Indiana takes note of the Dexter Suggs plagiarism allegation | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 24, 2015

Indiana takes note of the Dexter Suggs plagiarism allegation

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 11:54 AM

The departure of Dexter Suggs as interim Little Rock school superintendent after controversy over management decisions, a legally dubious investigation of some district teachers and a plagiarism allegation, has drawn attention in Indiana, where Suggs previously worked as a top administrator in Indiana schools.

I received this e-mail from Kelly Bauder, staff attorney in the Office of Legal Affairs of the Indiana Department of Education:

I have been reading your recent articles regarding Mr. Suggs as it relates to his doctoral dissertation and the allegation of plagiarism. I am an Attorney with the Indiana Department of Education and I work on matters related to teacher license suspensions and revocations. I am going to reach out to Indiana Wesleyan University to see if they are willing to share any results of their investigation into this matter. If you should discover any new information as it relates to Mr. Suggs and this allegation, I would greatly appreciate it if you would consider forwarding it to me as well. Under Indiana law, our State Superintendent can initiate suspension or revocation of a teaching or administrator’s license for allegations of immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency or willful neglect of duty. I investigate allegations, make a recommendation to the Superintendent, and she determines if we should take action against a license. Should these allegations be true, it is certainly a case I would consider presenting to her for action on a license. Thanks so much for your time.

Indiana Wesleyan's actions are, of course, critical in Arkansas. Education Commissioner Johnny Key struck a deal to pay Suggs $250,000 (in Little Rock School District money, not state money) if he'd resign. The payout is over 10 months, with about $46,000 up front. But subsequent payments can be stopped if his doctoral degree is nullfied.

I told Bauder I mostly know only what Blue Hog Report revealed and what others who'd been privy to that information have said. But anyone who'd like to contact Bauder can reach her at

I'm guessing nobody from the editorial department of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will be calling Bauder, except maybe to give Suggs a job reference. I didn't think the newspaper editorialists could top yesterday's attack on black people in Little Rock in the course of ignoring Suggs' constructive firing by one of their own, Republican school reformer Key. But the editorial today — it depicted an apparent plagiarist with a record of poor management decisions and dishonesty as a victim —- did the trick. Whatever the Little Rock District needs it is NOT, as the editorial suggested, another Dexter Suggs. Or another Roy Brooks, yet another Democrat-Gazette fave as superintendent, who was quickly ushered out of the next two jobs he had, including one at a Little Rock charter school much favored by the D-G publisher.

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