Two things amaze me about this stuff. One is that a few (allegedly) lifted passages in a couple of decades-old papers are the cause of such an uproar. And the second is why anyone writing a master thesis or a doctorate dissertation would feel compelled to plagiarize when they are already putting so much work into their projects. It’s not that much extra effort to attribute passages or at least reword them well enough to make it seem like your own work.
The cautionary tale being told, I suppose, is that plagiarism is becoming easier to spot, so don’t even try it. Right now, I bet Glenn Poshard is wishing he could go back and put in a few extra hours to do it right.
Full Disclosure: I've never written a master thesis or a doctorate dissertation but I do write a blog! And that, of course, qulifies me to comment on -or even plagiarize- anything.