Ralph Klein's office released the findings yesterday of a university review absolving the Alberta Premier of plagiarism allegations.
"Like any student would be, I am relieved to have been cleared on what is to me an important issue of personal integrity," he said in a statement.
"It has disturbed me that Albertans might have been left with the impression that I behaved dishonestly in completing my course work."
A furor erupted this month over a term paper Mr. Klein wrote as part of a correspondence degree in communications he is taking from Athabasca University.
The essay, which Mr. Klein tabled in the legislature after making controversial remarks about former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, includes several passages that are taken from the Internet without clear attribution.
While the sections are followed by the word Internet, they are not indicated with quotation marks, which is common academic practice, and it is not clear where they begin and end.
Mr. Klein, who includes the websites he used in his endnotes, said he followed his instructor's instructions in writing the essay, for which he received a grade of 77 per cent. The paper, titled Allende, Pinochet and the Chilean Media, was completed for a course in international media systems in the Americas. In a May 20 letter to Mr. Klein, Ken Collier, Athabasca University's acting associate vice-president, academic, said he had reviewed a complaint from a member of the university's staff of "suspected plagiarism by yourself."
Mr. Collier said he spoke to Mr. Klein and others, and reviewed his course assignments and the corresponding instructors' comments.
"I find there is no academic or legal basis to sustain the claim that an academic offence has taken place. No intent to deceive or cover up use of unattributed material, nor any practices to pursue those goals are evident," he wrote. "Under these circumstances, no penalty is rendered."
Mr. Collier also said the instructor's "treatment of the issues of citation related to the Internet quotes was completely justified and adhered to AU policy."
Mr. Klein said the review was not undertaken at his request.