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

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) < fork at ianbell.com > on > Tue Apr 25 13:26:08 PDT 2006

You should have gone public with this tale, Ken.  By positioning it  
as a "man bites dog" story you could put yourself in league with  
Columbia on the legal side while still shaming them for knuckling  
under due to pressure from a mere student.  It's actually a *great*  
story.

I *hate* the thought of people getting away with plagiarism.   
Especially sniveling, uncreative, talentless, litigious MBAs.

-Ian.


On 25-Apr-06, at 12:54 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:

> 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.
>
> Ken
>
> 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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