Viktor Sadovnichy, rector of Moscow State University, has been accused of plagiarizing quotes posted on his Twitter account, triggering a high-profile scandal in the blogosphere.
"They often say that numbers rule the world; in any case, there is no doubt, that numbers show how it is ruled," Sadovnichy philosophized.
The problem is that these words belong to the classic German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Lenta.ru reported.
Twitter users said Monday that Sadovnichy had taken credit for an entire series of quotes, which were subsequently deleted from his account but were preserved in computer screenshots.
Philosopher Immanuel Kant, mathematician Karl Weierstrass and a slightly edited Henri Poincare were apparently plagiarized by Sadovnichy, Twitter users said.
Shortly after the incident, Sadovnichy tweeted a quote from German writer Wilhelm Shwebel, this time with appropriate citation. The other remaining tweets appear to be original.
Sadovnichy had only just created a Twitter account on Monday as part of an effort to build his university's presence in social networks, RIA Novosti reported.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the account has amassed 927 followers.
Many bloggers launched a campaign on Twitter to mock Sadovnichy by publishing absurd or funny quotes and attributing them to the rector.
"Mother of God, drive Putin away © V.A. Sadovnichy," one of them tweeted, citing a song by the jailed Pussy Riot band.
Sadovnichy has been the rector of Moscow State University since 1992 and vice president of the Russian Academy of Sciences since 2008.