01/11/2013 06:26 EST | Updated 03/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Top Toronto Educator's Dissertation Gets Plagiarism Review


The University of Toronto is investigating allegations that Chris Spence, who quit as director of education for the Toronto District School Board in the wake of a plagiarism scandal, also had unattributed material in his doctoral dissertation.

Spence said in a statement he intends to "fully cooperate with any possible inquiry."

"I wish to thank members of the media for respecting my family's need for privacy during this very difficult time," the statement said, directing further inquiries about the matter to the Daisy Consulting Group.

CBC News found a portion of Spence's 1996 PhD dissertation on the education of black male athletes that appeared to contain passages lifted from another source, a 1991 book by Othello Harris titled Sport, Racism and Ethnicity.

Spence resigned Thursday "with a profoundly heavy heart" after admitting to plagiarizing passages in an opinion piece for the Toronto Star last weekend.

Calls for his ouster intensified after other articles by Spence surfaced with passages that may have been plagiarized.

For his part, Spence — a former CFL player — said Thursday he intends to "continue to do the things I pledged to do — to restore my reputation, and to uphold the academic integrity I consider to be so important. But most importantly, to make amends for what I have done."

Spence was hired after a long search for someone to breathe new life into the TDSB, sort out its financial problems and deal with the myriad of problems that exist in the country's largest school board with students who come from every corner of the world.

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