Mon, Dec 29, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Plagiarism penalties to be set for university advisers

NO CHEATING In response to a mother-and-daughter scandal at the Chinese Culture University, the Ministry of Education is preparing to meet to design new penalties

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Following a plagiarism scandal that rocked the Chinese Culture University (文化大學), the Ministry of Education announced yesterday that it will meet tomorrow to formulate penalties for college advisers whose students commit plagiarism.

Huang Hong-pin (黃宏斌), director of the ministry's department of higher education, said yesterday that tomorrow's meeting will not deal specifically with the plagiarism case at Chinese Culture University but instead will establish general regulations to deal with any similar cases that occur in the future.

"Current regulations set out penalties for students who plagiarize others' work, but there are no punishments for advisers who know about the misconduct," Huang said.

Huang said that the ministry will also discuss the responsibilities of and possible punishments for advisers who do not know about their advisees' plagiarism.

"Those advisers who turn a blind eye to their students' misconduct need to be punished," Huang said.

The plagiarism scandal at the Chinese Culture University erupted in April when Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) and Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺), both Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, revealed that Lin Tsai-mei (林彩梅), then the university's chancellor, had allowed Su Tsui-yun (蘇翠芸), her advisee and also her daughter, to copy from Lin's book in order to help Su finish her dissertation on business and management.

The two DDP lawmakers said that 90 of the 110 pages of Su's dissertation were copied from Lin's book verbatim.

Lin was forced to step down as chancellor under pressure from the university's committee and the ministry of education, but she has stayed on at the university as the director of the school of business.

Su was stripped of her master's degree.

Last Wednesday, a debate in a board meeting about whether it was appropriate for Lin to continue in her post at the business school developed into a confrontation.

Mu Ming-chu (穆閩珠), a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker and a trustee of the university, alleged that university president Chang Ching-hu (張鏡湖) -- Mu's husband -- had attempted to cover up Lin's wrongdoing and was responsible for permitting Lin to stay at the university. Mu said that Chang and Lin had an intimate relationship.

"Chang has hurt the university," Mu said. "If he continues to disregard the university's reputation by allowing Lin to stay on, I will propose that the board remove him as president."

Chang said that when he dealt with the plagiarism incident he had abided by regulations and the law. He also said that Mu had tried to force him to dismiss Lin from the university by putting a kitchen knife to his throat.

At a scheduled board meeting on Wednesday, the university will decide whether Lin should be retained or dismissed from her post at the school of business.

Huang said the ministry will handle the plagiarism issue cautiously and will not intervene in educational institutions' administrative affairs.

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