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SIU panel says report should have had more attribution

SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler
SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler

By Jeff Williams, IL Public Radio

Carbondale, Ill. – Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard Tuesday released a special review of allegations of administrative plagiarism on the university's Carbondale campus.

The three member panel's report makes eight recommendations about a planning document known as 'Southern at 150' and whether portions of it were plagiarized by Carbondale campus Chancellor Walter Wendler from a similar document he created while an administrator at Texas A&M.

The report's findings say Wendler sincerely believed he was acting ethically by lifting what he considered his intellectual property. It also says that in the context of producing a document in an academic environment, Wendler should have made it clear that certain sections of SIU's 'Southern at 150' plan were from the Texas A&M document.

Wendler says, in hindsight, he probably should have attributed himself and the Texas document in places, "but typically in planning processes, that's not done.

"If you talk with professional planners - people that do this for a living - they would say they normally wouldn't bother with that because it's considered planning expertise," Wendler added

The review panel also says SIU's policies should state clearly that standards regarding plagiarism and intellectual honesty apply to non-academic documents as well as scholarly works. SIU President Glenn Poshard says the panel's report is fair and balanced. He also announced that he intends to convene a university-wide blue ribbon committee to address the issues raised in the report.

Officials with Texas A&M say they have no concern about the duplication of parts of their plan in the SIUC document.

A group calling itself the 'Alumni and Faculty Against Corruption at SIU' made the original allegations.