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Jacksonville State head forms panel to review his columns

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The president of Jacksonville State University has formed a task force to review possible plagiarism in newspaper columns appearing with his name as author.

"This is something I feel is important to the integrity of the university's communication," JSU President William Meehan said.

The Anniston Star reported that three of Meehan's columns in The Jacksonville News in the past six weeks contain content identical to that found on two Web sites. All the columns had Meehan's byline, but Meehan's columns have been ghostwritten since 2000 by Al Harris, who retired in January as director of the university's news bureau. Harris continued to work part time until recently.

Harris wrote a letter to The Anniston Star on Thursday saying he suffers from spinal cervical stinosis and diabetic neuropathy and these conditions impair his ability to write.

John Alred, news editor of the News, said he is looking through Meehan's past "Town and Gown" columns, but he hopes to keep running the column.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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