Every Friday, The New Poland Express (NPE) delivers to my inbox an English summary of what’s been happening in Poland during the last week. I’m always eager to open it. I read the highlights to Ed. Sometime the stories offer us information and explanation of important events; sometimes they find human interest stories that are amusing or down right bizarre. Some too racy for this blog, I’d have to have a couple of vodkas before I could share them, but they are the really funny ones.
An article in this week’s edition caught my attention because it happened here in Poznan, and it tied in so closely with something our family is experiencing. Our daughter, who has a master’s degree in anthropology, published her thesis as part of her degree requirements, “A Biocultural Analysis of Nubian Fetal Pot Burials from Askut, Sudan,” in the fall of 2009. I’ll jokingly refer to it as light reading when in fact it is 112 pages of blood, sweat, and tears.
Imagine our surprise last week when she saw that a professor in Sudan has sited her work (mistakenly as unpublished) and proceeded to copy line after line, word for word her entire abstract and conclusion without indicating that he is quoting. She pointed out to us that academic circles don’t hold the The Journal of University of Khartoum in high regard. You can imagine why.
Now, on to the Poznan connection. According to NPE, Dr. Marek Andrzejewski from our own Adam Mickiewicz University, has posted a strongly worded, open letter to students outside his office door. The letter which has divided the university community reads:
From today, I shall post on notice boards in all campus buildings the full names of all those who decide to behave like thieves, cheats, smelly layabouts and plonkers, handing in work to me in their own name that has been copied from elsewhere. Teacher and thief are mutually incompatible terms. Plagiarism is theft.
Some support his stand. Some feel his words were too strong or that he failed to communicate properly with students. Really? If you’re not copying someone else’s work, he’s not addressing you. If you are, it’s about time you saw the error of your ways.
I say, “Bravo, Dr. Andrzejewski!” As I recall from my days as a college student and when I was an instructor at a community college, plagiarism or cheating on exams was grounds for failing a course and possibly for being expelled from school. What’s a little (well deserved) creative name calling and public humiliation?