On March 21, while students were enjoying Spring Break, a bombshell struck HWS. An anonymous email signed by “A Professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges” was sent to Professor Scott Brophy, Professor Tom Drennen, Professor Steve Penn, and senior officials at the University of Pennsylvania as well as news agencies such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. The email, which has been obtained by the Herald, alleges that President Gregory J. Vincent ’83 committed plagiarism during at least six passages between pages 11 and 44 of his 2004 dissertation. “I do not know if this list of instances of plagiarism is exhaustive,” the anonymous source wrote, but, “the repeated pattern of direct quotation of long passages without proper attribution indicates the intentional violation of norms of academic integrity.”
The faculty was informed of these allegations on the evening of March 27 and the Chronicle of Higher Education first reported this story on March 28, which is how most students learned about the allegations, although the administration did not make any sort of statement to the student body until March 29. The Chronicle of Higher Education verified that President Vincent copied two sentences from Universities and their Leadership. Later, Inside Higher Ed confirmed three of the allegations, specifically demonstrating that he had used the same language found in American Apartheid.