Kaboom! Senior US State Department official

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by John Bear, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    This story has been pretty heavy in the news for a few weeks. I’m still baffled by her defense of the Time magazine cover and her former charity executive work. Was also surprised that one of the original accusations against her was proven to be false. She was declaring herself to be a Harvard business school alumni, without having ever earned a college degree. On further review, Harvard does market that benefit and apparently she legitimately received it, by paying $90k and attending an adult summer camp there. The Harvard page for the program specifically mentions that those who pay them six figures, clearly are allowed to say that they are.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    In my opinion, the real story here is that all the people who take these sorts of jobs are supposed to be checked by the FBI, no?
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It should be noted that "alumni" (alumna/alumnus) is not synonymous with "graduate." Schools regularly hold their non-degreed alumni to be, well, alumni. Not graduating means you don't have a degree. It doesn't erase the time you spent there.

    I believe UW also confers alumni status to those who complete their certificate programs.

    This, however, is a bit like my criticism of the mini-MBA (or similarly named). There is nothing wrong with the program itself. And I'm sure the program at Harvard is a fine program and would be impressive to many employers. The problem is that there are a dozen ways for the unscrupulous to re-frame things to look like they actually have a degree when they don't. She is an alumna. The school that she attended says she is entitled to that title. They just didn't give her a degree. She relied on the greyness around those words to trick people into believing she had a degree even if she didn't directly lie and say she had one. It's just a lie by omission.
  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    That is the direction that a number of journalists have been going in, it appears that absolutely no reasonable level of vetting or due diligence was performed on a large number of the administrations political appointee positions. Not sure if this is true, but from what I have inferred, the only ones investigated by the FBI are those provided with security clearances.
  6. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    I'm not even sure I would necessarily qualify it as a lie by omission, although it's certainly in some ethical grey area. Harvard was clearly marketing the $90k executive camp as a means of quickly obtaining Harvard Business School Alumni status. I'm sure the program was absolutely amazing and was essentially a best practice example of a mini-MBA program. In comparison to all of the other non-sense, this part of her resume would be more of a non-issue to me. I would be fascinated though to learn about the charity that she ran... that appeared to be an interesting operation, at best.
    Phdtobe likes this.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I took an executive leadership program at the JFK School at Harvard. I am not a Harvard alumnus.

    She wasn't a Harvard alumna, either. She was an alumna of that program, not of the university.
  8. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    I looked into one of Harvard’s executive leadership programs awhile back, as I had some discretionary professional development funds. Thought it might be an engaging experience, but I went with something more practical. The program I was looking at was only a week long and a few thousand, it did not confer that alumni status. When I looked on the webpage, the program she participated in at $90 that was 6-8 weeks long, clearly advertised as a benefit of the program you were conferred Harvard Alumni status and all of the benefits of such. Apparently when you spend that level of coin... the benefits are better. Interestingly enough, it looks like she attended that camp while she headed the non-profit. Which incidentally, that program appears to have been a bigger expense than the amount of charity the non-profit actually gave out. Er, at least as far as my cursory glance of their paperwork.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    According to the CNN article, attending that thing makes one an alumna(us) of HBS.
  10. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    I have criticized these programs designed for the rich. Harvard and others like harvard are reaping huge financial benefits offering these to the super rich . In exchange, the super rich gets to put Harvard on their cv . These people regardless of their wealthy should have Harvard on their resumes as graduates. Otherwise Harvard is being less that honest with them.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There's a link embedded in the article (John refers to it) describing Axact.

    I find these things boring.

    Back before the internet, running a diploma mill was adventurous. You had to be pretty slick to run a criminal enterprise that required you to publish your contact information.

    But the internet has commoditized this business; anyone can do it and they all look alike. If you shut one down another pops up to take its place.

    This is a demand problem, not a supply problem. As long as fake degrees (or fake claims of real degrees) work, there will be plenty of customers (and money). And you can't eradicate the supply, no matter how hard you try.

    Here's a quote from the article that says it all: "Everyone knew they were not bona fide. But no-one had a problem with it."

    John used to write about some of the charming scoundrels in the industry. Now it's just one fake website after another. The problem doesn't change because it's not being addressed where it needs to be: with the consumers of fake degrees. Purchasers and employers. Still a problem, but it's lost all of its charm.

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