Thursday, April 23, 2009

Madonna Constantine

Madonna Constantine whose lawsuit against Columbia’s Teacher College for $200 million following the noose incident is back in the headlines. Constantine gained national attention after a noose was allegedly found on the former teachers’ desk at LALATE’S own Columbia. Reports say the noose was found during an ongoing investigation about plagiarism.
After 18 months of investigation Columbia reportedly ruled Madonna had “numerous instances in which she used others’ work without attribution in papers she published in academic journals over the past five years.” By summer 2008 she was fired. “This was a scheme cooked up between the head of the department and former faculty. We had evidence of her original writing that dates back to the 1990s, but it was altered or dismissed.”
Madonna Constantine, the Teachers College professor at Columbia who plagiarized from her own students--and who just happened to find a noose hanging from her office door as the report on her malfeasance was to come out--is suing the school for firing her. The "Black Ward Churchill" line is from one of the comments to the piece, but the parallels--the charges, the countercharges, the school's incompetence and hypocrisy (though they did have the sense to hire an outside law firm to vet her work), and Constantine's amazing arrogance, among others--are instructive.

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