Teachers College at Columbia University is suspending indefinitely Madonna Constantine, a professor who claimed she was the victim of a hate crime after an investigation began into allegations she committed plagiarism.
Check The Bwog for Columbia student reactions. So far there are only two – both of which support her suspension. Bwog comments spread like kudzu, so there will be plenty to read in a couple hours.
Back to the Sun article:
The letter, obtained by The New York Sun from a source at Teachers College, said the faculty advisory committee upheld an 18-month investigation by a Manhattan law firm, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, which found that Ms. Constantine had plagiarized two dozen times works of two former doctoral students and a former colleague.
“During the months since the College levied sanctions against her,” the letter said, “Professor Constantine continued to make accusations of plagiarism, including in at least one instance to the press, against those whose works she had plagiarized.”
When news of the plagiarism investigation became known in February, Ms. Constantine strenuously denied the charges. In addition to saying that it was she who the victim of plagiarism, Ms. Constantine said the school targeted her because of the “structural racism that pervades this institution.”
I guess we’ll see how her appeal goes.
The Sun’s PDF file of the letter to Teachers College faculty is corrupted, so I’ll steal again from Bwog:
Remember: back in October 2007, a noose was placed on Constantine’s door. Students and staff rallied against Columbia’s obvious, super-duper racism – and every other -ism, too – and Constantine was the belle of the ball. I thought that TC dealt with it poorly, but that’s another issue.
Now there are doubts about the validity of Constantine’s victimhood. There are suggestions that associates of Constantine placed the noose on her door to distract from the plagiarism investigations.
Oddly enough, her faculty profile on the TC website has no mention of all this news on the ‘In the News’ tab, though an early piece about the noose incident appears. Lots of archived coverage here if you’re interested.
Constantine wrote of her mistreatment in February:
“I am left to wonder whether a White faculty member would have been treated in such a publicly disrespectful and disparaging manner.”
I wonder what statements will come next?
In my opinion, plagiarism is one of the more colorblind offenses – but that’s just me.
And a late answer to Constantine: Columbia may have dealt with you publicly because you accused the entire administration of being motivated by racism without providing any evidence to substantiate your claim.