Little Rock Superintendent Dexter Suggs: Book Author??
Little Rock Superintendent Dexter Suggs has accomplished something astounding:
He plagiarized hefty chunks of his 2009 dissertation from at least four sources (three other dissertations and a Milken Foundation research report)– and he got away with it for six years.
The good news is that Suggs did pass his February 2013 reference check for his employment with the Little Rock Schools District with flying colors.
He was even a 2007 Milken Foundation award winner– the one identified nonprofit from which he stole published material and passed off as his own in 2009.
Ironically, Suggs’ reference check identifies him as “a fast learner and capable of adapting to any setting.” If stealing the work of others and slapping it into a document with Suggs’ name on it counts as “adapting,” well, he sure did adapt.
Suggs even writes as much about himself in his letter of application:
My education and most recent background have given me the ability to adapt to any situation and learn quickly.
Apparently Suggs “learned” that dissertations take a lot of work and that lifting the work of others is just, well, easier.
That same Little Rock reference check also adds that Suggs “values/exhibits high moral values.”
Interestingly, the Little Rock Board of Education asked Suggs to respond to the following question about his ethics, and Suggs dodged any mention of ethics in his response. In his reply, Suggs doesn’t even use the word, “ethics” (click on image to enlarge):
Apparently this Suggs’ omission of detailed discussion of his own ethics passed right by the approving Little Rock Board of Education.
However, the remainder of Suggs’ application did include at least one hint of his ethics, specifically, his intent to embellish his perceived accomplishments.
One Suggs accolade that caught my particular attention was Suggs as a “book author”:
Described as having a very strong background in curriculum and instruction with exceptional skills and understanding in the area of instructional technology (published books/articles in area of instructional technology and integration into the classroom)
Indeed, Suggs does identify himself as a book author (not “books,” but “book”),and it comes as no surprise that this book has the same title as his largely-stolen dissertation:
Book Author: The Impact of Middle School Principal Leadership on the Integration of Technology in Selected Middle Schools within the Indianapolis Public School District, @ Google Books
So, I looked up the entry on Google Books and found it to be nothing more than a dimensionless, image-enhancing shell published by no publisher, sold in no book store, and unavailable electronically. In fact, the only paper copy of Suggs’ “book” appears to be available from the Indiana Wesleyan University thesis/dissertation archives.
And at this point, that is probably the best arrangement for Suggs, since making a financial profit from a book based on at least three thieved dissertations and one foundation research report would only add another layer to his crime.
As it is, the Little Rock public now knows two saddening additional points of information:
1) Suggs padded his resume with the shell of a book, and 2) that “reference check” for the superintendent of a school district is deficient for not identifying Suggs’ ethics-question dodge and his resume padding with his so-called “publications.”
These were flags, and the Little Rock decision makers hiring Suggs missed them.
It seems that the Suggs who looked so stellar on paper was not able tow work his “turn around” magic in Little Rock, which was taken over by the state in January 2015 and almost handed over to the Waltons in March 2015.
Well. Those decision makers– as of January 2015, the Arkansas State Board of Ed— certainly have much bigger flags to deal with now.