U of Alberta dean under investigation
The dean of medicine at the University of Alberta is under investigation after he allegedly plagiarized a convocation speech last week.
Dr. Philip Baker delivered an address to graduating medical students on Friday, but some of the graduates recognized the speech as the same one delivered last year by Dr. Atul Gawande to Stanford medical students.
In a letter to students who said the speech showed a lack of respect, Dr. Baker says the original text of the speech was so inspiring he decided to use it as his own.
"I have heard from you following the graduation banquet when the theme (and much of the content) of my speech was similar to that of one given by Dr. Atul Gawande," Dr. Baker writes.
"When I was researching for the speech, I came across text which inspired me and resonated with my experiences. I hope you accept my heartfelt apology."
The speech will now be reviewed very closely by university administrators in the coming days. University of Alberta President and Vice-Chancellor Indira V. Samarasekera released a statement Monday saying the university is in the process of examining the allegations against Dr. Baker.
"Academic integrity is at the heart of this university, and must continue to be so. We will undertake our examination within a fair process and with due diligence," Samarasekera wrote.
Deb Hammacher, associate VP of public affairs with the University of Alberta, told CTV News there are no prescribed penalties if a faculty member is found guilty of plagiarism. That it is up to the discretion of the provost.
The Students' Union is confident the matter will be properly dealt with by the university.
"I certainly have faith in the university and I have faith the university will treat students, professors, and administrators in the exact same manner under the academic policies that they've laid out," said Emerson Csorba with the Student's Union.
In the dean's apology letter, Dr. Baker says he called Gwande to apologize. He claims Gwande accepted his apology and even said he was flattered by the incident.
Gwande told CTV News he would not comment on the incident other than to say this is a matter between Dr. Baker and the university.
With files from Laura Tupper