Academic standards and racial equality

Academic standards and racial equality

Academic standards and racial equality

An editor for a higher education news organization says people need to pay attention to the case of a conservative college professor who was investigated for reporting a black student's plagiarism.

After a yearlong investigation into the racism allegations against him, Professor William Ascher of Claremont McKenna College was ultimately cleared.

Matt Lamb, associate editor for The College Fix, says a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) administrator raised concerns about Ascher's plagiarism investigation because it involved a black student.

Lamb, Matt (The College Fix) Lamb

"It appears the student did plagiarize," Lamb notes. "Not only did the paper fail a TurnItIn test, which checks for plagiarism, but a professor that the college appointed to look into this found even worse plagiarism than the software found."

Faculty are required to report plagiarism suspicions, and Professor Ascher has previously turned in a white student for plagiarism.

At a time when teachers and professors are already debased and frightened, Lamb says people should pay attention to this.

"That should be concerning to supporters of racial equality, because … the administrator's action would be to say that black students should be held to a lower standard," the editor submits. "All students, no matter their race, should be held to the same standard, and that is why there are honor codes, students conduct codes that describe how allegations can be handled."

He recognizes that the university can, of course, take outside circumstances into consideration and decide the best way to sanction a student based off how much he or she understood what he or she was doing, but students who plagiarize should still receive some sort of repercussion.