The University of Houston has verified the existence of an investigation into alleged plagiarism by the superintendent for the Katy Independent School District, but did not release further details.
In a statement released to the Houston Chronicle, the university would not say if the inquiry into the actions of Lance Hindt is ongoing or concluded. Hindt has been accused of plagiarism in the doctoral dissertation he did while attending the university in 2012.
“The university takes any charge of academic or research misconduct seriously and thoroughly investigates any such charge, including the allegations against Dr. Hindt,” said the statement quoted by the Chronicle. “Federal privacy law prohibits the university from commenting any further about this matter.”
Hindt could lose his degree if the university finds evidence of plagiarism.
Peter Wood, president of the New York-based National Association of Scholars, wrote a letter to the university’s president about Hindt’s dissertation. According to the Chronicle, the letter said Hindt’s dissertation entitled “The Effects of Principal Leadership on Teacher Morale and Student Achievement” is too similar to a dissertation by Keith Rowland, a high school principal in Georgia.
A Katy ISD spokesperson told the Chronicle there is no truth to the allegations.
In May, Hindt announced he will resign at the end of this year. The district will pay him $750,000 — about two years’ worth of salary — on his last day, the Chronicle reported. Hindt has yet to comment on the allegations.