In May or June of 2017, an anonymous correspondence was sent to the Vice President for Research at the University of Texas – Austin, College of Education, alleging plagiarism by Adriana Tamez on her 2011 dissertation. Examples in the complaint:
- Tamez p. 3 “Purpose of the Study” matches Cisneros p. 3
- Tamez p. 5 “Significance” same sentences Cisneros p. 5
- Tamez p. 6 “Assumptions” matches Cisneros p. 6
- Tamez p. 7 “Definitions and Limitations” matches Cisneros p. 7
- Tamez p.38 “Sample” matches Cisneros p.42
- Tamez p.43 “Credibility” matches Cisneros p.46
- Tamez p.45 “Transferability” matches Cisneros p.48
- Tamez p.46 “Confirmability” matches Cisneros p.49
There were at least 10 pages of the dissertation submitted by Tamez that were plagiarized from Cisneros’ dissertation without attribution.
The question begs to be answered, why didn’t Dr. Ruben D. Olivarez, Chair of the Treatise Committee, catch the plagiarism in 2011 by Tamez since he was also chair of Cisneros’ Treatise Committee in 2008? Is UT trying to sweep this under the rug and give Tamez a “do over” since she was caught red handed plagiarizing? Is the UT College of Education running a diploma mill?
Despite her repeated protests that she unintentionally omitted attributions from her dissertation, the quote below from the Scientific Misconduct Investigation Committee to Maurie McInnis, PhD, MPhil, MA, Executive Vice President and Provost, dated April 12, 2018 states differently:
3.1 Did Dr. Tamez commit scientific misconduct in the form of plagiarism under the standards of HOP 7-1230 and the definition of “plagiarism” utilized by the University in scientific misconduct cases? The standard of proof in making this determination is a “preponderance of the evidence,” or more likely than not, that the misconduct occurred.
- Yes, the Committee finds, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that Dr. Tamez committed scientific misconduct in the form of plagiarism under both HOP 7-1230 and the University definition of “plagiarism” by including text in her dissertation copied from Dr. Cisneros without attribution.
- The evidence and interviews establish that Dr. Tamez represented the works of other published authors as her own without attribution, in violation of University’s prohibition of plagiarism.
. . .
This Committee finds that Dr. Tamez committed scientific misconduct (plagiarism) per HOP 7-1230. . . .”
Another question that begs to be addressed is, did John Steven Cisneros write Adriana Tamez’s dissertation for a fee (review $1,500.00-total write $10,000.00)? The similarities between the Tamez dissertation and the Cisneros dissertation to be considered are the following:
- Similar writing styles in both dissertations
- Length of dissertations similar
- Similar Titles
- Similar Topics
- Same Data
- Ten pages plagiarized
- Tamez considered Cisneros to be one of her mentors
- Tamez modeled her methodology after Cisneros
- Tamez and Cisneros know each other personally and serve on boards together.
Furthermore, the methods she allegedly employed to conduct her research involved interviewing three subjects, tape recording these interviews, transcribing the interviews into text, printing the text magnified to 300%, pasting these pages to the wall in her home office, and searching amongst the words for any patterns or commonalities. Cisneros’ dissertation describes precisely the same process which is not a standard method that is widely taught at UT.
In addition, there is one particular subject who appears to be the same person across the two dissertations. Though the subject uses a different surname in each dissertation (which could indicate intent to deceive) , her story is the same (small West Texas hometown, long bus ride to school, entered college with journalism plans, switched to English, decided to give back by going to work at the high school she’d graduated from, moved up the ranks to become a Latina superintendent of a district with around 1,200 students.)
Attached are Tamez and Cisneros’ dissertations. You read and you decide if this is Plagiarism or Fraud or Both.