Letter: The next course of action

By Gus Bode

Dear Editor:

Thursday’s DAILY EGYPTIAN shows the charge often made against it, of “lack of investigative journalism,” is now proven to be false. The Poshard case raises very serious implications for SIU’s reputation as an institution for academic integrity. Obviously, the next stage should be temporary suspension until a legal board of enquiry appointed from outside Illinois (with no connection to our current SIU Trustees) investigates this serious situation.

Whatever the outcome, a change must be made in evaluation of graduate and undergraduate work. In the United Kingdom, all students’ final papers go to an external evaluator. Any doctoral committee is chaired by an outside expert. This ensures impartiality, objectivity and the avoidance of the plagiarism problem that often affects internal American university evaluation. Furthermore, any Ph.D. student is expected to give 100 percent of their time to gaining this important qualification. Excuses concerning family life, work and running for political office are not accepted. This may explain the obvious problems that have affected our president’s original dissertation.


However, no higher administrator (even one originating from the smoke-filled rooms of politics) should be seen to be “above the law” of academic honesty and integrity. So it is very important a full investigation be made, preferably by experts outside of SIU and Illinois.

Whatever the outcome, these revelations are very serious. Perhaps the next stage following Poshard’s temporary suspension should be his replacement as acting president by former Chancellor Jo Ann Argersinger. She was never allowed sufficient time to show how she would have reversed the continuing decline of SIU since the days of President Delyte Morris and may be a suitable replacement in this time of trouble.

Tony Williams

English professor