The University of Dusseldorf announced its decision to withdraw the doctorate degree of German Education Minister Annette Schavan after an investigation into the minister's 1980 dissertation.
The decision was made after a six-hour closed-door meeting of a committee consisting of eight professors, two academic and two non-academic staff and three students, who voted with 12 in favour, two against and one abstention, reported Xinhua.
Schavan has previously insisted that the "baseless" accusations that she had falsely quoted and failed to source parts of her thesis, entitled "Person and Conscience", would be refuted.
But the committee found the 57-year-old minister to have "systematically and deliberately feigned and cheated in the intellectual attainment", according to Bruno Bleckmann, dean of the faculty at the University of Dusseldorf.
Just two weeks ago the panel formally opened the proceedings for withdrawal of Schavan's doctorate title with 14 votes in favour and one abstention.
The accusation of Schavan's doctorate dissertation on suspicion of plagiarism caught the limelight in earlier 2012 when anonymous allegations against the minister emerged on the internet and sparked debates.
Schavan is not the first German minister to run up against plagiarism claims.
Former defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, resigned from his post in 2011 after it emerged he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis.
Just before elections for the present parliament, the human resource development minister steam-rolled the appointments of VCs for 15 new central universities.
One really wonders what these VCs are doing at present with scanty funds to new central universities. Only the passage of time would reflect whether we have added a few more losing universities in the long list of universities that have wrong leadership.
It will be interesting to visualise what line of action a VC should follow to keep the university vibrant.
Nearly 50 years ago, at the time he launched his transforming relationship with Japanese industry, W. Edwards Deming drew systemic relationships that typically exist among the enterprise, its customers and its suppliers.
Michael R. Moore and Michael A. Diamond have adapted some of the relationships we believe are critical to an academic institution's commitment to continuous improvement and the processes that are essential to making that commitment operational.
It looks at the links between research and teaching and service processes associated with them. It defines inter-linkage and inter-forces that are the major pushing factors between various stakeholders of the education institution.
The good leader necessarily needs to have qualities to understand and manage these flow processes effectively. The prime task is to achieve and sustain continuous improvement, which requires an appreciation of systems thinking, including the notion that the success of any educational institution is connected in very real ways to its relationships with and the success of all the stakeholders.
The model of 'Academic Leadership: Turning Vision in to Reality' as presented by Moore and Diamond emphasises the need for taking cognizance of following critical elements for cultivating a successful leader. They include launching a strategic planning process, change management, open, interactive communications, assessment and measurement systems, continuous improvement based on periodic reassessment of the mission and distinctive capabilities and finally, mutually beneficial relationships among the stakeholders in the institution's mission.
(13-02-2013-Arun Nigavekar is a Raja Ramanna Fellow in Science and Technology Park at University of Pune and former chairman of the University Grants Commission. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at [email protected])
From: News Track India