From: The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 2004 .  Available online at:

Arts Professor at New School U. Resigns After Admitting Plagiarism


A fine-arts professor at the New School University's Parsons School of Design has resigned after admitting that he copied sections of one of his books from a University of Washington professor's monograph.

In his book, Structures of Our Time: Thirty-one Buildings That Changed Modern Life (McGraw-Hill, 2002), Roger Shepherd copied portions of Pietro Belluschi: Modern American Architect (MIT Press, 1999), by Meredith L. Clausen, an architectural-history professor at Washington.

The plagiarism, which has been the subject of a copyright dispute between MIT Press and McGraw-Hill, was first made public in a Chronicle article last week ( The Chronicle, September 14). McGraw-Hill destroyed all unsold copies of his book last year, according to Mr. Shepherd.

Paul Goldberger, dean of the Parsons School and the architecture critic for The New Yorker, said on Friday that Mr. Shepherd had decided to step down after meeting with administrators on Wednesday.

"We made it clear that we took this matter very seriously," Mr. Goldberger said. "Frankly, we could not tolerate a faculty member who had engaged in the same infraction that we would dismiss a student for."

Attempts to reach Mr. Shepherd on Friday were unsuccessful. Earlier, he told The Chronicle that he took responsibility for the copying, which he said happened in part because of a research assistant. Mr. Shepherd called the incident "a tragedy, probably the worst thing I've ever done."

In a statement sent to members of the New School University's staff and faculty, Mr. Goldberger and Arjun Appadurai, the provost, said the resignation was a "sad occasion." They praised Mr. Shepherd's 30 years of work at Parsons, where he once served as chairman of the fine-arts department.

The administrators said that the resignation was effective immediately and that they were working to find faculty members to cover Mr. Shepherd's classes for the fall.

The MIT Press complaint was not the first made about Mr. Shepherd's book. Last year, Princeton Architectural Press complained to McGraw-Hill that material from three of the press's titles had been used in Structures of Our Time without attribution.

After the allegations surfaced last week, Mr. Goldberger said, he conducted his own investigation. He said he had found another "equally blatant and clear" example of unattributed copying in another section -- on Ludwig Mies van der Rohe -- of Mr. Shepherd's book.

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