Former Columbia Professor Sues University for $200 Million

mc816Madonna Constantine, the former professor of the Teachers College of Columbia University who reported a noose found on her door, has filed a lawsuit against Columbia for $200 million after she was fired for plagiarism.

Constantine says that her termination for plagiarism ruined her academic reputation. That would be understandable. It is cause for termination that is generally frowned upon by other academics. The issue will now come down to innocence and the relitigation of the question of plagiarism. The committee had found numerous incidences of pilfered work, but Constantine insists that there was a conspiracy between the head of her department and former faculty including an intriguing statement by her lawyer Paul J. Giacomo Jr. that “We had evidence of her original writing that dates back to the 1990s, but it was altered or dismissed.”

Constantine’s allegation of a noose on her door was questioned by some at the faculty and she sent an email to all of the students during the later controversy saying “As one of only two tenured black women full professors at Teachers College, it pains me to conclude that I have been specifically and systematically targeted.”

Of course, $200 million may be a bit high in terms of an academic’s worth and reputation. At this rate, Constantine could have asked for a small Caribbean island nation in damages.

The case will be an interesting fight. Generally, schools are given great deference in their internal affairs, but, when you fired someone for plagiarism, they have a right to challenge that decision. This could get quite ugly as each of these incidents are laid out in front of a jury.

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6 thoughts on “Former Columbia Professor Sues University for $200 Million”

  1. seamus,

    Me no understand Shakespeare. Me just humble caveman lawyer. 😀

  2. Anon, et al:

    one question on plagirism can you plagerize an idea? For example there is a play called Mona Vana that is about an Italian woman who sleeps with the enemy of her husband for money to save the town from destruction.

    this theme repeated itself in the Fountainhead and in that Woody Harlson, Robert Redford, Demi Moore movie where Demi More slept with Robert Redford for a million bucks.

    And I am sure if you looked back in history far enough there is probably some greek tradgedy with the same plot.

    So are concepts like this able to be copied or not? the theme may differ but the plot is basically the same.

  3. Hey Buddha, Mayor Daley has dubbed today “Talk Like Shakespear Day” here in the City of Braod Shoulders. Our mayor talk pretty all time. He good talk pretty man.

  4. Inflated sense of self worth, thy name is apparently Madonna Constantine.

  5. With the Push to Publish a lot of it turns out to be rubbish.

    Anymore what is Plagiarism? When you hold something out as original work and its not.

    Reminds me of that Margarine ad, When you think it’s butter but its not, its ……”

    Every things better with _______ on it.

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