WATCH: 'Prove me a plagiarist'– Prof. Ellwanger offers cash prize to combat narrative that 'everybody' steals academic work
Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Adam Ellwanger announced that he's giving away $100 for each instance of plagiarism that anyone can find in his work over the course of his career.
Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Adam Ellwanger recently announced that he’s giving away $100 for each instance of plagiarism that anyone can find in his work throughout his career, up to $1000.
Ellwanger, a professor at the University of Houston - Downton, made the announcement during a Campus Reform podcast.
”As a part of my work with The Peerless Review, which is a an online publication for dissident scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. We’re running a contest where you can prove me a plagiarist. There’s $1,000 worth of cash prizes up for grabs. And for every documented instance of plagiarism that you can find in my work, that includes my scholarly work in peer reviewed journals, and any other sort of public published writing over the last 15 years. For each documented incident of plagiarism, I’ll give away $100 up to 10. And when 10 are claims the contest ends, I think the deadline is February 6, and at this point, we have zero accusations. So the money’s all still there. I’ll hold on to it till somebody claims it,” Ellwanger said.
Campus Reform Higher Education Fellow Nicholas Giordano, who was interviewing Ellwanger, asked why he began the contest. Giordano is a professor at Suffolk Community College.
”Anybody who’s been paying close attention to higher education in the past few months, has observed what happened with Claudine Gay at Harvard University,” Ellwanger said. “Chris Rufo. And some other journalists documented repeated instances of plagiarism in her work over a course of years, you know, in different peer-reviewed articles, not all in one place, but this is a pattern that was established.”
Ellwanger said it “bothered” him that a substantial number of former Harvard University President Claudine Gay’s defenders made arguments that plagiarism is “common practice.”
”I think when they say everybody does this, it’s it’s common practice, right? It’s a smear of the hard working scholars who, you know, have worked hard to observe what everybody knows are the rules regarding plagiarism and documentation of sources,” Ellwanger said.
”We’ve documented that Claudine Gay’s administration held students accountable for less flagrant violations of the rules, then she herself committed. And I think that the contest is, is a way to prove that No, it’s not common practice,” he added.
Speaking about Gay, Ellwanger said it’s “unconscionable” for the former Harvard president to be able to teach in a classroom again and earn a salary of almost $900,000.