[FoRK] The Kaavya Viswanathan ("Harvard Novelist") plagiarism case

Ken Meltsner < meltsner at alum.mit.edu > on > Tue Apr 25 12:54:44 PDT 2006

With any luck, they have higher expectations than Columbia (apparently) does.

 When faced with clear evidence that a former business school student
had plagiarized one of my papers for his coursework, I contacted the
professor responsible for the course.  He responded quickly and
assured me that something would be done.

Unfortunately, the student, who had graduated, brought in a lawyer and
stated that he would respond aggressively to any action by the
university.  Sadly, the university chose to drop the matter entirely,
in part, I think, because it was just a paper for a business school
class -- apparently ethics don't matter if the student in question has
received a terminal masters.

I did receive a somewhat sheepish note from the professor  with the
news of the university's decision, and a nice apology from the
student's course partner who had posted the paper with the plagiarized
material on the Internet (which is how I found it).  He told me that
the work in question had been solely his partner's, but that he
accepted full responsibility and would remove the plagiarized material
from his web site and his resume.


On 4/25/06, Rohit Khare <rohit at commerce.net> wrote:

> It was unclear whether Harvard would take any action against Ms.
> Viswanathan. "Our policies apply to work submitted to courses," said
> Robert Mitchell, the director of communications for the Faculty of
> Arts and Sciences at Harvard. "Nevertheless, we expect Harvard
> students to conduct themselves with integrity and honesty at all times."

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