PhD Stripped From German Education Minister

Annette Schavan plagiarized 30-year-old thesis: university

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 6, 2013 12:09 PM CST

(Newser) – Irony alert: Germany's minister of education just lost her doctorate. The University of Düsseldorf has stripped Annette Schavan of her PhD, it announced yesterday, because she carried out "a deliberate deception through plagiarism." An anonymous blogger last year accused Schavan of plagiarizing sections of her thesis more than 30 years ago, the New York Times explains. Schavan has always denied the allegations and, according to the BBC, intends to appeal.

Within hours of the university's decision, German politicians and commentators were calling for Schavan's head, der Spiegel reports. She would be the second member of Angela Merkel's Cabinet ousted for plagiarism; Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg resigned in a similar scandal in 2011, and Schavan, ironically, was outspoken in denouncing him. A Merkel spokesman today said the prime minister has "full confidence" in Schavan.

Annette Schavan reads files at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 23, 2013.
Annette Schavan reads files at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 23, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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