Chicago State trustees back interim provost
Her dissertation scrutinized over plagiarism allegationsBy Jodi S. Cohen, Tribune reporter
7:09 PM CST, February 11, 2014
Chicago State University trustees Tuesday publicly backed the campus' interim provost, Angela Henderson, who has faced allegations that parts of her doctoral dissertation were plagiarized.
The board's support came after it met in a two-hour closed-door session. Reading a statement, board Chairman Anthony Young said the board "accepts the Ph.D. conferred" on Henderson in August by the University of Illinois at Chicago, and "the current process being followed" at UIC, which began reviewing Henderson's work in December.
"Therefore the board supports Dr. Henderson in her role as the interim provost and senior vice president," Young said. "The board also expresses its full confidence in President (Wayne) Watson."
The board's support comes days after the university's faculty senate voted "no confidence" in Watson and Henderson, the university's top officials. The 44-member Senate, the faculty's governing body, voted 25-2, with three abstentions and 14 members absent.
"I guess academic dishonesty is accepted by this board of trustees," faculty senate President Phillip Beverly said following Tuesday's meeting. "That is the only way I can interpret this. It would never happen at another university."
Chicago State's spokesman said Henderson declined to comment. She attended the public part of the board meeting, and then left the room about a minute before trustees returned from their private session.
Henderson, 48, who took over in July as interim provost, the campus' senior academic official, received her doctorate in nursing from UIC in August. She had served as Chicago State's vice president for enrollment for two years.
UIC officials began examining her dissertation in December after a Chicago State professor raised concerns that parts of it were copied from other sources, without proper attribution or with inadequate citation.
UIC Graduate College Dean Karen Colley was expected to decide last month whether any action should be taken in respect to Henderson's dissertation. UIC spokesman Bill Burton declined to discuss the review or its possible outcome Tuesday, citing privacy concerns.
UIC removed Henderson's dissertation from its online database in December pending the outcome of the review. It remained offline Tuesday.
The charges against Henderson are noteworthy because, as provost, she is responsible for overseeing the academic side of the university. That includes operations and policies related to academic standards and integrity, graduate education and disciplinary matters.
Henderson's five-member dissertation committee, which had to approve her thesis in order for her to graduate, included Watson.
Her 129-page dissertation is titled: "Predicting Consistent Condom Use in African-American, Emerging, Adult Males Enrolled in Community College." Her work included surveying 186 African-American students at two community colleges to determine what influences them to use condoms, and then analyzing the results.
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC