“Plagiarize. Let No One Else’s Work Evade Your Eyes.” Tom Lehrer

Last Updated on: 19th November 2018, 05:05 pm

Soundtrack time, and I think this is the weirdest soundtrack by far.

I read about this a while ago, but it was during the time when I had no ability to think to write stuff. But it still pisses me off, so much so that I allowed my Qwitter home buffer to grow a huuuuge balloooon bottom just so I could find the story easily. Yes, I’m weird.

Apparently, this all started on the graduation day for University of Alberta’s med school class. Philip Baker, the dean, gave a wonderful, moving speech. It was so moving that students googled some of the words and terms in the speech. And what did they find? This speech was not his, and had been stolen, almost word for word. What makes it even worse is the speech was full of personal stories about patients and this other doctor’s family that the dean claimed as his own.

Ahem. To anyone who has ever been to school, let that slosh around in your brain for a while. Slosh sloosh slosh. What did they drill into us as students? Plajorism is a serious offense, you can be expelled, and it’s plain old dishonest. You can’t even use one of your own works for two different assignments. Slosh sloosh slosh. It’s stealing. Slosh sloosh slosh. And then, after these students work hard for years to make it through one of the hardest programs there is, this is what they get as a graduation speech? Fifteen minutes of stolen, although slightly altered, material? And this is from the guy who’s supposed to be their example. This is the kind of stuff students get busted for.

So, rightfully so, the class raised a royal stink about it, and I think that’s awesome. It takes a lot of balls to call your dean out on something like this…although I think since the piece he stole was published in the New Yorker, the university would kind of have no choice but to believe them. And, the university took them seriously, and forced Baker to resign as dean.

Yea! Justice is served!


They are going to allow him to come back and teach.

Excuuuse me?

If I found out I was being taught by Philip Baker, I would seriously consider dropping the class. I mean, how could I take him seriously? How could I respect him at all? If I were the type to be tempted to be lazy, I’d plajorize everything. Then when he ran it through a checking tool and tried to bust me, I’d tell him I thought that was the sort of behaviour he wanted to see in his students, given his stolen speech. They say he doesn’t have the moral authority to serve as dean? I say he doesn’t have the moral authority to teach anyone. Once you’ve committed such an act of academic misconduct, any moral authority is gone. Gone gone gone. Professors are supposed to be examples of how to do things right.

People were really worked up about this whole thing. I mean, how many faculty meetings have 400 people attend? I just hope the graduating class isn’t too discouraged by the outcome. They did the right thing. It’s just too bad the university didn’t follow through to the level that I think they should have. Giving him a four-month leave of absence and then letting him come back to teach just isn’t enough. If they want to bring him back, bring him back to sweep floors. I think he has the moral authority to do that.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.