Lessons Learned

Discussion in 'The Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies' started by mdg1775, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    I guess I won't be getting the dancing smilies.
  2. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    I did get the dancing smilies.
  3. irat

    irat New Member

    got the smiles

    I got the smiles
    Don't know why? except it is funny?
    all the best!
  4. J. Ayers

    J. Ayers New Member

    I think the smilies have a rather hypnotic effect...
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: MIGS on resumes

    Via a laptop and the Internet Mrs. Margulies could stay in contact with MIGS from anywhere on the planet, i.e., anywhere MIGS is located on the planet. ;)
  6. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member


    Whenever I reflect on the MIGS situation, I find myself wondering about the Villarreal situation--many parallels, including a very murky resolution, even after ten years.

    Villarreal was and is a very large traditional Peruvian university. Announcements of a distance doctorate were made, done in English through an office in Florida (no, it couldn't be...could it?). At the time, I was assured, by phone and in writing, by the Rector in Lima, that everything was as stated, and Villarreal was indeed awarding the Ph.D. from Peru.

    According to the American Council on Education, which looked into this, something like 1,000 Americans signed up at about $10,000 each.

    Then one American student needed to call the campus about some emergency. He didn't have the phone number with him, so he called directory assistance in Lima. When he called the number he was given, the operator said that the university had no international distance doctoral program.

    What I believe happened, although I've never seen anything in writing on this, is that the Rector himself was running the scam, through an office in Lima that had no connection with the real university, and its own unrelated telephone number.

    Latin American school administrators are notoriously underpaid--often much less than faculty--and almost have to have a second job. This person apparently created a $10 million second job for himself.
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Villarreal

    But John, would someone within the academy do such a thing---Scam and University in the same sentence is somewhat oxymoronic.

    Oops, I forgot about the ever expanding world of degree mills! ;)
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I, too, have mentioned the MIGS debacle and Villareal comparison. I'm going to elaborate some of the reasons why I feel MIGS rented the CEU's name and authority without really delivering it to the customer. (Meaning, MIGS was going to issue the degrees all along; the CEU would not actually issue them, even if some of their officials signed the diplomas.)

    1. MIGS never made it clear that graduates would receive CEU degrees. They would receive degrees with both MIGS and the CEU designated on the diploma.

    2. Despite the apparent involvement by CEU officials, it seemed pretty clear that the campus in Nuevo Leon didn't have anything to do with MIGS.

    3. When I called the Nuevo Leon Secretary of Education's office, they'd never heard of MIGS, despite the fact that MIGS touted their approval.

    4. When I was admitted and forming my committee, I wanted to add a professor listed as an adjunct on the MIGS website. This person was with the University of Guadalajara, and was also involved with the CEU. Well, Forman flat out refused to allow it, even though this guy was listed as an adjunct faculty member. I was never able to contact the adjunct directly, and wonder if he even knew about the MIGS/CEU arrangement.

    5. It is now pretty clear (thanks, Gus) that the CEU was never approved to award the doctorates offered by MIGS, or any other MIGS degrees, for that matter.

    6. The CEU's website--brought about, I believe, through the resources of MIGS--never mentioned awarding doctorates or other MIGS degrees. All there ever was was a link to the MIGS website.

    7. No one at MIGS worked full-time on the school. As far as I could tell, only two people occupied the office full-time, but they also worked on the owners' other businesses activities as well as MIGS.

    8. The president of MIGS was an absentee figurehead, and the VP for Academic Affairs was unskilled and not there.

    9. Arias had to know. He had to. He met with officials in Mexico, including at the CEU and the Secretary of Education. He spoke Spanish fluently and, while a native U.S. citizen, was very well connected educationally in Mexico. And....

    10. MIGS was shopping for a Latin American school for awhile before settling on the CEU. Their previous candidate for this arrangement was in Belize. (Or as Steve would say, "Freakin' Belize! :D )

    Notice that none of the above has anything to do with licensure in Texas and Florida, suing Steve, the MIGS owners' other business activities, the fake degrees one MIGS owner used to claim, the awarding of life experience credit at the doctoral level, the listed faculty who'd never heard of MIGS despite their being listed as adjuncts, etc. Rather, I'm just pointing out how insidious this was in the beginning, how real it all looked. (And as I've said before, how much I wanted it to be real had a distinct affect on how long it took me to accept the "dark side," even when those more skeptical had revealed the truth.)

    It was a fake. But it was a helluva fake! :eek:
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I didn't have nearly the investment that you did in MIGS nor do I have any concern over my reputation as any kind of educational expert (distance or not) since I'm not, so it was a much easier decision for me.

    1. Owner is a get-rich-quick artist that had fake degree and was buddys with a degree mill operator. no apparent experience in education administration
    2. Some things appeared "strange"

    That was enough for me to declare MIGS a degree mill, at least in my opinion. Even if the original intent was that it not be a degree mill when push came to shove and money got tight I thought it would slip into degree mill territory. I'm still not convinced that the owners started out with the intent of creating a degree mill but that was the clearest and most likely path it would take. IMHO
  10. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    There are two other elements of interest here:

    Some months before MIGS appeared, Sheila posted on a.e.d. (using one of her famous pseudonyms that she always denied) a survey asking people, essentially, if they'd be interested in a "no work" degree. However, in spite of her cursory efforts to hide her connection to the survey, the results went back to a Danzig email address.

    Additionally, in the same general timeframe, Sheila and Bill (her husband) had separate meetings with two major figures in the distance learning field, trying to convince them to come on board as president or senior official or whatever to the school they were arranging. The conversation in both cases, I'm told, was focused almost exclusively on how much money could be made, how the thing would be set up to end-run around accreditation requirements, and almost NO mention whatsoever of anything relating to academic rigor or quality.

    So to anyone who had the background, it was clear almost from the start. Of course, as Rich said, MIGS was an unusually good scam in that they'd done more than the average to try to make it look legitimate. A particular tribute to Sheila's skills in spinning a yarn is that she managed to get at least a couple of academic types with real credentials and publication history to join the organization and work for it WITHOUT PAY on the strength of promises of all the money to be made.

    And we all know how it turned out...

    By all accounts, it seems to be dead. But it would provide a nice sense of closure if Sheila or someone else officially connected with MIGS would actually admit that it's dead.

    Of course, I'm not holding my breath.
  11. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    It appears to me that MIGS was an attempt to create a degree mill that was legally bullet proof. Whose downfall appears to have been caused by a scrumptous mixture of over confidence and incompetent lawyer.
  12. irat

    irat New Member

    fading away

    MIGS appears to be going a like an old soldier, fading away.
    A google search only turned up a couple of references.
    Apparantly MIGS also had some sort of "spiritual psycholgoy" degree. But the links are dead even to that.
    Is it about time for the MIGS players to turn up at other places?
    All the best!
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: fading away

    Just wanted to bring the MIGS forum into the month of August, allowing it to fade a little slower. ;)
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Re: fading away

    Don't die, MIGS? :( :( :(
  15. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: fading away

    John Bear mentioned MIGS recently. It was mentioned as the exception in the accredited degrees chapters of Bear's Guide. Since that obviously didn't satisfy your thirst, let me say,

    MIGS is a dead degree mill that apparently like Burlap University never even granted a diploma. This must be ironic frustration similar to our ex-President's affairs where he never made it past "third base". :D :D

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2002
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Re: Re: Re: Re: fading away

    Interesting question: Can a place like MIGS that never issued a degree be properly labeled a degree mill? Steve Levicoff's Plantation University issued the same amount of diplomas as MIGS (zero), but I wouldn't call Plantation a mill, just a hoax.

    If MIGS actually took student's money and didn't give full refunds, I'd say it was more a scam operation than a degree mill.

  17. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: fading away

    Another similarity with my analogy, he claimed not to have had sex yet commonly accepted terminology would seem to be in disagreement.
  18. irat

    irat New Member

    does it walk like a duck?

    If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but never lays an egg is it a duck? Yes, a male duck.
    so following that analogy...A degree mill that actually awards degrees would be a duck, and a degree mill that doesn't actually award degrees would be a drake?
    I thought that one or two people actually did get degrees through MIGS? But who would admit it now?
    All the best!
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Re: does it walk like a duck?

    I seem to recall some online CV's that had "Ph.D. (candidate)" or "Ph.D. (ABD)", but I don't remember ever seeing anyone claiming an actual MIGS degree.

  20. Ted N

    Ted N New Member

    Re: Re: does it walk like a duck?

    There is only one person I know of that lists a MIGS degree - Dr. Goldblatt. http://books.dreambook.com/tributes/tributes.html

    Ted N.

Share This Page