Hughson and the Teacher of the Year

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Randy Miller, Oct 20, 2004.

  1. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    This is in regards to the Teacher of the Year with the Berne degree.

    Looks like Mr. Hughson accomplished his objective. He proudly sent me the following e-mail:

    "Dean Hughson--

    Thank you for bringing the matter of Brent Heath's doctorate degree to our attention. At NCSS we take all such charges seriously. Your allegations and concerns have been forwarded to the appropriate officials within NCSS, who will investigate the matter and determine what action, if any, would be appropriate. They will certainly look at all of Mr. Heath's credentials in the process.

    --Al Frascella"

    Are we lucky to have such a crime fighter?

    I hope the teacher sues him - he's easy to find with his various websites. Any attorneys out there?
  2. bullet

    bullet New Member

    Why sue Dean?

    Why would you want to sue Dean?

    You would have to sue half of this Board for voiceing opinions.
  3. Randy Miller

    Randy Miller New Member

    He didn't write that in his opinion the degree was a fake. He told unknowlegable third parties that the degree was fake, he didn't say anything to the effect it was his opinion.

    In spite of his various links in the other thread, neither Oregon or the Chronicle of Higher Education said Berne issued fake degrees. Neither did the Congressional hearings.

    To Dr. Bear and the other regulars, is any degree from an unaccredited school fake.

    Is there no difference between simply buying a degree in ten minutes on the web or working for months or years in a program at an unaccredited school?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2004
  4. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hi Randy

    Certainly not all unaccredited degrees are fake. However the vast majority are, and anyone who completes one should realize that many, even most, people equate unaccredited with degree mill. Berne in particular claims to operate from a country other than where it is located and is of questionable value. In my opinion, Mr Heath bears more responsibility than Mr. Hughson
  5. humbug101

    humbug101 New Member

    As a long time member of this board, I need to make it clear that the uncalled for interference of Dean H. was over the top to me.

    I need to reveal the teacher of the year is my older brother.

    That is why these personal witchhunts by such people need to be halted. You can damage someone who has worked very hard and earned all the respect he is gettiing.

    You may question the degree but it the attack was done with out all the facts or provocation.

  6. JimS

    JimS New Member

    Humbug is right

    I see alot of unnecessary slamming going on, on this forum. A lot of innocent toes are getting tramped on in your crusade to save the world from evil diploma mills. One of you went to far.
  7. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: Humbug is right

    Hmm interesting. I haven't seen that at all. I do know a couple of forums where that is the case though. The most interesting thing is they seemed preoccupied with one or two targets which they repeatedly bash. It is all very interesting from a sociological point of view.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2004
  8. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Do you think your brother owns some of the responsibility for getting a degree from what many would call a degree mill? Is one person forwarding a letter or email to an organization a witch hunt? You may not agree with his opinion, but in the U.S., it is certainly within his rights to speak his opinion.
  9. humbug101

    humbug101 New Member

    No I don't think so. He made the best decision with the information he had and that is all I wil say on the matter.

    Its the meddling I resent.
  10. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    So if I make the best decision I can and it is a wrong one it is excusable? Anyone that has an unaccredited/questionable degree and presents it to employers or other organizations is asking for it to be examined. It sounds like that is exactly what happened. If he believes the degree is defensible, he should have no problem with some one expressing their opinion. Any responsibility clearly rests with the person that chose the questionable degree.
  11. humbug101

    humbug101 New Member

    You have completely missed the point..

    The degree is debatable okay fine. This board allows that. But if you win an award and its publicized, how would you like it if some one who didn't know you or the facts started sending emails to the organization? THAT is what I mean by meddling. The degree is not a degree mill as mentioned but there may be some disagreement as to its accreditation okay that is a legit discussion point.

    He did a FULL disertation with advisors I've seen it and it appeared to meet standards.

    I hope you get my point!
  12. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Am I missing your point or do I simply disagree with you? In your opinion Berne is "debatably okay". Personally I think that is an over generous assesment of Berne. I think most would classify it as a degree mill or near degree mill. Certainly its accreditation is a sham.

    Putting that issue aside, any one who completes ANY degree program and uses the degree in employment related situations is linking themselfs to that degree. Whatever the reputation of the school, they had better be prepared to defend the program and accept any consequences. Obviously an accredited school is MUCH more defendable than an unaccredited one.

    Did Mr Health send one email or a series of them? If he only sent one, I see nothing wrong with his action, whether or not I agree with his assesment. He has a right to voice his opinion and did so.

    As to your assertion of the quality of work completed by your brother, is that really the issue? If he did the same work for St Regis would it still be defensible? What about for Breyer State or Columbia State?

    Although your proximity to the issue may make it difficult, I hope you also get my point. In any event, I wish you and your brother well.
  13. humbug101

    humbug101 New Member

    No I don't, I think your point that is indefensible.

    Sorry, we will agree to disagree.
  14. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    No problem. I know it would be difficult for me to see an issue clearly if it directly involved my brother. Family is extremely important.
  15. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Getting any unaccredited degree can be asking for trouble. That is because many people in the general public will automatically assume that an unaccredited degree is a diploma mill degree. For example, do a Google search on California Coast University and diploma mill. There are multiple examples where people's CCU degrees were questioned in the press. Bringing the point home our very own Randy1234 can be seen in at least one instance to have written a letter to the editor giving his opinion that CCU is not a degree mill. While they were good enough to print his letter, the paper stood by it's position that CCU was a diploma mill. IMHO, CCU is not a degree mill but Berne is.

    Did Heath deserve to be Teacher of the Year? I say probably. Did Heath make a mistake by going after a degree mill degree? I say yes. Did Heath know that Berne was a degree mill? I would guess probably not. Should Heath ever use his invalid degree again? I hope not. Could Hughson be sued for what he did? I'm not a lawyer but, I'd guess yes since anyone can apparently be sued for about anything in the USA. Would Hughson be vulnerable to losing the lawsuit? I'd guess not much chance of that since Berne is illegal in multiple jurisdictions and have practiced some very diploma mill like behaviors. Actually this is one of things that I really like about the Oregon law, it makes it very unlikely that anyone in Oregon will ever be sued by a diploma mill or an academic fraud.

    I wish Heath all the best of luck and hope that he continues being a great teacher. As a society we owe him a debt of gratitude.
  16. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    I would recommend against sending e-mails of that sort. Certainly the overwhelming tide of opinion is anti-Berne, and that won't likely change without highly unlikely changes to Berne itself. Some posters here have experienced gratuitous interference in their personal lives from the pathologicals on other fora--and from a pathologue from Berne itself! I am NOT equating the actions, but I'm not sure what constructive result can come from such e-mails.

    Then again, from the very beginning I have held that responsible academic process in an individual case may go some distance toward conveying some worth, on a case by case basis, upon a degree from a school which is not a mill but merely substandard.
    I recognize that this is a minority opinion, and just wanted to throw it into the mix for a moment.

    Notice: individual...may go...some by case.
    This is about as hedged a statement as I can make and still make it! I'm not prepared to argue this as a principle, but I'd be inclined to leave the fellow in this case alone.
  17. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that Degreeinfo should try to do good and not do harm.

    I think that trying to damage somebody's career is doing harm, unless more harm would result by not intervening.

    If a person is practicing medicine without a license, then damaging his/her career might prevent far greater harm. Ifa person is using a fake degree to receive education incentive pay, then blowing the whistle helps prevent corruption and protects the taxpayers.

    But if a degree isn't required for a job and a person simply decides to continue his/her study for personal reasons, even if that's at a non-accredited school, then I don't really see what good is being done by trying to hurt them.

    Last night I suggested the University of Philosophical Research (in the parapsychology thread), a school that's CA-approved. If I decided to do one of their MA's simply for my own interest, would that damn me?

    Frankly, I find that kind of zealotry frightening.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2004
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Tortious interference. "The theory of the tort or wrong of interference is that the law draws a line beyond which no one may go in intentionally intermeddling with the business affairs of others."

    I cannot judge if one case or another is tortious interference, but it is something to keep in mind. Perhaps the attorneys who post here could give us a point of view.
  19. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

    Didn't Mark send letter to the media exposing scams? And it seems that we always applauded him for it. Or am I missing what Mark was upto?
  20. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    I agree with what Unck and Bill are saying. I have never reported someone and can only imagine doing so in the most serious cases. At the same time, I see use of fake and fraudulent degrees as devaluing education in general. Every legitimate degree holder who is passed over for employment, advancement, or recognition is a victum of such fraud.

    Who really is responsible in cases were some one is reported? In my opinion, the person using the degree is 100% responsible. They should be willing to stand by their choice and decision. If they complete a degree and later recognize it is substandard, it is their responsibility to not use such a degree. Blaming others is simply an attempt to escape their own responsibility.

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