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Education Minister Fires University Rector for Plagiarism

The education and science minister has fired the rector of the Russian State Social University after she was alleged to have heavily plagiarized her doctoral thesis, a news report said.

The dissertation of Lidia Fedyakina, who was appointed rector in 2012, contained "serious flaws" and a number of "incorrect borrowings," Izvestia reported Tuesday, citing a report by the Higher Attestation Committee, which reviewed the thesis at a meeting on Sunday.

The committee also said in its report that Fedyakina, who defended her thesis five years ago, could not be fired for plagiarism because the three-year grace period had expired. Any issues with the thesis had to be raised during that time.

Nevertheless, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov sacked Fedyakina, 33, on Monday.

The university's management has since filed a lawsuit to contest the decision, its honorary president was cited as saying by Interfax.

President Vladimir Putin and a number of prominent lawmakers, including Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and Liberal Democratic leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, have been accused of plagiarism in recent years.

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