Stockton News

To the Editor: Michelle McDonald, Interim Provost, plagiarized, and I found out through Facebook

On September 27, an article, revealed that Interim Provost Michelle McDonald plagiarized an email to faculty and staff members. In the weeks since this happened, Stockton University has not sent any official comment to students regarding this incident. In these troubling times, it seems that the university is simply trying to let this go quietly. As a student, I find this very troubling.

As a senior with 133 credits earned, I have seen my fair share of syllabi at Stockton University, and every syllabus always contains a section on academic honesty.

Above: An example of Academic Integrity conditions listed in a course syllabus. Photo courtesy of Alexa Taylor.

Cheating and plagiarism can cause students to fail classes or even result in expulsion from the institution. Additionally, if a student is known to have plagiarized their work, they can be blacklisted from academia and unable to pursue graduate school or careers.

What I find most troubling about this issue is that as provost, McDonald is a high ranking academic officer who is in charge of enforcing Stockton’s academic honesty policy, among other duties. How can someone who plagiarizes her own work be responsible for punishing students for plagiarism? It seems very hypocritical.

I am most of all disappointed in my university for not having any repercussions for this act and not publicly addressing it. Personally, I found out about this incident on Facebook because many people shared the article. Still, a large portion of the student body does not know this occurred at all. The school did not release any details to students, and it seems they want to pretend the entire event never happened. 

If a student at Stockton turned in a plagiarized academic paper, they would face serious consequences that may end their academic careers. Why are staff treated so differently?

Categories: Stockton News, Your Voice