Now that MIGS is off the Oregon site...

Discussion in 'The Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies' started by PaulC, Feb 13, 2001.

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  1. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    To read many of the posts here lately, it would appear as though the Oregon folks were the "in the know" group when it comes to degree mills. How about some some commentary on how they must now no longer be a Mill since they are off the authoritative Oregon list. I mean, one way or the other. So, if Oregon ends up accepting them, does that mean we can all go back to bed, or do we wait or the next "clear proof" to show us the way. Moths to a flame sometimes.

    I'm as suspect as the next guy over the Sheila Danzig/MIGS association, but there can be an awful lot of mob mentality in this group.
     
  2. H. Piper

    H. Piper member

    Originally posted by PaulC:
    How about some some commentary on how they must now no longer be a Mill since they are off the authoritative Oregon list.

    That page states clearly that the mills (excuse me, illegal schools) shown there are by know means exhaustive of the entire list. Do you have official confirmation that Oregon has authorized use of MIGS degrees?

    I mean, one way or the other.

    Well, if you're gonna put a gun to my head, Paul, I'll choose: MILL.


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    H. Piper
    http://harcourtbites.tripod.com
     
  3. Erma

    Erma New Member

    You just put it well, PualC. You said they used to be mill and now they are no longer because they are no longer on Oregon State Degree Acceptance List.
    There are more than 100 non-accredited (degree mill) that has not been mentioned on the un-acceptable list. Are they legit?
    MIGS managed to get its un-acceptable degree status off from the Oregon State list is showing that it's willing to go extra length to fight in this infamous battle that eventually makes a history in A.E.D.
    My 2 cents.

    Erma Ash
     
  4. PaulC

    PaulC Member



    Maybe there's a midle ground, like...oh, we could wait for the facts. I know that is not as fun, but it is more credible.
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    <<Maybe there's a midle ground, like...oh, we could wait for the facts. I know that is not as fun, but it is more credible.>>

    I've never said that MIGS was a degree mill, or that it wasn't (yet I was accused of being part of the "collective" of this group).

    As it looks right now, MIGS appears to be a school with an extremely sleazy and negative marketing campaign, a Board of Trustees that includes a couple of highly suspect people, a geographical identity crisis (Nevada? Florida? Texas? Mexico?), and has one hell of an albatross around its neck courtesy of an ill-conceived lawsuit filed by them.

    Is it a degree mill? I don't know. At this point, I'm not sure that it will even survive to actually confer a degree.


    Bruce
     
  6. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    What a pity that MIGS has been removed from the Oregon list so quickly... although I must admit that in a private email, another regular (not Steve, as you might think) and I were imagining Sheila sitting at her computer on Sunday morning, using her "Queen of the Net" skills to dig up pager and cell phone numbers for every Oregon official she could find, in an effort to get MIGS removed from the Oregon list.

    And why should MIGS *NOT* be on the Oregon list? MIGS (as of a couple of days ago) is STILL not legally operating in TX, FL, or NV, and, since MIGS *is* an American entity, it must be licensed to operate in the state in which it is domiciled. Unless they're going to continue with the mill mentality and register in HI, WY, or SD, they can't legally operate without approval... so, in that way, Oregon is quite right to have included MIGS on its list.

    My guess is that Enrique probably faxed one of his trademark, exceptionally high quality threatening letters to somebody in the Oregon education office, and the person probably crumbled rather than stand their ground.

    Whether or not MIGS is ultimately found credible, whether or not the CEU-Danzig relationship survives (God, I hope not!), any way you slice it at present, MIGS isn't legally operating, so, according to the Oregon criteria, they should be listed.
     
  7. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member


    Contrary to your implication, I can't think of anyone that started calling them a degree mill because of their listing on the Oregon web page. To restate my opinion, being listed on the Oregon web page was just another nail in the MIGS lawsuit coffin. Yes I admit it was a mighty big nail but the coffin was complete and ready to go as soon as it was discovered that MIGS isn't operating legally.

    Have fun,


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    Bill Huffman, [email protected]
     
  8. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    All the Oregon people were doing is adding some rather authoritative back-up to the opinion that MIGS is a "degree mill", however one defines that phrase. But the question of whether or not MIGS could be termed a "degree mill" depends in no way on what Oregon's ODA office says. It depends on 1. How one defines "degree mill", and 2. On the characteristics of MIGS and the MIGS/CEU relationship themselves.



    OK, Paul. What do *you* suggest?

    That everyone just shut up about MIGS? Doesn't that course of action tacitly imply that MIGS is a fine choice? What if some potential student asks a question about it? Should we, as Enrique Serna apparently demands in Steve's case, consider ourselves prohibited from commenting critically?

    What if somebody starts actively promoting MIGS on the newsgroups as has happened before? Is everyone else prohibited from replying? Is Dr. Bear within his rights to state his opinion that MIGS is academically sound and properly accredited? But is it "mob mentality" to question that?
     
  9. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Bill, you have misconstrued my post. I am not implying that Oregon was the reason people began this assertion. I am saying that by putting such emphasis on Oregon's actions as authoritative, then there must be some level of weight put on their action to remove. This is philosophical. It certainly cannot be practical, as not one post to this group has indicated any information based in first hand knowledge regarding Oregon's actions. If I'm wrong, I sure haven't seen it. Please point me in the direction. When they add MIGS to the list is meaningful, when they remove it, it is irrelevant. I know this tactic is helpful when one is trying to make a case, but it also seems fairly transparent.

    If the actions of Oregon were meaningful in one way, they must be meaningful the other way. Of course, many have opinions on who is doing what and why, but nobody seems to post much first hand reference. If you have ever been involved in a court case, then you know you don’t really know anything till depositions and fact-finding is completed.

    I want to make clear, my position is philosophical, and should not be misconstrued as support for MIGS. I'll reserve judgement until such time as the speculation and daytime talk show legalese is replaced with either a settlement, deposition text, or a court order one way or the other.
     
  10. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    No, of course not. But look at how AICS has been handled. Chip is very clear about his opinion about AICS and there past. At any time there is a request for info about AICS, Chip, as is his right to do so, provides caution and warning about the questionable practices in AICS. This is done commonly.

    My complaint is that the MIGS debate has become a hen house full of clucking chickens. No body really knows anything until the process is farther along. We all know there appears to be questionable activities. We can warn anyone of these and point them in the direction of more info. But some of this mob mentality can be just too much. Too often, individuals post opinion, as fact in this group, and MIGS is an obvious example. There are really very few legal facts to know. Oh, some may think they know, but until the court hears it, people really don't know.

    Yes MIGS is questionable, yes there is a potential lawsuit, and yes they appeared then disappeared from the Oregon site.

    I'll ask you Bill, what do you know that you could swear is the truth in all this. How specifically familiar are you with the laws in question? You don't have to answer, as I'm not trying to bait you. I am simply opining that until the facts are heard in court, we don't know half of what we think we know. Yet we have this all wrapped up in a nice little bundle, as though a court has ruled.
     
  11. H. Piper

    H. Piper member

    Originally posted by PaulC:
    I am saying that by putting such emphasis on Oregon's actions as authoritative, then there must be some level of weight put on their action to remove.

    And I ask again, where is the official confirmation of Oregon approving the use of MIGS degrees? The ODA page says that the entire list is not shown.

    Maybe you should show that MIGS degrees are no longer illegal in Oregon before you cluck up this tree again, Paul.

    My complaint is that the MIGS debate has become a hen house full of clucking chickens.

    Speaking for yourself, I presume.

    Yet we have this all wrapped up in a nice little bundle, as though a court has ruled.

    Who's "we"? What "bundle"? I still see a mixed bag of responses on the issue of MIGS, including my own silly "MIGS Supporter" thread.

    No court has ruled, Paul, although one is continually ruling. It's called the court of public opinion.


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    H. Piper
    http://harcourtbites.tripod.com
     
  12. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    What facts?

    MIGS is already up and running, offering its "world class" degrees from a "prestigious" Mexican university. They are doing just great if their boat doesn't get rocked. So where are you expecting your facts to come from?

    We have at least two people with ties to MIGS posting here regularly. I'd be willing to bet that MIGS' administrators are reading this group.

    I have stated repeatedly that part of what the word 'accreditation' *means* is effective and credible quality assurance. I have been asking repeatedly for some explanation from MIGS about how that quality assurance was exercised in their particular case.

    You tell me, Paul: How long do you think I have to wait before anyone from MIGS or CEU responds with some verifiable facts? My guess is forever.

    I personally don't have a lot of facts about MIGS. But from what I do know, from its unwillingness to submit to American accreditation oversight, through the 'Danzig factor', through its apparently illegal operation in both Florida and Texas, to its extremely murky Mexican "accreditation", it puts out a rank odor.

    I can't say for sure that it's a "degree mill", however that phrase is defined. But the possibility is *very* much alive. Prudence tells me that the best course of action in that case is to treat the thing with skepticism.

    In this situation, a school has decided not to follow the credible path to credibility, so to speak. Rather, it has decided to follow a path that is untried and poorly understood by anyone but themselves. That puts the burden of proof squarely on MIGS to explain itself, if they expect anyone else to believe in what they are doing and to accept them as peers.
     
  13. Erma

    Erma New Member

     
  14. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I will assume (for arguments sake and so I can respond [​IMG]) that you're referring to my posts on the Oregon web site.

    I believe that you can consider it a huge deal if the web site is there and not a big deal if it's taken down, from the point of view of the MIGS lawsuit. If MIGS was listed on the web site I suspect the judge would probably dismiss the case immediately. If it's not there it doesn't mean much. I suspect that MIGS would just try to use it as another indication of damage done by Steve. However, unless Steve lied to the state of Oregon I can't imagine MIGS getting very far with it.

    So from the point of view of the MIGS lawsuit I believe it would be a big deal if it was listed on the Oregon web site and likely not relevant if it is not listed.

    I'm not a lawyer although I have done some investigation into some of the first amendment issues.

    Have fun,
     
  15. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    This is a very interesting question. MIGS apparently passed on Steve's latest offer since http://www.angelfire.com/pa4/levicoff/ is still up. If they decide to prosecute the lawsuit further, I would think that your issue, Bill, would be something that they would like to have settled at least before discovery. Then again you would also think that they would like to make sure they were operating legally and they didn't do that either.

    Have fun,
     
  16. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I had hoped to meet this Valentine's Day morning, when passing through Eugene, Oregon, with Alan Contreras, who runs the Oregon office that posts the list of schools illegal in Oregon. Unfortunately he was out of town, but we did have a long phone talk. Of course I cannot speak for him, but it is my understanding that his only concern is whether CEU (which he appropriately accepts as a legitimate accredited Mexican university) really and truly does embrace MIGS, knows exactly what they are doing, and will award their degree to people completing the Ph.D. work. My understanding, from this morning's talk, is that he is awaiting further communication from the people in Monterrey, and will make his decision whether or not to have MIGS on the official list at that time. Nothing was said about any communications from anyone at MIGS, but then there is no reason he would mention that, if it had happened.

    In the same call, Mr. Contreras said that Berne will definitely remain on the list, because of his research into the way the nation of St. Kitts accredits schools.

    When I am asked privately, and I have been a good deal lately, I respond that to the best of my knowledge, MIGS is academically sound, and has the worst marketing and public relations of any school I've observed in the last 20 years.

    John Bear
     
  17. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Of course, I understand this is just an opinion, albeit a respected one. But my contention all along is that horrible marketing and public relations does not a degree mill make. Bogus academics and fraud is at the heart of a degree mill. I do not presume to know the facts of MIGS, but we should not confuse incompetent presentation with incompetent academics.

    We will know, when we know. But don't be concerned if the full picture does not unfold to fit our timetable, as we can speculate as early and often as we like.
     
  18. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    A most reasonable opinion, in my opinion. [​IMG] On the other hand I believe other opinions can also be reasonable. I have heard the term "degree mill" be used to mean everything from a total fraud just selling paper to a school that is not as prestigious as the one attended by the speaker. I believe the most common definition is something in between, a substandard school.

    When a school is thought to be substandard it is generally considered that the academics are substandard, like you said. But, what is normally really being referred to in this case is the reputation of the school that is considered substandard by the speaker. The reputation of a school is defined primarily by its history. A new school doesn't have any history so its early reputation is going to be set in large part by how its marketed. So I believe that for a new school it is very reasonable to use the label degree mill when it's being marketed with a degree mill mentality.

    When I looked at http://www.nsmi.com and saw the ads for MIGS, it appeared more like a degree mill than some of the worst scum of the earth, bottom of barrel diploma mill web pages I've seen. When you consider the fact that this was being done by a driving force behind MIGS, I believe it reasonable to refer to MIGS as a degree mill.
     
  19. H. Piper

    H. Piper member

    Originally posted by PaulC:
    How about some some commentary on how they must now no longer be a Mill since they are off the authoritative Oregon list. I mean, one way or the other.

    Well, as I suspected all along, MIGS has never left the ODA list. While their name did disappear from the website temporarily, it is back. As posted earlier, this is now on the official Oregon site:
    http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.html

    Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies. ODA is trying to determine whether this U.S. corporate entity is a legitimate branch of a Mexican institution. We do not have a definitive answer yet but have contacted appropriate government agencies in the U.S. and Mexico in an attempt to make an accurate determination. When we have further information we will post it here.

    This is another powerful blow against MIGS in their pathetic little lawsuit against Steve and his opinion of their status as a "degree mill". We were first informed of the Oregon decision to include MIGS on their published list of illegal schools over one month ago. After all that time, the state of Oregon is still unable to determine if MIGS is even "a legitimate branch of a Mexican institution". Why should anyone else think MIGS has been or is legit in the U.S.? Certainly we have seen nothing to substantiate any claim of legitimacy in the U.S.

    I rest my ipsa on the loquitor (or whatever Steve says all the time).
     
  20. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    I'm not Bill, but we do know that MIGS is not authorized to be a school in any jurisdiction within the United States. That's easily proven. Although it appears that they have a business license, this in now way entitles them to act as a school. In both Florida and Texas more is required.

    Degree mill? Hmmm... Illegal? Sure.


    Tom Nixon
     

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