Secuban’s Reply to OU’s Latino Caucus Raises Questions< < Back to
Update: The response from Ohio University’s spokesperson: “Any similarities were unintentional, on behalf of Dr. Secuban.”
When members of Ohio University’s Latino Caucus voiced their concerns regarding “the recent dismissal of two members of our community” they received a reply that appears to include unattributed portions of another university president’s words.
Professors and administrators making up the Latino Caucus sent an email to Dr. Gigi Secuban about “the recent dismissal of two members of our community.” In August, Dr. Alicia Chavira-Prado’s position as special assistant to the vice provost for diversity & inclusion, was eliminated, and delfin bautista was removed as director of the LGBT Center on Thursday, January 10. Sent Monday, January 14, the Latino Caucus acknowledged an administrator’s right to go in a new direction but adds, “it is difficult to understand when the directions are not clearly expressed to the communities served.”
Secuban’s 400 word response does not acknowledge the specific concern that two Latinos working with Secuban have lost their jobs. And the majority of her second paragraph is the same language used in a press release from Penn State. Secuban writes, “I am committed to working with my colleagues across the University to promote and sustain a campus environment that is safe and respectful for all members of our community, including those of all gender identities and expressions. The rights of all individuals, including LGBTQ+ people and all underrepresented groups, are fundamental to a climate of inclusiveness that affords everyone access to a safe, welcoming, and inclusive educational environment and workplace. ”
The October 27, 2018, press release regarding support for transgender individuals at Penn State reads, “We are committed to promoting and sustaining a campus environment that is safe and respectful for all members of our community, including those of all gender identities and expressions,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “The rights of all individuals — including LGBTQ people and all underrepresented groups — are fundamental to a climate of inclusiveness that allows everyone — students, faculty, staff and visitors — to work, learn and live in an atmosphere that is free of harassment, prejudice and intolerance.” (emphasis added by WOUB News)
WOUB News discovered the plagiarism during a Google search of the phrase “a campus environment that is safe and respectful for all members of our community, including those of all gender identities and expressions.”
While it is common to use the exact language of one’s own spokesperson – Secuban’s response also includes wording from the university’s statement to WOUB News sent on Friday, January 11 – using another’s work is considered prohibited conduct in most academic settings.
Ohio University defines plagiarism in reference to academic work. The general definition of plagiarism is, “an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author’s work as one’s own, as by not crediting the original author.”
Ohio University’s president Duane Nellis was cc:d on both emails.