Plagiarism allegation ...
Have you ever
• used a question from a textbook (or any other resource)
• used data from another question to create a question
• used the idea in another question to create a question
without citing the source?
It doesn't matter if you are creating an exam, problem set, or textbook. According to MacEwan, you are a PLAGIARIST. You are a disgrace to the academic community. You should be stripped of your credentials and publicly disgraced.
But according to the law and common sense, you are engaged in a perfectly legal activity. You are doing what every other academic author does. But MacEwan does not let established legal precident nor common sense hinder their actions.
An accusation of academic misconduct is a very serious charge. At least two academics have committed suicide after being accused, and it is likely that their accusation was part of a broader academic mobbing campaign. What is penalty for faculty and administrators who knowingly make false allegations of misconduct?
There are two stages to this issue
- Higgins conducted a "private investigation" where he was the complainant, investigator, and arbiter. It was an ad hoc process that he made up as he went; I was blind and defenseless. He was set to rule on this issue when I learned of a MacEwan policy that establishes a process for dealing with academic misconduct. (The Faculty Association did not inform me of this policy.) When I brought this policy to the attention of Brian Pearson, Human Resources Director, Pearson stated that MacEwan Administrators have the right to determine when a policy is activated. (I was shocked by this; the FA in the meeting said nothing.) I complained to Paterson-Weir, who outwardly did nothing. But days later, I received a memo from Higgins informing me he was "invoking the policy".
- MacEwan established an Investigative Committee as per policy. Susan May, Associate VP Academic and the Committee Chair, then prohibited me from bringing more than one representative to the meeting (a direct violation of the policy), prevented me from presenting the history and context to the Committee, refused to disclose who testified before the Committee, refused to provide me the opportunity to see and respond to the collected evidence, and covertly put MacEwan's in-house attorney on the Committee.
The FOIP records show that MacEwan Administration's external lawyer provided Sullivan, Higgins, Paterson-Weir, and MacEwan Human Resources with an unsolicited arbitration decision, with similar circumstances but with greater alleged plagiarism.
That arbiter exonerated the faculty member of any wrongdoing.
Many of the arguments that MacEwan dismissed and prevented me from making were of significant importance in the arbitration decision. Getting this decision should have stopped MacEwan — made Administration realize the complex and nuanced nature of plagiarism and that they need to reconsider their actions and my case. Instead, Sullivan, Higgins, Paterson-Weir, and MacEwan Human Resources suppressed the arbitration decision, the associated legal recommendations, and forged ahead.