‘[Llorenç] Huguet said criticism about the procedures followed in granting [an honorary doctorate] to the 27-year-old tennis star from the city of Manacor really “masked” the real reason opponents did not want him to receive the honor. The UIB president, however, declined to comment further on why there was opposition to [Rafael] Nadal being honored with the doctorate.’

Nadal has turned down the University of the Balearic Islands doctorate because of the murky controversy to which its angry president alludes.

What possible basis could there be for a faculty and student body hesitating to award an honorary doctorate to a 27 year old who “left conventional schooling after he turned pro at 15″, and who is famous for “his habit of biting the trophies” he wins?

In the tawdry, Orwellian land of diploma mill graduates…

… everything’s topsy-turvy. The spokesperson for a Los Angeles school board candidate who boasts a degree from “America World University” says the city’s “children deserve better.” He doesn’t mean they deserve better than a bogus PhD holder in charge of their education. He means they deserve better than to live in a district where people have the gall to point out that someone who wants to be in charge of their education has a bogus PhD.

And not just a bogus PhD. On her cv, the candidate renders America World University American University. Classic diploma mill holder move. Mess with the name a little and everything comes out all right.


Bravo, students at Pristina U. The place is run by unspeakable hacks, and you’re doing something about it.

All UD can do from here is pay attention to you, write about you, and of course write a limerick.

There’s the sort of research that is splashy.
There’s the sort of research that is trashy.
But if you want to go
To the lowest of low
Then you need to read Ibrahim Gashi.

For details on where the hack got his stuff published, go here.

A diploma mill grad representing a district whose major presence is a university…

… would definitely be weird and embarrassing, but this is America, where anything is possible.

On the other hand, this is also the land of evil elites who might try to deny bogus degree-holders the right to represent legitimate universities in state politics…

Carol Ammons is running in Illinois to be the Democratic nominee for the House of Representatives in the 103rd District, home of the University of Illinois. Ammons is quite sure all this talk about her Walsingham University degree being bogus amounts to “the elites” smearing her for being a woman of the people, but so far, try as he might, Erik Jakobsson has not been able to find any evidence that Walsingham is anything other than a scam.

“When I thought about the relationship between what she had done and the possibility that she would represent the district that has Parkland College and the University of Illinois in it, that seemed to me to transcend politics as usual,” he said.

… “One of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is because I’ve spent my whole career at the university, and diploma mills totally undercut and undermine and devalue what real institutions of higher education do, like Parkland and the University of Illinois. We just can’t have someone in Springfield who doesn’t value that.”

Lie La Lie, Lie La Lie Lie Lie Lie Lie, Lie La Lie…

… is the chorus to Paul Simon’s The Boxer; it’s also how the University of North Carolina is responding to reports that some of its highest-profile, most-celebrated athletes over the years have been illiterate, or semi-literate. In the wake of the Nyang-oro scandal, UNC’s chancellor ran away; its faculty lay low (which is what faculty at sports factories almost always do); and the school shoved its admissions director onstage to lie for it.

[W]e do not admit students who we believe cannot read or write.

UD is quoted on the subject of diploma mills…

… in this article about a fake PhD who gets paid handsomely — on the basis of his pretend degree — to fuck up people’s lives in South Dakota.

“Amazingly, this place continues to be accredited by the state of California, meaning students there are eligible for federal loans.”

Paul Campos, one of this blog’s heroes, takes note of Southern California Institute of Law (bar pass rate 2012: zero), a shining example of what you get when your state bar will accredit anything.

SCIL has, understandably, sued the bar association for making it post pass rates on its website.

Its complaint also complains about a new requirement that accredited California schools maintain a pass rate of at least forty percent.

Think about it. Your tax money pays for SCIL student loans.


UD thanks Jeremy.

Chilean students have done a better job than American students of noticing how cheesy for-profit universities…

… are taking their money and leaving them uneducated and unemployable. Chile’s totally filthy for-profit university sector has now been outed; and though I’m sure – as with all diploma mills – the owners will lie low for a bit and come back again filthier than ever, the forced resignation of Chile’s justice minister is certainly good news.

The resignation of Teodoro Ribera on Monday was the latest in an unfolding saga that has prompted massive street demonstrations, criminal investigations and the jailing of a dean suspected of money laundering and a former government official accused of selling university accreditations.

Same deal as in the States: Pay bribes to get your website accredited as a school and instantly start stashing away state cash. If you have a physical campus:

[Structure] deals with property developers who … build the educational institutions then rent them back to the university. The monthly rent – often paid to members of the same university management team – [is] used to strip money from the institution.

And – hey look! It’s the guys who own the University of Phoenix!

Further revelations … led the Chilean government to announce on Tuesday an investigation into possible violations of regulations by two more universities including UNIACC University, owned by Apollo Global, which according to the company website is “a $1bn joint venture formed in 2007, 80.1% owned by Apollo Group Inc and 19.9% owned by a private equity firm, the Carlyle Group”.

“Medvedev, a longtime EGE proponent, admitted last year that the test was not perfect after his son Ilya took it — and, with 359 points out of 400, earned a ‘free’ slot at the prestigious Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations.”

Well, Russia is the ultimate demoralized, degraded post-Soviet mess, and its higher education system is but a tiny part of all that.

Here at University Diaries, however, we’re particularly interested in that part. And we do well to remind ourselves that there are entire countries where university education is a bogus nepotistic cold hard cash joke. One Moscow college has apparently become “a fake thesis factory.”

As a columnist puts it in Novaya Gazeta:

“It is stupid to accuse kids of cheating on the [national standardized] EGE [test] in a nation where officials cheat on their doctoral theses.”

Even if you’re a really, really corrupt state, like Florida…

… how much are you willing to overlook?

Okay, you’re willing to overlook the fact that your lieutenant governor for years claimed a degree from a notorious diploma mill (she even used to be on the National Commission on Presidential Scholars!)… But, as UD has often told you, scummy things like diploma mill degrees – and plagiarized articles and all – can be symptoms of, er, a broader outlook on life…

And so it appears to be with the aforementioned lieutenant governor, for whom fraud turns out to be a way of doing business. She has just resigned in disgrace.

Really, if Florida had had enough self-respect to reject a diploma mill fraudster in the first place, they wouldn’t now be dealing with this much higher-level embarrassment.

On the other hand, it’s clear that Florida is way past caring about things like this.

The criminals who run South Carolina State University…

… are just beginning to be rounded up. Stay tuned.

This is so “meta” …

… that even UD, who prides herself on her grasp of our simulacral world, is having a little trouble.

It’s a diploma mill in Wyoming — nothing to see there; hundreds of thousands of diploma mills operate all over the world, and Wyoming is one of the most pro-diploma-mill states in America (God forbid the feds interfere with private enterprise). But even by Wyoming’s give-a-shit standards, the gloriously named Degree in a Day (the website provided in the Star Tribune story no longer functions) represents a problem. Dig:

The website tells visitors that purchasers can receive diplomas “in the traditional university manner printed on traditional paper with traditional fonts in the traditional format,” plus official transcripts, signed letters of verification to for use with an employer and letters of recommendation from the dean and president.

Under a tab called, “About Degree in a Day,” the website says it “offers verifiable and authentic life experience degrees from our own ‘Anonymous Universities.’” It continues, “We will never publish the name or allow it to be associated with this site to anyone other than alumni. We do this to ensure our alumni can feel confident there will not be any negative press online about their degree.”

The website “gives examples of legitimate-appearing university websites that it promises to construct in order to give purchasers ‘further proof their degree is in fact authentic,’” according to the complaint.

So… UD‘s been trying to figure this one out. Here’s what she’s come up with. If she’s right about the business model, it represents an authentic advance in the industry.

As soon as a diploma mill’s name becomes known, it becomes notorious. Coverage of the scam will invariably refer to “the notorious degree mill, LaSalle University,” or whatever. In order to avoid instantly stigmatizing the millions of people who’ve gotten bogus degrees from this or that outfit, Degree in a Day will tailor-make a pretend online university just for you. It will come up with a name (the model assumes one will never run out of plausible-sounding university names, and this seems to UD a reasonable assumption) that will be known only to you and to the few to non-existent employers who ever bother to check your credentials.

One particularly brilliant aspect of this model involves (I assume) the ability at a moment’s notice to change the university from which you graduated. Once you’ve been run out of town because of the exposure of your fake Cambridgetown Institute of Technology degree, you can go back to Degree in a Day and have them construct Oxfordshire Institute of Technology.

An April Fool’s Joke in November….

… from the usually staid Chronicle of Higher Education.

Read the whole thing. Do not miss the videos.

Because every paragraph of it is good, it’s hard for UD to choose an excerpt. I guess this is her favorite:

Here’s the course description of “General Humanities II,” taught by Michael Coker, an English instructor at Western Oklahoma. “We start with the Renaissance and move to the present,” he says in an online video. “We cover art, culture, society, religion, politics. The humanities is a very broad topic, and we cover essentially everything that leads up to our modern society, the ideas that inform our modern world.”

Sounds like a really interesting class — but seven centuries in 50 hours? That may seem daunting, Mr. Coker acknowledges. “But I’ve designed the class to be doable in 10 days,” he says in the video. “If you don’t have a lot going on in those 10 days, the class is not overly difficult.”

There’s only one downside to this writer having so outdone himself. You can already see his piece for next year:

Some accreditors have questioned whether a ten-minute course on the decline of the Roman Empire can really legitimately cover the material. “It sounds daunting,” acknowledges its instructor, “but if you don’t have a lot going on in those ten minutes, it’s a cinch.”

Gawker Gawks at the Collapse of the For-Profit College Scam…

and so does UD. As Phoenix falls from its ashes, and as even scuzzier outfits make their way through the courts, it truly begins to look as though Americans have figured out how the tax-syphons work, and refused to play along.

“But Alpert’s promotion three weeks ago to acting captain of the police force of more than 1,700-officers required a more thorough review by the inspector general.”

UD has said it again and again on this blog: Go ahead and get your diploma mill degrees, but be sure not to rise too high in the world. UD has even specified how high you can rise before someone actually looks at the shit on your resume.

So. Let’s review:

Teacher, but not superintendent.

Police officer but not captain.

City council member but not mayor.

Mid-level but not chief bureaucrat.

How difficult is this to grasp? With fraudulent degrees, you’ll do fine, the two thousand dollars were well spent, but you’re going to have to spend your life under the radar. You’re not going to be able to rise. When you rise, people start paying attention.

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