Friday, September 24, 2004
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Note to self: trademark the University of Drezner
Yesterday the GAO issued a report entitled "Diploma Mills Are Easily Created and Some Have Issued Bogus Degrees to Federal Employees at Government Expense." This snippet, from the results in brief, discusses the actions of the GAO's Office of Special Investigations (OSI):
I'm trying to visualize the bull session at which GAO staffers came up with the name "Y’Hica Institute for the Visual Arts." Readers are invited to submit their preferred name for a diploma mill (obvious jokes about Harvard will be treated with casual scorn).
Hmmm.... on the off chance that the Department of Education hasn't closed that loophole, maybe academic blogs can find another revenue-generating stream?
UPDATE: Here's a news recap of the report:
posted by Dan on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM
Readers are invited to submit their preferred name for a diploma mill(obvious jokes about Harvard will be trated with casual scorn).
How about Yale?posted by: flaime on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
451 Degrees (for Bradbury fans)
A for no effort
Graduate While You Wait
Doctorates for Bachelors
Bush and Kerry Clubposted by: David Weisman on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
Does Bush's Harvard MBA and Yale BS (heh..BS!) count as phony?
Top Officials have Phony Degrees - (CBS) 5/10/04
CBS News requested interviews with both officials. The Pentagon turned us down, saying, "We don't consider it an issue."
But using such a degree is a crime in some states. Alan Contreras cracks down on diploma mills for Oregon, a state that's taken the lead on this issue.
"You don't want somebody with a fake degree working in Homeland Security," says Contreras. "You don't want somebody with a fake degree teaching your children or designing your bridges."
But we found employees with diploma mill degrees at the new Transportation Security Administration, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Departments of Treasury and Education, where Rene Drouin sits on an advisory committee. He has degrees from two diploma mills including Kensington University.
Kensington was forced out of business by officials in California and Hawaii. Another Kensington alum, Florida State Rep. Jennifer Carroll, just stepped down from the National Commission on Presidential Scholars.
Both Carroll and Drouin say they worked hard and thought their degrees were legitimate.
"The students are being sold a bill of goods that really don't help them at all," the insider says. "There are slick people out there, and it's happening every day, every minute probably somewhere in America."
And taxpayers have paid for bogus degrees some workers used for hiring, promotions and raises."posted by: joejoejoe on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
jjj - thanx. That's incredible. "..don't consider it an issue." That's the line I used when Dad found a helmet in my wallet. Didn't work then, either.
If you buy that, I've got a bridge for sale. The papers look pretty legit. Bought them from a professor at "CCNY-Brooklyn".posted by: wishIwuz2 on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
Looks like there is a profit opportunity for some detective agency to offer the service of verifying that degree-granting institutions exist, and that the individual actually got the degree that they are claiming. The detective agency could sell that service to anyone who wanted to check, such as auditors, agencies conducting security clearances, employers verifying credentials, grad schools verifying credentials, the press, etc.posted by: Acad Ronin on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
Probably not the ideal blog to raise the issue in, but the federal government really does over-demand educational certification. Most federal agencies simply won't look at an applicant who does not sport at least a BS/BA for any job above gardener. Many put their cut-off at an MS/MA.
This, I suspect, is a simple reaction to grade inflation, but leads to two evils. The first, as noted, is the temptation toward bogus degrees. The second is that by using inappropriate filters, the process keeps qualified people out of jobs.
It would be interesting to track back the real degree v. bogus degree record of highly-placed federal employees back to the 1960s, perhaps to the '50s to establish a baseline.posted by: John on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
Require a degree from an accredited school. End of problem.posted by: Jor on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
Suggested bogus degreees:
MBA from the Proudhon School of Market Economics
MFA from the Tristan Tzara Institute of Classical Art
PhD in Corporate Governance from the Ken Lay School of Management Studies
MA in Queer Theory from the Rush Limbaugh School for Women
Accreditation in Media Fairness from The Matt Drudge Institute of Journalistic Ethicsposted by: Andrew Edwards on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
Yikes 'Here It Comes Again!posted by: Scorpio on 09.24.04 at 06:13 PM [permalink]
John makes an excellent point. A Bachelor's Degree nowadays seems like simply a certification that the individual holding it has sat still for an amount of BS comparable to what they'll collect doing the work.
Unless there's a parallel attempt to determine whether or not the people with bogus degrees are less competent at the actual job than those with "real" sheepskins, this is just another Okie Law designed to keep the riffraff out of the privileged domains of the elite.
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