Jan 20, 2022

KU diversity head resigns for plagiarizing message on MLK Day

Posted Jan 20, 2022 9:01 PM
Graham photo courtesy University of Kansas
Graham photo courtesy University of Kansas

Kansas Reflector

TOPEKA — The interim vice provost of diversity at the University of Kansas resigned after found to have plagiarized content of a message sent to the campus community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

D.A. Graham, who was hired by KU in 2017, acknowledged the academic misconduct and submitted his resignation. It was accepted by Barbara Bichelmeyer, KU provost and executive vice chancellor.

“I appreciate D.A.’s acceptance of responsibility for this act as well as his recognition of the serious mistake he made,” Bichelmeyer said Wednesday. “Plagiarism is never acceptable behavior for students, faculty, staff or administrators. While this is a consequence that befits the action, it is a sad day for all who aspire to greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at KU.”

She said Graham had performed his duties at the university with “compassion and grace.”

The Lawrence Journal-World first reported contents of Graham’s campus message included phrases and sentences from the writing of Curtis Coy, who for more than 20 years was a senior executive in the federal government and served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Graham was hired by KU to be the university’s ombuds, a job that involved reviewing complaints about university policies and practices. In 2020, he was appointed interim vice provost for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Bichelmeyer said the university would select a committee to conduct a search for a new vice provost to fill the void left by Graham’s departure. An interim vice provost will be appointed, she said.

“This is a moment for us to recognize that each one of us is virtuous, flawed and complex as part of our shared human condition,” the provost said.