The Airing of Grievances
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Humiliation for Harvard Law Professor
Oops! Professor Charles Ogletree has released a statement apologizing for plagiarism in his recently released book "All Deliberate Speed." According to Ogletree, the "errors were avoidable and preventable, and I take full and complete responsibility for all of them." Despite taking such responsibility, in the very next paragraph he lays the blame pretty squarely on his two research assistants. Honorable stuff.
In any event, very unfortunate turn of events for The Tree. All that work to establish your good name and then just like that it's significantly tarnished. Of course, some will see this for what it is, an honest mistake, and really won't hold it against him. But you have to think some others, especially those that may have it out for him because he's black (hey, that's a sad fact, but it's certainly a real one) will use this thing at every turn in an effort to diminish the man's reputation and credibility. And then of course, there are those that will simply hear he plagiarized and nothing else.
When I first heard the news I thought, "Wow, sucks to be those research assistants, they really did this man a disservice." But then I passed the news onto Mama Chiles, a retired English Professor, and she said, "No excuses. Totally unacceptable. That's what so many of these people do. Overwhelm their assistants and take all the credit for themselves. This time he got his just dues."
Despite Mama Chiles' views I still think those assistants really dropped the ball here. Something tells me that they won't be asking Ogletree for a recommendation. Just an unpleasant situation for everyone involved. Shame.