Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) yesterday said he had his doctoral degree revoked by National Taipei University for plagiarism in his dissertation.
Tsai, who ran in the Keelung mayoral election on Saturday last week, but lost against Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said he had been informed by the university that its Graduate Institute of Urban Planning revoked the degree after a recommendation by the school’s academic ethics committee.
However, he had not received a formal notice from the committee, he wrote on Facebook.
Tsai passed his dissertation defense in October 2019 and received his doctorate in 2020, after he was re-elected as a legislator by his constituency in Keelung in January that year.
However, several Keelung and Taipei city councilor candidates from the New Power Party in September accused Tsai of plagiarizing his dissertation and filed a report with the university, which then announced a review of his dissertation.
Tsai said he respected the university’s decision and apologized for his negligence in not listing all of the necessary citations in his dissertation, as well as for the trouble caused to his teachers and the school.
Tsai said he had spent almost 10 years to complete the dissertation, including conducting field studies.
Despite the missing citations, his dissertation was original, he said, adding that only 2 percent of its content was similar to other works.
During the review, he appeared before the committee in person and offered to add the missing citations, he said.
Tsai said he is planning to file an appeal to protect his own interests and prove that his dissertation is original.
When he served as a Keelung City councilor, he pursued a doctoral degree in urban planning because he had seen the city’s stagnation, hoping that the studies would enable him to help improve its development, Tsai said.
He said he had applied what he had learned from the program to public service, and expressed gratitude to the university and his professors for the education he had received.
Tsai said that as a lawmaker, he would never forget the trust that his constituents put in him and would continue to devote himself to developing the city.
The announcement of the revocation of Tsai’s doctorate came a day after the revocation of Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan’s (鄭文燦) master’s degree from National Taiwan University (NTU), also over plagiarism in his thesis.
Cheng’s and Tsai’s cases are among a spate of plagiarism accusations in the run-up to the nine-in-one elections, with the most high-profile case being against former DPP Hsinchu mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅), who at the time was the party’s candidate to replace Cheng as Taoyuan mayor.
Lin’s two master’s degrees from NTU and Chung Hua University were revoked by the two schools in August, prompting him to drop out of the mayoral race.
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