Graduate School Revokes Doctorate For Plagiarism

Penn State revoked a Ph.D degree last week after it discovered plagiarism, according to a memo distributed to all graduate students and faculty.

The Graduate School was notified a little more than a year ago about possible research misconduct by a former student, who was not named in the memo. The memo was penned by Graduate School Dean Regina Vasilatos-Younken and Chair of the Graduate Council Committee on Academic Standards L. Sam Finn.

“The seriousness of the revocation of a Ph.D cannot be overstated,” the memo said. “We ask that programs engage in discussions of this in a meaningful way such that it leads to thoughtful and positive reflection, and contributes to reinforcing the shared values of the scholarly community we represent and of which we are justifiably proud.”

According to the memo, the former student has returned their diploma to the university registrar and the plagiarized thesis was removed from all Penn State sources. President Eric Barron approved the move following the extensive investigation by the Graduate School. It’s only the second time a Ph.D has been revoked in Penn State history.

The full memo is below: