- Accuracy In Academia - https://www.academia.org -

Copycat Professors

Once upon a time, the problem of plagiarism in college was one in which students were, more often than not, the perpetrators, not their professors, but now, a growing body of evidence shows, the pedagogues themselves are increasingly suspect.

“An editor at History News Network receives so many tips about purported plagiarism that he now only investigates those involving well-known scholars,” the Chronicle of Higher Education reported late last year.

Of course, since then, we have learned of the alleged plagiarism of Ward Churchill, who teaches ethnic studies, as of this writing, at the University of Colorado. He joins an array of academic superstars caught publishing less-than-original material which includes Harvard’s Lawrence Tribe, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose.

“In one of the rare surveys conducted about plagiarism, two University of Alabama economists this year asked 1,200 of their colleagues if they believed their work had ever been stolen,” The Chronicle reported last December. “A startling 40 percent answered yes.”

Last year, Richard L. Judd, the then-president of Central Connecticut State University, wrote an article for The Hartford Courant. Unfortunately, the column resembled an editorial which had already appeared in The New York Times.


Ann H. Franke, vice president for education and risk management at United Educators Insurance, offered the Chronicle’s David Glenn an interesting solution to the problem.
“A lot of schools don’t use a written employment application for faculty hiring,” Franke said. “But that can be another way for the hiring institution to ask some of these hard questions:

Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.