Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by c.novick, Jun 15, 2003.
Does anyone know what the story is with Fairfax U ?
Do a search on it and you will find there has been a fairly full discussion about the university. The short story is that it appears to be a creditable alternative but is structured in an irregular manner.
I guess it comes back to the issue of accreditation.
"Fairfax University was established as a legal licensed Louisiana university by Alan Jones (Ph.D., Warwick University, later Executive Director of the Association of Business Executives), Marina Bear (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University), Malcolm Large, and I. My wife and I helped get things started, and resigned before the first students enrolled in 1986, and have had no connection since." -- John Bear, http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=3E468F6C.4844C5C9%40ursa.net
"In the seventeen years since Marina and I helped Alan Jones and Malcolm Large design and establish Fairfax in Louisiana, I have neither seen nor heard anything that would cause me to question their academic integrity. Nothing. Truly, nothing. [...]
To me, it is as if Fairfax operates without academic graces. The Louisiana stuff. The South Dakota stuff (including, briefly, a second school run by Alan Jones). The Montana or is it Wyoming or both stuff? The secretarial service 'campus' when things were (and, I think, are) run from an office in Birmingham, England. Attempting to get a District Attorney in California to enjoin me from selling my own books because they didn't like what I wrote about them. Then (late 1980s) suing me (and others) in federal court in Louisiana -- a matter that was no fun, and fairly expensive, even if the judge did cut me out of the suit about ten minutes after my name was introduced. These are reasons I'm concerned and annoyed by Fairfax, and I have no idea why Jones does these things -- especially while (as far as I know) maintaining academic integrity." -- John Bear, http://www.degreeinfo.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7322
"Unaccredited, operating with little semblance of quality oversight, and making one wonder how it can continue to operate without proper accreditation under Louisiana law." -- Rich Douglas, ibid.
Fairfax University degrees are illegal in Oregon: http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.html
Did the search - Thank you for the info and background!
Here's a different Fairfax.
This one seems to offer classroom based programs in computer security from out of office space in Fairfax Virginia.
Despite being new and non-accredited (I checked the SACS site), they claim to be the "nation's premier" university in computer security, and are already offering Ph.D.s.
I can't comment on whether or not it's Virginia-approved.
I found it when I did a Google search on the other Fairfax University. This was one of the three sponsored links. They were: This new Fairfax, something about apartments in Fairfax Va. and a link entitled "Fairfax University" that took me to Kennedy-Western.
I don’t want to turn the discussion every thread toward K-W, but this is truly interesting. A brief check shows that, in addition to Fairfax, Kennedy-Western University has also purchased Google Sponsored Links for the search terms Chadwick University, Berne University, Greenwich University, Summit University, and St. Regis University (and who knows how many others). Interestingly, I couldn’t find any purchased Sponsored Links on searches for any accredited school or even California Coast or Pacific Western.
So, what does that tell you about how K-W regards itself, as well as the market and kind of students they are pursuing?
I'm not sure about how creditable it really is.
The place offers all sorts of doctorates:
In every conceivable subject:
I consider that to be one of the red-flags of a degree-mill. A legitimate non-accredited school will probably offer one specialty subject, or a small group of majors with a unified theme. (Like the other Fairfax, perhaps.) Schools with limited resources take on limited assignments and try to perform them well.
The ability to offer majors in every academic discipline, particularly at the doctoral level, is something that only the larger research universities can pull off credibly.
So, I went to Google to see what Fairfax's academic footprint looks like. I used the search terms "fairfax university" and only looked at the first ten pages.
I found countless college guide sites (the place markets itself) and a few cv's. Among the other highlights (there weren't many):
The newest trend in iffy universities is franchising. Fairfax is no laggard. Here's the London School of Management, which offers Fairfax degrees:
I found this rather odd individual (he's a philosopher, he can't help it) who has a respectable doctorate (U. of London) and has a number of publications that I haven't read, some online. The relevant thing for Degreeinfo is that he seems to specialize in teaching at what some might consider borderline universities, including Columbia Pacific/Commonwealth, Fairfax, Warnborough, Greenwich and others. He might be an interesting guy. I kinda like him.
Only one clear reference to Fairfax research came up, a collaboration between Fairfax and the Cleveland school district:
Influence of Preschool Programs on Kindergarten Education - Fairfax University and CMSD Early Childhood Education Department.
Explores pre-school programs to "gain insight into the impact, if any, that they have on readiness and progress of children during their kindergarten experience."
I got some false positives. There was the AAAS. There were presentations at symposia. But they usually were the activities of Sally Fairfax, University of California. This one woman has a bigger academic footprint than all of Fairfax University with its Ph.D. programs in everything.
My impression: Fairfax might not be a full-frontal degree-mill. But given its tremendous ambitions to be some kind of on-line Berkeley, its results certainly don't seem to be very impressive.
Separate names with a comma.