Home Academic information Talladega College names Greg Vincent its next president

Talladega College names Greg Vincent its next president


Talladega College on Wednesday named Gregory Vincent, who in 2018 resigned as president of Hobart and William Smith colleges after an anonymous whistleblower accused him of plagiarism, to be its next president. Vincent will take over as head of the private, historically black college in Alabama on July 1.

Vincent, who currently works as a professor of educational policy at the University of Kentucky, resigned as president of Hobart and William Smith after being accused of plagiarizing sections of his dissertation. Vincent left ahead of an investigation into the matter to “avoid any additional stress on the campus community,” he said in a statement in 2018.

He then made several edits to his dissertation literature review and received a seal of approval from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his Ph.D.

“I have resolved the issue with the University of Pennsylvania to the satisfaction of the faculty,” Vincent said. “There were errors and changes in citation style – that was really the problem. I was asked to change one citation for another, and the faculty determined that my work made an original contribution and allowed to move forward.

Vincent completed his thesis in 2004, 13 years before becoming president of Hobart and William Smith. Talladega College’s board of trustees were aware throughout of the plagiarism search process and Vincent’s efforts to correct it, a college spokesperson said. The board viewed his current employment at the University of Kentucky as a good sign that he is a qualified scholar and noted that “the errors were in the literature section of his thesis and not in the substance of his research”, said the spokesperson.

“The search committee was impressed with Dr. Vincent’s exceptional leadership and the measurable results he has achieved in public service, business, and academia, as well as in community and civic organizations,” Rica Lewis-Payton, director and chair of the research committee, said in a statement. “Dr. Vincent is uniquely qualified to meet the current challenges facing Talladega College and best position the institution among the top institutions of higher learning in the nation.

It’s usually the job of the third-party research firm to ensure the board has all the relevant information to make a decision, said Rod McDavis, managing director of AGB Search, and so it’s unlikely the board will departure of Vincent from Hobart and William Smith was passed over in silence. during the research process.

“Questions like this always preoccupy a search committee and a board of directors. What they ask recruitment agencies to do is do their due diligence, do background checks, investigate and report the facts,” McDavis said. “I am confident that the Talladega College Board of Trustees had all the information they needed.”

College and university leaders are held to higher and higher standards as they rise through the executive ranks, said Sarah Eaton, an associate professor at the University of Calgary and an expert on academic integrity. An attribution error or a missed citation can be a problem for presidents, even if a faculty member or graduate student would be forgiven for the same error.

“Over the past 10 years or so, we’ve come to view plagiarism very differently when it’s committed by public figures, particularly university officials, politicians and others,” Eaton said. “We are more likely to forgive a freshman for accidental plagiarism than we might be a senior or graduate student. We expect graduate students to be better informed, but there is ample evidence to suggest that they still need writing support and support in understanding academic integrity expectations.

Vincent said he was excited to join Talladega this summer and eager to move the college forward. He believes that his many years as a faculty member will give him credibility within the Talladega faculty.

“I did a great job. I teach at the doctorate. students, sit on dissertation committees — I do everything professors do,” he said. “I believe they see me as one of them, as a fellow faculty member who has been a faculty member for over 20 years.”

The fact that Vincent acknowledged the error and corrected it is commendable, Eaton said. Vincent could use his experience as a good example for students.

“The fact that he made restitution – I think it’s important and symbolic because it shows that he cared enough to go back and right the wrongs that had been done, whether intentional or not. “, she said. “It shows that students can make a mistake and it doesn’t have to be a disaster. One mistake doesn’t have to follow them for the rest of their lives.