Former engineering students speak out against Giuma, plagiarism


Professor Tayeb Giuma spoke out Feb. 8 against claims and allegations of plagiarism three former engineering students made.

The students said he published their paper at a conference under his name and didn’t get their permission, but Giuma said he helped compose the paper and, therefore, didn’t need their permission.

The students, Antonio Oruga, Mark Jones and Scott Mullin have all previously signed affidavits defending the case, but in light of Giuma’s current battery charge, the students are speaking out.

Oruga said Giuma in no way participated in the composition of the paper, and that Giuma published the paper without his permission.

Giuma required the students to present PowerPoint presentations to him throughout the semester.

Giuma said he critiqued the presentations that then turned into their paper.

The students contend the PowerPoint had nothing to do with the composition of the paper.

Neal Coulter, the previous dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Construction, brought up the charges.

After reviewing the case, the faculty panel sided with Giuma. But UNF Provost Mark Workman decided to pursue an investigation. This resulted in a letter of intent to terminate sent in April 2009.

In light of this, Giuma met many times with UNF President John Delaney. In these meetings, Delaney said Giuma presented new evidence to defend his case.

Part of Delaney’s reasoning for reversing the termination later in June was that one of the students, Mark Jones, already knew about the plagiarism charge that was noted in a memo to Giuma.

Jones said he knew his paper had been published, but he assumed since he wrote it at UNF, the university had the rights to it.

E-mail records show that Coulter initially contacted Oruga to notify him about the paper being published. The two met a few times, and Coulter bought Oruga lunch.

Coulter also drafted a letter for Oruga, who used it to send to Delaney.

Oruga said if Jones or Mullin gave permission to Giuma, then he would not pursue the case.

Giuma called Coulter’s relationship with the students odd because they referred to each to other on a first-name basis. Coulter didn’t agree.

Coulter also said that any disagreements between himself and Giuma are purely professional.

But does the relationship between Giuma and Coulter negatively impact the future of the college?

Coulter said no.

But Coulter said the time he has had to spend on the cases involving Giuma over the last few years have had an impact on the effectiveness of the college.


Despite an ongoing criminal case and recently receiving a notice of intent to terminate, Professor Tayeb Giuma told the Spinnaker he expects to be back at UNF this fall.

Giuma has the support of the UNF faculty union — United Faculty of Florida — of which he is still the vice president.

“We are going to defend [Giuma],” said Henry Thomas, president of the UNF chapter. “We are walking with him.”

“I am not nervous,” Giuma said when asked how he is coping with administrative leave.

Giuma is neither the first faculty member to be given a notice of intent to terminate, and he is prepared to take his case to the justice system, he said.

“I believe in the courts system,” Giuma said.

Giuma also didn’t blame UNF President John Delaney about his case.

“I have no issue with Delaney,” Giuma said.