May 25, 2018
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Former UM academic fired in Utah over plagiarism claim

By Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

SALT LAKE CITY — A tenured University of Utah political scientist has been fired over what school officials say is a pattern of plagiarism.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the plagiarism probe focused mostly on materials Bahman Bakhtiari submitted two years ago when he sought to head Utah’s troubled Middle East Center. Bakhtiari was then director of the University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs.

The Tribune reports Utah interim president Lorris Betz issued a decision June 30 to fire Bakhtiari after a faculty panel was split on what to do.

Bakhtiari conceded he made mistakes but defended his integrity, saying he produced 3,500 pages of scholarly material but the panel found problems with eight. A spokesman at the University of Maine says the school will review Betz’s decision.

Bakhtiari, whose name also appears in print as “Baktiari,” worked for UMaine from 1986 to 2009.

“Dr. Baktiari and the University of Maine do not have an ongoing professional relationship of any kind,’’ said UMaine spokesman Joseph Carr on Thursday afternoon.

“We plan to review the results of the University of Utah’s investigation to assess potential implications for UMaine. Based on that review, we will take action as may be appropriate and practical, consistent with UMaine’s commitment to the core principle of academic integrity,” he said.

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