German Fascination With Degrees Claims Latest Victim: Education Minister

Nicholas Kulish & Chris Cottrell:

For 32 years, the German education minister’s 351-page dissertation sat on a shelf at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf gathering dust while its author pursued a successful political career that carried her to the highest circles of the German government.
The academic work was a time bomb, however, and it exploded last year when an anonymous blogger published a catalog of passages suspected of having been lifted from other publications without proper attribution.
The university revoked the doctorate of the minister, Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, on Tuesday (she retains the title pending appeal), and on Saturday she was forced to resign her cabinet post. It was the second time a minister had resigned from the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel over plagiarism in less than two years.