Academic impropriety is a matter of serious recourse. Whether that impropriety happens in high school, college or the professional workplace, the consequences of such an engagement rarely leave doubt to the seriousness of the offense.
A number of our readers came to us this past week with questions regarding two columns by a guest columnist, N.P. Knipp, who has written for the Review at various points during the year.
In a column in our November 10 edition (Private Business, petitioner, v. Individual Right to Privacy, defendant), a majority of the column was found to be plagiarized from the text of a court case in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Then in last week’s edition (Wal-Mart: evil, imperialist destroyer of poor communities), more passages were found to be plagiarized from numerous sources.
The fact that these columns ran in the Washburn Review should be very disturbing for our readers. To that end, on behalf of the staff, I offer a sincere apology for breaching the trust of our readers and of the greater Washburn community.
It is a dis-service to the public dialogue of issues when a newspaper, which has expressed the desire on numerous occasions, to be a player in that dialogue, publishes blatantly plagiarized material.
As editor, I am deeply troubled that such works were able to make it to publication and even more troubled of the harm such decisions have caused.
I have met with the editorial board of the paper. A number of improvements will be made to ensure this type of blatant plagiarism will never again grace the pages of the Washburn Review.
As part of that, it was an easy decision to permanently prohibit Knipp from authoring any pieces, in any capacity, in the Washburn Review for the duration as my time as editor.
The more difficult aspect of this situation is regaining the trust and respect of our readers. As such, I welcome any reader to visit our offices during normal business hours, where we will be available to answer any questions you might have regarding the operations of the Washburn Review. Additionally, I am personally available to answer any questions our readers might have. Feel free to use the e-mail address at the end of this notice, or call our office at (785) 670-2506.
The process of regaining the trust of our readers will be a long one, and one that may never know an end. However, the process will start here, with this column, with this opinion section and with this edition of the Washburn Review.
Editor in Chief