Thursday, August 31, 2006

Idiot Excuses for Bad Behavior

I generally don't get many responses to my blog, but the latest one on Jaclyn LaPlaca has resulted in posts not only to this site, but in email to my account.

The general tone of the responses has been that 1) Jaclyn was a good teacher, so she should get a break; 2) We don't know all the facts, so we shouldn't say anything about it; 3) Jaclyn really didn't hurt anyone, so why should there be a fuss; and 4) I am a mean rotten person, so I really shouldn't post anything about her.

While #4 is certainly arguable, the first three positions are not. From all indications, Jaclyn was a good teacher. So what? Had the truth been known about her, she never would have had the opportunity to be a good teacher. In addition, my friend Claire (who is also a college professor) had a brilliant insight on this: "All we seem to hear is 'Bush is a great guy to have a beer with.' It's the same type of response. I don't want to drink beer with my president; I want to have a president that can lead. I don't want my professors to be frauds because there is too much at stake." She's absolutely right.

We don't know all the facts? True, but we know enough facts. Jaclyn plagiarized her thesis. She lacks a master's degree and a doctoral degree. Those are enough facts to say that she does not qualify for a tenure track faculty position in history.

Jaclyn didn't really hurt someone? Oh? What about anyone who applied for the history jobs at IUP, Kent State and Marywood that Jaclyn got fraudulently? They were certainly harmed. Not to mention that when someone plagiarizes and then lies about her credentials that it diminishes the academic profession.

Having known Jaclyn, I believe her not to be a bad person, but someone who engaged in bad behavior. I sincerely wish her well -- but in another line of work.


Blogger RP said...

Scrutinizing other people’s failures is an "Idiot excuse" to be "blogging" online. Let the issue be, and stop exposing her name all over the internet. You are making it very hard for someone like that to forget their mistakes and move on. It was an error on her part, but what you don't know is that she was not expelled until after she was given a certificate. Hell if any of the schools I attended (for my undergrad, grad, or PHD) asked for my diploma back after I left, I would not give it back. Stop the nonsense of these posts.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Rod Carveth said...


You stated:
"what you don't know is that she was not expelled until after she was given a certificate."

And that's OK? You plagiarize a master's thesis in order to get a master's degree in order to qualify for a doctoral program and that's OK?

You have a weird sense of ethics, my friend.

1:24 PM  

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