Integrity matters. Period.

Hungarian President Pal Schmitt resigned recently over charges of plagiarism. Non-academics might think that the punishment doesn't fit the crime, but academics understand how important this issue really is. If Mr. Schmitt could not be trusted when it came to his doctoral dissertation, it would be hard to trust him in other matters. Integrity in academic work is critical for a number of reasons. Plagiarism is the academic equivalent of stealing and deceit, rolled into one act. It is a matter of personal integrity and honor, which is often the currency of academic discussion. In my seminary environment we take academic dishonesty very seriously because it is counter to biblical admonitions concerning truthfulness and the Christ-like character we desire to develop in students. Academics, ministers, and writers all should take heed and work carefully to cite sources properly and give credit where credit is due.