A plagiarist educator? Yes, she will be the next principal of a Budapest high school

The following scandal might be a tempest in a teapot, but it typifies who gets ahead in today’s Hungary.

At the end of this school year the tenure of the current principal of the Antal Budai Nagy Gymnasium in Budafok / District XXII is coming to an end. According to the law, Mrs. Kiss, née Beáta Prim could be reappointed without an open application procedure if she is supported by the faculty, the students, and the parents. There is certainly no problem here. Kiss is liked by her colleagues: 42 of the 44 teachers gave her their support. So did the students and the parents. Yet on December 8, in a closed session, the city council at the suggestion of Deputy Mayor Zoltán Németh voted to have an open competition for Kiss’s job.

In addition to Mrs. Kiss’s application, there was an application from Mrs. Manolovits, née Orsolya Erdőközi, who turned out to be friends with both Deputy Mayor Németh and Mrs. Judit Bertalan Czunyi, undersecretary in charge of public education in the ministry of human resources. Czunyi is Rózsa Hoffmann’s replacement and unfortunately doesn’t seem to be much of an improvement. From the story that emerges, it looks as if Czunyi and Németh came to the aid of Manolovits, who a year earlier had failed to get a job as principal of a high school in Érd. The opportune moment was the end of Kiss’s term, which everybody believed would be automatically extended. Not so. An open application process began.

There is no question, Mrs. Czunyi, née Judit Bertalan is a faithful Fidesz loyalist

There is no question, Mrs. Czunyi, née Judit Bertalan, is a faithful Fidesz loyalist

The city council deemed both applicants’ qualifications and vision for the school’s future excellent, and therefore the final decision lay with the ministry. Faculty members and parents of the students by this point had no doubt that Malonovits, Czunyi’s friend from their university days, would be the winner. Petitions were sent to the ministry, demonstrations were organized, long debates were held during which a lot was learned about Malonovits. She was no stranger to the school. A couple of years previously she had taught Hungarian literature there. Apparently, she was not exactly an ideal colleague. Teamwork was not her forte. At one point she was appointed to lead the school’s literary society where she was supposed to work in tandem with the other Hungarian teachers, something she obviously was incapable of doing. Tensions rose and eventually she was removed from the position. At this point, giving no notice, she quit her job, leaving her graduating class high and dry just before their matriculation examinations.

Of course, what is happening in the Antal Budai Nagy Gymnasium is not unique. Ever since the nationalization of the schools the same routine has been followed. The tenure of a principal is up, but regardless of whether the person is doing an excellent job and could be automatically reappointed, he/she is removed and replaced by someone who has, as Népszabadság put it, “political tail-wind.” In fact, the appointment became infused with party politics when one of the Fidesz members of the council, head of the education committee, claimed that “one group of parents hand in hand with opposition parties stir up tension.”

It was becoming obvious that the parents would not be able to prevent Malonovits’s appointment, but they weren’t discouraged. They, most likely with the help of faculty members, became suspicious that Malonovits’s application might not be entirely her own creation. Members of the anti-Malonovits team turned to the Internet and, with the help of a plagiarism checker, found what they were looking for. Two years ago a Mrs. István Győri applied for the job of elementary school principal in Tiszaalpár, described as a larger village with a population of 5,000. That 2013 proposal was since placed online and hence was easily accessible. It looks as if Undersecretary Czunyi’s friend, who needed some help with her application, found it in Mrs. Győri’s prose.

Here are a couple of passages. You can decide for yourselves whether the new principal of a Budapest high school is a plagiarist.

Malonovits: I’m convinced that in today’s economic and social situation a leader must follow the managerial direction. Supporting the given institution and its environment, safeguarding its existence must be one’s primary function. I wish to emphasize professional innovation, the development of the given possibilities, outreach programs, and public relations. I especially consider it important to make our successes be known and to defend the institution’s interests.

Győri: I’m convinced that in today’s economic and social situation a leader must follow the managerial direction. I wish to emphasize professional innovation, the development of the given possibilities, outreach programs, and public relations. I especially consider it important to make our successes be known and to defend the institution’s interests.

There are several longish passages which Malonovits copied out from Győri’s application. In Népszabadság one can read them all, but here I think these short passages will suffice.

What was Mrs. Czunyi’s reaction? The ministry has neither the time nor the expertise to look into the case, she announced. In any case, it is too late. Mrs. Malonovits has been appointed. József Hanesz, the new director of the Klebelsberg Center (KLIK), the giant employer of all Hungarian teachers, took an interesting position on the case. On the one hand, he admitted that the texts were practically identical, but since Malonovits claims the text to be her own, it is not plagiarism. With such an acute mind it’s unlikely that he will be any better at running the show at KLIK than his failed predecessor.

What did Malonovits have to say about the accusation of plagiarism after the story broke? Nothing. On July 23, she released a statement in which she announced that her application was written in good faith and she is serious about working together with everybody. She is hoping that there will a mutual understanding of each other’s point of view. Otherwise, she wished everybody a nice summer vacation.

The parents, as of yesterday, still insist on pursuing the case which in their opinion endangers the recent academic achievements of the school under the leadership of Mrs. Kiss.

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Alex Kuli
Guest

Eva, sometimes I want to comment on your posts, but I can’t because I’m too angry.

This is one of those times.

EG1956
Guest

Karl Pfeifer July 25, 2015 at 1:12 pm – “Webber, they copy the methods of the Kádár-regime.”

The amazing Karl Pfeifer is right, or even more precisely, Orban is the Kadar Regime’s 2015 version.

Minusio
Guest

In Hungary, plagiarism is rampant, even self-plagiarism. I am revising English abstracts for a peer-reviewed scientific quarterly. Out of curiosity, I sometimes google the authors or their topics. Several times I hit on articles submitted to different journals twice or whole paragraphs taken from other sources without acknowledgement.

Ad “matriculation examinations”: I guess the term means that after having passed this examination you are ready to enrol at a university. Unfortunately this is not so as most people know no foreign languages and some fail their diploma or even their PhD because they flunk the language exams which are required at THIS point in their academic career.

But how can you even consider a university education without knowing at least English? All the studies you write can only be based on Hungarian-language sources because you don’t understand anything else. Just look at the references of some of the PhD theses and you will see what I mean.

Member

This is very well tied with yesterday’s topic. Hungary as an “Institution” is falling a part and the little minions of Orban simply copy what Orban and his friends are doing. Hungary certainly reforms better to those who know how to line up behind their Dear Leader. Plagiarism, bribe, fraud is rampant.
I love this “since Malonovits claims the text to be her own, it is not plagiarism. ” I wonder what Malonovits will be doing when students will submit the same essays at once each claiming that the essay is their own.

Guest

The famous Englishman of letters Samuel Johnson hits it so right:

“…flatterers every one will find, who has the power to reward their assiduities. Wherever there is wealth there will be dependence and expectation, and wherever there is dependence there will be an emulation of servility.”

Seems to be alive and well nowadays in Hungary’s institutions. The political ‘power’ plant is awry in an awful and tawdry way.

bimbi
Guest

Behind “Judit Bertalan Czunyi, undersecretary in charge of public education in the ministry of human resources” one can read, “Magyarország Megújul” but of course, she is lying. Ms. Czunyi offers up the same old shit – personal dishonesty, greed, nepotism and governmental shame.

First it was “President” Pal Schmidt, Plagiarist, then we had Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Demjen, Plagiarist and now undersecretary in charge of public education in the ministry of human resources, Ms. Czunyi Aider-and Abettor of Plagiarism.

These people have no shame but contempt over those they claim to govern they have in plenty.

Now, of course, both Czunyi and Malonovits will resign immediately…

Ron
Guest

It seems that in order to apply for the position, both candidates had to write a “business plan”. Both business plans are about management of the school, and are scanned copies, and on the school’s website:

http://www.bna.sulinet.hu/feltolt/palyazat_2015_meo.pdf (Malonovits one)
http://www.bna.sulinet.hu/feltolt/palyazat_2015_kpb.pdf (Kissne one)

Both I cannot read these pdf files. However, the quote of Theodore Roosevelt (on page 1 (page 4 of the pdf file)) I was able to translate, and according to me the first part has nothing to do with him, but with Donald McGannon (former Westinghouse CEO). The latter part could be of Roosevelt, but I am certain he would not make the quote as such.

So as to the aforementioned accusation we can add not properly quoting, but also not acting on it.

bimbi
Guest

Somewhat OT but the photograph that appears on the web page of Nepszava (nepszava.hu) today (31 July 2015) with the credit Orban Viktor/Facebook over the title “A Fidesz veszélyesebb, mint a Jobbik” does rather appear to show that the Great Leader’s propagandists (perhaps via MTI) in order to ‘cut a good figure’ have credited him with an imposing codpiece, seen to special advantage from this low angle… Nothing to do with Photoshop?

Istvan
Guest

As Eva knows very well plagiarism is not just a Hungarian problem, its rampant in the USA and in other nations too. Doris Kearns Goodwin a Harvard educated historian with a very big media presence in the USA was caught plagiarizing, and she even paid a settlement agreement with one of the authors she used passages from. She continues to write popular history books to this day and makes appearances on news shows in the USA. I guess plagiarism is now sort of like, oh well I got caught, let’s move on.

A lot of us on this blog are what could be called “old school,” we try to attribute to others what is legitimately their thinking. Eva does a pretty good job in her posts given the informal non-cited nature of a blog like this one. But so much of the internet culture simply does not bother with any level of reasonabl attribution anymore. I fear its going to get even worse in the future.

Guest

You’re so right, Istvan!

Several German politicians were caught – some even gave up their jobs, others just gave up their PhD titles …

It’s really funny in a way – computers of course make it much easier to copy lots of things – on the other hand software to detect plagiarism also gets much more intelligent and almost everything can be found on the internet.

thor
Guest

origo.hu will be sold either to Arpad Habony or to Maria Schmidt or to the Chabad Lubawitchers (headed by Slomo Koves the fidesz supporter ultra orthodox jewish leader).

The left wing is so over in Hungary.

http://www.szombat.org/politika/a-chabad-emih-bevasarolna-a-mediapiacon

Webber
Guest

Sorry to rain on your parade, but nothing will change. Origo has been pro-Fidesz for some time now.

the kabbalist
Guest

I disagree. There are many ways of controlling a medium and obviously Fidesz controlled origo.hu, but the current owners still needed plausible deniability about rumors that they are totally beholden to Janos Lazar, Attila Varhegyi and the Nobilis “stroman” family as a result of which origo.hu was only moderately fidesznik and of course it avoided any criticism of the government and was silent on the opposition (though it’s silent anyway).

That will change and origo.hu will come out as an active pro-fidesz propaganda site with a million daily readers. Fidesz’ will have a net gain in its control of the Hungarian media world now that Marcsi Schmidt or Arpi Habony will openly call the shots.

Sorry, Fidesz scored yet again and people’s loyalty to brand name sites such as origo.hu means that the left-wing (assuming it ever finds it voice) will simply not have any friendly channel to reach people. Hvg.hu is next in line to be sold to fideszniks. Game over.

Webber
Guest

Disagree all you want, you will still be wrong – every half-informed nobody knew that Origo was pro-Fidesz.
“Fidesz scored again” – only in the sense that a bully on the playground “scores” by beating another child and taking away his lunch money. If you think the public is impressed, you’re nuts.
Origo’s reader base has been eroding to the benefit of Index. This is what has happened with virtually every media outlet Fidesz has taken over – just look at MTV’s ratings.

Member

How did you miss the dismissal and quitting of most of the staff of Origo months ago? They have been replaced with faithful Fidesz friends right away.

buddy
Guest

Ugh that horrid jacket again! Please Éva, think of your readers! 🙂

spectator
Guest

Just stop this, please, buddy!

Our beloved friend ‘Latefor” going to be very upset, since she is “just mad about” everything “traditional”!
Never mind, though, that the very dress never before the Orbanian era was part of the tradition, but hey, it was never the question anyway..!

So, if you have an ounce of true and pure “szittya” blod in your veins, you shouldn’t disclose the works of these Orbanist bullshit-appearences: from now on this is “part of our tradition”!

You didn’t knew that, nobody knows that?

Too bad, you see…

Guest

The style of the jacket is known in other parts of the world as steampunk.

spectator
Guest

At the main time..!

I don’t really understand, just what’s our problem here..!

Apparently the majority (of the people who may even be capable of some sort of action) accepted these kind of proceedings – otherwise, as any normal civilised people – they would have dethroned the present despots and should have been looked after some kind of civilised government to run the country – but they didn’t.

What it means, really?

It means, that everything just as good as it could be – by contemporary Hungarian standards.

Never mind, though, that this is a far cry from any European standards, even worse, I’m afraid that its getting farther and farther from the general “HUMAN” standards as well.

Am I being too harsh on dear Viktor and his adorable bunch of worshippers?

I may, I confess!

But than again, are we really here to accept that in our former – or present – homeland only the party-color clad stupidity being expected to prevail?

In this case, of course, we have not much to expect, haven’t we?

Guest

Everybody here should regularly look at this site – it returned my faith into Hungarians!
We have a saying a picture tells more than a thousand words – and these pictures from Hungary are really priceless!
http://prolidepp.tumblr.com/
I especially liked that Andy Vajna picture from yesterday …

Thanks again, Uli Kunkel – whoever and wherever you are!

spectator
Guest

I think that the “transportations process” working the other way around 🙂
I mean, that is Andy who deposits the bars, and the ‘slot’ rather on the other side..

But than again, how would I know?
(Never tried with gold bars…)

Webber
Guest

All this is as nothing compared with the process that led to the government’s appointment of the Rector of Debrecen University and, more recently, the granting of an honorary doctorate by that university – both despite the opposition of the university’s relevant bodies as expressed, repeatedly, in votes.
University autonomy exists on paper only in Hungary, or rather just as long as the university does precisely what high-ranking government officials ask it to do.

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