Student Plagiarist Mac Arthur Meets with School Officials

The Independent Florida Alligator is reporting that Hailey Mac Arthur, the University of Florida student recently caught plagiarizing from the New York Times during an internship with a Colorado newspaper, has met with administrators from the university’s College of Journalism and Communication.

Due to privacy rules, there is no word on how the meeting went or what the final decision will be regarding Mac Arthur’s status/enrollment in the college or university.  In a separate clarification posted to the site last week, the Alligator noted that its initial report had “incorrectly stated that College of Journalism and Communications Dean John Wright said that Hailey Mac Arthur may be expelled from the College. Wright only stated that administrators would be meeting to discuss Mac Arthur’s status in the College.”

My take: Expulsion might be the easy answer, and voluntary transfer by Mac Arthur might be the best way to save face.  But maybe a second chance, handled with appropriate care by school officials and respected unequivocally by Mac Arthur, is the best option for both parties.  Teach her well, enable her to teach others, and let her learn from her mistakes.  Help mold her into an individual and journalist worthy of the college’s name and a university degree.  It’s not too late.

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