LaSalle University (Louisiana) - Pre-1986?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Peter32, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Peter32

    Peter32 New Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I've found myself on this site as it was brought to my attention that an employee may have a fake/non-accredited engineering degree. The degree is from LaSalle University (Louisiana) and i've read the countless threads that answer my question around the integrity (or lack of) of LaSalle's degrees.

    My question is, the degree this employee has presented was issued in June of 1982 and all the information I can find points to LaSalle starting operations in 1986. So, either the LaSalle prior to 1986 could have been a legitimate institution, or the degree is even more laughable in that it was issued with a fake date as well.

    I'm hoping to gain insight from those with more knowledge on the topic than I before raising the issue with said employee. @John Bear in particular

    Thank you in advance!
  2. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Having read some articles about the LaSalle University (Louisiana), I simply can't imagine that they have EVER been remotely legitimate...

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  3. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    I'm a poor substitute for Dr. Bear, but I can share with you some of his writings about La Salle University, Louisiana. In his book, " College Degrees By Mail", Dr. Bear reported, "The address is a small rural church, but the scope of the operation belies this setting. There are at least half a dozen toll-free numbers. Accreditation is claimed from an unrecognized organization established by the people who run La Salle, and who previously ran the now defunct Southland University in California (Bear 1991). In his 15th edition of "Earning Degrees By Distance Learning", Dr. Bear reported, "LaSalle University (1986-mid-1997) Note carefully LaSalle operated as a degree mill until mid-1997, when it was sold to new and serious owners. In October 2000, the name was changed to Orion College, but the old LaSalle continued as well for those students who wish to finish a LaSalle degree for whatever reason. The entire enterprise went out of business in 2002. Here is (a part of) the chronology which may be helpful in evaluating a specific LaSalle degree: 1986 through 1997: LaSalle operates as a diploma mill (although there were some students who did real work, even though they didn't have to)"(Bear 2003)

    So there you have it. I'm sure you noticed nothing was said about LaSalle or La Salle pre-1986. And you can make of that what you will.
  4. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    He would not be the first person to claim a degree from a degree mill but didn't bother actually purchasing said degree. Although I do admit that we could have some interesting discussions about which route is more or less ethical. For example, not lining the pockets of degree mill owners or dishonestly claiming a worthless degree with or without a paid for diploma. I guess one might also include such a discussion in the category of how best to split hairs?
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  5. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    Ironically, I'd respect the person who saved money and lied about the degree mill over the guy who paid for one. As for hiring, well...
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  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    That is my leaning as well. I especially agree with the "ironically" label. :) On the other hand, there's more plausible deniability in having purchased the diploma. So from the self preservation perspective it probably is better to purchase the diploma. Should we have more respect for the better con man over the less good con man?
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I know everyone here is having fun polishing up their pitchforks but I am going to strongly recommend, professional to professional, that you not come out of the gate and accuse this gentleman of fraud unless you have ironclad proof that extends beyond message board consensus.

    While we all know about La Salle of Louisiana, the simple fact is that we do NOT know of any and all La Salle's of Louisiana from all times. It could be that this was a legitimate school completely unaffiliated with the mill. It could be that this smaller school was absorbed by a larger school, closed etc and that fraudulent La Salle tried to ride off of their coat tails even if that was not readily apparent to people outside of Louisiana.

    If somebody presented a degree from, say, Almeda University from 1968 then while my mind would immediately go to the famous mill, I would almost certainly do more due diligence before potentially setting myself up for a very bad situation. It is quite possible that this was a small school, likely in California, during an era where accreditation was not seen as being nearly as required as it is today and that it had no connection whatsoever to the famous mill.

    If you're in HR or this person's manager, you may (depending on the laws of your jurisdiction and you should check with your legal department before doing anything that is not already routine for all other employees) request a copy of his transcript, for example.

    The usual excuses for people with mill degrees (especially old ones) or even people who just fraudulently claim a degree from a legitimate school they never received is "My degree is so old that they can't verify it because they don't keep records after X years!" This is false. It may take an extra step but Harvard can absolutely produce a transcript for Teddy Roosevelt if they were so inclined. They might also say "Impossible! The school closed in the 80s!" No worries, because when a school closes the records are sent to another school to be maintained and for these verifications to take place.

    I would review those records (if they exist) before doing or saying anything. The name "La Salle" is very popular for naming things especially in areas with a French connection (such as Louisiana). All that had to happen was that a small, fully legitimate school that may have been unaccredited in an era where being unaccredited was not really a massive impediment to being a legitimate school but that closed or, as I said, was absorbed by another school.

    If you are not the manager or HR then all you can do is report this suspicion. It is up to them to run with it.

    You should also be aware that if you call out this specific employee you might be opening a legal can of worms you don't want to.

    1. Does your company have a policy requiring that degrees come from accredited institutions? If not, even if you feel that the degree is "fake" the reality will be that the employee has not violated any company policy.
    2. Do you screen employees (past, present or future) for degree completion and the suitability of their institutions? If not, you'll be singling out this one employee and that will lend well to a discrimination complaint (even if is unfounded).

    An employee claiming a degree from 1982 would, assuming typical ages at time of study, be over 60. If you are focusing scrutiny on said employee that does not uniformly applied you are opening yourself up to potential liability. It wouldn't be that outlandish for him to claim age discrimination, point to how you did this research that you didn't do on anyone else that is unsupported by company policy and, well, he might not prevail but your employer may not like the legal expense you incurred on their behalf. Consult your legal department before doing anything especially if this is an employee who has been around a while and has had otherwise satisfactory work performance.

    You should also be aware, assuming you don't just own the company this employee works for, that there can be a strong backlash from others who don't see it as a fraud but as a technicality. Whenever one of these timebombs explodes we see the same arguments trotted out; "But I had to EARN that degree!"

    And you know what? Silly as it is, and noting that it is absolutely possible to put in a lot of effort on a useless degree, this argument has worked particularly around public employees. Accreditation is, indeed, a voluntary process. And outside of a small handful of states, claiming a degree from an unaccredited school isn't a legal matter. Companies can surely set their own policies. Right to work states make it easier to terminate people for nearly any reason. But when you start singling someone out, especially if they are a good employee, people take notice and the narrative that you actually did it because the employee was old/disabled/of a different religion than you/of a gender expression you are not OK with etc begins to grow legs.

    Tread carefully.

    I got into this whole "hobby(?)" when I was in the Navy. And I can tell you that the Chief Petty Officer I busted with his A.S., B.S. and MBA from Almeda saw no serious consequence for his actions. In fact, the Administrative Officer felt very strongly that I was participating in educational gatekeeping because I didn't feel his school was "prestigious enough." It was only when I, at my own expense, bought a degree in Religious Studies from them, naming a completely fictional person that she began to listen. Even then, the consequence was that he could not add the MBA to his service record (they allowed him to add the AS and BS). I do not know if he also attempted to add it to his SMART transcript or how that played out. Today, he's employed by a state government as a budget director with all three bullshit degrees.

    I'm not saying don't take the shot. I'm just saying that don't be shocked if taking the shot hurts you more than him (assuming his degree is actually fraudulent). It shouldn't be that way. But being "right" seldom makes the outcome as decisive as one would think.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  8. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    Very true. Especially in an administrative hearing.
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  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I've seen the company send lawyers to argue an engineer should be let out on work release to finish a project. I just have my doubts this would get most executives, particularly engineering executives, in much of a huff. But that's my personal experience and bias.
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Is this the same LaSalle that used to offer a California qualifying law degree? I seem to recall that the LaSalle law degree ceased once California required correspondence law schools to be located in California. Incidentally, I've never been entirely satisfied that California's action is lawful but who knows.
  11. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    No - that was LaSalle Extension University in Chicago. Most well known LaSalle LL.B. graduate: John Warwick Montgomery, the Lutheran apologetics scholar, who has been discussed occasionally here on DI. He has degrees out the wazoo, but did his legal education through LaSalle/Chicago and passed the CalBar on the first shot.
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  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

  13. Ricky Johnson

    Ricky Johnson New Member

    Is there anyway to get transcripts from La Salle University?
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    If a school was legally operating but closed then you can contact your state's department of education to find where those records are now being kept. Then you reach out to that school and request the records. If a school operated out of a post office box and survived only as long as it was able to fly under the radar of its respective state's department of education then no, you cannot get transcripts from this school. Objectively look at which bucket your school would go in and govern yourself accordingly.
  15. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Lots of good information here. I'm feeling good about being (mostly) retired.
    Before LaSalle, Kirk operated Southland University in California whose graduates did qualify to take the California bar exams. The pass rate was low but not zero, so there are, or were, practicing lawyers with a Southland (but not a LaSalle) degree. When Kirk went to prison, the US Attorney wrote to all LaSalle graduates offering them a full refund, from the many millions that the FBI had recovered, if they turned in their diplomas. Some did, many didn't.

    John Bear

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