Is a Columbia Pacific Ph.D. Degree legal?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Eric Erpelding, Sep 2, 2001.

  1. Eric Erpelding

    Eric Erpelding New Member

    Many people have obtained the Ph.D. degree
    from Columbia Pacific University during the
    time it was allowed to operate in the State
    of California.

    The question that I have is this:

    Can a person who received a CPU Ph.D.
    LEGALLY say that they have a Ph.D. degree?

    This is important, as several famous authors,
    such as John Gray (author of "Men Are from
    Mars, Women Are from Venus") and his former
    wife, Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D. (author of
    many best selling self help books, the
    "Ph.D." appears to be a permanent addition
    to her name!) claim CPU degrees.

    If someone were to say that these authors do
    not really have a Ph.D. degree, could legal
    action be taken against that person?

    Thanks in advance to all who reply.
  2. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    As a general rule, I think the answer is yes.


    Tom Head
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Not legal in Oregon (see their list). Outside of Oregon it would seem to be legal in most cases. On the other hand their are legal diploma mills operating in several states and their graduates can append "Ph.D.". Using it may or not be smart when it explodes in your resume or when you get embarrassed on the witness stand (as an alleged expert witness) especially in light of the California bureau's dreadful sounding report on the academic quality of some of Columbia Pacific's doctoral work. There are some who certainly did credible work (I believe our own Earon is in that category).

    The other side is that with John Gray's income and fame far exceeding John Gottman's (genuine/accredited Ph.D. and was profiled along side of Gray in a humorous Psychology Today piece), I do not think Gray cares. Regardless of his Ph.D. he is laughin all the way to the bank. Someone I mentioned his degree to became angry at me and very vocally defended him. She was smitten by his theories as are many thousands.

    So, I may laugh but others aren't and he is (all the way to the bank).


  4. I guess I should wade in here, given the mention of my name. Answer: Columbia Pacific U degrees are fully legal and California state approved until June of 1997. That is the month when the administrative court in California sided with the state's CPPVE decision to not reapprove CPU. The current California department (the BPPVE) will back up what I have just written. Whether the degree will be recognized in another state is another matter. As North writes, Oregon will not accept a CPU degree.

    In conclusion, it is only fair to mention that the Governor of California (Pete Wilson) closed down the CPPVE after its treatment of CPU, stating that he couldn't allow such the renegade bureaucracy to continue after being caught carrying out the reprisals and vendattas it was caught carrying out against California schools.

    By way of a legal loophole enacted at its last meeting, the CPPVE managed to put into motion the legal machinery to subject CPU to some continued litigation to close down CPU. The CPPVE has not yet been successful in this endeavor (it was itself closed down for its shenagigans). Meanwhile CPU recreated itself as Columbia Commonwealth U. CPU only exists as an alumni office in California, charged with alumni affairs and additionally to fight its legal battle with California in USA Federal Court.

    If you want to read any thing credible on CPU or its history (based on collected archived documents) go to my website: and follow the links.
    (10 years at CPU - currently at Heriot-Watt U.)

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