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  1. #1
    Gus Sainz is offline Registered User
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    Exclamation And now... The Truth About The CEU

    For some time now, I have been in possession (though not at liberty to reveal publicly) of two copies of official documents from the Department of Education of the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, signed by the Director of Accreditation, Certification, and Academic Control. Both are in response to requests Alan Contreras of the State of Oregon, Office of Degree Authorization made in February of last year for more information concerning The Centro de Estudios Universitarios.

    The first document, dated August 8, 2001, states that the CEU is authorized to grant the equivalent of Bachelors degrees and a single Masters degree in Administration (with six different areas of specialization). It also states quite explicitly that the CEU is NOT authorized to grant doctoral degrees nor has it presented any documentation requesting to do so.

    Once Enrique Serna became aware of this document, it appears that he went to work immediately to rectify the situation. A second, unsolicited document (dated November 26, 2001) was subsequently prepared and sent to the ODA. This document states the CEU has the facilities to provide instruction for Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degrees. However, it also goes on to say that the CEU had presented to the Department of Education (Secretaría de Educacion) the Virtual Education Program offering Masters and Doctoral degrees, but it was still in process of being approved.

    There you have it. Contrary to what they have been advertising on their Web site for quite some time (see the open letter from the Vice-Rector of the Centro de Estudios Universitarios, Jose Cardenas Cavazos, concerning the authority to grant degrees here), as of November of last year, the CEU did not have degree granting authority for Doctoral degrees, or any other Masters, except the one in Administration.

    Chances are, they still don’t have approval, or certainly Enrique would have made sure that the ODA would have been notified immediately. However, now that this is public knowledge, how long will it be before MIGS’s esteemed General Counsel, Enrique G. Serna, works his mojo once again?
    Last edited by Gus Sainz; 03-22-2002 at 09:59 AM.
    Gus Sainz
    DegreeDiscussion.com

  2. #2
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    You know, one just doesn't expect a school's officials to just lie about something like that. I eagerly jumped at the opportunity to work with this program because everything looked in order. (Or as much as a start up operation could be.) But from the very beginning I began having doubts, primarily because they simply were not staffed to run a school. As I said to John Bear privately many times, there was no "There" there. Still, I thought they were sincere. But then they kept talking about doing this and that, but didn't have anyone in place to get it done. In my two FTF meetings with Armando, I was convinced that he was involved at least to the extent of ensuring the agreement between MIGS and the CEU was in order. But now I think he was relying on Enrique and Sheila for that. Dumb. (Armando and me. )

    When it became clear in August of 2001 that MIGS was not proceeding properly with Florida licensure, I could no longer give them the benefit of the doubt. I bailed.

    For Enrique, he'll have to decide what's more important to him, the remaining shreds of his professional dignity and reputation, or his relationship with Sheila. My guess is Enrique will bail out quietly. I don't know how much longer MIGS can go on in an unlicensed fashion.

    Let's see, no legal authority to operate, many mis-statements regarding their approval to award degrees, phantom faculty members, deceptive promotions. You don't think Levicoff got it right, do you? :D (IMHO, Steve made a very informed and educated guess. He didn't have all the facts, but new better than to give Sheila and company any room for doubt. I took them at face value, he didn't believe them. He was right.)

    It now appears--as I believe Gus supposed a long time ago--that the CEU rented their name to MIGS. That the CEU wasn't--despite what was told to UNESCO--going to award the degrees. I suspected as much when I finally left last summer--I told people around me that I would leave if it began to appear I was involved with a program that would result in a degree issued from Florida and signed by Bruce Forman and Armando Arias. If the CEU in Monterrey wasn't both authorized to award the degrees and in fact going to, then this was nothing more than an unlicensed sham. And that is precisely what it turned out to be.

    I'm not sorry about trying to do something with all of this. I'm just sorry that I trusted these people. Oh, and I'm glad others like Gus did not. It took that to bring this down.

    Rich Douglas
    Last edited by Rich Douglas; 03-22-2002 at 10:15 AM.

  3. #3
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    This is truly amazing. I really hope (but doubt) that someone will spend some time in gaol for this fraud because this debacle may taint other attempts to establish U.S.-based collaborative relationships with GAAP foreign universities.

  4. #4
    Ike
    Ike is offline Registered User
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    I was skeptical about the legitimacy of MIGS/CEU from the beginning. That was why I stated in this forum (about a year ago) that a CEU Ph.D. is GAAP equivalent only and only if CEU is authorized to award doctoral degrees in Mexico. Today, we are finally sure that CEU has never been authorized to award doctoral degrees in Mexico. Thank you Guz for the info.

  5. #5
    Gus Sainz is offline Registered User
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    Talking Thanks!

    Let’s not forget that the real thanks belong to the hardworking individuals of the State of Oregon, Office of Degree Authorization; the State of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and the Commission for Independent Education of the State of Florida Department of Education .

    I won’t name them individually (they know who they are), but I do want to publicly express my gratitude. Way too often these individuals are on the receiving end of a lot of criticism, but in truth, these dedicated public servants are, overall, doing a great job.
    Gus Sainz
    DegreeDiscussion.com

  6. #6
    levicoff Guest

    Cool Your FIRST source for news!

    Originally posted by Gus Sainz
    Contrary to what they have been advertising on their Web site for quite some time (see the open letter from the Vice-Rector of the Centro de Estudios Universitarios, Jose Cardenas Cavazos, concerning the authority to grant degrees [url=http://www.ceugraduate.com/vice_rector.htm]here[/url...
    First, kudos to Gus Sainz for his ongoing monitoring of the CEU/MIGS situation. Out of all of us, Gus is the one who has always had the best handle on MIGS; even during the lawsuit, I relied heavily on some of the materials he had come up with early on.

    I find it fascinating, although not unexpected, that Gus posted the original message in this thread today. As I write this, only nine-or-so hours later, the link on the CEU web site has disappeared. Wow . . . Just like magic!

    It certainly gives us an indication of who is monitoring this forum. So with that, I'll close by saying . . .
    Hi, Sheila!:D

  7. #7
    Chip is offline Administrator
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    Originally posted by Rich Douglas
    You know, one just doesn't expect a school's officials to just lie about something like that. (snip)... In my two FTF meetings with Armando, I was convinced that he was involved at least to the extent of ensuring the agreement between MIGS and the CEU was in order. But now I think he was relying on Enrique and Sheila for that. Dumb. (Armando and me.

    Rich Douglas
    In the meeting that John and I had with Armando, I clearly remember Armando telling us how CEU had received it's official approval to grant "doctorados" about a month or two prior. (This would have been around December of 2000.) I would wager, as Rich has said, that Armando was relying on Sheila's word (and maybe Enrique) rather than verifying himself... he just didn't strike me as the sort who would be a boldfaced liar, which one would have to be in order to make such a statement.

    On the other hand, I can easily imagine Sheila perpetrating such an untruth... and I suppose it could also be possible that whomever at CEU is getting his or her pockets lined by Sheila over this deal could have also pulled a fast one on Sheila.

    But the sad part is, people (Sheila, Armando, Bruce) who are running a higher education program really *ought* to understand the value of primary research... check out everything at the source for yourself, and don't rely on anyone else.

    The unfortunate thing is, Sheila probably won't throw in the towel. Enrique will probably work his mojo, palms will be greased, the requisite approval will probably be issued, and Sheila will pull another scam to claim that MIGS/CEU *isn't* operating in Florida, and then... who knows?... it might continue to limp along for another few years.

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  9. #8
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    I'd like to thank Gus for keeping on top of things, Steve for bringing the whole MIGS debacle to the forefront (albeit not voluntarily), and the Texas & Florida authorities for sticking it to this shadow operation.

    Last, but certainly not least, I think Rich Douglas deserves some recognition for very publically admitting that he made a mistake, which is certainly a rare commodity in these parts. A very classy move, IMO.


    Bruce

  10. #9
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by Bruce
    Last, but certainly not least, I think Rich Douglas deserves some recognition for very publically admitting that he made a mistake, which is certainly a rare commodity in these parts.

    Bruce
    It was not difficult (in the end). If the agreement was actually in place, if the CEU, through its autonomous decree, was actually able to award the doctorate. If the people involved were willing to run a real school. If these things were true, then MIGS would have had very serious challenges. THOSE were the reasons I got involved. When it became clear they weren't going to run a real school, and when the Florida licensure issue became a real dust-up last August, it was time to go.

    Rich Douglas, back at The Union

  11. #10
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    Originally posted by Rich Douglas
    Rich Douglas, back at The Union
    Rich,

    Are you as vocal an advocate for Union as you were for MIGS?

    I'm really glad this worked out for you, and would certainly enjoy perusing your dissertation--when completed that is.

  12. #11
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    I'm not so sure I was such a vocal advocate for MIGS. If you mean by "vocal" that I said a lot, then that's true. I spent a lot of time defending the concept. Unfortunately, as we've seen, MIGS was not what it presented itself to be.

    If the CEU did indeed have the authority to grant doctorates, and it did indeed contract with an effective organization to develop and conduct those degrees, then I felt the situation could work. But even if MIGS was all it said, there were still reasons to critize the setup. I agree with that, but felt the real faults laid with not its setup, but with its execution.

    I likened the setup to the Touro College/Touro University International example, and expected it to run in a similar fashion. The degree-granting authority would come from the home campus, the CEU (which is a properly recognized university) while the program was conducted under competent educational supervision at MIGS. Well, the CEU doesn't have the authority after all, and it became increasingly clear that MIGS wasn't going to staff its operation to any level necessary to run the school. I finally got sick of it--and the Florida licensure issue they failed to comply with--and left.

    I'm not as vocal about Union because it's an established program many people are familiar with. I'd been a Union learner previously, so I understood the program pretty well. Given a choice between a Union doctorate and one issued by a properly-approved CEU, I'd choose Union every time. But a recognized doctorate from a university in Mexico would have met my needs.

    Union is taking me back after a considerable time away. While I've had to show them I'm still current in my field (Nontraditional Higher Education --I'll let you decide if I'm current), the real kicker in getting me back in was John Bear. John served on my first Union committee, along with Dick Crews, former president of Columbia Pacific University. (John's returning; I won't ask Dick to return since he's out of the business.) John wrote a nice letter to The Union asking if some accomodation could be made for my return. (I left during a divorce and the financial crisis that accompanied it. Ancient history , anymore.) Anyway, The Union was extremely responsive. (When John wrote the previous president about my return, he ignored John twice.) The re-admission committee meets today, but I'm expecting to get back in. They've already given me an informal okay, and my previous core professor (unavailable this time because she's on sabbatical) urged my return. I expect to begin July 1.

    As for what I really think of The Union, well, it's been an up-and-down experience, one I hope to end on a high note next Spring. We'll see.

    Thanks for asking. Now, I'd really like to stop talking about MIGS. The idea wasn't a mistake and is still viable. (Not at MIGS, of course.) But the execution and the players were (mostly) horrid. I was critical about that all along the way, even while defending the concept. The only consideration I had in the deal was free tuition, which I never utilized. (In fact, I paid my admission and evaluation fees.) I wasted a lot of time trying to help this wreck get started. My wife is still ticked at me for all the effort I put into MIGS. She's right.

    Rich Douglas

  13. #12
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    P.S. I still need another adjunct professor on my committee.....

    Rich Douglas:)

  14. #13
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    Originally posted by Rich Douglas
    As for what I really think of The Union, well, it's been an up-and-down experience, one I hope to end on a high note next Spring.
    One thing is certain, Union has the gold stamp of RA, and is probably not going to relocate in several other states anytime soon! :D

    All the best in your studies!

  15. #14
    levicoff Guest

    Cool In Rich's Favor . . .

    I think it's important to distinguish Rich's past relationship with MIGS/CEU from his prospective future relationship with Union.

    Those who are familiar with the MIGS saga may recall that I had often referred to Rich as "a shill for MIGS." And I have no problem with that - remember, that was his job, so to speak. Rich signed his posts with the title "MIGS Research Assistant," an unpaid role he assumed in exchange for free tuition (such as it was). Therefore, his job was to be an active advocate for MIGS, and he did that quite well. I would have expected no less.

    (My role, of course, was to trash him for doing so. But he no longer does so, and I no longer trash him. This is the politic of education , folks. You see, Rich and I are both nice guys; we were simply on opposing teams.)

    Rich's role with Union will be different - he will be a doctoral learner like any other doctoral learner, and will not be expected to hype or shill for Union as he did for MIGS. It is neither necessary nor required, especially when you're paying tuition: you are not only a student or learner, but an educational consumer.

    Rich has already been a vocal advocate for Union, merely through his selection of Union. That, in part, is enhanced because of his critical review of MIGS. It took a while, but there appears to be no question as to where he stands regarding MIGS and CEU. And I give him much credit for that - one of the hardest things to do is to state in public, "I fucked up." Rich has done that, and he has repudiated his past and the actions of MIGS, and that enhances his credibility tremendously.

    So, just as I have semi-retired from the zoo of nontraditional education , I think it's important that we allow Rich to go on with his life and dedicate himself to completing his Ph.D. I have all confidence that he will do so quite competently.

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  17. #15
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    Re: In Rich's Favor . . .

    Originally posted by levicoff
    I think it's important that we allow Rich to go on with his life and dedicate himself to completing his Ph.D. I have all confidence that he will do so quite competently.
    Indeed, Steve, I too have confidence that Rich will do well.

    Do you carry a laptop with you in the big rig? Your current vocation would be the perfect opportunity to do some updated research and write a 2003 version of NIFI. While on the road you could actually visit these "schools" posing as a truck driver (well, you actually wouldn't be posing ), gather all the needed data and make yet another contribution to DL.

    Seriously, I would be pleased to have an updated version of NIFI.

  18. #16
    Neil Hynd is offline Registered User
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    Cool

    Mmmmm.

    What the second letter (DOCUMENT No. DACCE/1588/2001) actually states is:-

    "As an authorized University, the CEU has the proper authority and faculty to provide education on college and bachelor degrees, as well as Master and Doctorate degrees."

    That's not quite what Gus has written ....

    The plot thickens ......

    Cheers,

    Neil

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