Education minister nominee accused of plagiarism

Hey kids! Here’s one way to get to the top. Granted, that doesn’t mean you won’t be toppled once you get there –as looks to be the likely case for President Park’s nominee  for education minister, Kim Myung-soo. 

The nominee for South Korea’s education minister is suspected of having plagiarized a thesis written by one of his students while serving as a professor, an opposition lawmaker claimed Tuesday.

President Park Geun-hye nominated Kim Myung-soo, a professor at Korea National University of Education, last week as the new education minister, who will also double as deputy prime minister for educational, social and cultural affairs.

Rep. Park Hong-geun raised the issue of Kim’s suspected plagiarism, claiming that a considerable part of his paper published in June 2002 overlaps a thesis written by one of Kim’s students identified only by his surname Chung.

Works Cited in this Post:

Education Minister Nominee Accused of Plagiarism. Korea Herald, 17 June 2014. Web. Accessed 18 June 2014.

  • 코리아

    Think the Rep is trying to stir up trouble for the most part. The student was listed as a second author. Maybe not completely right, but I think it’s relatively common to give the most prominent person top billing whether or not the actually did the heavy lifting.

  • Tapp

    What a rookie mistake. Everyone knows that you give the student a contributing author line. It attaches a well known name to the student’s paper to give them credence and it allows the professor to not waste valuable drinking hours on something so mundane as putting words to paper. It’s not just for professors, James Patterson has made a career off of it. There’s just no reason at all to plagiarize when you’re already in a position of power.

  • Tapp

    Your comment didn’t load on my screen until after I posted mine.

  • 코리아

    No worries. Yours is more interesting to read anyways.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    My favorite line from the cited article: “The plagiarism of dissertations has been one of the main ethical lapses in South Korea when professors are tapped as ministers of the Cabinet or other high-ranking government officials.”

    …but all the other professors are perfectly fine.

  • SalarymaninSeoul


  • silver surfer

    Comedy gold.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    A few years ago when I first read stories about academics falsifying credentials and plagiarizing theses, dissertations, and other scholarly works, I wondered why young go getters at campuses’ student newspapers did not check their university presidents’ published works. Given the prevalence of academic fraud among academics in Korea, an aspiring journalist has about the likelihood of hooking an academic as catching a fish in a stocked pond.

    In America, uncovering the fraudulent credentials or plagiarized work of any university professor would be quite the door opener to a journalism major’s first job. What I’ve come to understand is that news media in Korea do not have and historically have not had the fourth estate or adversarial role they have in the U.S. Korean campus university newspapers seem to view their function as public relations for the university. Campus newspapers in the west certainly also have that function, but any aspiring Woodward or Bernstein (and they all are) would salivate at the possibility of wrongdoing, fraud, or malfeasance.

    I honestly believe that the academic fraud problem, which weighs down all legitimate Korean universities and academics, has a near-term solution: the campus newspapers should investigate their own administration and faculty from the top down, and as a matter of course should investigate all newly appointed administrators.

  • redwhitedude

    I have a cousin who is a teacher. She should get nominated. :-)
    When all else fails nominate the younger crowd. 😀

  • Sanshinseon .

    AJ is quite-right, that is part of the problem.

    Lazy senior professors fattening themselves on grad student’s ideas & efforts is indeed the near-universal traditional way here — standards & practices ARE changing, but all too slowly, and it’s hard to break out of these corrupt patterns when the incentives for them continue and the new disincentives are so weak. I could tell ya stories…

    But hey, in this case he gave the student credit as 2nd-author, and that’s appropriate (no way a pre-PhD could be 1st author and a senior prof 2nd, for Journal publication, even in the West), and we don’t know how closely the prof supervised the original paper, to what extent he fed ideas, critique & sources to his student, nor if he added-value to the paper before submitting it for publication — so, there might not actually be much scandal here.

  • Horace Jeffery Hodges

    “The plagiarism of dissertations has been one of the main ethical lapses . . .”

    Interesting choice of wording, too, an “ethical lapse,” as if copying pages, chapters, and entire books were a “lapse”!

    Reminds me somehow of that old Steve Martin routine in which he pleads, “I forgot! I forgot murder was against the law!”

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Tapp

    “Lazy senior professors fattening themselves on grad student’s ideas & efforts is indeed the near-universal traditional way here”

    I don’t think this is a Korea problem so much as it is an Academia problem. This was pretty common practice 15 years ago in the US and I can’t imagine that it’s changed substantially since that time.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Shin Jeong-Ah rides again.

  • redwhitedude

    Perhaps Korean Americans can have an impact in this area. Or maybe those that went to school in the states.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Shaming a professor in a campus newspaper would never fly. Students turn a blind eye to their teachers’ wrongdoings.

    But the big problem is that plagiarism is widely practiced and everyone is cool with it. The students do it just as much as their professors do. Many of them truly do not understand why it’s wrong to copy and paste information without citations. Any way to get ahead is admired.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Yes, it’s a problem everywhere in academia. But Western professors know to share credit, and Western students have the balls to take their professors to task when proper credit is not given.

  • Wedge1

    You might as well hand out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.

  • Tapp

    From everything that’s being said, it sounds as if the Korean professor did share credit with the student.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Was that mentioned in a different article? If that’s the case, I’m not sure why he would be accused of plagiarism.