CSU General Secretary Martin Huber voluntarily renounces his doctorate. With this message from Friday, Huber reacted to the review of his doctoral thesis by Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU).
According to a statement from the LMU, the responsible doctoral committee did not see any “proven deception”, but determined “that the handling of the formalities as a scientific technique does not meet the scientific requirements of a dissertation”. Accordingly, Huber’s work “should not have been accepted as a dissertation work” at the time.
Shortly after his appointment as CSU General Secretary in May, Huber himself asked the LMU to review his work again “for reasons of transparency”. The reason for this were allegations by the plagiarism researcher Jochen Zenthöfer, who initially spoke in the “Bild am Sonntag” of quotations without or with incorrect source information in the dissertation. At the time, Zenthöfer told the dpa that the standards of good scientific work had not been met in the dissertation. The errors went beyond individual citation errors.
In 2007, Huber published a thesis entitled “The Influence of the CSU on the Western Policy of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1954-1969 with regard to Relations with France and the USA”.
The LMU announced on Friday that Huber had specified the literature that had been taken over. However, he did not comply with the scientific conventions in dealing with research literature, according to which literal and content-related assumptions are to be distinguished. “The fact that the subject and the readership are left in the dark about the relationship between their own work and the work of other authors raises the suspicion of deception,” it said. However, an intention to deceive could not be proven without a doubt, since Huber “consistently stated his templates and the supervisor of the work assessed this working method as acceptable”. According to the LMU, the prerequisites for a possible withdrawal of the doctoral degree are not met.
Huber then said on Friday: “I wrote my doctoral thesis to the best of my knowledge and belief. The assessment of the university is surprising and disappointing for me, but I accept and respect it. As a personal consequence, I will no longer use my doctorate.” Huber added: “It’s good that the exam is now complete, my full concentration is still on my work as CSU General Secretary.”