Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Toronto School Board Chair Resigns Over Plagiarism Allegations

Due to plagiarism allegedly found in an article, speech, blog, and his PhD dissertation, the Toronto District School Board Chairman resigned his post (The Globe and Mail (CA), January 11, 2013, "TDSB Director Resigns over Plagiarism, PhD Dissertation Includes Unattributed Passages"). Chris Spence copied another author's work and neglected to cite sources in his 1996 dissertation, written before he accepted his most recent job in 2009. In a December 2012 blog post, he took similar wording from a St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer responding to the Sandy Hook (CT) school tragedy. In his resignation statement, he apologized for his actions.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Should a school board chairperson receive a greater punishment for plagiarism than someone in another line of work?
  2. There was no mention of him having to relinquish his degree as a result of the alleged doctoral dissertation plagiarism. Should he be required to make corrections to his 1996 PhD publication in order to keep the degree? Or should he lose his PhD due to what appears to be plagiarism?

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