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Minnesotans United For Higher Ed Alleges Second Case of Plagiarism Among MnSCU Executives

Coalition Accuses Second College President of Academic Dishonesty


Minneapolis, MN (February 26, 2015) – Minnesotans United for Higher Ed, a coalition of citizens, faculty, and staff concerned by the direction of higher ed in Minnesota leveled fresh allegations of plagiarism against MnSCU leadership today. The accusation was released in a blog post comparing sections of another MnSCU president's dissertation side by side with passages from secondary sources. The group says that portions of the dissertation appear to copy other sources almost word for word with insufficient or no attribution.

“MnSCU’s very integrity is in question,” Helget said. “This crisis of leadership needs to be addressed immediately. We’ve uncovered two academically dishonest presidents, and there are more. Beyond that, there is a plague of unserious scholarly work and history. Allowed to continue, MnSCU will be the national laughingstock of higher education.”

A former adjunct teacher at South Central College, Helget is part of a group campaigning against the direction MnSCU is taking under Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. Their concerns center on higher education blueprint Charting the Future. Helget and others alleged that the reform plan was conceived by secretive consulting firm McKinsey and Company, and was designed to align colleges with the desires of the firm's corporate clients.

Helget and others, who remain anonymous out of fear of backlash from administrators, launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to pay the cost of obtaining and publicizing government documents related to Charting the Future. They have already examined hundreds of pages, but many more remain uncovered.

The accusations against the second president surfaced shortly after the group claimed to find evidence of plagiarism by another MnSCU executive, president Annette Parker of South Central College. Helget said that hiring practices for executives under Rosenstone show a pattern of disregard for academic integrity.

Rosenstone has hired several new college presidents during his tenure as Chancellor. Both the second president and Parker were hired through search firm Isaacson, Miller.

“This finding of academic dishonesty so soon after the last demonstrates that Chancellor Rosenstone is not providing real oversight for top hires, and is leaving these decisions to a search firm with a questionable track record,” Helget said. “We can't be sure of the integrity of any executive hires under Rosenstone without a truly transparent hiring process.”


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