Monday 18 December 2017

Former IT chairman in plagiarism row is guest of honour as portrait unveiled

Barry Duggan and Majella O'Sullivan

A FORMER Institute of Technology chairman who was at the centre of a plagiarism investigation was the guest of honour at the college last night for the unveiling of his portrait.

Former Fianna Fail councillor Flan Garvey stepped down as chairman of Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) last July after he was cleared of plagiarising his master's thesis.

However, as a result, the college has not enrolled any post-graduate students as it remains under investigation. It has also emerged that the collage has spent about €150,000 dealing with the fallout from the row.

Last night, Mr Garvey was the guest of honour for the unveiling of his portrait. The portrait will be hung in the boardroom where the governing body of the institute meets.

The Irish Independent was denied entry to the ceremony and the head of security would not allow any photographs to be taken of the portrait.

Last year, 26 lecturers and staff members in Tralee accused Mr Garvey of plagiarising his thesis, for which he received a master's degree. Subsequently, he was cleared on appeal of the plagiarism claims by the examinations and assessment appeals committee (EAAC).

The EAAC decided that it would be "appropriate that corrections be made to the thesis by way of the insertion of a corrigenda notification in the official copy".

However, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) – which is responsible for reviewing the quality of further and higher education in the State – is undertaking a statutory review of ITT's validation processes for postgraduate research degrees.

A governing body meeting, attended by Mr Garvey last July, discussed the plagiarism issue. The minutes of the meeting read: "Noted costs will be circa €150k, which included additional marketing at CAO change-of-mind time."

The publicly funded institute did not reply to queries regarding the €150,000 costs.

Mr Garvey was awarded a master's degree from ITT in 2008 after he was enrolled as a postgraduate student at the same institute where he worked as chairman since 2001.

Subsequently, members of the governing body decided to introduce a regulation prohibiting senior members of the institute from enrolling as students to avoid potential issues arising in future.

The college has refused to comment on what is its position regarding staff members enrolling as students at ITT.

Irish Independent

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