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University Picked DEI Chief Accused of Felony Strangulation to Work with Students

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The academic work of the chief diversity officer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is being called into question.

A report further noted that LaVar Charleston has had at least two interactions with the justice system, including a 2011 felony charge lodged against him in which he was accused of trying to strangle a police officer, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

A complaint has been filed against Charleston saying that eight of his publications were either warmed-over republications of previous work passed off as new or included plagiarism.

That report noted that the accusation follows a January complaint alleging that a 2014 publication from him and his wife Sherri Ann Charleston, who is Harvard’s chief diversity officer, is essentially the same as one published in 2012.

“This is an extraordinary case of serial misrepresentation and deception,” said Peter Wood, the head of the National Association of Scholars and a former associate provost at Boston University. “The closest analogy would be someone who sells the same real estate to five different buyers, all of whom are unaware of the others.”

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The report indicated two 2014 papers published in two different journals were virtually identical.

“It is academic misconduct to publish essentially the same paper twice with no acknowledgment of the duplication,” said Alexander Riley, a sociologist at Bucknell University. “It seems fairly clear that Charleston is gaming the system in order to get more on his CV than is merited by the amount of research he has actually done.”

“The two 2014 papers do indeed appear to be two versions of the same paper,” Riley said. “I don’t see the two as distinct from one another in any substantive way.”

Chunks of Charlsteon’s 2010 dissertation are found wholesale in publications from 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2022.

Did the university purposefully ignore Charleston’s reported checkered background?

” I know of no other cases where a researcher has simply repeated his dissertation findings like a broken record for twelve years,” Wood said.

Lee Jussim, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University, said the odds of different people providing identical quotes for multiple studies approach those that “monkeys typing on typewriters would reproduce Hamlet.”

Charleston, who makes $280,000 a year, also oversees tutoring for students.

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Republican state Rep. Dave Murphy was irate over the allegations.

“We’ve discussed how we don’t believe DEI is a beneficial concept to begin with. Now we find out the guy running it at our state’s biggest university is as big of a fraud as the policies he’s trying to push on UW students,” he said in a statement on his website.

“We’ve spent millions of dollars on DEI, with no return on our investment, and this is our top guy?” he said.

A report from the MacIver Institute indicated that in 2011, while members of a church band were practicing, Charleston was accused of attempting to strangle Officer Ward, whose first name was not given in the copy of the complaint posted online.

The charge went away after Charleston was accepted into the First Offenders Deferred Prosecution program, meaning there would be no record of a court conviction.

The site said that in 2008, police were called for a domestic incident involving Charleston and his wife. The site said that Charleston at one point restrained his wife, keeping her from leaving their home, and later damaged property.

The site said that Charleston’s wife later requested that the charges against him be dropped.

In a letter she wrote to police at the time, Charleston’s wife asked that charges not be brought because if charges were filed, his career would suffer.

The charges were later reduced to a violation for “excessive noise,” the site said.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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