October 12, 2007
Office of the Board of Trustees News Release:
contact: Mike Ruiz 618/713-2315 or David Gross 217/836-3303
CARBONDALE, IL – Meeting in special session on Thursday, Oct. 11, the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of the Faculty Review Committee, a panel of tenured SIUC professors, established last month by SIUC Chancellor Fernando Treviño to examine the allegations of plagiarism lodged against the graduate papers of SIU President Glenn Poshard.
“The Board concurs in the recommendations contained in the Faculty Review Committee Report and believes that this report appropriately addresses the allegations that have been made,” commented SIU Board Chair Roger Tedrick.
The seven person Faculty Review Committee, chaired by Dr. Ramanarayanan Viswanathan, was formed in September of 2007 and charged with the responsibility of reviewing a 1984 dissertation and 1976 master’s thesis in historical and disciplinary context in order to determine whether allegations of plagiarism were accurate. Both the SIUC Faculty Senate and the SIUC Graduate Council gave their unanimous support to the comprehensive review process.
“The members of the Faculty Review Committee should be commended for ensuring the academic integrity of this institution by following its own policies and procedures and recommending a course of action consistent with them, “Tedrick continued. “Their work was thoughtful and deliberate in an atmosphere that was neither.”
"This review must be understood in its historical context,” stated Dr. Viswanathan. “Our examination of some theses and dissertations completed in Dr. Poshard's department in the same general time period found that the citation style he used appears to have been commonly accepted by different dissertation committees in his college,” Viswanathan continued. “While the style was agreed to between Dr. Poshard and his dissertation committee at that time, it would not be recommended today."
The Committee recommended that Dr. Poshard publicly recognize the incomplete citation errors in the dissertation and correct them using currently acceptable citation practices. The Committee also suggested that President Poshard continue to lead the University’s efforts to implement a comprehensive plagiarism policy
and to assist in raising the educational awareness of the issue.
“The members of this Committee are individuals of integrity and credibility and I appreciate their service to the University. I have read the Committee’s report and I accept its recommendations.” Dr. Poshard commented. “I take full responsibility for the inadvertent errors that I made 23 years ago.”
“The report demonstrates that Dr. Poshard was following the citation guidelines that were accepted and understood between himself and his dissertation committee twenty-three years ago,” Tedrick said. “He has acknowledged that mistakes were made, but they were clearly unintentional then and certainly correctable to academic expectations now.”
“Dr. Poshard will remain our President with full board support. His integrity is unquestioned and his energy, passion and commitment to this University unsurpassed. He continues to be the right man to lead the SIU system,” Tedrick concluded.