Madonna Constantine

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Madonna Constantine holds a press conference
See also Wikipedia's article about "Madonna Constantine".

Madonna Constantine was a professor of psychology and education at Teachers College. Constantine joined the faculty in 1998, earned tenure in 2001, and became a full professor in 2003. She is notable for her involvement in two scandals - the hanging of a noose on her office door in 2007, and plagiarism charges leveled in 2008. She has been indefinitely suspended from her teaching post for the latter charge, for which she has filed a wrongful termination suit against the university.

Noose incident

The first was the hanging of a noose on her office door in fall 2007. As Constantine is black, this incident was widely viewed as a hate crime.

Constantine's later involvement in the plagiarism incident (see below) caused many to wonder whether or not she or a colleague was involved in precipitating the earlier noose incident. A grand jury has been convened and has requested information pertinent to a potential indictment.[1]

Plagiarism incident

In 2008, Constantine gained further attention after an investigation determined she had been plagiarizing others' scholarship for some time. The investigation was conducted by Hughes Hubbard, an outside law firm, in order not to expose the university to liability. In response, Constantine fired off an angry email, claiming that TC was attempting to force her off the faculty. In the end, she was not fired, because she has a tenured position. She did, however, receive an undisclosed punishment.

Later, it was revealed that she had been suspended from TC indefinitely pending dismissal[2], after the investigation had proven claims of plagiarism true.[3]

Lawsuit against Columbia

After her suspension, Constantine initially planned to appeal the decision, but that strategy failed to bear fruit. Instead, she turned to the courts, suing Columbia for "arbitrary" dismissal.


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