College sued in self-plagiarism case

Annika Lindburg, Staff Writer/ Online Productions

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A suit between Shelby Ingebrigtesen, the plaintiff, and Linfield College, the defendant, is headed to court over Ingebrigsten’s expulsion from the good samaritan Linfield nursing because of self-plagiarism.

According to Linfield’s student handbook, self-plagiarism is defined in the plagiarism section as “the submission of work created by the student for another class unless he or she receives consent from both instructors.”

On October 5, 2016, Ingebrigsten’s professor, a visiting professor, emailed her wanting to meet regarding a written assignment turned in by the Plaintiff.

Five days later, the professor and student met, and the professor stated that the Plaintiff had committed “self-plagiarism.” Ingebrigsten told her professor that she was unsure as to how she could plagiarize herself and was unclear as to her professor’s definition of self-plagiarism.

That is much quicker than the ten day policy, which Linfield’s student handbook defines as, “Within ten days of the discovery of an offense, the instructor must submit a written description of the offense to the student and Dean of Students. If the student disagrees, the student will use the Academic Grievance process as outlined in the section entitled Academic Grievances.”

Instead of following the steps detailed in Linfield’s student handbook, professor Ingulli emailed the dean of the nursing school and said that Ingebrigsten should be expelled due to the “alleged unethical self-plagiarism.” Ingebrigtesen received an email telling her to stop attending nursing classes.

According to the lawsuit, the defendant breached its contract with the Plaintiff by not following the disciplinary process when a student’s academic integrity is questioned. A student can disagree with the charge and request an in-person hearing with witnesses and the student conduct board where the student can ask questions.

Ingebrigsten should have also received an academic alert, which is a notice that provides support to students who have made an academic error. The academic alert should have a plan to help remedy said plan.

Ingebrigsten can appeal said notice with the APHG.

Before deciding Ingebrigsten’s fate, faculty is required to look-over a students work before decided to expel a student.

The lawsuit states that Ingebrigsten was not given a clear definition of self-plagiarism in the syllabi.

Nursing student Emma Yeager ‘18, says that she has never heard any of her professors define self-plagiarism. “It seems like something you shouldn’t do. In my high school, we had to get permission from both teachers to turn in the same or similar assignments for two classes. I do not see why college would not be different,” Yeager said.

Stephanie Hoffman ‘17, defines self-plagiarism as “reusing your own work without stating that you are doing so. I’m not sure if it has to be published or not to count. I’ve only ever heard Thompson talk about it. For the most part, professors focus on plagiarizing other sources,” Hoffman said.

Linfield’s student handbook states, “faculty should include a clear academic integrity policy within their syllabus.”
Ingebrigsten claims she was expelled from the nursing program without information that was promised in Linfield’s nursing school contract.

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3 Responses to “College sued in self-plagiarism case”

  1. Ken Webb on May 16th, 2017 4:31 am

    Seems like the Professor and faculty made a series of missteps in this situation. Makes the degree worth less and less when these lazy blowhards fabricate issues for the sole sake of drama. Self plagiarism is not a real thing.


  2. Bradley Rodgers on May 16th, 2017 9:44 am

    Class of 1978. I’ve never heard of such a thing while at Linfield or WSU. It seems to me if it was Shelbys work and she used it or some of it in two assignments that it applies to, good for her for saving time. If there is a “rule” or statement in the Linfield Student Handbook about the subject, then the professor should go over it and make it perfectly clear as to what happened. From the information in the article above, I’d be inclined to discuss the issue with Shelby and let her do the assigned work again. In this case it almost looks like the professor had something else going on and had it out for this student. Expulsion at this point seems a bit extreme. If there are no other incidents in her records, I’d lean towards giving Shelby another go at the assignment. Thanks for allowing my comments, Brad Rodgers 78


  3. Winston B Young on May 16th, 2017 7:31 pm

    The whole thing seems pretty silly to me. In the business world outside of academia, also known as the real world, leveraging best practices, repurposing prior quality work, and generally not reinventing​ the wheel is evidence of a smart and efficient professional. There is a big difference between plagiarism in the conventional sense and efficiently doing it yourself. Winston Young ’83.


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College sued in self-plagiarism case