Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More on the Henderson Libel/Slander Lawsuit: The Offenses and Defenses of the Watson Administration

Given the spate of allegations and assertions included in Angela Henderson’s recent libel/slander complaint, a few points might benefit from some clarification. Most important I think, are Henderson’s denial of any wrongdoing and the assertion in her claim that the plagiarism charges are lies.

There seem to be several bases for these assertions: 1) my efforts to undermine her reputation with false claims; 2) a convenient definition of plagiarism that requires it be intentional; 3) the implication that because other UIC dissertations displayed evidence of plagiarism, Henderson’s should not have been scrutinized.

In the nearly seven months since Henderson's plagiarism became public knowledge, Wayne Watson has done nothing to protect the academic integrity of Chicago State. In fact, he told one former administrator that the plagiarism allegations against Henderson amounted to "academic rape." This is part of the tried and true Watsonian tactic of attacking the messenger when any unpleasant truths are revealed about his administration. In the entire time Chicago State has suffered this president, I cannot recall a single instance when he admitted any culpability for anything. It is simply not permisible to level any substantive criticism against Watson or any of his cronies.

However, in Henderson's case, her dissertation was originally a public document, available for anyone to examine. Since I have a copy, I am able to analyze the dissertation. Here are some relevant facts: As I have said before, the dissertation includes at least 84 passages or complete sentences plagiarized from other sources. There are 19 major sources for this material, only seven of which appear in her text or bibliography; 1 source appears in the text but not her bibliography and no references to the other 11 appear anywhere in the dissertation. There are 50 pairs of quotation marks in the dissertation. Henderson quotes herself 4 times, 41 are quotes detailing questions in either studies by other authors or Henderson's own study, 3 are quotations from literary sources, one quotes students in the Henderson survey, 1 is a quotation from one of the studies that constitutes her "review of the literature." In the entire dissertation there is not a single page reference to any exact language.

Here is the Academic Integrity Policy of the UIC College of Nursing:

" . . . Similarly, using someone else's exact words must be indicated by enclosing those words in quotation marks . . . and giving the exact reference and page number where those words can be found. It is intellectual theft to use someone else's words or work product without giving them credit for the work through adequate attribution. Students who plagiarize in any of their work at the University are subject to Student Disciplinary Action."

I will leave it for the reader to decide where the truth lies in this ongoing tragedy.

1 comment:

  1. The CSU policy on plagiarism makes no distinction between intentional and unintentional plagiarism, nor do the policies of most reputable colleges and universities.