U. of Alberta dean resigns after speech scandal
A dean at the University of Alberta has stepped down from his position after admitting that he plagiarized parts of a speech he delivered at a recent convocation address.
Philip Baker will remain a professor at the university, but will no longer act as the dean of its medical school.
His resignation was confirmed by Indira V. Samarasekera, the president and vice-chancellor of the university.
"On the request of the provost, and recognizing that it was in the best interests of all parties involved, Dr. Philip Baker is resigning as dean, and I have accepted his resignation," Samarasekera said in a statement released Friday.
The same statement also quoted Baker apologizing for the impact of his actions.
"It was never my intention to detract from the accomplishments of the graduating class of 2011," said Baker. "My hope is that the university and the faculty will be able to put this unfortunate incident behind them, and that this will bring closure for the university, the Faculty and my family."
The university statement said Baker will begin his new position as a professor "following a brief administrative leave, with assignments consistent with his academic expertise."
Baker gave a convocation address last week that quoted parts of a speech by Atul Gawande, a doctor in the United States.
Students quickly found text on the Internet that appeared to match portions of Baker's speech, with some students claiming they were able to follow parts of his address while he was delivering it.
Baker later sent an email to the class, apologizing for what he described as a "lapse in judgment."
A university biography indicates that Baker had been serving as the medical school dean since September 2009.
Before his time at the University of Alberta, Baker had been working in the United Kingdom.
With files from The Canadian Press