Monday, June 1, 2009

Bullf*ckingsh*t

I was completely taken aback today when the following University of Alabama thesis, written by Jacksonville State University president, William Meehan, was brought to my attention. (as seen on Orange Crate Art). What the fucking fuck people? 



And it gets better, according to various sources (here, here and here).

Apparently, this recent finding stems from a civil law suit filed in 2003 by Jacksonville State professor R. David Whetstone, who claims Meehan took about 55,000 plant samples. The dissertation is supposed to serve as an example of how Meehan had stolen other's work in the past.

But that's not all,
In 2007, Meehan was busted using copy from the internet in his "Town and Gown" newspaper column. At that point, Meehen claimed that the articles were ghost written by a former university publicist even though the articles clearly contained his name in the by line. 

And this is what really fucking pisses me off:
The University of Alabama reviewed the matter and was "not inclined to go behind the decision the dissertation committee made 10 years ago in granting Meehan a doctorate in education, said spokeswoman Cathy Andreen in a statement Tuesday. She would not elaborate. 
Alabama's position closes the matter for Jacksonville State, said JSU board chairman Jim Bennett. "We're satisfied that President Meehan has a legitimate degree," said Bennett, who also is Alabama's labor commissioner.

Excuse me Jim Bennet, but a legitimate doctorate requires a legitimate dissertation, and a legitimate dissertation cannot be plagiarized. In case your wondering, a document that is not plagiarized does not contain sections that are word-for-word identical to a previously published document. 
Fucking donkeys.


14 comments:

Mad Hatter said...

Well, crap! Just think how many PhDs I could have by now if I'd only known all I had to do was lift my thesis from someone else's! Can't believe those two universities are just going to let this go.

Hermitage said...

Someone needs to stay on their butts so they don't wuss out because that is MESSED UP! Cut out the plagiarized parts and that's a masters thesis...at best.

microbiologist xx said...

MH: I can't believe it either. How can either of these institutions expect any kind of academic integrity from their students when they clearly don't have any themselves.

Hermitage: It is TOTALLY messed up. Another article mentioned that the yellow only represents the text that is word-for-word identical, but many parts of the non-highlighted sections are almost identical to the other person's thesis as well. In these instances Meehan made slight changes although it was entirely obvious that is was copied from the other guy. So my guess is, if you take those parts out as well, you wouldn't even have enough for a MS.

Thomas Joseph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chall said...

wow. I guess it stands true once again - make sure to climb high enough (and have many friends in high places) because then it will be so embarassing for all others if they need to take "measures".....

gosh, I never get to the point when I understand HOW these people can do it. I mean, I feel like a fraud several times and I haven't used someone elses words in my thesis.... Imagnie my sterss level if I actually DID take something ^^

I wonder if the unis think that people really don't care and they will still get people to graduate?!?

Toaster Sunshine said...

Well, there goes their academic credibility, out the window like a festering tosspot! I know where I will NOT be citing papers from.

microbiologist xx said...

chall - I don't get it either. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the president of a company, but since this guy is the president of a freaking university, I would think that the degree would mean something. The fact that nothing is being done about it is actually making me want to speculate that this isn't new information to anyone involved.

Toaster Sunshine - Agreed! I'll certainly think twice before I ever hire someone from either of these universities. As if people didn't already think negatively enough about education in Alabama...jeez.

Dr. J said...

Unforutnately I've given up hope that Universities or the people that run are any better behaved than businesses. In fact I find academia to be quite to the contrary. This case seems particularly outrageous and he should obviously be stripped of both the degree and the job and any offender of that magnitude is not fit to be any example or role model to staff or students nor do they deserve the position.

The first time I ever marked any essays, literally the first essay I picked up sounded strangely familiar. So I yellow highlighted it too - it ran my yellow highlighter out out of yellow when I had been through Alberts and checked the overlap. The bits in between were presumably not copied as they were not many and then incorrect!

microbiologist xx said...

Dr. J - After seeing this story, I have to admit I am starting to agree with you that academics are not much better than business people. Why in the world do they want to pretend that this guy actually earned a degree and why is it just being brushed aside, especially given the fact that this appears to be the second accusation of copying another's work. In fact, it is the choice to do nothing that is actually making me more suspicious of both universities.

PhizzleDizzle said...

that's incredibly fucked up.

microbiologist xx said...

PD - Indeed.

birger said...

The president of a company usually has worked his way into that position with some kind of relevant expertise. He must usually have been very good at something relevant to the company. It may not be easy see from the outside...

On the other hand, people within academia who want power and leadership are all too often not the kind of people I at least feel should have power at all. Real scientists usually don't have time to worry about power and politics. They want to do their thing.

Of course being adept at cheating, stealing and lying could be beneficial for leading a university. Perhaps the univerisy just sees it as relevant background for the job.

Another kind of people who like power but should never be allowed any? politicians... :-D

microbiologist xx said...

birger - Yeah, I totally agree...particularly about the politicians.

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