The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA professor receives tenure after plagiarizing student’s work

Susannah Dickinson, a professor who taught numerous architectural undergraduate and graduate courses, was formally admonished by the UA for plagiarism last year and recently received tenure.

The UA reprimanded her after an investigation into allegations that she plagiarized a graduate student’s master’s thesis and presented it as her own work; although, after the case she kept her position at the UA.

As stated in The Chronicle of Higher Education, UA provost Andrew Comrie said in a letter to UA’s President Ann Weaver Hart, “although Ms. Dickinson’s infraction was not necessarily severe, there is nevertheless a need to make her aware that research misconduct by its very nature is of serious concern and that it is treated as such by the University of Arizona.”

Comrie asked UA employees to disregard talking to media, students and others about the case.

In 1992 the UA created a Science and Math Education Promotion & Tenure Committee to process a specific procedure when deciding to grant professor tenure. SEPTC interviews candidates for further evaluation and works to dissolve boundaries between teaching and research.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, due to internal and external evaluation through SEPTC, Dickinson was promoted to associate professor with a $5,000 raise that will give her an annual salary of $70,000. Details of why she received tenure are protected by UA administrators who say the information is kept by the state’s public university system.

Dickinson’s professional experience was led from her strong background of education in digital processes, parametric modeling, Building Information Model and digital fabrication that allowed her to explore the development of ecologically responsive environments. In 2014, she received one of three national New Faculty Teaching Awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

“I don’t think it makes us look very professional,” said Michael Melitz, a history sophomore at the UA. “We are practically rewarding her for pretty much cheating by using a student’s work. Overall, I think it’s wrong.”

Follow Gabriella Vukelic on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search