From AZCentral: Matthew Whitaker has been on paid leave since September while university officials investigated his conduct.
An Arizona State University professor who has been accused of plagiarism has agreed to resign but will continue to be paid more than $200,000 in salary over the next 16 months along with $25,000 in attorney fees.
Associate Professor Matthew Whitaker agreed to resign his tenured position effective May 17, 2017. During this time, he has no authority to act for or on behalf of ASU, according to a copy of his settlement agreement with the university. Whitaker earns $153,530 a year and will also receive employee benefits, such as health insurance, during this time.
It was unclear what duties, if any, Whitaker will have at the university in the interim. The settlement required that Whitaker remove all personal items from his office and return all university property.
ASU officials released a statement Friday, saying: “Dr. Whitaker has voluntarily resigned from his position as associate professor and co-director of the Center for Race and Democracy.”
Whitaker is a history professor, author and a well-known speaker whose specialties include African-American history, civil rights and race relations.
In 2011, 10 of Whitaker’s colleagues at ASU reported concerns about plagiarism in some of his work. A university committee investigating the matter determined he had not committed “systematic or substantial plagiarism.”
In June 2015, ASU demoted Whitaker, 44, from professor and director to associate professor and co-director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy following a second plagiarism-related incident. An ASU-commissioned investigation found plagiarism in his book, “Peace Be Still: Modern Black America From World War II to Barack Obama.”
Earlier that year, Whitaker’s company, the Whitaker Group, secured a $268,800 contract to provide cultural-awareness training to Phoenix police.
Whitaker terminated his contract to train Phoenix police officers after it was revealed that he was demoted at ASU.
In August, an investigation by Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio found that 52 of the 84 slides created for Phoenix police training were “exact copies or slides with just minor change” from Chicago police materials.
ASU placed Whitaker on leave in September while the university reviewed his conduct after the city of Phoenix demanded a refund of $21,900 from Whitaker’s company.