Delaney:UNF professor didn’t plagiarize; separate internal investigation still ongoing

UNF Prof. Tayeb Giuma broke his silence regarding memos and documents tying him to plagiarizing a student’s paper as his own Jan. 26.

Although documents dating back to 1997 linking Giuma to acts of plagiarism and academic misconduct were recently released, UNF President Delaney said the ongoing internal investigation surrounding Giuma is focused more on his criminal record, not plagiarism.

In 1997, Giuma was reprimanded for his behavior toward another faculty member, who was seeking tenure from the UNF Department of Electrical Engineering Director William Caldwell.

Giuma noted this happened because of a disagreement he had with the dean.

“The dean and I have personal issues,” Giuma said. “Ask anyone in the engineering department.”

Delaney acknowledged Giuma doesn’t have an ideal relationship with the dean. Messages left with the dean’s office of the UNF engineering department were not returned.

In 1999, former UNF Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kline suspended Giuma for 10 days without pay.

Giuma said he was recouped for the pay, but no UNF officials or documents could confirm this by press time.

Kline cited Giuma in a memo to the Electrical Engineering Promotion and Tenure Committee in November of that year for a “lack of collegiality and unprofessional behavior.“

Respected as a tenured professor, Giuma contends he has never committed plagiarism.

“I have been cleared, really cleared by faculty subcommittee,” Giuma said.

Delaney confirmed Giuma has been cleared of plagiarism.

“It wasn’t clean-cut plagiarism,” Delaney said. “It was a muddied situation.”

He said that Giuma verbally agreed with one student to have research published.

Delaney admitted at one point the university was ready to dismiss Giuma, but the professor came up with new facts to defend his case.

Giuma said his relationship with the dean was the reason behind the plagiarism allegations.

The internal investigation that has been ongoing regarding Giuma doesn’t include anything about plagiarism, Delaney said.

The university began an internal investigation in light of the professor’s Sept. 25 arrest on battery charges and his past criminal record, Delaney said.

“I was stunned with professor’s criminal background,” he said.

Delaney was tipped off about the arrest the night it happened and immediately contacted UPD Police Chief John Dean.

UNF Provost Mark Workman also said that the Office of Academic Affairs is not currently involved in any internal investigation regarding faculty members and plagiarism.

Giuma declined to comment on anything regarding his Sept. 25 arrest, citing advice from his lawyer. His next pretrial date regarding this charge is Feb. 2. He has plead not guilty.

It is unknown how long this case will last, but Delaney, who has a Juris Doctor, says the case will probably last four to eight months from its inception.

Delaney said he has been unable to meet with Giuma, who scheduled an interview with Delaney after the incident, but Giuma later canceled.

UNF Spokeswoman Sharon Ashton previously confirmed there is an internal investigation, but she would not hint at when it would be over.

Workman, though, said he expects the investigation to end “very soon.” And Delaney said the amount of time left before the investigation is over can be measured in hours and days rather than weeks.

The results of the investigation could result in Giuma’s termination from university employment, but Delaney said he would have the opportunity to appeal.

“I am hurt,” Giuma said. “I care so much about UNF.”

42 Comments

  1. Are you serious

    This guy is a petty thief, woman beater, has a history of assault, etc. Check his criminal record at http://www.duvalclerk.com . This guy is an embarassment to the University and should have been terminated looooong ago.

  2. This will be a happy ending to the story when Giuma is put out to pasture. all comments like no one should rush into conclusion and get all the facts well the facts are school is over for Giuma

  3. Concerned 12

    What a sad situation, at what point does this guy stand up and take responsibility for his actions? How is it always somebody elses fault, this time he and the Dean have personal issues, who doesn’t have issues with this man, if he cared so much about UNF, he should have thought about his actions and the reprecusions to the University’s reputation before he acted.

  4. Well that answers that, he wouldn’t have an opportunity to appeal, if he weren’t getting the ax. About time.

  5. Still Laughing

    I wonder if Mr. Gore actually interviewed any faculty in Engineering or any of the students whose papers were stolen by Giuma. Doesn’t sound like he has any more than Delaney’s spin.

  6. I can not believe Giuma ” cares so much for UNF”- he has hurt the reputation of our proud school. His repugnant actions will be remembered by students, faculty, administration and the citizens of Jacksonville…a criminal legacy is not soon forgotten.

  7. I bet he still thinks he did nothing wrong, he should be held accountable – get rid of him

  8. Unbelieveable, the more I read on Giuma the worse it gets, he is a disgrace to the University, Community, and family – what shocks me the most is that his wife called the police when he beat her, and he was arrested for abusing his own child, just a matter of time before a student is involved, plagiarism first, then physical abuse next – this is not right.

  9. Great follow up – this professor needs to go. Giuma-“”cares so much about UNF”- like he cares for his wife, after she calls the police hiding in a neighbors yard after she tells police he abused her. He “cares so much about UNF” like he cares for his child after he is arrested for child abuse – tying her up…

    Shoplifting Win Dixie/Lowes- (stealing) – similar to plaigarism…he must have pleaded no contest and paid the fines on this one as well..Also, cmon UNF what do you mean it was not clear cut plagiarism – plagiarism is plagiarism, I did not think there were degrees of it.

    He attacks a contractor – follow the pattern, what’s next a student…..I certainly hope not,

    Protect our kids, they should not have to deal with someone like this

  10. Todd Harris

    I moved my family away from this guy. We had to put up security cameras to protect our property. My life was threatened. He made bold statements that he could never be fired, he hated America and the infadels, He then moved in my neighborhood again and started the social gihad all over, just not against me as I am on the other side of Queens Harbor. He should be deported.

  11. Todd Harris hit the nail on the head. This Tayeb Giuma sounds like a terrorist from what I have read. Why are individuals such as this allowed to conduct this type of behavior, deport him!

  12. Let me get this straight. Beats contractor, shoplifts and gets caught (im sure those are the only two thefts he has, just lets assume the ratios of theft per time caught, Ties up daughter, beats wife, threatens neighbors lives, plaigarises his students papers. And Hes the one thats hurt. Sounds like hes the only one causing the hurt, this guy doesnt even sound like he has a humane bone in his body.

  13. It looks like Mr Giuma will finally get what he deserves. I am appreciative of the hard work done by Josh and Drew Dixon of the Florida Times Union to bring all of these topics to light.

  14. Todd Harris, R.Bowles – Are you serious? What proof do you have? The guy might be a creep in other ways, but those accusations shouldn’t be levied unless you have some proof to back them up. Plagiarism + assault = terrorist? Both of you sound like uneducated fools. And it’s spelled “jihad,” not “gihad.”

  15. history repeats itself… I sincerely hope UNF and our judicial system handles this and does not let this guy have another chance to do more damage than he has already done

  16. UNF potential student lost I have a 17 year that is graduating this year I will not consider UNF while Giuma is still affiliated with the school

  17. Ryan – Let me guess – You don’t think Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens ever used steroids…… If you are looking for proof I suggest going to Duval County clerk link above or check the video of him hitting the contractor. This is not one of those issues where “if smoke than fire.” We actually see the fire and it is burning down the house….

  18. I agree with Tom Harris Deport Giuma, a good quote for Giuma from the Godfather:
    Don’t tell me that you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence and it makes me very angry

  19. Really – I’m not asking for proof he hit someone, I’m asking for proof that he’s a terrorist and should be deported. A big difference.

  20. Concerned 12

    Ryan – Have you missed the previous articles by the Spinnaker – There is something seriously wrong with anyone to tells someone “I’m going to hunt you until you are dead” See excerpt from the 11/21 article.

    In 2005, police arrested Giuma for shoplifting from a Winn-Dixie location. The professor used a self-checkout stand to scan $21 worth of groceries. The only problem was that his shopping cart was filled with $220.81 worth of unpaid goods.

    In 2008, Giuma was again arrested for shoplifting, this time at a Lowe’s, where he hid dimmer light switches in the box of another item. He was stopped while attempting to leave the store after paying for the boxed item, but not the stowaway merchandise. The arrest report pegs the value of this attempted theft at $162.

    It only gets worse from there.

    In 2001, authorities were dispatched to the Giuma residence on a domestic disturbance call. According to the police report, Giuma became angry with his wife, “grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the floor.”

    No charges were filed.

    In 2005, Giuma allegedly threatened a neighbor with bodily harm.

    “I’m going to hunt you until you are dead,” Giuma reportedly said. Just last year, Giuma concluded an argument with another neighbor by punching him in the face. Now that’s Community-Based Transformational Learning. Unbelievably, this long list of ugliness merely scratches the surface.

    Again, returning to the police reports:

    In 1999, police came to the Giuma residence to investigate accusations of child abuse.

    As reported in the Spinnaker last week, Giuma was arrested and charged with felony child abuse for restraining his daughter in a chair with a leather belt and leaving her in that position overnight. The responding officer “observed a busted blister on the victim’s wrist” and other abrasions, according to the arrest report.

  21. Ryan – How about looking at the definition of terrorism – “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce”. Sounds like our boy to me…

  22. Really – How about understanding the legal system. Try prosecuting him for “terrorism” and see how long it takes to dismiss the case. The fact is, under the law, his actions are not considered “terrorism.” His actions are criminal, but this surely does not rise to the level of “terrorism.” My whole point is that one cannot make the logical leap that because he has committed crimes he is a “terrorist.”

  23. Ryan – I would agree with you that based solely on the information provided from his criminal record it would be difficult to make the assertion that he is a terrorist. That being said when I continue to read the quotes from people that have actually interacted with Guima (ex. Todd Harris and previous articles) then it does not seem to be such a logical leap as you apply above.

  24. Shoreline reported that In June 2008- “he inappropriately published a students paper without the students permission”.

    Then… “Most recently, – three other students complained that Giuma had published their papers”. That’s four occurances!! A pattern of behavior for sure.

    How do his criminal charges relate to his employment at UNF- While off campus he has documented anger management issues w/everyone and has caught been caught shoplifting. Giuma has demonstrated the same behavior on campus in his relations with co-workers- and in how he managed student generated product. He is an arrogant thief- who thinks the rules do not apply to him.

    I trust that justice will be served- Tayeb Giuma you do not deserve the opportunities that this country has provided you- and you definately should not be allowed back on campus.

  25. Really I agree with you just because you are not charged with Terrorism doesn’t mean your not one way to go Really good come back.

  26. I am an ex-neighbor of T. Giuma-the police reports from when he lived in Jax Golf and Country Club should be involved in this investigation. He threatened to burn his neighbor’s house down because he was mad at them-The neighbor there had a restraining order against him-I cannot remember the neighbor’s name but it should be part of this investigation. Giuma got mad at my husband at a homeowners’ assoc. meeting and had his son(so we were told by another neighbor) put dead fish all over our yard, in our mail box, in our trees and also in another neighbor’s yard across the street from us because that neighbor also stood up to him at the meeting. He is strange-when he lived in our development, he would walk the street after midnight-even at 2 AM.-we installed security cameras after the fish appeared on our lawn-we did file a police report; however, the only proof we had that it was him came verbally from a neighbor. I understand the FBI was contacted about him years ago but I do not know the results.

  27. I am yet another former neighbor of Tayeb Giuma who recalls many disturbing incidents involving him.

    Since some of the above comments discuss the issue of possible deportation: Professor Giuma is originally from American Samoa, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States. If you are willing to rely on the accuracy of Wikipedia, then know that Wikipedia says that those born in American Samoa are US nationals but not US citizens unless at least one parent is a US citizen. Of course, some who hail from American Samoa and are not US citizens at birth later choose to become naturalized citizens of the United States. It seems likely that Prof. Giuma is a U.S. citizen.

  28. As an Alumni of UNF I am appalled by the fact that this Giuma character has had so many chances. He did not divulge his criminal record prior to employment and he has been in trouble multiple times since his employment began… either his contract isn’t worth the paper it is written on or someone refuses to enforce it. I wonder why? It sounds like somebody is scared to do the right thing with this guy for some reason. I’m not drawing a direct correlation between the Ft. Hood shooter and this guy, but we’ve seen what happens when those in a position of responsibility don’t address blatant misconduct by those under their responsibility.

  29. I was told that Giuma is from Tunisia so is he really an American citizen?

  30. Still Laughing

    The more I read about this the more convinced I am that UNF is covering up something. Delaney needs to produce proof that Giuma did not plagiarize from UNF students.

  31. How sad it is to read some of these blogs. Most of them appear to be generated but few individuals who must have personal vendetta against this guy. One can’t help but question their motives. These attacks (terrorist, gihad, Ft. Hood, etc.) on this guy appear to be racially motivated. I understand this guy has been teaching at UNF for 20 or so years. So he must have taught hundreds if not thousands of students there. Can UNF or anyone else provide us with the number of students that had been threatened and/or physically abused by this “terrorist” professor?

  32. Lynn M.: I had heard that (country of origin = Tunisia) as well; however, Dr. Giuma’s “Linked-In” entry at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tayeb-giuma/b/b69/610 says American Samoa. I have no personal knowledge which, if either, is correct. I agree with JD that It’s irrelevant to the present situation.

  33. I, too, agree with JD. I am also appalled by the hypocrisy and double standard some of these bloggers have. For example, in reviewing one of the blogger’s court records I discovered that there is a permanent injunction against Mr. Todd Harris from his neighbor. Yet, Mr. Harris is asking for the deportation of Mr. Giuma. Is there something wrong with this picture?

  34. Still Laughing

    BK, please give a URL that shows the injunction against Mr. Todd Harris. I’d like to verify your assertion.

  35. Still Laughing, I found it by visiting http://www.duvalclerk.com as suggested by the first blogger (Are you seriuos). I believe it is case number 2006.504DV and Division FM.V.

  36. Still Laughing

    BK, thank you. I don’t seem to be able to find it, but maybe I just don’t know how to search the database properly. But, there arfe several “Todd Harrris” shown there. How do you know it is the same one who posted here? By an address?

  37. Still Laughing, may be we should give Mr. Todd Harris, the blogger, the opportunity to either confirm or deny that he has a permenant injunction against him from his neighbor.

  38. Still Laughing

    BK, maybe we should just assume that you made this stuff up.

  39. Eyes Wide Shut

    The picture is becoming ever clearer…. except the muddled vision of plagiarism. I wonder what is so muddled about determining whether he plagiarized his students’ work word for word, which even a freshman would not do normally, or did he just rip off all or part of the data, which by any definition in science is still plagiarism. Was this reviewed by an independent scientist(s)? The sciences use peer review to police themselves. Not lawyers or the threat of lawyers. Keep up the great reporting Spinnaker. This story could end up in a future journal of engineering or the Chronicle of Higher Ed.

  40. JD – you sound as lost as Giuma. UNF should fire all faculty who have such obvious self control issues. The fact that students have been subjected to him so long is what makes UNF look so bad.

  41. In response to “Eyes Wide Shut:” This situation has ALREADY made The Chronicle of Higher Education. See the Feb. 3, 2010, article at:

    http://chronicle.com/article/U-of-North-Florida-Plans-to/63885/

  42. light switches should be made from oxygen free copper so that they last longer:~”

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