Extensive Plagiarism Alleged for Education School PhD Dissertation

by James A. Bacon

Natalie J. Perry, who now leads the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion program at UCLA, plagiarized long passages in her PhD dissertation at UVA, allege Luke Rosiak and Christopher F. Rufo in The Daily Wire.

In describing the plagiarism in Perry’s dissertation, “Faculty Perceptions of Diversity at a Highly Selective Research-Intensive University,” Rosiak and Rufo write:

An analysis of the paper found it ridden with the worst sort of plagiarism, reproducing large swaths of text directly from several other authors, without citations. The scale of the plagiarism suggests that Perry lacks both ethics and competence and raises questions about academic programs that push DEI.

Perry’s dissertation lifted passages from ten other papers. In key portions of her text, she copied almost every paragraph from other sources without attribution. She fails even to mention at least four of the ten plagiarized papers anywhere in her dissertation.

The article says Perry earned her PhD in 2014. Her official biography states that she holds a degree in “higher education” from UVA. The School of Education and Human Development website indicates that the school offers a PhD in Higher Education.

“A legitimate academic field never would have found this dissertation plausible,” Rosiak and Rufo write. Speaking of UVA, Harvard, and UCLA Medical School, they add, “These institutions have dramatically lowered expectations for favored groups and pushed a cohort of ‘scholars’ through the system without enforcing basic standards of academic integrity.”

Implications: How many other advanced dissertations offered by the Education School were marred by plagiarism of this sort? Is this case an outlier or a symptom of a larger corruption in which academic standards were suspended for demographically favored groups?

Perry was awarded her degree in 2014. Assuming the charges are verified, have standards continued to erode at UVA as political pressure has intensified to increase the number of degrees granted to “under-represented ” minorities?

Does UVA have a process for revoking a degree if plagiarism can be proven? Many universities do. UVA’s research integrity page says the following:

Integrity in scholarship and teaching is a fundamental value upon which UVA is founded. The university’s Research Integrity Program provides the policy outlining the ethical expectations for, and responsibilities of, its research community, and the procedures for investigating research misconduct allegations.

A “research integrity officer,” Dave Hudson, manages “Allegations of Misconduct in Research within the UVA community.” The University uses “a plagiarism detection software application” to check for duplication and missing citations.

I have emailed Hudson and UVA spokesperson Brian Coy the following:

Mr. Hudson,

Perhaps you have been alerted to an article in The Daily Caller by Luke Rosiak and Christopher Rufo presenting detailed evidence that Natalie Perry, who earned a PhD in higher education from UVA in 2014, committed extensive plagiarism in her PhD dissertation. See: Research (virginia.edu)

My questions are these:

Will you (or someone else at UVA) investigate the veracity of these charges?

If plagiarism is proven, what are the potential consequences? Can UVA revoke the PhD?

What is the process by which that determination is made, and who makes it?

Best regards,

Jim Bacon

Here is Coy’s response: “The University takes concerns about research integrity seriously. We are aware of these allegations from 2014 and we are initiating an investigation according to our process. While federal student privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on any specific case, the University does have the ability to revoke degrees in cases where plagiarism or other qualifying forms of misconduct are identified and proven.”

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UVA_Foursquare_Male
UVA_Foursquare_Male
24 days ago

The PhD degree needs to be rescinded! She is guilty of ethical research misconduct.

Lorna gladstone
Lorna gladstone
24 days ago

Had I fudged my dissertation I would have been summarily kicked out of UVa. I guess so e of us can get away with anything. No repercussions!

Lorna gladstone
Lorna gladstone
24 days ago

Am thinking that school of education is not too choosy.

UVA_Foursquare_Male
UVA_Foursquare_Male
24 days ago

Broadly speaking, Schools/Colleges of Education are heavily steeped in postmodern philosophical movement (i.e., Critical Social Justice “theories”), which serves to advance DEI initiatives. The same can be said of Schools/Colleges of Social Work. It appears that Schools/Colleges of Nursing are heading in the same direction! A disservice to students, patients, and their families.

Peter LeQiiuire, College '65
Peter LeQiiuire, College '65
24 days ago

I wonder how far the desecration of the University’s reputation will be allowed to continue.

Wahoo 76
Wahoo 76
24 days ago

IF you hear anything, it will probably be just a word salad.

walter smith
walter smith
24 days ago

I think the plagiarism is particularly prevalent in the DEI realm because it is not in any way “scientific” or “intellectual” – it is re-cast Marxism and there are only so many ways to write something “scholarly” about something that is patently BS.

Look at the UVA Course catalog. Perhaps 1/2 are worthless (except to the “teacher” and the UVA bank account). Anything with “Studies” or that emphasizes “intersectionality.”
Get back to core education. How to think. Not what to think.
UVA could cost 1/3rd less, produce a better “product,” and help fix the housing “affordability crisis” all at once by getting serious about getting back to education as the mission.

UVA_Foursquare_Male
UVA_Foursquare_Male
23 days ago
Reply to  walter smith

You hit the nail on the head. It’s all subjective and leads to nowhere except to the oppressor vs. oppressed!

Last edited 23 days ago by UVA_Foursquare_Male
Robert Pyles MD
Robert Pyles MD
23 days ago

The whole point of DEI is that any requirement for competence or skill, is racist. “Equity” is all about mandating equality of outcome. The operating assumption is that people of color are so incompetent, that it is racist to expect them to compete on a level playing field with others. Hence, equality of outcome has to be mandated.

UVA_Foursquare_Male
UVA_Foursquare_Male
23 days ago

Absolutely! A core principle of the DEI enterprise is to deliberately cherry-pick and insert radical DEI individuals to govern faculty, curricula, organizations/corporations, and other institutions that have the potential for enormous influence because so many are–like you said–incompetent, not willing, or unable to do what they’re supposed to do.

Walter smith
Walter smith
22 days ago

Perhaps you have listened to the James Lindsay podcast on how DEI takes over. He uses PRA as his acronym – politicization, redistribution and accommodation. The first DEI officers hired are political officers. The beachhead. You demand redistribution by grievance category – color, sexual deviance from norm, “marginalized” religion, “differently abled”, etc, then you demand that everyone else must “accommodate” your grievance group. If you haven’t listened to it, you have gotten to the essence of how it is intentionally implanted and then spreads like the cancer it is. Inherently divisive. Counterproductive. Un-American. Other than that…

UVA_Foursquare_Male
UVA_Foursquare_Male
23 days ago

And so much for the UVA Honor Code!

angela
angela
22 days ago

In reading through the 12 comments, I have nothing to add. They say it all very well!