Today, the Village Voice ran the first part of a billion part article that’s something like the definitive account of everything that happened surrounding Madonna Constantine. You might recall October’s noose-hanging incident and the whole multiple charges of plagiarism thing, for example. Anyway, we’ve distilled everything that’s new and important in the article in easy-to-digest bullet points below (Spoiler Alert: She plagiarized.)
- “As many as 10 people complained about Constantine over several years, and these sources say the college did little to intervene.”
- “Constantine attempted to silence her accusers in the spring of 2007 by sending them letters threatening to sue unless they dropped their claims. She used college stationery and the college mailing account.”
- “Despite [former student Karen Cort’s] accusation [of plagiarism], Constantine never pursued official sanctions. Instead, as punishment, she ordered Cort to cancel plans for the January break and come to her office. Constantine had her mark each book in her office with the professor’s stamp. The shelves in the office held hundreds of books. The job took several days to complete.”
- This particular plagiarized text was a second-year research paper written by the aforementioned former student, Karen Cort. Constantine told Cort to list Constantine’s name as the primary researcher, despite Cort actually writing and researching the paper. For whatever reason, Cort agreed.
- “[Former student/plagiarism victim Christine] Yeh was contacted by the editors of an academic journal, who were reviewing a paper she’d submitted for publication. There was a problem, they said: Yeh’s paper had already been published in another academic journal about six months earlier under Constantine’s byline.”
- Constantine decided to take a leave of absence, and while her replacement, Suniya Luthar, was going through Constantine’s old office, she noticed some suspicious plagiarism paraphernalia and was approached by other people whose work Constantine stole. Luthar reported her findings to VP of Academic Affairs Darlyne Bailey, who was a friend of Constantine and spearheaded the movement to bring Constantine from Ohio State to CU. Bailey reported that Luthar was trying to “undermine the the reputation of the department” and hired a consultant to investiagate Luthar.
- “Constantine, meanwhile, showed up at Luthar’s office and accused her of ‘gossiping.’ She threatened to sue Luthar. Someone had apparently tipped her off to the complaints, which were supposed to be confidential.”
- “A Federal Express package containing a letter from Constantine arrived at Cort’s home. The letter was written on Teachers College stationery and paid for via a college mailing account. ‘She wrote that she knew I was about to graduate, and she said she had heard rumors that I had alleged plagiarism against her,’ Cort says. ‘She vehemently denied it and said if I continued to defame her, she would take steps against me. It was a threat.'”
…which brings our story to October, the month of the noose-hanging controversy. But it’s a cliffhanger — you’ll have to hang on until next week to read the continuation of the story, excitingly titled “Part II: VIDEO CAMERAS, CRIES OF RACISM, AND A PROFESSOR ON THE DEFENSIVE.”