University diversity head resigns for plagiarism on MLK Day

January 20, 2022 GMT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The interim vice provost for diversity at the University of Kansas has resigned after acknowledging that a message he sent out to the campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was largely plagiarized.

D.A. Graham’s resignation was accepted Wednesday and is effective immediately, Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer said.

Graham, interim vice provost of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, told the Lawrence Journal-World on Monday that he didn’t intentionally plagiarize the “2022 MLK Jr. Day of Reflection” text he sent to all faculty, staff and students.

“It was an oversight on my part,” Graham said. “I was trying to hurry up and get the message together.”

Bichelmeyer said in a message to the campus Wednesday that she appreciated Graham taking responsibility for his “serious mistake.”


“Plagiarism is never acceptable behavior – for students, faculty, staff, or administrators,” she said.

Bichelmeyer said a search for a permanent vice provost of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging already was scheduled to begin at the start of this semester.

A reader who contacted the Journal-World Monday compared Graham’s message to an internet posting written by Curtis L. Coy, an official with the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Graham told the Journal-World that he received the email from a veterans official several years ago. A majority of the sentences and phrases in the message match those from Coy’s letter, the paper said.

On Wednesday, Graham said he had no comment on his resignation.