Tuesday, February 11, 2014

CHI Tribune: Breaking News: Chicago State trustees back interim provost




Chicago State trustees back interim provost

Her dissertation scrutinized over plagiarism allegations

By 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.


  1. Reasonable people would follow UIC's lead and DISENGAGE from Henderson's reckless disregard for academic integrity. Is there no trustee with any shred of morality? Doesn't this mean any student accused of plagiarism now has a right to defer to this public decision? To treat students any differently is DISCRIMINATION.

    Ditto for UIC. Re. Plagiarism and Discrimintion. If they do not retract plagiarized degree, they lose right to call any other student out for this as well.

  2. I do not see the administration's actions in the wake of the Henderson dissertation scandal as unusual in a such an authoritarian system. What is wonderful and unusual about this whole thing is that a small group of faculty members has actually turned on a bright light and aimed it at the group of highly paid 'leaders'.

    Things are quite different at Governors State University, the sister university (at least in the past) of Chicago State. The president, Ms. Maimon, suspended the Constitution when she was hired and substituted an administratively-controlled process as a substitute. The GSU administration has been informed that a faculty member lied about academic credentials on hiring and in yearly reviews until the truth was discovered. That person's dean has said that such lying was just fine because the degree that the person actually had qualified her for the position (the dean's view but not the faculty view). The same faculty member wrote a doctoral study, not a dissertation, in which an 'expert panel' was supposedly used to develop/approve research questions. At least one of the panel members did not do this work. Reporting this lapse in ethics was also ignored. The reporter in these two instances was terminated and the termination has been arbitrated.
    So, Chicago State University is not the only Illinois university to have administrators bent on protecting incompetents and silencing anybody who speaks out.

  3. Everyone is responsible to all of his/her doings. If we will be talking about writing dissertation, maybe with the same thought but it should be in different and unique content and usage of words. Wish this a calling to all and a lesson.