Panel That Reviewed Plagiarism Charges Praises Wesley President





An independent panel has confirmed four instances of plagiarism in documents attributed to Scott D. Miller, the president of Wesley College, in Delaware. But the three-member panel, which was hired by the college's governing board, stopped short of blaming Mr. Miller for the plagiarism.

"We are not comfortable reaching strong conclusions," the panel wrote in a 35-page report, released on Friday. "Indeed, the services of a skilled forensic scientist with computer and Internet expertise would be needed in order to sort out several of the issues that have been presented to us."

The panel, which included two retired university presidents and one current college chief, was assigned the task of reviewing the college's performance as well as the plagiarism charges. Its report, titled "Institutional Assessment," roundly praised Mr. Miller's performance while it chastised some of his critics on the faculty.

"The college might plunge into an abyss were he to depart tomorrow," the panel wrote.

Mr. Miller, who last month weathered an evenly split no-confidence vote by Wesley faculty members (The Chronicle, May 5), has denied being involved in the instances of plagiarism, which were recently found in speeches and writing attributed to him and posted on Wesley's Web site in 1998.

A 2000 plagiarism scandal at Wesley also focused on Mr. Miller, who arrived at the college in 1997. In that case, which was one of four instances confirmed by the panel, Mr. Miller acknowledged similarities between a speech he gave and one given years earlier by Claire L. Gaudiani, the former president of Connecticut College. But Mr. Miller said the speech had been written for him by someone else (The Chronicle, May 19, 2000).



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