On Campus
Jun 02, 2009, 08:54AM

It's better if we don't talk about it

Making plagarism charges go away is easy when you're a university President.

Some enterprising readers (faculty? student-journalists?) have gone through the dissertations of Carl Boening and William Meehan, highlighting every passage in Meehan's that can be found, word for word, in Boening's. Neither the University of Alabama (which granted Boening and Meehan their doctorates) nor Jacksonville State University, where Meehan is president, has chosen to take up the obvious questions about plagiarism that Meehan's dissertation presents. As another recent story suggests, plagiarism seems to be governed by a sliding scale, with consequences lessening as the wrongdoer's status rises.

With Meehan's dissertation, things are even worse than the highlighting would suggest: what's yellow is what's word for word. There are further instances of plagiarism in Meehan's work that involve less than word-for-word correspondence.

You can find both dissertations and an index, syncing them page by page, at What Plagarism Looks Like. That site is the source of the image above.

[The documents are also now at Scribd: Boening dissertation, Meehan dissertation, Index.]


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