How Often Does "Degree Revocation" Occur?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by RAM PhD, Oct 28, 2015.

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  1. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    And what are the reasons a degree can be revoked?

    I didn't want to hijack the other thread that focuses on a specific instance of degree revocation.
     
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Plagiarism. Having someone else do your work.
     
  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I found this paper which was very interesting.

    So, honor code violations (which, say, unauthorized removal of a boot and/or destroying university property would potentially fall under) is certainly a reason to revoke a degree in some cases. What's interesting is the section about revocations for conduct that occurred while someone was a student but was discovered after they graduated.

    As Rich notes, plagiarism.

    If you scroll to the Cook case, the defendant basically falsified the data in his thesis.
     
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    There was a case, once, of a person who did a psychology doctorate who wrote her dissertation on something about the psychology of plagiarism. She successfully defended her dissertation. Then, after the degree was awarded, it came out that she had plagiarized her dissertation. Degree revoked.

    There was an instance wherein there was a homosexual that attended some Christian college and his degree was revoked when the college found out.

    Then there was the case wherein a guy's degree was revoked over unpaid parking tickets.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2015
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Here's another story about a guy who lost his Stanford MBA due to insider trading.

    Former GSB student
     
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

  8. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Thanks for the feedback, interesting indeed!
     
  9. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    I am sure his insider trading was the reason why Stanford started the process, but I'm not sure it's the real (legal) reason why he lost his MBA. Here is why:

    I would say he lied on his application.

    However, in exceptional cases it's possible to revoke a degree for deliberate (scientific) fraud after a person graduated. The only case I know of is the so called "Schön scandal". Even wikipedia has an article about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6n_scandal
     
  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Is there a way to get a copy of Dr. King's dissertation and the work he plagiarized so I can read them and do a side by side comparison?
     
  11. major56

    major56 Active Member

  12. major56

    major56 Active Member

    These additional links may be of use:

    Review of The Martin Luther King. Jr., Plagiarism Story,
    edited by Theodore Pappas, (Rockford, Illinois: The
    Rockford Institute, 1994) 107 pages.
    http://contra-mundum.org/cm/reviews/tw_plagiarism.pdf

    Amazon.com: Martin Luther King Jr Plagiarism Story (9780961936457): Pappas: Books

    Plagiarism and The Culture War : The Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Other Prominent Americans

    Amazon.com: Plagiarism and The Culture War : The Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Other Prominent Americans (9780873190459): Theodore Pappas, Theordore Pappas: Books
     
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Revoking a degree after someone has died is a pretty crappy thing to do.

    If CTU decided to revoke my B.S., I would be afforded due process. I would be able to consult an attorney throughout the process. After the initial determination I'd likely even have some recourse for appeal.

    If I'm dead I cannot defend myself.

    It isn't terribly unlike how Kenneth Lay's conviction was vacated because he died post-conviction and before his sentence commenced. If he lived he could have appealed. But he's dead.

    The truth is out and an image is tarnished. Revoking the degree without due process wouldn't be justice it would just be cruel.
     
  14. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    An excellent topic for a PhD dissertation.
     
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes, and I'll never forget reading the newspaper headline about the conviction (true) --- "BAD LAY!" :sad:

    J.
     
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What? Someone (even anonymously) claiming a doctorate would know better than that.

    To which scholarly field would such a project contribute?

    What would be the original contribution?

    What would be its scholarly significance?

    The topic suggested is not scholarly, it is not original, and it makes no contribution to a field of scholarship.
     
  17. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    You made me smile on this one, Rich.

    King's dissertation was titled "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman." This was the final component of King's doctoral program, a PhD in Systematic Theology. Doctoral dissertations in the discipline of theology have often focused on the theology, praxis, beliefs, etc., of one or more theologians or theological systems. These are often juxtaposed one with the other, compared/contrasted, seeking new data to contribute to the body of knowledge in this discipline. When a specific branch of theology sets the parameters for the research, for example "practical theology" a similar methodology is utilized for the research, with the end result being implications for a specific focus group, etc.

    That said, I have seen several theses/dissertations (in theology) that deal with plagiarism. One in particular took the primary sources (writings of a contemporary clergyman, books that he wrote and published as his own), examined them alongside the writings of a clergyman from fifty years earlier, and found that entire paragraphs had plagiarized (verbatim). His thesis statement involved revealing this person's theology as flawed, because much of it was based on his own writings. He then dealt with the implications of such a theology. Prior to his thesis several non-academic articles had suggested plagiarism on the part of this person, but no scholarly research had been conducted.

    In the case of King's alleged plagiarism, yes, it would be a valid scholarly research topic in the discipline of theology if one applied the scientific method, if data emerged that either validated or invalidated the alleged plagiarism, and if no previous research had engaged the exact same topic. Regarding previous PhD or MTh level research on King's dissertation, I've never researched this, so I don't know.
     
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    In the case of King's alleged plagiarism, yes, it would be a valid scholarly research topic in the discipline of theology if one applied the scientific method, if data emerged that either validated or invalidated the alleged plagiarism, and if no previous research had engaged the exact same topic. Regarding previous PhD or MTh level research on King's dissertation, I've never researched this, so I don't know.[/QUOTE]

    But you wouldn't be uncovering the plagiarism in this situation. You would be doing something that was already done by the investigating committee. Now, if you wanted to have a crack at that and managed to add something new and meaningful to some field with your findings, then yeah, have fun. But it's kind of like saying "Boy, I'm going to write about the philosophy of baseball." It's been done. It's been done a lot. Could you potentially find something unique to say in that space? Of course. But with so much already written on the subject and so many differing opinions and philosophies already it seems a weird hook upon which you opt to hang your doctoral hat.

    It also doesn't come off as particularly clever. It comes off as someone who is trying, somewhat desperately, to make a name for themselves through a sensationalist ploy.

    Interesting. Would you please share the author of this dissertation and the name of the institution? I'd be curious to read it myself.
     
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    So, academic fraud is okay, provided the dead offender is famous?
     
  20. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Seemingly so Bruce...

    http://contra-mundum.org/cm/reviews/tw_plagiarism.pdf
    Re p. 3—Boston University appointed a committee:

    “As the committee concluded in its September 1991 report, because King plagiarized only 45 percent of the first half of his dissertation and only 21 percent of the second, the thesis remains a legitimate and “intelligent contribution to scholarship” about which “no thought should be given to the revocation of Dr. King's doctoral degree.” (p. 103)

    Agenda and politics with the operative word being only
     

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