College investigation - The truth must out

The suggestion that Institute of Technology Tralee president Dr Oliver Murphy will initiate an investigation into how an internal complaint over plagiarism was leaked to the press and, possibly, discipline those involved, underlines the urgency around introducing legislation to protect whistleblowers.

Rather than discipline the 26 ITT staff members who raised concerns about the originality of a thesis submitted in a college MA course they should be supported in their efforts to maintain the highest standards at the institution. If their allegations are unfounded then civil law already provides a possible remedy for any offended party.

One of the undeniable lessons of the last few years is that self regulation does not work. Another is that transparency serves the public interest best. In both these regards ITT’s response is a lot less than ideal.

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