Sunday, September 29, 2013

Word Is Former TDSB Chief Chris Spence Has Lost His PhD Due to Blatant Plagiarism--Why Haven't We Heard About It?

A little birdie (an authoritative one) told me that Chris Spence, the former head of the Toronto District School Board who resigned in disgrace after he was revealed to be a serial plagiarist, has had a "Dr."-ectomy. That is, his PhD was quietly cancelled following an investigation which uncovered evidence of plagiarism in his doctoral dissertation.

Back in January, the Globe and Mail reported it had
learned that parts of Dr. Spence’s dissertation, submitted in 1996 for his Ph.D. from OISE appear to have been copied from unattributed sources. The 239-page dissertation is entitled “The Effects of Sport Participation on the Academic and Career Aspirations of Black Male Student Athletes in Toronto High Schools” and was partly based on interviews with student athletes and educators. 
However, passages are substantially similar to prior work which Dr. Spence does not attribute, and rely very heavily, in one section, on a 1991 book edited by Grant Jarvie, Sport, Racism and Ethnicity.
You would think that the cancellation of Spence's PhD would be big news, but so far the media have remained mum on the subject. Do they know about it? If so, are they manifesting cricket chirrups to spare the man and the TDSB any further embarrassment and/or because they feel sorry for the compulsive copy-cat?

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