Hughson and the Teacher of the Year

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

  1. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting link.

    It says in part
    It seems unlikely to this laymen that tortious interference would apply. Of course this is Georgia law but I'd assume that it would be similar in other states.

    In my mind, the keys are acting without malice and only wielding the truth.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2004
  2. David Boyd

    David Boyd New Member

    I think most of the posts are missing Randy’s point. Is the Berne degree “fake” or merely of questionable value? To me, there’s a huge difference between a fake degree and an unaccredited degree. From everything I’ve read here over the years, there is a significant amount of work required to receive the Berne degree. It’s the operational history of the school and the possible lack of rigor in the program that’s questionable.

    Based on the facts as presented, I believe the chances of a successful lawsuit are not strong. There is no business relationship that’s being interfered with – only the award. Therefore, I don’t think a claim based on tortious interference would be successful. Plus there’s the issue of monetary damages. In a defamation action, the teacher would probably be classified as a public figure and would have to show malice to be successful.

    I do believe that Mr. Hughson’s letter was unfortunate. He could have used the terms “unaccredited school” or “suspect school” and accomplished the same thing. He apparently has enough knowledge of Berne to have provided a more detailed explanation.

    It would be interesting to read Mr. Hughson’s explanation of the term “fake.”
  3. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I would call a Berne doctorate, a fake doctorate degree. In my mind the doctorate degree means much more than what a Berne PhD degree means. Fake doesn't have to mean that the person didn't do any work for the degree, at least not to me. To me a Berne doctorate is not the same thing as a real doctorate, it is a fake.
  4. humbug101

    humbug101 New Member

    The reason that I have always appreciated this board is that it was to educate but with respect for all views.

    Some have tainted it and seem to recieve some level of enjoyment labelling, condemning and even interfering with someone who has not followed their prescribed path.

    I will not respond on this subject again but, rethinking of the purpose response of the board is warrented in my opinion.

    Enough said. Lets take this moose off the table!
  5. igotinfo

    igotinfo New Member

    Mr. (not Dr. ) Heath's Berne Degree Legit?

    Maybe the better question about Berne University and "now" Mr. Heath (maybe Dr. Heath) is to see "who"(CVs et al) were the "faculty & administrators" who taught Mr. Heath and "what" the course / degree content was. In a "legit" university, degree information, course syllabi, professor credentials, board member names and addresses, and school administrator contacts are "all on the up & up." In the past few years, all of this information has been lacking from the Berne WebSite and written/phone contacts asking for this information have been denied. Title IV has ripped Berne's ability to receive student loans away from them for not filing correct documents with the US DOE. Berne is no longer qualifying for GI Bill loans either. Current and past students can not even get an answer as to "who owns" Berne University. let alone "what door are they now hiding behind and in what state."

    Have Mr. Heath prove his Berne University is legit by having him submit these items to his state department of education and its higher education offices and have them decide. Also, what "NACES agency" made his international degree "the US equivalent"? This seems to be lacking in the conversation.

    Maybe after all of this is submitted, we will actully know "who" Berne University really is and "where" they are now operating at least for "this month."
  6. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    I think we need to consider all views and be open to other opinions. At the same time I think it is silly to think we should accept all opinions without thought and logic. Berne is at best a "questionable" school. Many or perhaps most would consider it a degree mill and a fraud.

    IF someone wishes to follow that kind of path they certainly do so at their own risk and I think this case is a perfect example of that. Responsibility would of course lie with the person making that choice.

    To be clear, never use a degree for employment related purposes you are not willing to stand behind and be linked with for life.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This kind of broad, vague criticism is often levied, but it doesn't really say anything. What "prescribed path"? What "labelling, condemning," etc.? If you have a criticism about a particular post, or someone's actions, state it. Otherwise, quit whining.
  8. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    As I said before, Degreeinfo should try to do good and avoid doing harm.

    Harming somebody's career is doing them harm. That's true simply by definition.

    In the case of this middle school teacher, unless somebody can produce a persuasive argument why more harm would have resulted by standing aside and doing nothing, then I will continue to consider the attempts to get the gentleman's award rescinded and to poison his relationship with his professional organization to be morally reprehensible.

    You may call that whining, but I prefer to call it principle.

    The middle school teacher doesn't use the Berne degree as his vocational qualification. Apparently he isn't paid anything extra for having earned the degree. So it looks to me like it's just an expression of the guy's desire to keep learning.

    Frankly, I kind of admire that. It's not a bad thing at all, as far as I can see.

    I don't see any more reason to crucify this guy than to crucify similar graduates of the old Greenwich University. That was another iffy non-accredited school that nevertheless probably had some value for a-vocational learners like our teacher. And like Berne, its most controversial aspect was its questionable "accreditation" claims derived from exploiting obscure processes on small islands.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2004
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    I didn't condemn the criticism levied at people who interfere with others' lives. In fact, I suggested that it can sometimes be illegal (or, at least, uncivil). My beef with the post I quoted was its broad, non-specific nature. If the poster has a complaint about someone's behavior, he should be specific.

    Personally, I don't feel at all compelled to get involved in someone's business simply because he/she touts a degree from a diploma mill. I might, as you and others have pointed out, if the public's interest is at stake. (I feel that public interest extends to people teaching at colleges and universities, but I wouldn't contact some real estate agent's employer if he/she was listing a bogus MBA or something.)

Share This Page