Considering Fairfax University Business PhD

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by BigLie, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. BigLie

    BigLie New Member

    Hey Gang!

    I've been accepted in to Fairfax University for a PhD in Business. I've done some research on them, obviously. But, other than the lack of accreditation, I was wondering if any of you could offer me a reason that I might not want to pursue this program. Expert opinion would be most helpful. Just looking for some extra help in making my decision. Thanks.
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It depends, what do you want to do with your PhD after graduation? If it is only for self improvement, then why to spend the money on it when you can just read a book or get an industry certification (e.g. CFA).

    If you are looking for a teaching job, it would be quite hard to land a job with a Fairfax PhD, however, you have some that have a job at an accredited university with a Fairfax degree (e.g. OLIVER SCHWABE, D.B.A. at Jones International ) so this is not a rule.

    There are many options for a PhD at an accredited university (NCU, Touro, Capella, Walden) so I don't see why you would want to go for Fairfax degree. So why not to explore other possibilites and spend your money in something that could be more solid.
  3. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    As one of the four co-founders of Fairfax (1986), I find it curious that I seem to know so little about what it is up to now. (Of course I only lasted a few months, and left in late 1986 before the first student enrolled.)

    Even though my relations with co-founder Alan Jones (Ph.D. from Warwick) have been polite (much of the time), and even though I have never heard anything that would cause me alarm about the academic end of things, and even though I find it surprising yet impressive that the extremely prestigious Lord Perry of Walton, a key figure in the British Open University, served as Chancellor of Fairfax until his death last July, it is still the case that use of their degree would be a criminal offense in some states . . . and I still cannot figure out (perhaps you know) on what authority they grant their degree. Not Britain (from where they are run) nor, I think, Louisiana, nor South Dakota, so what then?
  4. BigLie

    BigLie New Member

    I appreciate both responses.

    Dr. Bear I noticed from your website that you are the Head of New Business Development for the Financial Times division of Pearson PLC. If someone with a Fairfax U. degree applied to work for you at Pearson how would you treat that applicant? Would you exclude them from consideration based on the Fairfax University degree?

    I think how you would treat an applicant is relevant because you have been instrumental in setting the bar. I believe many employers have based their decisions on what you have written. Because of this, how you would treat an applicant from Fairfax U. will weigh heavy on my decision.

    Thanks for you time.
  5. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    RFValue is correct here. A non-regionally accredited degree will not be counted at any reputable university. I've seen two individuals lose jobs because of their non-regionally accredited degrees.

    Anyone that does teach with such a credential, almost certainly holds their position because of a regionally accredited masters degree.

    Regards - Andy

  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This is true, however, in the case of OLIVER SCHWABE, his MBA and DBA are from Fairfax. It seems that Jones International doesn't know or perhaps the individual is very qualified.
  7. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Making career plans based on extreme exceptionality is likely a bad business.

    For instance, my degrees aren't from an in-house institution in the religion of which I am a cleric. But 99 out of 100 clerics go the in-house route. If a young fellow told me he wanted to be a cleric, I'd tell him not to do what I did, even though it "worked". I'd tell him to go the in-house route like (virtually) everybody else.

    For better or worse, the RA collectivity functions on an in-house basis. The extremely rare hiring exception does not change that.
    My opinion about whether that's good or bad doesn't change it, either.

    I also looked at the Fairfax materials, and came away with the dizzying sense that, no matter how high the castle might reach, it didn't connect to the ground very well anywhere.

    Best wishes as you plan your academic future.
  8. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    A mystery. The following from the Frequently Asked Questions page:
    • What is the legal status of Fairfax University?
      Fairfax University was originally incorporated in 1986 as a not-for-profit degree-granting organization in the State of Louisiana (USA) and remains so incorporated. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America has officially recognized Fairfax University as a not-for-profit corporation. In the past few years the University has been seeking to widen its role. Part of its development plan as an international educational institution, is to widen its incorporation, accreditation and recognition status by legally incorporating in other jurisdictions so as to be able to continue, uninterrupted by inappropriate and outmoded state and central government-type systems of quality control and assessment, with our unique, relevant and high quality continuing education programs. The University is currently also legally incorporated in the states of South Dakota and Montana.

      Is Fairfax University Regionally Accredited in the United States?
      In the United States, the accreditation of colleges and universities is a voluntary and non-governmental process. The accreditation process per se has nothing to do with legal degree granting authority. All new colleges and universities in the USA must begin as unaccredited. It is strictly a matter of internal policy as to whether or not colleges decide to undertake the costly and time-consuming process of gaining regional accreditation. World-wide, there now seems to be an attempt by central and state governments to 'sanitize' educational programs and make them all conform to a more or less uniform pattern. 'Quality control' is usually given as the reason for adopting such an approach. Of course, there has to be some form of control over what educational organizations do for a number of reasons including, public confidence and to combat educational fraudsters and those who would seek to virtually 'sell' qualifications. However, the history of education is littered with endless examples of 'alternative' and 'complimentary' ways of approaching the way people learn at all levels of education. Every single time any kind of national curriculum, or process of evaluation, has been adopted in the last one hundred years, be it in schools or in higher education, it has failed, especially so in Europe - the birthplace of modern education in the West as we know it today.
  9. BigLie

    BigLie New Member

    Well, this is all good info. I was considering Fairfax because I was granted enough credit to begin work on a dissertation. The completed dissertation would be my only requirement for the PhD. I'd certainly consider an RA school if one would be inclined to grant the credit, but I have not found such a school. I suppose that this may be a further indictment of Fairfax's program... or maybe not.
  10. Frankie

    Frankie member

    I am not Dr. Bear but I could offer an answer. This is the order in which I would hire if hiring came down to academic credentials. If you are in the number one category that means you scored in the highest category:

    1) A graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution

    2) An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution

    3) A nationally accredited postgraduate degree

    4) A nationally accredited undergraduate degree

    5) A non-accredited graduate degree with proof of thesis or dissertation being completed.

    6) A non-accredited undergraduate degree with proof of coursework or exams being completed.

    In my scheme you would come in at category 5 which means if another applicant had a nationally accredited undergraduate degree...I would offer him the job first.
  11. BigLie

    BigLie New Member

    Thanks for the listing there. I pretty much would consider the same. I'm 2 classes away from finishing a NA MBA from Columbia Southern.

    My interest in how Dr. Bear looks at a Fairfax PhD for the purpose of a job is of interest to me because he has been a, if not the, driving force in DL information for so many years. If he says, "Hey look, I would throw your resume in the trash" then that will help me.

    I think many RA and NA universities, and many employers, follow Dr. Bear's lead.
  12. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    BigLie: "Dr. Bear I noticed from your website that you are the Head of New Business Development for the Financial Times division of Pearson PLC. If someone with a Fairfax U. degree applied to work for you at Pearson how would you treat that applicant? Would you exclude them from consideration based on the Fairfax University degree?"

    John Bear: What a good question. But . . . I'm not doing that any more. My job was finding new business opportunities for them to consider buying or buying into (such as the Excelsior College MBA program), but not in any way setting policies or managing any businesses. Must go and change my resume. Sorry. Pearson has completely reorganized itself, with the new Pearson Education encompassing Prentice-Hall, Addison-Wesley, Longmans, Penguin, the various distance learning 'deals' (such as Heriot-Watt), etc.

    "My" business, which we sold to Pearson five years ago, doing marketing for two British universities, had 11 or 12 employees. For the 4 or 5 people who dealt regularly with the public, discussing matters of accreditation, licensing, exam preparation, etc., we looked only at knowledge and skill level in discussing these matters with potential clients. I don't think any of them was ever asked by thge public about their own degrees, although we did in the hiring process. We had one doctoral candidate (CIIS), two with RA Bachelor's, and our best by far (later 'stolen' by U of Phoenix offering him twice the salary) was a high school dropout.

    For the other people, from shipping room to business manager to CFO, the degrees and sources thereof were even less relevant. Career experience was the key.

    But, having said all that, in retrospect, I would have had real concerns about hiring someone whose degree use would be a criminal offense in other states. Yes, I know the Illinois State Degree Police are not going to surround the convention hall where BookExpo is going on and yell to a person with a Fairfax degree, "All right, Smidgely, we know you're in there. Drop your diploma and come out with your hands up..." But the potential for embarrassment is there, and that would have been a definite factor, especially for a job where there were many qualified candidates. Indeed, in the case of our best customer service rep, it really was better to have no degree than to have a potentially embarrassing one.

    I cannot speak for Pearson's . . . but I'd be willing to bet they wouldn't employ people with degrees from many of the schools that advertise regularly in The Economist, of which they own half.

    John Bear
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2003
  13. BigLie

    BigLie New Member

    Dr. Bear thank you so much. I respect your opinion. That pretty much sums up me not going any further with Fairfax U.

    I might just take a break, after getting my MBA, for a while. I'm not sure I need a PhD at this point anyway.

    Thanks again.
  14. Bao

    Bao Member

    I know this is unrelated to this topic but Dr. Bear ["All right, Smidgely, we know you're in there. Drop your diploma and come out with your hands up..." ] is very funny to me.

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