Saturday, January 25, 2014

Installment 4 of the Plagiarism Chronicles: Let's Steal an Entire Paragraph

First of all, I promise this will be my final post on this topic today. Here is another excerpt from Henderson's dissertation. This time she plagiarizes an entire paragraph. The article from which she steals the material is: Williams, M., A. Bowen, U. Pallonen, M. Ross, S. McCurdy, S. Timpson, and C. Amos (2008). "An investigation of a personal norm of condom use responsibility." AIDS Care, 20 (2008: 225-234. Article is available online here:

I will have additional posts on Henderson's "alleged" plagiarism that will actually be far worse than the items I have documented today in terms of the volume of plagiarized material. This is a contemptible academic fraud, cheating to receive a PhD from a reputable university. Henderson has heedlessly exposed both UIC and Chicago State to pointless embarrassment and disgraced herself in the process. Aided by her enabler, Wayne Watson, she is apparently determined to fight this to the bitter end, doing incalculable additional damage to this university. This behavior is despicable and will do nothing but fan the flames of this scandal. Thank you Illinois officials for doing nothing to address this. After all, to the people who could do something about this, it seems that they view Chicago State as just a university filled with African American students, this is all they deserve.

Here is page 15 of Henderson's dissertation. As you compare the material from the Williams article, note the occasional change of a word or two, another trait of the ham-handed undergraduate plagiarizer.

This material comes from the first page of the article:

This is from page 3:

These next two passages are from page 5:

The final two items appear on page 6:

I have been at Chicago State for nearly 12 years and have seen a number of embarrassing scandals. This one will be hard to top. By all means, let us ignore this and focus on happy things because after all, just "because it is alleged does not make it true." Idiotic and irresponsible.


  1. When I turn in my thesis later this year, I can cite the Henderson dissertation as why I felt justified in turning in an already published work of history, right?

  2. Perhaps you need to investigate Dr. Watsons dissertation for a PhD. Watson's support of Hendersons pledgerism suggest he feels pledgerism in a dissertation is normal. Therefore, why would he not do the same in his dissertation?

  3. It was harder to plagiarize when Watson wrote his dissertation, before the copy and paste function in Word.

    Deeplyconcerned brings up an important point, though. If our goal as faculty is to improve the administration, attacking Angela Henderson's dissertation does not seem the best way to do it. All Watson may have done is overlooked the plagiarism. That's poor instruction on his part, but hardly enough reason to remove him from his job.

    How do we have an orderly transition to a new and better administration? Some people on this website seem to believe that all it will take is a change in the president and everything will be all right. But that's not true. We should start discussing alternatives. Unfortunately, there are probably not many talented university president candidates who would be willing to come to CSU at this point.

    1. All great points. I would respond that our current administration is not capable of improvement, that four years experience provides us with a sufficient track record to determine that. There are myriad reasons to remove Watson from his position, Henderson's plagiarism is simply the most recent. They include: 1) enrollment declines; 2) audit findings; 3) poor public image of the school; 4) abysmal fund raising; 5) poor relations with faculty. The culture of deceit promoted by this administration also includes recent attempts to stifle faculty dissent, non-existent or insufficient response to lies on official documents by top university administrators and the plagiarized dissertation and Watson's ethically questionable presence on the committee that approved the work.

      I can assure you that no one thinks just removing Watson and his administration will solve our problems. That's just the first step in repairing the damage done to the university by Watson and his predecessors. We have a great deal of work to do as I made clear in an earlier post. I really don't want to get into self-defeating conversations about the fact that no one decent will come here, we don't know that.

      In fact, it is my belief that the CSU position would be a "no lose" proposition for a prospective president. After all, how much worse can it get? In addition, the school is in Chicago, which should be more attractive than most destinations. I reject the notion that we could not bring someone with distinguished credentials here. Of course, if we resign ourselves to the failure of that endeavor before it begins, we will ensure that all we get is another mediocrity, or worse.

      Thanks for your thoughtful and on-point post.

  4. It is not just a matter of getting rid of Watson that will make it all suddenly better. There was great hope when Elnora Daniel finally left. It is a matter of getting rid of the political influence of politicians, namely Emil Jones, as well as others connected to him on the state and city levels who use CSU to reward their friends and keep the place from being more than a mediocrity (a colleague here says he would be happy if we could achieve mediocre status at this point). Last year’s display of the administration, politicos, and the local reverends at the CSU March 2013 Board of Trustees meeting and the tacit complicity of the silent majority who hate the situation even despise it in private but won’t speak out publically against the old south side lions indicated just how deeply fucked up the governance structures are—city-wide, state-wide and here at this overly politicized university. Watson is not the only president of CSU to have political ties in the history of this school let alone in the state of ILL. Do other nationalities and ethnicities “own” the other state universities the way Emil Jones and company own CSU and see it as theirs to plunder for “their people?” Is the mentality—“whitey has his place (U of I? SIU?), we have ours?” The Hispanic politicians have Northeastern Illinois, “we” have CSU? This sounds like the political playbook of the 1970s and by the age of most of the politicos (including Watson himself) it is what they know and how they play. The old lions will not give in to those offering new leadership models. Long-time insider Leon Finney succeeds where the young outsider Gary Rozier fails. Political Science 101: power is never ceded, it must be taken.

    I have been on this campus for 17 years, but the past five years have been a learning curve regarding the place of CSU in the community, the city, and the state. Wayne Watson may not be the first politically-connected president at CSU, but he has brought ward politics onto this campus in a way never displayed before. He does not do the main thing a modern university president is supposed to do—raise money. He has, however, accrued all power of hiring from faculty and administrators on down to police officers on campus to himself by rewriting hiring policies to insert the president in as final arbiter--he defends this as “shared governance” to HLC with a straight face. He is a political boss who doles out the jobs to loyal followers. Lately he has been heard commenting on who attends his “events” on campus and off and who does not. He has pointed out rather petulantly to his captains, er, deans, that faculty don’t show up for his things… maybe this is the signal things are changing? Students have been protesting with their feet as the enrollment numbers indicate, maybe faculty are doing so too. Unfortunately, if we wait too long, Angela Henderson, heiress apparent, with or without a title, will be president.

  5. What is most disgusting about this whole sordid affair is that their are quite literally thousands upon thousands of people who would work hard to create honest and reputable work but are not enrolled in university or able to purse more advanced degrees due to their financial situation and/or life circumstances.

    Instead, we are given examples such as Ms. Henderson who has made a mockery of the whole structure of cronyism and nepotism at CSU/UIC and has taken up a valuable spot in her postgraduate program that other, more hard-working, honest, and meritorious could have instead filled. The knives and pitchforks therefore need to come out. Targets: Henderson and Watson.