Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another college prez plagiarizing

Another college president in the news:

Dr. Danny Lovett, president of Tennessee Temple University and co-pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church, admitted today [June 22] that he plagiarized sections of another pastor’s work, an action sources say led to his recent resignation [as president].
In his book Jesus Is Awesome, Lovett plagiarized the work of one Buddy Murphrey. Says Lovett, “I didn’t know copyright laws at the time, and I should have checked more thoroughly.“ Murphrey says that when he contacted Lovett about the plagiarism, Lovett explained that he was “under the impression that [Murphrey] had passed away or that [the book] was no longer in print when he used it.” That’s some reasoning.

Lovett was born in 1953. Jesus Is Awesome was published in 2003. You’d think that Lovett would have figured out by then a very simple rule (just four words!) regarding other people’s stuff.

More presidential doings
What plagiarism looks like (Jacksonville State University)
Another college president plagiarizing (Malone University)
“Local Norms” and “‘organic’ attribution” (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

[Lovett’s book is said to be “used as a textbook” at TTU. Perhaps the only thing more unseemly than requiring that students buy your own book is requiring that they buy the school president’s book.]

comments: 2

Sean said...

Having just finished Stephen Ambrose's "D-Day" and "Citizen Soldiers", it's interesting to consider the case of an accomplished author—with a substantial body of work—who has been caught dipping into others' work. The question of "why?" still persists, but for me, even more strongly. For a moment I can suspend my disbelief, but once that moment has passed I can only conclude he was thinking along the lines of " one will catch this."

Michael Leddy said...

I’d agree. That’s usually the case with student plagiarists: they just don’t expect to be caught, and they’re often astonished that the words they’ve stolen have given them away.