And now... The Truth About The CEU

Discussion in 'The Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies' started by Gus Sainz, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Neil Hynd

    Neil Hynd New Member

    Hi Gus,

    My interest in Q4 2001 was the difference between what the ODA web site then contained and what was written from CEU sources.

    At the time, the ODA site had: "Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies. As of August, 2001, this entity is not authorized to operate in Texas or Florida, where it claims to operate. ... Its parent entity, CEU of Mexico, does not have authority from the Mexican government to issue doctoral degrees."

    The entry in November 2001 after receiving the second letter removed the above reference to the parent entity having no authority to issue doctoral degrees, replacing it with (and as you wrote): "Oregon does recognize degrees issued in Mexico by Centro de Estudias Universitarios of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.”

    On the Autonomous Presidential Decree and ability to issue degrees vis-a-vis approval from the state education department, I too have asked the question but had no answer. One suggestion was that is might be a matter of courtesy.

    Whatever the circumstances, I think it's reasonable to conclude that CEU is able to provide education up to and including doctoral level, with its Virtual Education Program (Distance Learning) in the state education process for approval as a recognised Mexican qualification.

    You also seem to make a lot of the second letter to ODA being "unsolicited".

    For me, it's unremarkable that when the mistake in the August 2001 letter was pointed out to Nuevo Leon that led to the ODA web site contradicting the CEU Vice Rector, NL wrote the second letter as stated in the letter "after a thorough review of records, files and supporting documentation on this case at the Mexican Ministry of Education archive".

    On the translation issue, I think ODA will have received its November letter in Spanish (as the August one), in which case their own interpretation might be interesting. My English version was stamped from a certified translation service.

    Finally, using the information that CEU approvals are in process may not be that unusual.

    Here in the UAE, there are several local campuses of overseas universities (Wollongong and the American University of Dubai are two well known with big investments) offering degree programs with the official footnote that the university is approved to exist in the country, but its programs are in process of accreditation by the Ministry of Education.

    There's no doubt the MIGS episode in its original format caused a lot of initial enthusiasm which later turned into confusion, upset and anger. Should the circumstances be resolved as wholly CEU/CUS/CUSGC, then the outcome could be positive. Is the location of administrative offices a big issue ?

    Again, there are many such agencies operating here in the Middle East - their advertisements (eg. for Leicester Univ. programs and others) carry the official footnote that the study programs are carried out from outside the country and the Ministry of Education takes no responsibility as to equivalence.



  2. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    You have quoted (and misquoted) the ODA, but the bottom line is this. The ODA is extremely clear that any degree issued, not only by MIGS, but also by the CEU through any MIGS-related structure are unacceptable.

    The suggestion is plausible only if you consider ”courtesy” as synonymous with “pound of flesh.”

    No, that isn’t a reasonable conclusion at all. According to the CEU and MIGS, the Virtual Education Program IS MIGS. There is no evidence that MIGS (operating from who knows where) has the ability to provide any education at all. Every competent authority that has examined MIGS has deemed it to be incapable of granting a legitimate degree (even through the CEU), and their operations illegal. What, then, do you think the Secretaria de Educación will be looking at and assessing?

    The reason for mentioning the unsolicited (by the ODA) nature of the second document is to highlight the motivation and impetus behind the creation of the second document. The first document was the honest effort of an earnest bureaucrat, and the product of direct communication between two state governments. The second document was prepared solely at the behest of a private party. It is a valiant, if ineffective (as it does not refute or contradict any of the information in the first document), attempt to defuse the impact of factual information damaging to MIGS. The first document cites sources and corroborating documents for its statements. The statements are not refuted in the second document for a very simple reason: no documentation exists to support denying the fact that the CEU is not authorized by the Secretaria de Educación of the state of Nuevo Leon to grant doctoral degrees.

    Your quote, Neil, is a fragment, and the translation, not quite accurate.

    The complete quote, from the original document in Spanish (so those who speak Spanish can judge for themselves), is as follows:
    ”En atención a su escrito de fecha 22 de febrero de 2001, mediante el cual solicita información relativa al Centro de Estudios Universitarios, después de revisar detenidamente la documentación, los archivos y antecendentes del caso en esta Secretaria, me permito communicarle lo seguinte:”

    The English translation is:
    ”Re: your letter date February 22, 2001, in which you request information concerning the Centro de Estudios Universitarios, after a deliberate review of the documentation, files, and antecedents of this case in this department, allow me to communicate the following:”

    And a possible interpretation is:
    “After getting thoroughly chewed out by my boss…”

    Moreover, there were no mistakes in the first document, and the second document does nothing to contradict the first. At no time are the words, “correct,” “error,” “misconception,” “mistake,” “amend,” or even “update” ever used. No one who has seen both documents has come to the conclusion that the second document disputes the very clear, unambiguous assertion that the CEU is not authorized to grant doctoral degrees.

    Here is an excellent analogy. I write a letter to Century University and ask them if Neil Hynd earned a Ph.D. at their institution. Century responds by stated that a thorough review of their records indicates that Mr. Hynd earned a Masters degree, but not a Ph.D. I inform Mr. Hynd of Century’s response, and he tells me that there must be some kind of mistake. Mr. Hynd contacts Century and tells them that their response to my inquiry is damaging to him (it helps that Mr. Hynd and the owner of Century have other business relationships). Century then issues another letter stating that upon further review, Mr. Hynd is a cool guy, an apt student, and probably could earn a Ph.D. if he wanted to. They also state that, although he has yet to be accepted, they have received an application from Mr. Hynd to enroll in the Ph.D. program, and the application is being processed. Does Neil have a right to be called Dr. Hynd?

    You will only consider the ODA interpretation interesting, if you find mine to be so. In my conversations with Alan Contreras, administrator of the Office of Degree Authorization, we compared our respective interpretations of both documents. As far as the translation and interpretation of the documents, we agreed on virtually everything.

    Once again, please state the source and provenance of the documents in your possession, and who conducted the certified translation; mine came directly from the ODA. (It is inconceivable that a certified translation service would make the mistake of translating “this department” as “the Mexican Ministry of Education.”)

    Nor would it be unusual for the application to have been made after the first document was issued; this would certainly account for why a thorough review of the files did not turn it up in August. But I agree; using the information that approval was in process is not unusual. However, offering degrees and claiming that approval had been granted before it actually was (probably before even applied for), is not only unusual, but also fraudulent.

    Here in the United States, we also have branch campuses and candidates for accreditation. MIGS, however, is neither. As you so aptly put it, MIGS is not authorized by any state to offer any degrees and therefore not even allowed to exist in this country (with or without footnotes).

    I don’t think so, not if the cast of characters remains the same. And what do you mean by MIGS’s original format? Nothing has changed but the name. Willy-nilly efforts at damage control do not constitute real change.

    As far as the location of the administrative offices being a big deal, lets see. The State of Texas thought it was a big deal to the tune of fining MIGS $250,000.00 for operating illegally. The State of Florida though it was a big enough deal to deny them licensure and declare any operations in the state illegal (although they still operate in Florida). The State of Oregon thought it was a big enough deal to deem all degrees issued by such an entity are illegal. Neil Hynd thinks it’s a big deal; for years he has maintained the position that solely because his unaccredited (actually worse, bogusly accredited), GAAS passing alma mater, Century University, was permitted to operate in the State of New Mexico it was a legitimate institution of higher learning.

    Concerning the agencies in the Middle East offering degrees from Leicester and others, we have similar agencies operating, here, in the United States (such as those offering degrees from the University of South Africa, Heriot-Watt, and others). And none are expected to apply for or be granted accreditation (although UNISA did), as they are properly authorized to grant the same degrees in their own country. The example you are offering is not analogous. Do any of the degrees programs being offered by these agencies carry (what you termed) the official footnote that the universities in question are not authorized to offer the degrees in their own country? And are these agencies operating illegally and being fined by the government for offering fraudulent degrees? If any are, then, and only then, do you have a similar situation to MIGS/CEU.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2002
  3. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I've suggested before that if Century University had any sense, they'd hire their doctoral alumnus, Dr. Hynd, as their official rationalizer.* Now I might suggest that CEU do the same.

    As we say in Bologna, "Dalla vaschetta friggente, in un altro friggente della vaschetta."**

    *Perhaps they have, come to think of it.
    **Courtesy of Babelfish, "Out of the frying pan into another frying pan."
  4. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    It's hard for me to comment on a document I have never seen and which has unknown provenence. But I do have questions about the claim that CEU has the ability/means/capacity to offer doctorates.

    My ability to read Spanish is minimal (based on a Spanish class I took 20 years ago), but ANUIES website seems to be telling me that CEU offers only two masters programs (the CEU website only mentions one) and that CEU only has *three* full time graduate faculty members.

    So it seems to me that CEU would only have the facultades if they hired a bunch of new profesores, let alone spent some time doing program development and stuff like that.

    I'm troubled by the fact that whoever produced this letter is appearing to vouch for CEU's abilities to deliver doctoral programs before it even has any.
  5. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Re: Question


    I'll take the liberty of answering this. The "Union" is Union Institute & University, a regionally accredited ("RA") university that is one of the pioneers of non-traditional education. Union is a good choice for experienced professionals who wish to pursue a degree in their field. Several people who post to this forum have degrees from this school (I am not one of them). Union's website is

  6. Shaun

    Shaun New Member



    Thanks for the information. I will be persuing a masters after I am done with my BSITM degree. I will consider TUI. Thanks.

  7. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    tony, that is of course if I can get into TUI without a masters degree. I have 22 years of military training on top of what will soon be a bachelors. Who knows.

    Again, thanks for the lead.

  8. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    If you are still in the military a good choice would be Touro University International which is also RA and has good deals for the military.

  9. Shaun

    Shaun New Member


    I'm enrolled now. Thanks anyway.
  10. levicoff

    levicoff Guest

    Don't hold your breath (nothing personal).

    That won't cut it at Union, which only admits persons without a masters degree to their doctoral program about 7% of the time.

    I think you'll find this to be the case with all doctoral programs. It's not that you do not have significant life experience; you simply do not have it in academically relevant areas. The type of person they would do this for is someone who has held a bachelor's degree for many years (you have apparently not yet earned yours) and who has a significant record of accomplishment in a liberal arts or social service-oriented field (humanities, social sciences, etc.) with a publication record as well.

    The military training will be good for challenging part of a bachelor's degree, depending on what school you do it at. But legitimately accredited graduate degrees require totally new learning.

    Not what you wanted to hear, I'm sure, but that's reality.
  11. Shaun

    Shaun New Member


    Interesting you would make such a snap judgement about my experiences, training, public service, and education. You know nothing of what my accomplishments are or what public service I have performed. Are you a PhD student at the Union, and are all those at the Union like yourself? Excuse me, but you really assume a lot. I didn't realize I would that I had to author several best sellers, be President of the United States, and have accomplished world peace before I was qualified to apply. Thanks for the encouragement. I'll remember that after my next tour to Saudi, served another 6 years as a law enforcement officer, finished my BSITM, and worked in my local government, all while supporting a family. I am probably far more educated than you may realize, I just at the moment do not have the credentials to follow my name as you might have. I am well versed in many areas and am very proud of my accomplishments. Not bad for a person who has spent the last 22 years serving their country. I apologize for not being as blue-blooded as you must obviously be, but I must thank you for one thing, I guess if those at the Union are as encouraging to others as you are, I would be better off going elsewhere.

  12. There's not a blue blood-cell in my body, and I'm not a doctoral student at Union (or anywhere else, for that matter.) But my observation as a first-semester graduate student is this: You will be made or broken in graduate school by a) your ability to conduct research and b) your ability to understand and evaluate the writing of others.

    Take that however you'd like. I am now stepping out of the crossfire.
  13. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Your Comment


    And so you know, yes, I did go to the TUI website, and read the part about how about only 7% of those with just a bachelor's degree make it in. I figured out it was rather tough all by my self. I am glad that MOST of those in academia are very encouraging, you should talk to a few of them.

    I hope you are not a professor.
  14. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    your Comment

    But you didn't have to be so negative. I am quite aware of how tough graduate research is. As I said, you know little of me. I have already written a thesis and am waiting on it to come back from the binder. I am shifting from a MPA to a BSITM to better pad my resume for when I retire after 23 (as of next July) years of faithful service.

    I just hope you understand my point. I feel we have a responsibility to ENCOURAGE those seeking higher education, not to DISCOURAGE them.

    With that I will also step out of this thread.
  15. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Oh, for Pete's sake

    Steve Levicoff writes his calmest, most gentle, least aggressive, (and typically helpful) response in 6 1/2 years, and gets dumped on. Ya can't win (sometimes).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2002
  16. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member


    I feel bad that I neglected to mention that Union only does bachelors and doctoral programs but that Vermont College (formerly of Norwich University) is now an afiliate of Union. Vermont offers masters degrees and would appear to be a good complement for someone looking for an eventual Union Ph.D.

    Had I mentioned this earlier, it may have prevented this unpleasantness between you and Steve Levicoff (who really is quite knowledgeable). Sorry about that.

    Vermont College's part of Union's website is located at:

    B.A., M.Ed. BYU
    Ed.D. candidate, La Sierra U.
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Steve can certainly be abrasive at times (we old-timers have all found that out at one time or another), but he knows the DL game inside and out. Don't let his delivery distract you from his message.

    BTW...I've been a police officer for 14 years, did a 7-month tour in the Persian Gulf during the war (12/90-7/91), and am constantly amazed at what I can learn by reading this forum.

  18. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Re: your Comment


    If you reread Steve's thread, I think you'll see that he wasn't being negative at all... he was simply telling you, factually, that it would be very unusual for TUI (or, for that matter, just about any credible school) to admit you to a doctoral program without a masters degree. You may not like what he's telling, but it's the truth... and this forum exists *to* be helpful and encouraging to the people who participate here.

    As Steve said, your experience will help you get portfolio credit at the undergraduate level, but won't do anything meaningful at the graduate level, because prior learning generally cannot be used... graduate work is expected to be new research. As such, the thesis you've written is also probably not something that could be used for a masters degree, although there are a few schools that bend the rules on that count.

    Steve is highly qualified to speak on the subject, having been recognized by several courts as an expert witness in the field of distance learning, having taught at several colleges, and having been on the doctoral committee of several Union learners. Quite frankly, I think that his reply was, as John said, quite reasonable and certainly helpful, and if you reread it, and reread your own posts, I'm hopeful that you'll see that I think you overreacted a bit.

    We *are* all here to help one another. When someone steps out of line, the moderators and admins do our best to encourage people to be courteous and thoughtful, and to debate the point without attacking the poster. I think that Steve has done a good job of that, and he might be due an apology.
  19. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    My string


    I will concede that I was a bit harsh in my response, and I wish to apologize to all of you. After sleeping on it and then rereading the thread, it would have been best to not even have responded.

    I know most of you have had many years of education, and are well established in DL issues. I have been involved in DL for 3 years now, and enjoy it greatly. But, as for someone like me, who has had to motivate themself to reach beyong the ordinary, it would have been better for there to have been a repsonse that was more encouraging, instead of a tone that was condescending. Although this may have not been the intent, that is how it sounded and was received. I too am a firm believer in giving "just the facts" but some forums are not the appropriate place for intense bluntness, especially if you do not know who it is you are communicating with.

    A simple "it is possible, but it happens in only 7% of the time, good luck" would have been received much better than the answer I was furnished.

    Again, I apologize for the response I gave. I feel that if this is a learning forum, then we should be a little more uplifting in how the advice is delivered.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is typical of someone who shows up to a forum, doesn't know any of its history, and then begins posting.

    Please do a little research before you jump to conclusions.

    I don't thing Steve was implying that you personally don't have what it will take to be admitted to the Union sans master's. Rather, that it is a difficult and rare event. (The 7% figure can be found on the school's website, BTW.) But even if he was talking about you, the information you related regarding your other qualifications are not the things that would make up for a lack of a master's. That's what Steve was looking at. A load of work experience and/or military training isn't going to cut it. Publishing in academic journals, on the other hand, might. Again, Steve used the term academically comparable, which work experience and military training isn't.

    Now, before you get mad at me, let me tell you a couple of things. First, Steve is hardly a blueblood. He makes many blue comments, and you just might get a taste of that first hand. (Take it from me, it's one ride you don't want to take!) Second, Steve is a graduate of The Union with a Ph.D. Third, I am a doctoral candidate with The Union. Fourth, I'm a retired Air Force Education and Training Officer; I know a little bit about military training.

    Go get a master's. Or don't. :cool:

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