In the letter I clearly show that the Honesty Hearing Committee has blatantly violated the president's thesis rewrite policies. Initially, The Higher Learning Commission (Ohio University's accreditor) acknowledged "potential accreditation issues." However, President McDavis had no problem dismissing my complaint without offering any explanation. A month later, The Higher Learning Commission also dismissed my complaint. Note that Ms. Solinski implies that Ohio University's legal troubles give them license to disregard their own policies.

The bottom line is that Ohio University has repeatedly told the public that cheating students would be rewriting their theses and that all thesis submissions would be scanned for plagiarism. The fact that Honesty Hearing Committee approved theses with deletions (not rewritten) and at least one thesis with pages of plagiarism proves that Ohio University lied to the public.