Dhaka University demotes journalism teacher Samia Rahman for plagiarism

The University of Dhaka has demoted Samia Rahman, a teacher of mass communication and journalism, from associate professor to assistant professor for stealing content in her research.

Dhaka University Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 28 Jan 2021, 03:29 PM
Updated : 28 Jan 2021, 03:29 PM

The university’s syndicate in a meeting chaired by Vice Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman on Thursday also penalised Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan, lecturer of criminal science department and co-researcher of Samia, for plagiarism.

Marjan, currently on study leave, will remain in the same post for two years after rejoining work, said Prof Mohammad Humayubn kabir, a member of the syndicate.

Besides Samia and Marjan, the university demoted Muhammad Omor Faruq from assistant professor to lecturer of the Islamic history and culture department for plagiarism in his PhD thesis. His doctorate degree has also been cancelled.

The syndicate took the decisions following recommendations by two tribunals formed to set the punishment of the three teachers.

Prof Humayun said the trio cannot appeal against the syndicate decisions at the university, but they can challenge the decisions at the High Court.

In December 2016, Samia and Marjan co-authored an eight-page research paper titled 'A New Dimension of Colonialism and Pop Culture: A Case Study of the Cultural Imperialism,' published in the University's Social Science Review journal.

However, it later emerged that they had plagiarised nearly five pages of an article titled "The Subject and Power" by French philosopher Michel Foucault, published in the University of Chicago's Critical Inquiry journal in 1982.

Almost a year later in September 2017, the University of Chicago Press sent a written complaint to the Dhaka University authorities over the matter.

Samia and Marjan were also accused of copying multiple pages of intellectual Edward Sayed's book 'Culture and Imperialism'.

In light of the complaints, the university's Syndicate formed an investigation committee to dig into the allegations.

The committee submitted its report in 2019 after a year-long investigation. Although the committee found proof of plagiarism, the report did not recommend action against the two.

Later, the syndicate appointed AFM Mezbahuddin, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, to draw up legal recommendations on the matter, and subsequently formed the tribunal.