Easy come, easy go for fake degrees
Previous posts have noted the problems with fake degrees and there have been some high profile politicians unaccountably caught up with fake degree scandals in recent times. My eye was caught recently by this piece on degrees issued by an institution which doesn’t exist, Westfield University:
Ann E. Lewis, leader of Pencader Charter School, in Newcastle, Delaware, says that she holds a Ph. D. degree from Westfield University.
The only problem is that Westfield University doesn’t seem to exist. There is a major crisis in the world of higher education: the large and growing number of fake universities and fake degrees.
There is a website called college-degree-fast.com, and after completing a brief online application and paying a small fee, the site offers applicants a degree of their choice from any of several “universities.” One of those institutions is Westfield University, where Pencader High School leader Ann Lewis says she received her PhD.
The article also includes a few highlights from an interview with Ann Lewis about her qualifications. She doesn’t seem to have worked too hard for them:
“I got my MBA without my master’s thesis from Westfield University,” states Lewis.
A reporter states that a 25-year-old colleague applied to Westfield through college-fast-degree.com, and was offered a Ph.D. in organizational leadership.
When Lewis is questioned about her own Ph.D., she states that she didn’t have time to finish it, but got the Ph.D. anyway: “I finished this as far as I needed to do.” Apparently that should be enough to qualify anyone to get a Ph.D.
It’s great that some institutions seem to encourage such flexibility. However, this all seems to have been a bit too much publicity for Westfield University and its website has now disappeared as noted in this follow up piece. Don’t worry though, there will be many more along soon.