Friday, October 7, 2011

Flight from the Concordia (Derek Reeve canned?)

     JENNA CHANDLER of the San Juan Capistrano Patch reports that Derek Reeve, a controversial SJC City Councilman and part-time Poli Sci instructor, no longer works at Concordia U, a Lutheran college in Irvine:

Councilman Reeve Gone at Concordia
     Amid plagiarism allegations and well into the fall semester, San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Derek Reeve is inexplicably no longer teaching at Concordia University.
     "Derek Reeve is not currently employed by Concordia," a university spokeswoman said Friday, declining to provide an explanation.
     The move comes two weeks after Patch reported that Reeve lifted numerous passages from copyrighted articles in blog essays he wrote for Patch, as well as in two of his City Council staff reports. The authors whose words he copied labeled Reeve's actions plagiarism.
     When the story broke, Reeve was employed part-time by Concordia, a private Christian university in Irvine. According to the school's fall schedule, Reeve was teaching two political science classes this semester: American Government and Comparative Political Systems.
     Attempts to reach Reeve for comment were unsuccessful. But earlier this week, in a guest column published by the Orange County Register, he contended that blogs are informal literature in which attribution is not required.
. . .
     Experts and authors disagreed, saying no matter what the format or venue is, the same rules apply: verbatim copying of another person's work needs to be in quotes, and attributed.
. . .
     Reeve, an attorney, is also a part-time instructor at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo. A Saddleback spokeswoman declined to comment for this story. [My emphases.]

From Concordia U's Fall 2011 "master course schedule." I added the highlighting in red.
It does appear that Reeve had been assigned two courses—the only two Poli Sci
courses offered this semester. (Click on graphic to enlarge.)
     Do any of you Saddlebackians know whether Reeve still teaches at your college? Is he scheduled to teach in the Spring? [UPDATE: a reliable friend of this blog observed that Reeve taught his Saddleback courses last week.]
     Below is an excerpt from Concordia U's Policy on honesty and plagiarism (see), which is addressed to students but which obviously expresses the institution's values. Perhaps it had something to do with Reeve's departure.
     Paragraph 3 of the policy quotes from a handbook: “The basic rules of scholastic honesty still apply in electronic environments.” Yep, it's wrong to present others' work as your own even on a blog.
     Why on Earth would anyone suppose otherwise? If posing as the author of others' writings is wrong in scholastic settings, surely it is wrong in other settings as well. (Cf. cheating.)
     In a guest column for the Capistrano Valley News three days ago, Reeve argued that “Most people recognize that blogging is an informal style of communication, like musings, in which the standards of communication are relaxed.”
     I'm musing right now, I guess.
     We at DtB, however, have argued that, re academia, no such relaxation does or should occur.
     Unsurprisingly, judging by its policies, Concordia U does not relax standards of honesty for blogging.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping track of this and connecting the dots.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Concordia for recognizing the problem here.

Anonymous said...

I found Reeve's defense of his actions offensive and absurd. I predict, however, that Saddleback will take no action against him. Merrily we float along.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Mr. Reeve, nor do I think it necessary to address his political views.However, the subject of honesty, in general,quite apart from the issue of plagairism, is a serious matter. When one accepts the role as an elected official or a college professor one must accept and practice honesty at all times. Regrettably, liars still remain abundant, but when their lies are exposed they are forever tainted and must be removed from any position of influence.

I fear no fish said...

He was still in the classroom at Saddleback as of last week. Don't know anything about next semester. I'll let you know if he disappears from Saddleback.

Anonymous said...

Some integrity to pull him out of the classroom mid-semester. Good for Concordia.

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