The prestigious Australian
Graduate School of Management, billed as Australia’s top management
school, has come under attack for covering up student plagiarism and
could face a split from the University of Sydney. A tipper writes:

“Several full-time MBA students were caught plagiarising material from
the Internet for papers in Professor Murali Chandrasekaran’s Marketing
class. The matter was brought to Dean Robert MacLean. The students were
not expelled as the AGSM Student Handbook says they should be. In fact,
they were allowed to pass the class!”

This morning Crikey put the claims to AGSM spinner Marie
Kelly, who said the matter was dealt with “strictly in accordance” with
University of NSW policy on academic misconduct.

That’s
not a denial, and it’s not a good look for the AGSM. Plagiarism is
academia’s most serious crime – so serious that a few years ago Monash
University sacked its vice-chancellor, David Robinson, when he was
accused of plagiarism, even though the alleged indiscretions were never
proved and had occurred more than 20 years before he joined the uni.

Our informant says the plagiarism scandal comes at a bad time for the
AGSM, which is a joint school of the UNSW and the University of Sydney.
“There is a serious rift between the two schools, with the likely
outcome that Sydney will pull out of the school, and possibly start its
own business school in competition with the AGSM.” If Sydney Uni pulls
out it will be a huge setback for the AGSM. Marie Kelly didn’t deny the
rift and told Crikey that “negotiations between UNSW and the University
of Sydney are progressing, and moving towards the goal of achieving a
joint-venture with 50:50 participation.”

If
the AGSM splits with Sydney Uni it won’t only affect current students –
there will be hundreds of disgrunted business execs whose Master’s
qualifications will suddenly be that little less la-di-dah.