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The Official Reprimand of Brian VanDeMark

28 Oct 2003

Naval Academy Holds Faculty Member Accountable for Plagiarism

The United States Naval Academy has the highest standards to promote personal integrity and honorable conduct amongst its faculty, staff and midshipmen. Our goal is to uphold these standards through strict accountability and an established process addressing the integrity of faculty research and scholarly activity.

Accordingly, we completed a thorough inquiry into the allegations of plagiarism concerning Associate Professor Brian VanDeMark's proposed book "Pandora's Keepers: Nine Men and the Atomic Bomb". The Academy confirmed that the proposed book included a number of instances
of improper borrowing and inadequate paraphrasing and that these improprieties constituted plagiarism. The Naval Academy deems this offense very serious, unacceptable and inconsistent with our high standards.

Our inquiry concluded that the plagiarism constituted gross carelessness by Professor VanDeMark in adhering to our standards but did not constitute a deliberate effort to pass off the works of other authors as his own. Professor VanDeMark's willingness to withdraw his book from publication, and his immediate apologies to the Naval Academy, and to the individual authors whose works were misused, demonstrate his own realization of the seriousness of the

The Naval Academy holds our people accountable for their actions. We are taking, effective immediately, the following actions against Professor VanDeMark:

*Reduction in rank: Prof VanDeMark is reduced in rank from associate professor to entry-level assistant professor.

*Reduction in pay: Prof VanDeMark's annual rate of pay is reduced by more than $10,000. Subsequently, this rate of pay win be considered his new baseline in any consideration of a future year pay increase.

*Loss of tenure: Prof VanDeMark loses his tenured position on the USNA faculty and he is in a probationary status for at least three years. During the probationary period. Prof VanDeMark will be required to re-establish his professional qualifications as a fully
contributing member of the USNA faculty.

*Rectification: In addition, Prof VanDeMark will rectify all instances of improper use of other people's material before Pandora's Keepers is placed on the market.

The Academy demands the highest standards of integrity and conduct from our faculty, staff and midshipmen. The disciplinary action taken in this particular case reflect the nature and seriousness of the offense, and any mitigating circumstances. We consider the action we have taken to be fair, appropriate and final.