Professor Aguiar strikes again.

Remember Back in April when I was heaping righteous indignation on SDSU Professor Gary Aguiar for using his students as his personal campaign slaves? If you don't recall the tale, I posted on how he had a class where they came up with campaign plans, and he used the ideas the students came up with to form the basis for his own campaign:
According to the Brookings Register, Professor Aguiar brought his mayoral nominating petitions into class for his students to sign. And it gets worse. From the Brookings Register:
Last fall as part of his class, he assigned class members to come up with a local candidate's campaign plan. During a forum for mayoral candidates held at the University Student Union, he freely admitted that he had students designing plans and "the campaign should focus on electing a particular, actual candidate to an actual publicly elective office. The candidate must possess a viable chance of being elected."

Aguiar has not used any one campaign plan in his run for mayor , but did get several ideas from the class activity, he said at the forum.
College students, if some of you are feeling a little icky right now, it's because you've been used. Clearly, he's considered your work submitted for class as his personal bank of knowledge to use in his own race for mayor.
Read it here. And why do we care about this tonight? Well... During that campaign, there was a letter to the Editor in the Brookings Register from an Aguiar supporter that actually spurred a libel lawsuit against the author. That case has had my attention because aside from the fact it's in Brookings, I thought it would have a chilling effect on free speech in newspapers. So I've watched it.

Tonight, as reported by the SDSU Collegian Newspaper, I'm finding out that it was Aguiar who actually authored the letter that spurred the court case:
In a deposition made public by the Brookings Register Nov. 13, Phelps said the column about Munsterman was actually written by Aguiar, despite Phelps' name on the piece.

According to court documents, when questioned by the doctors' attorney, Phelps told of the Aguiar connection:

"Phelps: . . . I submitted it as Gary wrote it.

Question: Excuse me. Mr. Aguiar wrote the article?

Phelps: It was submitted to me by Gary Aguiar. I would assume he's the primary author."

Also in the deposition, Phelps said he put his name on the column to help out Aguiar's political effort.

Munsterman went on the win the election over Aguiar and two other candidates.

During the mayoral election, several students accused the political science professor candidate of using students to create his campaign plan.

Administration officials later confirmed an informal investigation was in progress.
Read that here. And it's getting even better than all of that. In tonight's edition of the SDSU Collegian, the student run newspaper is finally saying that enough is enough. Aguiar has to go in an editorial that's titled Untrustworthy Aguiar should resign:
At issue:
Mayor candidate and political science professor Gary Aguiar wrote a column condemning his political opponent. But his friend and fellow professor Brady Phelps signed it.

Our view:
Aguiar's poor ethical choices mean he's unfit to teach. He should resign. Now.

Gary Aguiar is a tenured political science professor. That means he has the trust of this university. And, students should be able to trust him.

But what should students think now?

Brady Phelps, a psychology professor and friend of Aguiar, submitted a guest column to a local newspaper "raising ethical concerns" about Mayor Scott Munsterman when the mayor was locked in a battle for his job with Aguiar earlier this year.

But Phelps didn't write the column. Aguiar did. An attack on his political opponent during the election. Hidden behind the name of a friend.

That's not just dirty, underhanded politics. That's ethically and morally wrong.

Now Phelps is in the midst of a defamation lawsuit for an article he didn't write. That's not how you treat a friend.


But by his actions, he has lost the right and moral authority to call himself a professor of political science at South Dakota State University.

Aguiar, resign immediately.

Students deserve nothing less.
Read it all here as students themselves are calling for his ouster. With a new university president, it just may be the time.

You know, I was giving Bill Richardson down at USD a bit of a hard time because I believe it's beneficial for students to get real world experience in politics from those who've been in the thick of it.

But by gosh, here's Gary Aguiar proving my hypothesis wrong. Because the real world experience he's showing students is how to be used by an man with ambition. How to hang your friends out to dry. How some politicians will take your sincere desire to make your town better, and consume you, leaving former supporters like a discarded wrapper on the ground.

As a graduate of the SDSU Political Science program, I'm ashamed tonight. And I would concur wholeheartedly with the students writing the collegian editorial.

It's time for Aguiar to go.


Anonymous said…
How in the world did Brady Phelps become a victim in this whole scandal? He's as guilty of an ethics violation as Aguilar....not to mention libel. Did Aguilar hold a gun to his head and make him sign his name?
Anonymous said…
Brady Phelps, Bob Burns, etc....just go down the list of nutty/angry/left-wing professors at SDSU. They are a disgrace. The new president should fumigate the place and start over, but of course he won't. The incoming president is a liberal too and will protect his own. Higher education in this country is owned by the left and they will do everything to protect it.
Anonymous said…
this will probably cause liberals to stop and think about all the phony letters to the editor they put their name on because some political operative asked them to
Anonymous said…
Brady Phelps is a NUT. And it sounds like he's a plagiarist too. Time for him to go too!
Anonymous said…

You are incredibly disingenuous to suggest that letters to the editor are all composed by the signer.

You know better.

How about posting something new?

Like maybe how Roger Hunt is going to avoid any culpability for not reporting $750,000 in campaign contributions.
Anonymous said…
Unethical deeds done in the name of winning elections? What?

Seems like the top students in Dr. Aguilar's class will be qualified to be further warped into becoming the next Karl Rove. Of course, that will require a lot more warping.
Anonymous said…
Aguiar is actually a Republican so Anon 8:32 instead of immediately trying to tie Bob Burns and the Democrats in on this one you should try doing a little research first.
Anonymous said…
Just because Aguiar is a registered Republican, does not mean that his views are conservative. Originally from Hawaii, his Republican views are left of center from a South Dakota Republican.
Anonymous said…
This is not the first time someone running for public office from SDSU has taught a class in political campaings. Maybe a few of you should go back a couple more years and do some digging... and not the first time (if i remember correctly) that Phelps signed his name to a letter to the editor for a candidate.
Anonymous said…
"Originally from Hawaii..."

This comment really does say it all about this zenophobic, stone-age state.

As if the guy is less credible, less of a Republican, less of a South Dakotan because he came from Hawaii.

And you wonder why young people leave SD...
Anonymous said…
I think that one of the posters is referring to the class Stephanie Herseth taught on political parties and campaigns a couple of years ago.

I am a Republican. I was in that class, and Stephanie was one of the best professors I have ever had. Her political biases did not come through, and her experience was defintely a plus.

I have also been in classes by Prof. Aguiar. He is an awful professor. His lectures are disorganized and a waste of time. He attempts to promote his political views and causes, and to get his students to do "grunt work" for his research. I don't know if any of those things are "firing offenses" - but I do know I would advise SDSU students against taking his class.
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:23, I would invite you to do just that.....if you don't like it, hasta la vista. Don't let the border hit you in the ass on your way out.
Anonymous said…
Funny to see you get all up on your high horse about ethics when a well-known professor at another SD university has publicly written articles in which he cut-and-pasted together fragments of another person's communications and presented them as 'quotes'. Where was your outrage then? Your partisan hypocracy defines you.
Anonymous said…
11:17--what are you referring to?
Anonymous said…
Aguiar exploited his students for his own personal gain last year when running for mayor. It doesn't surprise me that he was also exploiting his friends
Anonymous said…
Exploiting friends in politics?! Exploiting college students for political gain?! Getting people to sign letters to the editor that the candidate drafted?!

Oh, I'm shocked, I say! Shocked and appalled!

Now go out there and round up the usual suspects!
Anonymous said…
What did the letter say?
Anonymous said…
Townies are so simple-minded

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