May 19, 2013

Academic dishonesty investigation to end next month?

Last week, WHU in Germany issued a press release in English:
Allegations of Academic Dishonesty against Professor Ulrich Lichtenthaler – Investigations Expected to Come to a Close at the End of June

Vallendar, May 13, 2013. Allegations of academic misconduct have been raised against Professor Ulrich Lichtenthaler since June 2012. Ulrich Lichtenthaler holds the Chair for Management and Organization at the University of Mannheim. He completed both his doctoral dissertation and his habilitation at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, the latter in 2010. As the allegations also pertain to academic works completed during Lichtenthaler’s time at WHU, the charges are being thoroughly investigated. “The examination of the allegations has taken more time than we had originally anticipated,” said Professor Michael Frenkel, Dean of WHU. According to Frenkel, this is due to both the complexity of the allegations and the amount of material to be examined. For an exhaustive investigation, however, thoroughness is more important than speed. “We cannot and do not want to anticipate the work and results of the external examiners and the Commission for the Safeguarding of Good Academic Practice, but we can now expect to be able to announce the results of the investigation at the end of June,” said Dean Frenkel. “The principles of good academic practice are foundational for WHU and we will do everything to ensure that the allegations are cleared up completely. For the sake of public confidence in the sciences, it is crucial to deal with such allegations carefully and to ensure transparency in the process – that’s why we want to provide information about the current status,” said Dean Frenkel.

Investigative Procedure 

Immediately after the allegations became known in Summer 2012, the Dean arranged to have external examiners brought to WHU to complete an independent and neutral assessment of the allegations against Prof. Dr. Ulrich Lichtenthaler. The results of the external evaluation will be considered in the formal examination proceedings of the Commission for the Safeguarding of Good Academic Practice, which began its work in December 2012 on the basis of a first preliminary report from the external examiners. The Commission anticipates being able to deliver its final report to the Dean by the end of June this year. Depending on the contents of the report of the Commission, further steps will be taken. The Dean hopes that any necessary decisions can be made swiftly at that point. The procedure is based on the principles and rules of procedure for handling academic misconduct.
This parallels what was said March 28 in German.

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