RA Faculty at Unaccredited Schools

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Guest, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    One thing that is puzzling, at least from my perspective, is why so many less-than-wonderful schools are able to attract faculty who have solid RA credentials. Is it simply a matter of economics, i.e., extra income for the faculty person? Or perhaps a perception that legal equals legitimate?

  2. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I think there are several things:

    1. Many faculty, amazingly, aren't aware of accreditation issues. If a school claims to be accredited, some folks will take their word for it.

    2. Even more common, a mill will advertise for adjunct faculty, get a pile of resumes, sign up the "adjuncts" (sometimes without telling them), but never send any students to them.

    3. There is probably a minority of faculty that knowingly allow the mill to rent their name in exchange for a stipend. I suspect this is more common with younger, untenured faculty that might not be that well paid.
  3. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    Let's also not forget the adjunctification of American higher education. Whole lot of folks out there with Ph.D.s working as adjuncts. Likely they view this as yet one more school in their adjunct portfolio. If you're working as an adjunct at Harvard (or wherever), it's certainly acceptable to claim that you teach there on your C.V. I'd be curious how many of the degree mill profs who work elsewhere actually have tenured/tenure-track positions and how many have something less than that.

  4. sts future

    sts future New Member


    With sincere respect, I must say, "Oh come on, give me break" - faculty of these non-RA schools unaware of accreditation issues?!? I don't buy that for a minute. I would think the motivation for these RA Ph.D.'s to be on the faculty of these schools is monetary in nature. And I don't fault them one bit for that. I would suggest that a large majority (if not all) of those who have undergone the rigors of searching out, selecting, then completing a RA Ph.D., often taking several years to complete, will have a deep and intimate knowledge of accredited schools and will know and understand whether or not a school unaccredited or accredited.

    I'll be honest, I've come close to entering graduate programs (on more than one occasion) at places like Cal Coast U, Greenwich, SCUPS, etc., "BECAUSE" they had a whole bunch of RA Ph.D.'s on staff. It lends a certain amount of credibility to the program and to the school, I think. Had I not researched the accredited vs unaccredited issue (thanks to Dr. Bear), I may have gone that path because of the "qualified" staff. But even I, with an undergraduate degree, knew enough that there was even an issue to research. So, the real question becomes, are these RA Ph.D.'s "knowingly" doing a disservice to potential students of non-RA schools? Or are they making a sincere attempt to make these non-RA schools better?

    PS - disservice may be too strong a word, but I hope you get my point.
  5. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Money is certainly part of it -- but so, in some cases, is some aspect of academic freedom or flexibility. I have elsewhere described, in some detail, some of the case histories at Greenwich, during my 1990-1991 involvement. One, for instance, was Dr. Stanley Krippner, prominent psychologist, full time faculty at a regionally accredited school -- but he welcomed the opportunity to work with some students who either couldn't afford Saybrook or were a little too far out on the frontiers of transpersonal psychology -- and he would tell these people, in effect, "Since you can't work with me at Saybrook, you can work with me at Greenwich." We had 5 or 6 like that.

    Until a couple of years ago, the unaccredited schools typically got their adjunct faculty by running ads in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which did not have standards as high as one might wish. I put on a workshop for about 20 of their advertising staff three years ago, helping them to understand how to screen would-be advertisers, and they have been very much better at it since then.

    John Bear www.degree.net
  6. sts future

    sts future New Member

    In fact, I was working with a brilliant individual back in 1992-93. He had his Ph.D. in EE with a focus on lasers and optical communications and we had a great personal and professional relationship. That was around the time I first saw the book "College Degrees by Mail". I was really interested in completing my MS in Physics (optics and communications) but was traveling a great deal and could'nt make the classes. I approached my friend with the idea of completing my studies under him through Greenwich. He was open to the idea but alas, he moved on before this could happen. Besides, I was already more than a little concerned about accreditation.
  7. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I agree with you that money (or the unauthorized use of a prof's name) are often the culprits. But I must also say that it is *amazing* how many people don't really know the difference between WASC and WAUC, or, when told "Yes, it's accredited" don't ask if it's by the appropriate regional or somebody else.

    Even a substantial number of *registrars* from schools (who *certainly* ought to know) aren't completely clear on the accreditation issue.

    While I agree with you that it;s often a money or CV builder, there is also, I suspect, more than a few that don't realize they're working for a mill -- at least when they sign up.
  8. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    I just spent some time on a search committee for a program director for UOS in Orange. Of the three candidates, two had some dealings with unaccredited schools. While I didn't press on the one (it was my first ever "gang up on the applicant" interview style, and this guy was old school and it was apparent he was less than thrilled to have a student rep on the committee). The other one mentioned the association in passing (it was not on his CV). I asked about his involvement a bit more. His involvement was more from a "see how the other half lives," deal. When mentioning the association, it was done in the past tense, and further probing uncovered he was no longer associated with the school.

    After the interview, one of the other committee members and I discussed the schol in question. The approached him at one time, and afer discussing the opportunity with colleagues, he decided it wasn't worth doing something he wouldn't be willing to put on his CV. So, I guess there are two sides of the story.


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