MIGS ... be careful! Read this.

Discussion in 'The Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies' started by EllisZ, Jun 23, 2001.

  1. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member

    I had a genuine interest in MIGS's doctoral program in education. I contacted the school through their degree.com web-site. Ric Feinburg was quick to send me information about the program and offered to answer any questions that I had.

    The program seemed reasonable. The literature said that the "dean of education" was a faculty member of a large, highly regarded university in the Northeastern U.S.

    Since I knew of this school and trusted it's faculty by reputation, I figured I'd contact this dean for any further insight into the program at MIGS and it's suitability for my purposes.

    Remember: CEU (the "behind the scenes" school at MIGS) itself is a long standing university that enjoys accreditation. While I heard about MIGS mis-management and questionable daily operation, I didn't think that a school such as CEU would allow anything under-the-table. (Not that I'm saying that anything under the table is occuring: I'll let you make your own judgements.)

    The e-mail I got back from this "dean" (A Ph.D. at the previously mentioned university) shocked me. She had never even HEARD of MIGS, and she was shocked that she had been listed as the "Dean of Education" at this school.

    I wrote Ric Feinburg back requesting an explaination. (This was on the 19th.) Apparently I no longer get a response from the school to my e-mail inquiries.

    So .... just to caution everyone I figured I'd mention this here. What follows is the letter I sent MIGS. I blanked out some names so that the good doctor from the northeast does not have to deal with any more exposure than she already has. (I'm sure you can find out who it is by reviewing MIGS docs .... but please don't drive her nuts. She's a nice lady.)

    Mr. Feinberg,

    I reviewed the document that you sent me. At the
    conclusion of this document it states that Dr. xxxxx
    xxxxx (Ph.D., xxxx University, 1998) is the Chair
    of the Division of Education.

    As I wanted to obtain more information about your
    program and it's suitability to my needs I have
    contacted Dr. xxxxx at xxxx University.

    To my dismay she has never even heard of your program,
    much less signed on to chair the division of
    education. I have now sent her a copy of the
    document that you sent myself.

    Needless to say this does not look good for your
    school. I assume there is a valid explaination for

    Thank you,
    Ellis M. Zsoldos Jr.

  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    That certainly does not sound good at all. With all that has gone on I have to wonder how long the MIGS thing will be around. Stuff like this keeps putting another nail in the coffin.

    I wish my fellow veteran (Rich) the best and hope he completes his program soon.

  3. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member


    I've crossed MIGS off my list for now. (I too hope Rich finishes soon.) Please don't construe my statements as negative endorsements of MIGS. (I don't need a lawsuit!) But that's the facts as they took place.

    Not sure where I want to go now. I want to do an M.A. distance program in Asian Studies that I found at the University of Leeds (UK). I want to finish my Ph.D. or Ed.D. first (which was my interest in MIGS). I like Nova but they are out of the budget for the moment. I'm currently considering UNISA and am still looking into some Aussie schools. I might even consider CCU. (At this point I'd put them a cut above MIGS).

    Let's see .....
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    This is incredible. Had she ever applied for a faculty position at a DL school? This smacks of the old degree mill trick of putting ads out for faculty, and then appointing anyone who replies, without their knowledge.

    MIGS seemed like a great idea, but it increasingly seems like 2+2 does indeed equal 4.

  5. Peter French

    Peter French member

    My mentor was the head of education - Dr Lyn Yates - [email protected]

    I had no problems with her at all, and out of iterest am sending her your letter. I had extensive written and phone discussion with her over several months. I will provide feedback.

    Peter French
    MEd MAcc(UNE)CMA
    Melbourne, Australia
    [email protected]
  6. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member


    This was a different person. I'll e-mail the letter to you this afternoon. (I'm heading off to a class in about 30 seconds.)

    - Ellis
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As Peter noted, this sounds like Linda Yates, who is listed as having graduated from Auburn with a Ph.D. in 1998. (And now has the title of Director of Academic Planning.) As critical as I've been about MIGS lately, I have to say that Dr. Yates is one of the few people there with a pulse. Peter and I have both corresponded with her directly. Now, neither of us met with her FTF, and we didn't check her driver's license, so I guess someone COULD be posing as her, but it doesn't seem likely. I corresponded with her for months regarding a number of issues I tried to get going at MIGS, so it would have to be one very elaborate ruse.

    Perhaps Ellis was referring to someone else? Or perhaps he could reveal the name of the person he spoke with?

    Rich Douglas, just tryin' to keep it on the up-and-up.
  8. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member

    The title of the document that was sent to me by MIGS was "PhD Programs in Education.doc".
    (I didn't want to post this here ... but I don't want MY credibility to be questioned!) :)

    It was NOT Dr. Yates as others have mentioned.

    Here is what was listed at the bottom of the document:


    Cynthia Newman (Ph.D., Rider University, 1998) serves as Chair of the Division of Education. Dr. Newman serves on the faculties at Rider University and Philadelphia College of Bible. She is Vice-President of Marketing and Research at Institutional Marketing and Communications, a private consulting firm. Dr. Newman has published extensively in the field of higher education marketing.

    As mentioned earlier .... Dr. Newman had never heard of MIGS prior to this. As such she says she could not comment on if this was a good program or not. (It may well be, but since she has not heard of it or reviewed it she was not in a position to say.) I also could not say. This very well could be the best program in this field available.

    Good luck.
  9. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member

    Disclaimer: Everything I have posted is from facts given to me by MIGS.

    I did e-mail MIGS with concerns I had which were quite simply not responded to. I'm not passing judgement on them at all.

    I just figured others may find this information useful when making choices about their education.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There is no mention of a Dr. Newman at the MIGS website under faculty. The only person to my knowledge that headed up a department was Yates, who headed up Education for awhile. (They seem to have dropped the divisions.) There is also no mention of a Cynthia Newman graduating from Rider College with a Ph.D. in Dissertation Abstracts. There is a listing for Cynthia Gerke-Newman graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 with a Ph.D. Could this be her?

    I wasn't aware that MIGS was sending out any materials apart from the website. If this was sent to you by electronic means, would you send me a copy? I'm at

    [email protected]


    Rich Douglas
  11. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member


    I'll send this out now. (If anyone else wants a copy I'll likewise be happy to send it.)

    - Ellis
  12. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member

    BTW: Doctor Newman is on the faculty of Rider. (That's how I got a hold of her.)

    No idea where they stored her dissertation.
  13. T. Nichols

    T. Nichols New Member


    I'll take a copy if you don't mind.


    [email protected]
  14. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    This would put more than one nail in MIGS coffin as far as I'm concerned. This is the first time that I know of where the MIGS transgressions have gone outside gross incompetence and truth evasion and into plan lies.

    I am very hesitant to fully accept this. If true I would have to assume that the CEU connection is crumbling and that they're going to try and collect some quick bucks before going under.
  15. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member


    I sent you the document.
    Everyone .... please don't drive the woman at Rider crazy. She was kind enough to answer my inquires. I also believe that she is in a panic over this whole thing.

    (This is also one of the reasons that I was hesitant to post her name.) I don't know if I can legally send anyone the e-mail correspondence between her and I. (Without her permission anyway.)

    I hope I'm wrong and this is a huge misunderstanding. I don't see how though.
  16. Peter French

    Peter French member

    I have contacted Linda Yates and she is following this matter up.

    It appears that the offending communication was sent in error and relates to something quite old that never eventuated ... a crossed file, but this person never held that position. I was involved on the original search for faculty/executive officers and I have checked back but have not come across that name.

    Also some concern has been expressed as to faculty changing. That kind of thing happens all of the time expecially with non land-based institutions, and added to that where people can suggest their own mentors. John Bear is that for Rich but i dae say not for anyone else. John Bear is also in a similar capacity for George Brown at Flinders University, but we rarely put adjunct faculty on our listings, let alone mentor/supervisor/examiner type personnel.

    I am not defending MIGS as an institution - I am simply trying to assist to clean up something that has gone awry - and that doesn't make sense to either Rich or I.

    Incidentally I still corrrespond with Linda Yates and she will be a reviewer of a book that I am writing.

    Peter French
    MEd MAcc(UNE)CMA
    Melbourne, Australia
    [email protected]
  17. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member


    Thank you for the clarification.
    Curious though: What did she say? (Feel free to correspond with me via e-mail: [email protected])

    She had mentioned to me (twice in fact) that she "was not at all familiar with the program that I mentioned." I suppose I could have mis-understood her but it seemed pretty clear.

    Worse: MIGS lack of response made it appear even worse. (Granted: This could be simple incompetance.)

    I would like NOTHING better than to be totally wrong and see MIGS show up as a wonderful school. (They really do fit my needs perfectly!) On the same note however I don't want to spend money that later turns out to be useless so please forgive me if things like this raise some flags with me.

    I'm open for comments ... good or bad. (I can take my lumps like the rest of them.)

    My intentions here were good.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Ellis sent me the document. It was created in June 2000, when things were just forming at MIGS. (Not that they've advanced any.) I think Peter French and Linda Yates have it correctly: this was an old document with information that never came to fruition and shouldn't have been sent out that way.

    I have been in contact with other MIGS faculty members, including Brian Satterlee, who is on my committee. (The other two members are Armando Arias and John Bear.)

    Who was it that said, in essence, "Never chalk up to conspiracy what simple incompetence will explain"?

    Still, the use of names--however it came about--without the persons' knowledge is bad form and reminds us all of a tactic employed by some very bad schools. While it can be explained, it cannot be excused.

    Rich Douglas, who is much more concerned with the inert state of MIGS that seems to let these things happen.
  19. EllisZ

    EllisZ Member

    Ric Feinburg sent me an e-mail today which basically states the same thing. This was an error that should not have happened.

    On one hand I feel better about the school in that I do not believe this was a degree-mill tactic. On the other hand I now wonder if the left hand knows what the right one is doing.

    I do thank Mr. Feinberg for getting in touch with me in this matter. (On the weekend no less!)

    I'll cautiously re-add MIGS to the list of schools that I'm considering, but I do what to see what else happens in the next few months.

    Thanks everyone for jumping in and helping sort this out.

    - Ellis
  20. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    True it can't really be excused but incompetence/error is a far far more palatable reason than the alternatives. It just seems to happen with a regularity in this case that is cause for concern in and of itself.

    The bottom line probably goes back to what you've said a number of times. A full time administration would give the organization some consistency, substance and potential for improvement.

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