Punished for plagiarism, Dhaka University teacher Samia seeks early retirement

Samia Rahman, the Dhaka University teacher who was penalised for stealing content in a research paper, has applied to retire early.

She wrote to Professor Abul Mansur Ahmed, chairman of mass communication and journalism, around a week ago.

Her application is with the registrar’s office and the syndicate will decide about it, Prof Mansur said on Monday.

Samia could not be reached for comment as she was abroad.

Officials at the registrar’s office said Samia had gone abroad for four months on earned leave. After the end of the leave on Mar 31, she applied for unpaid leave for a year but was refused.

The Dhaka University Syndicate demoted her from associate professor to assistant professor of the department in January 2021.

Samia claimed she had been framed on the basis of a "false letter" as part of a conspiracy against her.

The university syndicate also penalised Syed Mahfujul Haque Marjan, lecturer of the Department of Criminology and co-researcher of Samia, after finding evidence of plagiarism in the study.

Samia was also barred from applying for a promotion for two years. Marjan, who was on a study leave, would also remain in the same post for two years after rejoining work.

In December 2016, Samia and Marjan co-authored an eight-page research paper titled 'A New Dimension of Colonialism and Pop Culture: A Case Study of the Cultural Imperialism,' published in the University's Social Science Review journal.

However, it later emerged that they had plagiarised nearly five pages of an article titled "The Subject and Power" by French philosopher Michel Foucault, published in the University of Chicago's Critical Inquiry journal in 1982.

Almost a year later in September 2017, the University of Chicago Press sent a written complaint to the Dhaka University authorities over the matter. Later, Dhaka University launched an investigation into the allegations brought against Samia and Marjan.