Defining Dishonesty

By Gus Bode

Three months after the committee was formed, the SIU plagiarism committee is still working on writing a workable definition for plagiarism, Chairman Lain Adkins said Monday.

Adkins said this is the first of the three-step process for the nine-member task force assembled in December to address intellectual dishonesty and plagiarism policies throughout the university system.

“Once we’ve established the definition and guidelines that we’re going to work with, our next step is to review the individual policies of the campuses and the system itself,” Adkins said.


Once the policies have been reviewed, the committee will make recommendations for change.

Adkins said the committee members had not yet decided how they would go about reviewing the policies. He said they would probably break up into subcommittees for each campus.

Adkins said he didn’t want to discuss the definition itself because it may change.

“What we’re coming up with now is a working definition which may be amended as we go on because we keep learning new things,” Adkins said.

He said the committee is learning just how complex the issue of plagiarism is.

“It appeared to be a more simple subject in the beginning to me,” Adkins said.

He said the committee is making progress and seems to be on schedule.


The committee plans to finish its report by the end of the semester or shortly thereafter. He said the original goal was to finish by the end of the fiscal year.

SIU President Glenn Poshard formed the committee after announcing his plans to address system-wide problems with intellectual dishonesty. The announcement came in light of plagiarism allegations against the chancellors of both the SIUC campus and at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

The 9-member committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees on its findings but will not make changes to the existing SIU plagiarism policies.

Poshard did not immediately return calls for comment Monday.

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