Judge upholds right to rescind degree over plagiarism

An Alberta judge says the University of Calgary can rescind a masters degree awarded to a student 15 years ago before allegations he plagiarised parts of his thesis, reports The Canadian Press.

John Measor was awarded a master of arts degree by the University of Calgary in 2003. But prior to defending his thesis in 2002, an examination committee raised a concern regarding plagiarism. He was directed to remove the plagiarism and successfully defended it. Some 10 years later, Measor was teaching at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax when the institution requested a copy of Measor’s masters thesis, “Canada and the Imposition of Sanctions on Iraq: 1990-2002.” It ran the thesis through a plagiarism detection programme and reported the results to the University of Calgary.

The University of Calgary re-examined the document and found “it contained substantial plagiarism.” The university provost demanded Measor return his degree and the registrar of the university rescinded his masters. Measor lost a number of appeals at the university level before taking it to court. He argued the university couldn’t rescind a degree already granted to a student. Justice Richard Neufeld ruled that “the power to award degrees necessarily implies the power of rescission”.
Full report on The Province site