FSU Prof Leaves $190,000 Job After Claims Of Fraudulent Racism Studies
In the latest example of what happens when demand for racism exceeds supply, a black criminology professor has suddenly resigned from his $190,000-a-year post at Florida State University in the wake of accusations he distorted data with the purpose of “finding” racial prejudice where none existed.
Eric Stewart, who’d spent 16 years at FSU and is a fellow of the American Society of Criminology, has for years been the subject of allegations of academic fraud. That’s led to six of his research studies being retracted, and now the Florida Standard reports he’s abandoned his exceedingly lucrative post in mid-semester.
Accusations of his fraud originated in 2019, and they came from a credible witness: University of Albany professor Justin Picket, who co-authored a 2011 study with Stewart.
The study concluded that, as black and Hispanic populations grew, the public sought more discriminatory criminal sentences. Picket, however, says the data found no such relationship. Indeed, at least where Hispanics are concerned, the data point to the opposite effect.
“Pickett found that their sample size somehow had increased from 500 to over 1,000 respondents, the counties polled had decreased from 326 to 91, and the data was altered to the point of mathematical impossibility,” reports the Standard.
As FSU assembled a three-member inquiry committee to study allegations of academic fraud in five of his racism studies, Stewart told school officials that Picket’s accusation “essentially lynched me and my academic character.”
He also told the Washington Times that “data thugs are after me. It seems very personal. All of the blame is being directed at me.”
The university was accused of pursuing a flimsy and tainted 2020 inquiry. In a seeming conflict of interest, two of the three people charged with the investigation had co-authored research with the accused Stewart.
Perhaps brushed back from the plate by Stewart’s accusations of racist motives behind the inquiry, the panel concluded there was no need for a full investigation because “the professor had already been working with the journal’s editors to address any questions they had about the work,” said Gary K. Ostrander, FSU’s then-vice president for research.
Just when Stewart seemed to have dodged five bullets, a sixth study came under fire from Pickett, later in 2020. That apparently lit the fuse for Stewart’s sudden exit from US News & World Report‘s 7th-ranked criminology department, which ironically seems to care very little about imposing consequences for wrongdoing.
Some of Stewart’s number-bending exploration for racism has been funded with federal tax dollars, via grant money awarded by the National Science Foundation, a US government agency.
“There’s a huge monetary incentive to falsify data and there’s no accountability,” Pickett tells the Standard. “If you do this, the probability you’ll get caught is so, so low.”
Thu, 04/13/2023 – 21:20