Madonna Constantine Falls From GraceWhen a noose was found tied to the office door of Teacher’s College professor Madonna Constantine back in October, the university rallied around her. “I will not be silenced,” the professor and author of several papers on multiculturalism said in a statement to media at the time. The crowd around her applauded, but no doubt some were rolling their eyes. As it turns out, Constantine has been the focus of a plagiarism investigation by the college for the last eighteen months, and they’ve now announced that they’ve found “numerous instances in which she used others’ work without attribution in papers she published in academic journals over the past five years.” Awkward! Constantine, unwilling, it seems, to let go of her status as the Rosa Parks of Morningside Heights, sent out an e-mail to students and faculty calling the investigation “a conspiracy and witch-hunt.”
“I am left to wonder whether a white faculty member would have been treated in such a publicly disrespectful and disparaging manner,” she wrote. “As one of only two tenured Black women full professors at Teachers College, it pains me to conclude that I have been specifically and systematically targeted.” Exactly how other people were responsible for the fact that Constantine totally plagiarized from her own students is unclear.
Columbia Cites Plagiarism by a Professor [NYT]
Earlier: Columbia Students Have Something Noose to Be Indignant About
in other news
‘Post’ Tries to Find Someone Else to LynchAs we never would have guessed, the Columbia noose scandal has blown up in the pages of the tabloids. It’s worth the ink, but we couldn’t help but notice the different ways the New York papers have handled the role of Madonna Constantine’s rival professor, Suniya Luthar (who is Indian). The two had some professional scuffles that resulted in Constantine filing a defamation suit against Luthar in May. The Daily News mentions her name in its main article, making it clear, though, that Luthar was “not a suspect” in a police investigation of the noose incident. The Times was even vaguer, protecting Luthar from the ire of readers by leaving her name out of its coverage entirely. Since police say there are no “persons of interest” in the case so far, both papers seem to reason, why drag Luthar’s name through the mud? For salaciousness’ sake, of course! That’s why the Post devoted an entire article to the Luthar-Constantine spat, implied that Luthar was being questioned suspiciously in the headline, and ran a giant picture of her across page six of the paper. We love Post logic: Why only have one person’s life be traumatized when you could have two?
Sleuths Seek to Question Rival in ‘Smear’ [NYP]