Confusion over Confucius training results in possible intellectual property theft

“State-sponsored espionage” was the phrase that reverberated around the wooden walls of the Faculty House during the Nov. 19, 2015, meeting of the University Senate.

These words were uttered quickly and then faded to continued discussion among those in attendance.

Why was espionage being discussed at the senate meeting?

Martha Day, SKyTeach education codirector, GSKyTeach executive director and associate professor of science education, and Lynn Hines, professional in residence at the School of Teacher Education, traveled to China from Aug. 3-7, 2015, to conduct teacher training.

This training should have been nothing out of the ordinary for Day and Hines as their August trip was the third trip each had taken to China for that purpose. Typically, Day and Hines conduct teacher training workshops to prepare Chinese teachers who will be traveling to Kentucky.

However, the training in August was different. Day said they were asked to train college professors and educational administrators from across China instead of instructors teaching grades K-12, their previous trainees.

This discrepancy in the training was just the beginning of Day’s concerns. While in China, a flash drive belonging to Day was taken from her without her permission.

“This is a serious matter,” Day said at the November senate meeting. “I had four years of my scholarly work stolen from me and a virus installed on my flash drive.”

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