With regard to the doctoral thesis of Minister of the Interior and Secretary general of the National Liberal Party Lucian Bode, the Ethics Committee of the Babes-Bolyai University (UBB) in Cluj-Napoca has determined that suspicions of plagiarism are largely confirmed, the educational institution said in a release on Wednesday.
In absence of the legal possibility to apply disciplinary sanctions to someone who is not a member of the academic community, the Committee requests the author to operate corrections to the thesis and withdraw the book published on the basis thereof.
Also, the national councils (the National Council for the Attestation of University Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates/the National Research Ethics Council) will be notified for additional steps according to the law, the UBB representatives said.
“In the first notification related to this thesis, UBB received a series of suspicions of plagiarism and identified additional ones, based on the integral analysis of the thesis with two plagiarism checker softwares. (…) Basically, the softwares confirmed most of the suspicions and corrective measures were ordered, with the CNATDCU being notified for additional steps, according to the law. In addition, for transparency, UBB signaled on its own website in the section of theses presented at the university, the fact that the thesis showed deviations from the research ethics: ‘Following several complaints, this thesis was examined in the fall of 2022 for deviations from the ethical standards for publication. The resolution of the UBB Ethics Committee, including concrete actions for several corrections and sanctions, can be found here.’ Following the ex officio notification, the Committee analyzed the new suspicions of deviation from academic ethics in the drafting of the doctoral thesis, and through the recent Decision No. 1/2023, most of these suspicions were confirmed and measures have been ordered to correct and withdraw the book, with the national councils (CNATDCU/National Research Ethics Council) being notified for additional steps, according to the law,” the same source added.
The Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca had informed, on November 24, that it had resumed the analysis of the doctoral thesis of the Minister of Interior, Lucian Bode, following the appearance in the public space of new suspicions of plagiarism.
The representatives of the university announced that independent international experts will also be co-opted in the analysis, considering the public interest in this case.
The university announced, on November 2, that it submitted with the CNATDCU and the Ministry of Education the information regarding a first decision of the Ethics Committee regarding Lucian Bode’s PhD thesis. UBB specified then that the value of the scientific content of the paper was not analyzed, which is not the subject of the ethical approach. Instead, the Decision of the UBB Ethics Commission “clearly” identified the existence of ethical violations and made internal recommendations for Lucian Bode as well, which, however, cannot be imposed directly on him, as he no longer has contractual relations with the university.
UBB had previously made public the conclusions of the Ethics Committee’s analysis of Minister Lucian Bode’s doctoral thesis, finding that there were “a series of deviations from good publication norms – citation errors and some plagiarized fragments.” The ethics commitee stated that it cannot order sanctions in this case, but it requests the author and the publishing house that published the work to correct the identified inaccuracies.
The Minister of Interior, Lucian Bode, welcomed, on November 1, the publication of the results of the evaluation from that time of the “Babes-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca on his doctoral thesis and claimed that his work “is fine,” “the PhD title granted to him in 2019 is maintained,” while he also added that he will review the errors found.
Representatives of the UBB informed this week that, on January 5, 2023, Lucian Bode filed a complaint with the Salaj Court, against the Ethics Committee of UBB regarding the fact that it would not be legal to self-refer to the accusations of plagiarism circulated in the public space.