Euclid University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jfosj, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    PS - Sorry if I started another pile-on here.

  2. cleenewerck

    cleenewerck New Member

    2016 Comments and clarifications by L Cleenewerck of EUCLID (Part 1)

    I have not bothered contributing to any discussion about EUCLID on this forum for many years (2011 or 2012?), but it seems timely to do so, for reasons that will be clear.

    First, it has been several time argued that someone from EUCLID wrote various "threats" and links were provided to support this claim. As far as I can tell, these posts are completely fabricated and were authored by God knows who. I have internally verified that no one from EUCLID ever posted these ridiculous messages. One only has to compare the style of official EUCLID postings with these posts. So that settles that. Anybody can write anything on the Internet, do we need to establish that?

    Then, there is the equally ridiculous thread (not threat) about John Bear coming to see "Euclid in Trinidad, CA" (i.e. me I guess) and filming some kind of double-wide prefab housing. I have no idea what Mr Bear is talking about. I have never lived in such a dwelling, but I do work in Eureka in my office at the beautiful historical building of St Innocent Orthodox Church and at my home office. It would have been easy (and more ethical) for Mr Bear to contact me (my information is quite public on the OCA web site) and meet to discuss whatever was on his mind...

    As it is, EUCLID has reasonably well equipped and professional offices, with staff, in Banjul (photos here, a very nice and safe tourist destination actually, unlike parts of Florida) and Bangui (not so nice everywhere these days, but getting better and still with reasonably modern buildings and facilities downtown). EUCLID just (08/2016) signed an agreement to share office space with the Ecole Nationale de Magistrature et d'Administration (ENAM). EUCLID still maintains an executive office in Washington because we train several diplomats based in Washington DC and New York. As someone noted, I traveled to Bangui in March at the invitation of the newly elected President of the country who happens to be EUCLID's High Steward and a long-time friend.

    By the way, it seems that John Bear secretly called (or emailed) the California BPPE after his visit to Northern California since they contacted me to inquire. Of course, it could have been someone else from the same persuation. After due process, they (BPPE) sent me an official letter saying that I was perfectly in my right to work for a public intergovernmental institution, without any violation of BPPE regulations which simply don't apply! So thank you John Bear for facilitating this official recognition and exemption by the BPPE. And yes, EUCLID has an IRS EIN as an intergovernmental organization and pays me a part-time salary as a California-based employee, all verified by the BPPE.

    Then, in this thread, came the comparison with University of Peace and other international universities... Fine indeed. Actually, UPeace was not established by a UNGA resolution (that was the case of the United Nations University) but by a treaty. EUCLID likewise (by treaty), and the United Nations Treaty Section fully checked EUCLID before doing the treaty registration and publication which is a huge deal. And the US IANA would not grant EUCLID a restricted .int domain unless it was fully verified.

    I should mention here that EUCLID's Deputy Secretary General in New York is Robin van Puyenbroeck who is also the Vice-President of the United Nations Association of New York and who interacts at the high level of the United Nations. Not many people on this forum get to hang out with Ban Ki-moon.

    Now, there are those who will never take African governments or African people seriously. One particular US state agency person once wrote an email stating that he or she throught that African education systems were "invalid" and African (or other Global South) officials as misinformed, misguided, or corrupt." Happily, few people share this notion and common sense did prevail. Such as view is unfounded and deplorable, to use a currently popular expression. Pr Faustin Touadera of the Central African Republic (now President of the country and a major figure in EUCLID's history) holds two PhD in Mathematics and is a man of incredible intelligence and integrity. What about the other signatories? What about the agreements signed with other intergovernmental organizations? Ah, if only they were from Finland or Japan, then it would be real... But no, I am afraid that for some, they are too dark skinned and therefore suspect... How sad.

    Then (04/2016), EUCLID received the First Prize of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week from the King of Jordan for its work in the field of interfaith harmony (a much needed area of work I might add). This is a tremendous achievement and recognition. I traveled with the EUCLID Secretary General Syed Zahid Ali, a courageous and remarkable man, to Jordan for the ceremony and met the members of the Jury which included, this was meaningful for me, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. My local Eureka Times-Standard reported on this.

    So, there is no question that EUCLID has worked hard, since 2008, to deserve the trust that many governments have placed in it, and I think has earned that trust and gone through the long and complex process of being fully established and vetted. The journey is not quite complete (but almost), in part because the world of global higher education is still evolving quickly. In the recent past, Ministries of Education did the accreditation, or rather the recognition. Now, many countries are establishing accreditation and quality assurance agencies on the US model, often with World Bank funding. Time will tell if this is a good idea as I am not a fan of the US system. This is the case in Gambia (NAQAA) for example and CAR is also making that transition, and all of them use the international INQAAHE templates for quality assurance and accreditation processes. This means that all universities globally are now being vetted on the same set of baseline standards. I realize that these are baseline standards, because there are many US (CHEA) accredited institutions that get very poor online reviews (Liberty and Hult come to mind), and I can attest that the level of graduate level papers accepted by many US institution is (by EUCLID's standards), sub-standard. The University for Peace did that process with Costa Rica and UNU with Japan, just as EUCLID is doing. CAR's current Minister of Foreign Affairs (former Minister of Education) with a DEA from the University of Paris wrote an excellent paper discussing the charter and accreditation of multilateral universities.

    For many students interested in employment in the UN system, EUCLID is a viable and affordable option, since the UN Secretariat formally wrote that they recognize EUCLID as "being accredited" in spite of not being listed in the WHED. WHED has now been open to the registration of international institution. Now, there is a regional WHED update every 3 years and EUCLID has worked closely with Gambia, CAR and UNESCO/IAU to file the required documentation on time for inclusion in this cycle (which ended 08/23/2016). We shall see of course if this will result in national inclusion in WHED. WHED is one of the databases of reference for the validation of foreign and international credentials, including in the US. I am confident that the next update of WHED will include EUCLID. Needless to say, credential evaluators and other receiving agencies use official sources and not forum discussion to do their work. In the real world, our alumni have done very well.

    Which leads me to the last point: academic quality. EUCLID has very high standards that meet and exceed international standards. I have been involved in distance learning since the 1980s! I did my French BTS (a two year degree) with EDUCATEL (a distance learning pioneer in 1987-1988) and a good amount of my Licentiate at St Serge was done in the same way. But I also did another BTS and the rough equivalent of BBA degree on campus in Montpellier, France. I also studied on campus (58 US credits with a GPA of 3.97) at STOTS in Pennsylvania at the time when the ATS accreditation team was doing their assessment. I am a faculty member at the Ukrainian Catholic University which uses Moodle. In my professional opinion which I think has some credibility, EUCLID's LMS platform, curriculum and academic expectations compare with the best.
  3. cleenewerck

    cleenewerck New Member

    2016 Comments and clarifications by L Cleenewerck of EUCLID (Part 2)

    [continued] It is only partly true, as someone stated, that EUCLID is "no friend" of DegreeInfo. Anyone with eyes to see will agree that it really goes the other way: several active and established contributors on this forum are no friend of EUCLID, and yet EUCLID has hardly engaged this forum. If people cannot do their own research and evaluation of all kinds of conspiracy theories, they probably shouldn't study with EUCLID anyways. On the Internet, we see totally anonymous contributors writing anything they wish about anything and anyone, often without much consideration for facts and feelings. I am grateful for those who like Stanislas, express a reasonable and moderate voice. But I feel sorry for non-US visitors of this forum who have no idea of the amount of 'pride and prejudice' that must still be endured and overcome. These occasionally negative voices are not demeaning an abstract entity but real people of complete integrity, outstanding academic scholars, upstanding government officials, etc. I myself am a completely public person, community leader, participant in two public debates, author of several books (with reviews on Amazon) and of peer-reviewed papers published in serious journals.

    One the amazing lessons of my life is how unexpected it all goes, and definitely against all forms of stereotype and prejudice: some of the most peace-loving people I have met have been Muslims; many of the most brilliant people I know are from relatively poor African countries; some of the most supportive people and colleagues in my early years were (long before it was a mainstream topic), of the LGBT community; and some of the most acidic individuals have been from my own Orthodox Christian circle! So, as Mark Twain once wrote, "All generalizations are false, including this one."

    I hope that people will look back on 8 years of EUCLID work and revisit the impulse to judge too hastily, and I still hope that this forum can become a place of respectful and factual interaction.

    Overall, I am very happy to see EUCLID making the global impact called for by its initial vision and a real difference in many people's lives. EUCLID is getting (and 2016 is a landmark year) the recognition it deserves as a credible and academically excellent distance learning option. EUCLID is promoting interfaith harmony, training diplomats all over the world, teaching deradicalization and critical thinking. As the French saying goes: "Criticism is easy. Art is difficult!"
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I might consider actually reading this rant if you identified yourself and the role you play at Euclid.
  5. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Euclid Has Your Number!

    Or not.

    At any rate, it has a Wikipedia entry:
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Does anyone know if Euclid offers a PhD in Geometry?
  7. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    It is fair to say that a Euclid-affiliated poster 'cleenewerck' is in fact Rev. Dr. Fr. Laurent Cleenewerck. He is listed as Theology professor and International Faculty Coordinator at Euclid, and appears to be one of its founders. Father, welcome to this forum.
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I know who he is but I'm fairly certain that most of our members do not. I thought it was fairly arrogant of him to come her assuming that people knew him. Also, as he wrote himself, anyone can write anything on the internet.
  9. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Well, we knew that Fr. Laurence is an eccentric, so what else is new? It was this forum that basically equated Euclid and Cleenewerck, so his assumption that we know who he is not so much off base. If it's not enough, he identifies himself as "L Cleenewerck", offers bits of educational and professional history matching public profile of L. Cleenewerck, and writes in a distinct verbose style matching Fr. Lawrence's body of work (and he does have a public body of work). So let's dispense with status games and go into the substance, shall we?

    P. S. as I once said, it would be nice to have the man on this forum, as Fr. Lawrence does have a unique background in DL. E. g., becoming an Orthodox priest by correspondence study is still relatively unusual in this country (may be more common elsewhere); a French American approaching a Ukrainian jurisdiction for ordination is an unusual move. While Ukrainians spawned a line or two of questionable vagante jurisdictions, Fr. Lawrence's ordaining hierarch is Abp. Vsevolod of Skopelos, of blessed memory - quite a pedigree. For example, current state of St. Serge's seminary is a worthy discussion topic (the faculty is in some kind of conflict with Apb. Job, Russian Exarchate's current head, and the school does not accept on-campus students. This is a small but significant institution is émigré Orthodox world). So again, welcome!
  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Fr. Lawrence, word of advise: do not start with attacking other schools or well-known posters. At this point, both Liberty and Hult have, quite legitimately, way more credibility than Euclid does; likewise, Bruce and Dr. Bear had earned a substantial credibility on this pages; you, on the other hand, did not. The truth is, Euclid is a somewhat confusing and opaque entity, raising very real questions. It is not in position to simply point to an external validator with any real track record (eg., UN is not such an entity). So forgive us if we want more information.
    For example, how many students do you graduate in a year? Early on, it looked like Euclid grants more faculty and administrator appointments than actual degrees; did this change?

    P. S. on "threats of the week", I'm fairly sure someone did sent these; I'm also sure it was not Fr. Lawrence. Just compare the writing style.
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I don't know who you're referring to when you say "we" but if you think that the average member of this forum has any idea who or what this man is I think you're quite mistaken.
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I see what you did there......:smile:
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I don't think Stanislav is mistaken - he never is! :smile: As long as we're talking about members who have ever read a discussion of Euclid - anywhere, Fr. Laurent's name has always been inextricably linked with this school. I don't claim to know anywhere near as much of Fr. Laurent's background as Stanislav, but I do know basically who he is. In ten years of reading these forums, I can't remember ever seeing a discussion of Euclid without some mention of Fr. Cleenewerck.

    So far, I've never been a believer in Euclid, but I'll make a proposition. :smile: If the founder wants to make a case for the school, I'll listen...quietly, I promise. There --- done bickering!

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2016
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Excuse me - couldn't get to the typo in time -- meant to write "Fr. Cleenewerck," not "Cleenewerk." Apologies. -J
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Got it done.
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Something possessed me to check it again: Euclid now shows up in the WHED database. For Central African Republic.
  17. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Wonder if that has gotten them any additional students and/or if any of their graduates have actually gone on to work with the Orthodox Church?
  18. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    No clue. 2015/16 report is not available; as of the last available report, they had just over 100 students and, I believe, 5 graduates that year. Less than the number of programs on offer. So evidence of outcomes is scarce. They do display what could well be a sufficient faculty though, and managed to make some photo-ops this year.

    Fr. Laurent's friend in Puerto Rico, Fr. Dr.x3 Archimandrite (etc., etc., etc.) Andrew, went over to the Catholic Church, taking his parish and, evidently, his school with him. I wonder is this means Fr. Laurent will have more time for, um, "International Faculty Coordinating" at Euclid (although he is still listed with St. Gregory Nazianzen Institute of "Eastern Christian Studies", as well).

    This all is an exciting soap opera. We don't have these sagas with borderline schools of colorful pedigree anymore, besides Euclid.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I miss 'em too. Maybe we should start one. Could be some REAL money in it ... you never know. :smile: Something with a Euro-flair maybe. Perhaps "Die Freie Universität von Johann und Stanislav..."

    We could rent a post-box in Düsseldorf...

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2017
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Of course every fake school has to "be" somewhere so what could be a better place for a fake school than a fake country?

    'Trash Isles' apply to United Nations as Great Pacific garbage patch tries to become country | Miami Herald

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