CARBONDALE - Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard says he did not try to influence the results of two online newspaper polls asking if he should resign his position over recent plagiarism charges.Jeebus people! It's a fucking ONLINE POLL. Please fall on some other, more worthy, sword.
Poshard refuted claims appearing in a weekend Chicago Sun-Times article that he called the SIUC director of University Christian Ministries, Hugh Muldoon, last Thursday specifically to talk about a survey by the Springfield State Journal-Register's Web site. Muldoon and Poshard were on the phone discussing a new interfaith living center that the university ministries has been interested in building for some time, Poshard said.
"In the course of the conversation, Hugh expressed to me his frustration - the same frustration I have - of this thing (plagiarism allegations) continuing to go on," Poshard said.
That's when Poshard and Muldoon began talking about the Journal-Register poll, as well as a recent online poll by The Southern Illinoisan asking a similar question. However, Poshard maintains he didn't ask Muldoon to do anything.
Muldoon said he took it upon himself after the conversation to send e-mails to a few friends, advising them to vote in favor of Poshard on the Journal-Register poll.
"I see no problem with me rallying some support," Muldoon said. "The university is too important to me. Yes, I willingly admit I support Glenn Poshard's presidency. I hate to see his plan for revitalizing and renewing this university sidetracked on the basis of a poll; it doesn't make any sense."
The Journal-Register poll question, "Should Poshard resign over allegations he plagiarized some parts of his doctoral dissertation?," resulted in a total of 4,317 votes, 24 percent of which said yes and 76 percent of which said no.
The Southern Illinoisan's similar online poll, which ran from Sept. 7 to Sept. 12, resulted in 2,249 total votes, in which 442 votes said yes, Poshard should resign, while 1,807 votes said no.
Both polls were unscientific surveys.
And you know what, stuffing the ballot box in online polls is as old and honorable as the internet itself. This really isn't a story. It's dog bites man stuff.