GMU fails to conduct Wegman investigation in a timely manner

Deep Climate details how GMU has failed to follow its own policies in its investigation of Wegman:

Perhaps, then, it's time to take the obvious next step - a formal complaint to the Office of Research Integrity. And not against Wegman and Said, but against George Mason University itself. In fact, it is high time to recognize the obvious: GMU is simply not up to administering their own misconduct policy. Isn't it time to hand the job over to an organization that can?

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John Mashey has updated his report on the investigation into Wegman's misconduct. Deep Climate has some comments.

Isn't it time to hand the job over to an organization that can?


By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Dec 2010 #permalink



I wish that I had said that.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Dec 2010 #permalink

"Perhaps, then, it's time to take the obvious next step - a formal complaint to the Office of Research Integrity."

Yes please!

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 23 Dec 2010 #permalink

I find the outside meddling in University business problematic when the deniers do it. I find this call equally problematic.

By winnebago (not verified) on 23 Dec 2010 #permalink

#7 Winnebago -- I challenge you to find equivalence between the two. Please lay out your case. For the life of me, I can't even see how you call this "meddling". So far, the "University business" has been duly ignored by GMU, and we're just witnesses to them dragging their feet with respect to complainant Ray Bradley's request that they assess whether or not a formal investigation is warranted. Perhaps I haven't been reading this right? Convince me.

It doesn't seem that strange to me that a university investigation would be slower than even their own timelines. I'm not saying it's okay or excusable, but these things get pushed back all the time. That doesn't mean that they won't bring the hammer down on Wegman.

It seems a lot of the issues deal with Said, who isn't at GMU (right?) and might not be cooperating in the investigation.

So, this isn't good, but I still expect GMU to do the right thing here. Eventually.

Boris, I think you're a bit too trusting. Read DeepClimate's and John Mashey's comparison of timelines for investigations that were conducted by Penn (re: Mann) and Rice U. (re: Wegman's coauthor Scott). When you follow the history of GMU's inexcusable delays and failure to follow their own policies from the very beginning of their unquiry and unvestigation of the allegations against Wegman, Said, et al., it's amazing that they are able to retain their accreditation (which is up for review in Spring 2011). GMU's own alumni and faculty should be calling for a thorough and prompt investigation to salvage their own reputations from GMU's tainted behavior.

I doubt GMU would have delayed their inquiry this much unless they felt they could do so with impunity. The VA Attorney General (Cuccinelli) is a GMU alumnus and he's been trying to get a witch trial moving against U.Va. and Michael Mann, using the Wegman report as his primary piece of evidence. The new Republican majority in Congress has promised to hold high-profile McCarthyite hearings into the science of anthropogenic climate change. There are a lot of very powerful and well-connected interests who would like to sweep Wegman et al.'s misconduct under the rug.

Boris: I'm sure you wouldn't have uttered your opinion without carefully assessing the timeline I put together, the letters and the emails? Right?

So, please go through that discussion, like to explain why the first meeting of the inquiry committee took 5 months to happen, and why the story kept changing, and why wegman seemed surprised in August.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 23 Dec 2010 #permalink

The university committee by now, must wish that they had acted very quickly, before additional evidence of academic incompetence and malfeasance was brought to light. As someone who sometimes serves on university committees, it's easy to immagine how uncomfortable and, potentially, at least, divided the relevant committee finds itself.

Maybe you can give us some more insight.

GMU had not yet given Bradley an *inquiry* report, not an investigation report.
All an inquiry is supposed to do in thus case us look at a few pages of text with obvious near verbatim plagiarism and say whether it us worth investigating or not.

I am a loss to explain how there can be much argument, of course unless some has strong orders not to complete that report. Any other ideas?

By John Mashey (not verified) on 24 Dec 2010 #permalink

As a non-academic, I suppose it would be naive to assume that all the apparent foot dragging until the next Republican Congress kicks off in January will have little connection to the credibility of GMU's investigation once it does eventually conclude.


I haven't read your timeline. This post was about DC's post, so I did read that.

But I have witnessed committees being formed, missing deadlines and generally failing to follow their own institution's guidelines. Maybe I'm jaded, but it's pretty common in my experience. It certainly shouldn't happen in a case of this much import, but ti wouldn't surprise me if professor's weren't too keen on gathering info and releasing a report that would make their institution look bad.

I'm not trying to excuse GMU's handling of this. It's terrible and nearly as embarrassing as Wegman and Said's academic malpractice in the first place.

So I fully accept that GMU could be attempting to cover for Wegman, but it isn't obviously so at this point.

Sigh, Boris wants to offer opinions, is unconvinced by DC's post, which references my detailed report, but doesnt want to read the report.

Read the report, including the entire sequence if emails and letters. Argue that the exhibited behavior is well within normal parameters, giving examples.
I am keen to get real academic calibration.
Vague comments from people who won't read the report don't help much.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 24 Dec 2010 #permalink

I don't understand Hank Roberts, are you saying GMU getting rid of Gunston is prctice for dumping Wegman?

DesmogBLog has an update, the attached PDF V2.0.
Deep Climate will have a post soon on it.

+ It adds a new section 3, which has emails from Donald Rapp:
- threatening {Ray Bradley, Elsevier, Deep Climate, and me}
- blaming Ray for everything
- castigating the USC administration
- introducing new terms, like climategate-ists, along with "Taliban of the Internet"
- forwarded to {Ray, Elsevier} or Dan Vergano
- and best of all, forwarding several emails of Wegman from September 2010. Wegman is very supportive of Rapp.

And more.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 05 Jan 2011 #permalink

Oops, thanks. One click off.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 06 Jan 2011 #permalink

For fun, here's a sample from SIGMU2.

Donald Rapp often sent or forwarded interesting emails.

p.11, Rapp wrote to USA Today's Dan Vergano, forwarded email including Wegman's, told Vergano:
âYou can do anything you want with this. Spread it over the Internet if you please." I aim to please...

Wegman (a senior Professor at George Mason University):

âThe web blog is, in my opinion, a totally unsavory operation. They have developed conspiracy theories and have consistently made charges of plagiarism not only against Dr. Rapp, but against me and my colleagues in our report to Congress. They have never spoken with me and have jumped to wild conclusions that have nothing to do with reality. Interestingly enough, they have posted copyrighted material from my website on theirs without acknowledgement. What is even worse is that they hide behind anonymity. It is my opinion that Dr. Rapp has not plagiarized anything and I hold him harmless. This web blog seems to have been developed in retaliation for the enquiries associated with the climategate email releases and the obvious misconduct made clear by those email releases.â

People may not have been aware, that DC started Deep Climate in late 2008 as retaliation for the 2009 climate gate.

The truly weird thing is that Rapp, Joseph Kunc (Willie Soon's PhD supervisor, wanted to rehire Rapp), and Wegman were all sure that the complaint against Rapp was meritless ... but none of them had actually seen the complaint, as Rapp accidentally revealed later on.

But there is much more... although some of it might not make it through spam filters.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 06 Jan 2011 #permalink

John, I'm itching with curiosity!

But there is much more... although some of it might not make it through spam filters.

You could always type the contentious terms in *sdrawkcab*!

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 06 Jan 2011 #permalink

re: #24
Well, it's all in the PDF @ SIGMU2, and DC has further discussion, although mostly on the Wegman comments, not so much on the Rapp comments. See SIGMU2, section 3.

By Johbn Mashey (not verified) on 07 Jan 2011 #permalink