Phi Beta Cons

Crime Pays in Academe

Marilyn Penn cataloques the list of ex-cons and former terrorists the academy has welcomed with open arms. She also points to “convict criminologists,” who argue that ex-con criminology professors are superior to law-abiding academics because of their firsthand knowledge and experience of their, err, “discipline.” “By this reasoning,” says Penn, “pedophiles should be operating day care centers and rapists should be counseling battered women.”

By this same reasoning, Madonna Constantine, a professor at Teacher’s College who has been found guilty of what I called “serial plagiarism” but who nonetheless will not be fired from her tenured job, would be eminently qualified to teach prospective teachers the fine points of plagiarism.
“Is it any wonder,” asks Penn, “that ex-cons feel so comfortable in such a setting?”


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