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Elite university’s med school DEI chief plagiarized directly from Wikipedia, complaint alleges


Daily Caller News Foundation

Columbia University medical school’s chief diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) officer allegedly plagiarized large portions of his doctoral dissertation, including some passages from Wikipedia, according to a complaint submitted to the university Wednesday.

Alade McKen is accused of plagiarizing nearly one-fifth of his dissertation from over 30 authors, according to the complaint, which was filed anonymously. McKen appears to have lifted large portions of text in his dissertation, including many page-long passages, according to the complaint first reported by The Washington Free Beacon.

“The passages you shared can definitely be classified as plagiarism,” University of Rwanda’s Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu, whom McKen was accused to have plagiarized, told the Free Beacon.

Almost two pages of the alleged plagiarism appears to be a close reproduction of Wikipedia’s entry on “Afrocentric education,” according to the complaint. Another instance involves the near-verbatim lifting of more than five paragraphs from Kwayera Archer-Cunningham’s 2007 journal article “Cultural Arts Education as Community Development: An Innovative Model of Healing and Transformation” in New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education.

McKen directs all of the DEI programs on Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s campus and holds a certificate in diversity and inclusion, according to the Free Beacon.

Among the programs that McKen oversees are mandatory “antiracism” trainings for faculty and admissions officers, according to the Free Beacon. There is also an accelerated hiring program for minority scholars at the school.

This marks the third time a high-level DEI officer at an elite university has been accused of plagiarism in the past several months.

Harvard University’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Sherri Charleston, allegedly plagiarized 40 passages throughout her works, including in her 2009 dissertation and her only peer-reviewed paper. Shirley Green, an administrator of the Harvard Extension School (HES) who handles Title IX complaints, allegedly plagiarized 42 passages in her dissertation.

Columbia University and Columbia University Irving Medical Center did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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