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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Faculty Senate Calls for President’s Resignation


The faculty senate at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville passed a resolution Thursday asking for the system’s embattled president to resign over plagiarism claims.

The 45-5 vote was at odds with a separate conclusion last week by a seven-member faculty review panel in Carbondale that Glenn Poshard’s 1984 doctoral dissertation included “inadvertent or unintended” plagiarism that could be easily remedied without costing him his job.

“We are hoping he will resign,” kinesiology professor and faculty senate president Kay Covington told the Chicago Tribune in a story posted Thursday on its Web site. “The academic integrity of the university has been undermined. The plagiarism policy is not being applied equally across all groups. Our students have questioned us on this already.”

The university’s board of trustees ardent backers of Poshard throughout the flap said last week that Poshard would stay put. The trustees agreed with Poshard and the smaller panel’s conclusion that he made “honest mistakes” that reflected citation styles decades ago.

The group recommended that Poshard, a former five-term congressman and one-time Democratic candidate for Illinois governor, publicly recognize the dissertation’s incomplete citations and correct them using current standards, along with a public mea culpa that Poshard has already delivered.

“It is disappointing that a more deliberative effort was not made to understand the well-reasoned decision reached by the faculty review committee which, during a lengthy adjudication proceeding, ruled out a recommendation of resignation,” SIU spokesman David Gross said in a statement.

The plagiarism allegations surfaced Aug. 30 when SIU’s student newspaper, The Daily Egyptian, reported that at least 30 sections in Poshard’s 111-page doctoral dissertation were not attributed to their original sources or put in quotation marks to show they weren’t Poshard’s writing.

On Sept. 10, The Chronicle of Higher Education also reported Poshard’s 1974 master’s thesis contained sentences found nearly verbatim in sources published earlier, without attribution.

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