What’s the Matter with Kansas?

It lets itself be duped into hiring diploma mill grads and giving them huge salaries and responsibilities.

Not too bright out there in the heartland.

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UD thanks Rick.

The title says it all.

The On-Line College Crapshoot

But read the article for details.

We need a neutral international body like the UN…

… to go in to the University of Central Arkansas campus. Like the similar University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, UCA appears to be an almost wholly criminal enterprise (scroll down). The basic form of intellectual inquiry on both campuses is: How can I steal all the school’s money?

UCA keeps losing presidents due to their personal money management issues… And now it’s losing vice presidents. This one vp – who seems to have made international students work harder than they’re legally allowed (the story doesn’t describe the nature of the work – personal work for the vp?) – is harder to get rid of because he’s a professor. So what they’re doing is giving him no classes, firing him from the vice presidency, and keeping his salary (somewhat lowered) intact. Beautiful tenure tale, no? Behave very badly, and get $90,000 for doing nothing. Tenured professors, take note.

This guy

also accompanied now former UCA President Allen C. Meadors [latest presidential bad boy] on a trip to Mexico that included planned stops at two universities, but the second visit was canceled and the two spent two nights in the resort town of Cancun.

Meadors, in emails to university administrators, said the second stop was canceled because it would have been an additional seven- to eight-hour drive to the second university.

That makes sense. Wasn’t until the president and vice-president got to Mexico that they realized there are distances between cities.

Clearly we need to take all decision-making out of the hands of the current UCA administration. We need to figure out exactly what’s going on there. A fact-finding mission would be a good place to start. Might shake things up a bit.

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Mr UD said the story of the distant cities and the unforeseen issue of transport reminded him of something Mao once wrote:

Coal and iron cannot walk by themselves; they need vehicles to transport them. This I did not foresee.

Yet another advantage of online: You can TOTALLY gouge your students.

Begin the day with UD by asking yourself: Why are several online courses of study at the University of Florida double the price of their equivalent on-campus programs? Mass Communications on campus, for instance, is around $14,000; online, $28,000.

Is it worth twice as much money for you never to see or speak to a professor or a classmate? To use up no resources of the university’s physical plant? To have a faceless overworked underqualified drudge as your air-traffic controller? Everyone knows cheater-ridden online university education stinks. Why in the world does the University of Florida make online students pay double for the privilege?

Very simple answer. Read this.

Because it can.

The Voice of Experience

“I was one of the first to teach a fully online course during the mid 1990s facilitated by Real Education later renamed eCollege. Despite claims, the lack of face to face interaction significantly diminishes the quality of many courses,” writes a professor of finance.

List, list, o, list!

We have witnessed the skyrocketing of impersonation fraud on SATs, ACTs and even graduate admission and licensure exams all with strong security measures that are nonexistent for online courses. Though surveys report cheating rates similar to in-class students, research shows online students view many actions acceptable that are not for in-class peers.

… [E]mployers may question the motivation of an online student living a reasonable distance from a campus of similar or even superior quality. An education is more than text on a computer but the seasoning surrounding the classroom environment that enhances interpersonal and communication skills and provides a network of diverse friends.

… Many for profit and even public universities use subcontractors with limited credentials who simultaneously teach for a number of institutions on a per class basis.

Online: The sub-basement of higher education.

“Around 250,000 overseas students were studying in the UK last year in a business said to be worth more than £3bn to the UK economy.”

And there it is. That’s just it. Selling degrees, as all diploma mills know, is incredibly easy and incredibly lucrative; and it’s always possible for this or that legit university to realize that two can play that game. Most of the three billion up there is legitimate work at legitimate UK universities; but a chunk of it involves trading on your university’s name for cash.

Things got so bad at the venerable University of Wales that they’ve shut the place down entirely.

The university has been hit with a series of scandals involving affiliated foreign colleges that award University of Wales degrees. Last year, Malaysian singing star Fazley Yaakob, who headed an affiliate in his homeland, turned out to have faked his qualifications, and a Bangkok affiliate turned out to be illegal.

The latest scandal involves Rayat London College. A report last week said foreign students there were sold the answers to exams that allowed them to enter a University of Wales MBA program with a British visa.

Here’s an administrator who needs a little public relations help. You see how he keeps defensively smiling and pretending everything is just peachy, peachy, peachy. The name University of Wales at the moment is trashy — hopelessly associated with either rampant negligence or a willingness to prostitute itself for money. No doubt gradually the newly constituted group of universities there will recover; but you only look like a fool when you deny the obvious.

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UD thanks Edmund.

The age-old corruption of Alabama’s two-year college system…

… still has the capacity to startle.

The president and dean of Bishop State College both bought their degrees from diploma mills.

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UD thanks SS.

Diploma mulina

Italian police on Friday said they discovered a fake university in the north of the country where around 10 students were paying around 7,000 euros ($9,600) for a worthless, unrecognised degree.

… Four people attached to the fake university were reported to justice officials for fraud, the police statement said.

“He completed the five-year course in under three months, during the summer holidays.”

The University of West Bohemia law school (Plzeň, Czech Republic), was famous for its fast-track law degree, awarded tout suite to anyone with money, until some journalists got hold of the scam and it had to shut down.

Now there’s a lawsuit from a guy pissed that he can’t make people call him Magister anymore (his degree was rescinded). He wants his diploma mill degree back.

Closer to home, there’s this pathetic guy, who bought his PhD at a diploma mill and made everyone call him Doctor until some journalist noticed that Madison University is way bogus.

Asked who was on his dissertation committee, Rogers said, “Oh, God, it’s been eight years. I don’t remember.” Asked for a copy of the dissertation, he said all his copies were at his house in Norfolk, Virginia…

and he lives in North Carolina now and is unable to access it.

KAPLAN SMACKDOWN!!

Bravo, Hagerstown Community College. Kaplan came at you, melons bobbling, wanting you to direct your graduates their way.

Kaplan’s chief executives, after all, have to maintain their tens of millions of dollars in personal compensation, and they can’t go trolling homeless shelters for tax-money-bearing eager minds anymore. So they came up with this let’s cooperate! idea…

But in a blunt email to Kaplan, HCC (I wonder what the prez of HCC makes a year, compared to the zillionaires at Kaplan) has said no way.

As Kaplan moves ahead with its new marketing plans, please do not state or imply HCC is a Kaplan partner or that the HCC faculty or staff are suggesting our graduates consider Kaplan as the next step in continuing their education.

We tell our students, quite frankly, that there are much better transfer options for them to consider. In summary, we do not believe Kaplan’s partnership offer is in the best interest of our current or former students.

Asked to elaborate, an HCC spokesperson alluded to the for-profit industry’s notorious

recruiting efforts, financial-aid programs, job placement rates, and other business practices. Just this month, the U.S. Justice Department and four states filed suit against one for-profit school, stating possible violations to the federal Higher Education Act.

She also mentioned that Kaplan’s more expensive than the schools HCC traditionally recommends.

Why does it cost so much???

ZILLIONS of reasons.

Boise State Introduces Exclusively Online PhD

It’s not just that it will finally address the scourge of “lugging stacks of books across campus.”

In the words of its one of its faculty members, “People shouldn’t be discriminated for where they chose to live.”

I came, I saw, I wondered

Nice, completely straight-faced account of the University of Northern Virginia.

The school offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, though it’s not clear how that works since it is unaccredited…

[Just-resigned] Chancellor David V. Lee felt like there was just too much chatter about his profile on the world’s largest bondage and sado-masochism website, collarme.com.

Background here.

Never get between a Russian and his rubles.

Admission to the Pirogov med school in Moscow has always been pretty straightforward: You give the head of the school thousands of rubles, and he lets you in.

The Russian government figured it had gotten around this system by instituting a standardized exam, and mandating that the university admit the highest scorers.

The head of the school sat down and scratched his head and came up with a solution.

Announce you’ve admitted a class of high scorers. Then a few weeks later announce that none of the high scorers has chosen to attend Pirogov, so you’ve admitted instead the traditional cohort.

Would have worked, too, except for some damn blogger who figured out the scheme.

The stellar career path of a for-profit university leader.

Todd Nelson heads for-profit colleges. As head of the University of Phoenix, he “signed a $9.8 million settlement with the Department of Education, which had found that Phoenix had ‘systematically and intentionally’ violated federal rules against paying recruiters for students.”

Competitor Education Management Corporation snapped Nelson right up, and now he’s overseeing a similar federal and state lawsuit which, one amazed observer notes, “spans the entire company — from the ground level in over 100 separate institutions up to the most senior management — and accounts for nearly all the revenues the company has realized since 2003.” The suit wants $11 billion in state and federal financial aid back from Nelson’s ed biz. Wow.

What’s next for this financial genius? He led Phoenix through a loss of almost ten million dollars; Education Management will certainly settle for around… let’s say one billion. Time to jump to Kaplan, where he can maybe work his magic on even bigger numbers.

Note to Luddite Federal Government: Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.

First on the west coast, and now on the east, the feds are fucking up the perfect entrepreneurial synergy of cutting edge educational technology and a vast sellers’ market.

Unaccredited for-profit universities take in tons of foreign students, give them a visa, set up bogus online courses for them, and send them on their merry way hither and yon throughout these vast United States.

Yes – it’s yet another in the long list of distance ed’s advantages over inconvenient old-fashioned face to face university teaching: You can come over here from, say, India, grab your visa documentation at the office park with I’m a University scrawled on a piece of paper in Tower B, Suite 630 East, and then get to the job in Akron you were going to in the first place! Does any other technology allow you to do this? No – only online.

Naturally the feds are on to this, so they’ve got this rule:

[F]oreign students must be physically present on campus and can take no more than a single course per semester online.

But how rule-bound, in general, are these institutions? (Some in Congress want the government to come up with a “list of warning signs for colleges breaking visa rule[s].” Based on the Tri-Valley University story, UD proposes this handy rule of thumb: If the university president’s private residence is larger than the entire campus, consider this a warning sign.) Can we trust them to follow this online rule?

Well, let’s look at how they’re doing in terms of accreditation rules. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on Northern Virginia University:

[UNV is accredited by the] American University Accreditation Council, which is not recognized by the Department of Education. The address listed as the council’s headquarters is an auto-body repair shop owned by the chairman of Northern Virginia’s board. A caller to the number listed on the accreditor’s Web site was greeted with the following message Thursday evening: “This is D’Angelo, so get at me back.”

Yes, the flourishing visa mills of America are getting at us back.

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