Should I go or stay?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, May 28, 2020.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    So, you all know how highly I speak of Liberty on this forum. I also paint Liberty is a good light when I encounter people on other forums and in-person. However, I always honestly tell them about the political baggage and negative press (some warranted) that comes with Liberty University. To be fair, I have had a great experience as far as faculty, and academic advising support goes. I am just annoyed by the constant embarrassment that Falwell brings to the school. Yesterday, he made a very distasteful, disgusting, and insensitive Tweet. Although one could say the Tweet was not directed at Blacks and more at VA's governor, the Tweet is insensitive and a slap in the face of the many Black students at Liberty.

    Since this story, several doctoral students (not just Blacks) have decided to transfer to other schools. I think people, in general, are just tired of the negative media (most recently the re-opening of the dorms during Covid-19, and before that, the article about the culture of fear). I thought about transferring from Liberty at the end of Spring (right before I started my dissertation). However, I decided to stay. Yesterday, I spoke with my chair, who is Black, and he had a good talk with me. However, he maintained that he would respect any decision I make. A close family member and my best friend advised me against leaving since I am in the dissertation phase. Like others have said, Falwell is not Liberty university. I am still uneasy, although I somewhat decided to press on. I don't think Liberty is a lousy school, but the president is certainly not helping its reputation.

    The transfer I considered in April is the same option that resurfaced yesterday.

    Capitol Technology University - Ph.D. in Emergency & Protective Service

    When I spoke to the Dean of Doctoral Programs in April, he said I could transfer 42 credits (I have 45 at Liberty) and would complete 18 credits to complete the dissertation or three published peer-reviewed articles at Capitol. He said I would have to be enrolled for at least one year. This would cost me just under 17k as opposed to just over 7k remaining at Liberty.

    Professionally, the only thing I plan to do with the Ph.D. is adjunct (online and/or in-person). My ideal career is juvenile justice, which, at most, may require a master's degree.

    Considering everything, if you were in my shoes, would you transfer or stay?
  2. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    I would leave. Of course, Liberty University is not Falwell, but they are closely associated with each other. And, while being myself quite religious, I am... well, reserved against universities who teach creationism.

    This reputation may bite you in the you-know-what if you have a PhD from Liberty University. You know that they are *not* all trump-worshipping gun-wielding ultra-conservative fundamentalist maniacs, but will others know?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input. The reputation part is what has me thinking a lot. I had a crazy thought about putting a line below Liberty University on my resume that reads "The views of Liberty University does not reflect mine." It's sad that I'd even consider such an idea for my resume.

    One concern I had about transferring, and I dont know if someone could speak on this. Wouldn't I have to list Liberty in my job applications since most of my doctoral credits would be from there? Earning a Ph.D. in, say, a year by dissertation only would raise eyebrows if I didn't put prior doctoral level studies? Idk, but curious about this.
  4. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    Hm... Do you think it would it be a problem to say that you used to be happy with Liberty University, but left because you did not feel good with the decision to study there any more?
    I rethink my decisions as often as I get new facts / new input. Quite normal for a businessman or a scientist, I think.

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
    chrisjm18 likes this.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    If you could find any good college accepts your ABD, then leave; otherwise, stay to finish it up because if you have to start almost over again you might not finish it.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  6. not4profit

    not4profit Member

    Wow I never heard of that school or program. I thought I was familiar with most of those types of programs.

    Northcentral University has done a complete 180 turn from how they used to be and most of the faculty in their programs have doctorates from brick and mortar schools. It is like they made a list of all the problems with the school and set out to fix them over the last 5 or 7 years. Anyway NCU has a doctoral completion pathway for doctoral candidates. The only thing is I think you would have to get the DCJ instead of PhD.

    Also, I doubt if anyone would notice or care about the transfer credits. I have an undergrad that was 75% built from transfer credits and CLEP tests. Nobody has ever mentioned that I have a BS with only 45 SH at the school.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  7. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Personally, I would stay. 7k and you are in the dissertation phase (plus you know the system). Falwell is unfortunate but he was not being racist as much as pointing to the Governor's subtle racism and hypocrisy. Should have been below him to do it in the manner he did.

    But again, from your point of view you are in the home stretch, understand the system, have a good relationship with faculty and your Dean (who is Black) is supportive. You only have 7k more to spend. Go somewhere else and risk discovering difficulties and establishing whole new relationships and added expense.

    Falwell needs to be reigned in. Probably not going to happen. The other son (Jonathan) seems much more reasonable and low key.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  8. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    This is a tough situation to be in. I am a known Conservative Christian but I keep my beliefs very minimal in online forums though out of respect of others since I feel I am very understanding of the differences in cultures, beliefs, etc. (Shout-out to on campus undergrad for exposing me to such diversity!). Having said that, Jerry Falwell Jr. has continually put Liberty in the spotlight for things other than academic achievement, etc. While I do not believe you would have any issues with the PhD from Liberty, I would not look down upon you for transferring to a program that did not have that sort of media attention.
    chrisjm18 and Mac Juli like this.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Capitol Technology University offers an ABD in Ph.D. in Emergency and Protective Services. I am not aware of any other (at least brick and mortar schools).

    Thanks. Funnily, Cap Tech has been around since 1927 and I only became familiar with it about a year ago. The Emergency and Protective Services is one of their newer Ph.Ds. I wouldn't want a fully online school. Also, I wouldn't want to go from a Ph.D. to a D.CJ. I would have been content with a D.CJ. if I had gone to Saint Leo in Fall 2018.

    The relationship I have with my dissertation chair is probably what's making me want to stay. He was my first instructor in Fall 2018 and I kept in contact with him until now. I had him again in Fall 2019 and I asked him to be my chair, which he accepted. He's so supportive and humorous. He'll send me random encouragement and point me to various resources to aid in my success. I still will think more about this, but if I am withdrawing, I'd do so before the end of next week to get back 50% of my current dissertation course's tuition. I don't know who the chair at the other school would be and I don't know anything about the school's process. So, there's the fear of the unknown.

    Thanks. I don't even know if and when he will leave. Probably only death (and I'm not wishing him death) will remove him as president. I think everyone is too afraid of him. Concerning his supposedly offer from Trump to become Secretary of State, he said he turned it down because he couldn't be away from Liberty for more than 2 years. He has no intention of leaving Liberty. If I go for Capitol Tech, I'd have until August 15th to complete my application file since classes start in September. A lot to consider.
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    As much as I’m trying to stay away from DI, your post is just too ripe and demanding for a response. So let me get the initial response out of my system:

    TOLD YA SO!!!

    Yep, as I recall, I first speculated that you would crap out of your doctorate a year ago when you first got into your “Okay, Boomer” period, coming off like a millennial snot-ass. This was the first time I began to pay attention to changes in your demeanor, when you were no longer just a nice guy and one with great intelligence for his age, but had begun to act like an obnoxious twit.

    So I predicted then than you would fail to complete your doctorate from Liberty because you lacked the maturity to deal with situations in which you were not comfortable.

    So . . . yeah, I told you so. And now, the best thing you can do is stick with Liberty, just to prove me wrong. I mean, do you really want me to have the satisfaction of knowing I was right as usual in my predictions?

    Or are you nuckin’ futz enough to waste your time and transfer to a mickey mouse school in Maryland that even I had not heard of until today for a doctorate that is not even a Ph.D.? You could do it, and even graduate from CTU, but eventually everyone will know that you crapped out of Liberty. And you will still look like a failure who traded down.

    There have been many critiques about Union, my doctoral alma mater, here on DI – especially when people like Stanislav, Maxwwell Smart, and Jan have tried to trash me. But no one has been more critical of Union than the two members who graduated from there – Rich and me. And that has had no negative effect whatsoever upon our credentials.

    So stop being so damn sensitive. Is Falwell Jr. a right-wing whack job? Of course he is. But he does not represent the university any more than the president of a lesser school who abuses his power, has inappropriate affairs, or engages in sexual harassment has on their school. Liberty is a major player, and even when Falwell screws up, which is every day, he will not reflect on the university as a whole. And in their part of the country, Liberty has a solid reputation with all factions, conservative and liberal.

    As for the race issue, you neglected to tell us what your advisor said, merely noting that he is also black. It would be interesting to have his take on this whole issue. Moreover, you're acting offended by this latest gaffe on Falwell's part, yet you continue to list the Helms School of Government on your DI sig file, despite Jesse Helms being the most racist segregationist ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

    What is best for me? For you to drop out so I can continue to laugh my ass off at your immaturity and lack of doctoral style. What is best for you? To prove my prediction wrong, see Liberty through to a successful conclusion, and end up with a doctorate from a credible brick-and-mortar university. And maybe grow up along the way and gain a doctoral demeanor to go along with your doctoral knowledge.

    Meanwhile, I am laughing at you as usual.
  11. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Chrisjm18, if you read between the lines Steve Levicoff is trying to encourage you and give you wise advice.

    Btw, I hope you didn't go there with the Boomer comment. I am not a Boomer myself but find that a way old and worn out ageist phrase. Its primary purpose seems to be to shut down discussion when the Gen X, Millennial, or Gen Z person lacks the ability for substantive input. Just sayin (also an old worn out phrase).
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  12. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Hmm... interesting! Time will tell which one you'll get.

    The Cap Tech program I referenced is a Ph.D. They offer Ph.D. and D.Sc. Although Cap Tech has been around much longer (since 1927) than Liberty, it is still a lesser-known school with small student enrollment.

    Without getting into too much detail, my advisor basically said it was a war against Falwell and the governor and we got caught in the crossfire. He basically told me all the things that would make me stay but still said he'd support any decision I make. What's the point of removing Helms School of Government (HSOG) from my sig line? It doesn't change the fact that I'm a student in that school and all the documents I encounter have HSOG all over it. It would be better I leave Liberty all together if I had that much problem with being an HSOG student.

    We'll see if it will turn out to be best for you or best for me.

    You're laughing at yourself. Keep laughing while you still have your teeth (assuming you do). If not, be careful those dentures fall out :D:D
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In all sincerity, you should do the degree--coursework, research, major area of study, and degree type (professional or scholarly) that fits you--your life, your career, your sense of who you are. It is perfectly reasonable to consider staying at Liberty. It is also reasonable to consider leaving, especially if you have another option that won't cost you too much time and money. But pick the best option for you, not what Jerry Fallwell Jr does or does not do. He doesn't matter very much. The source of your degree will not matter very much. A little bit, maybe. But nothing compared to the absolute necessity to do the right degree for YOU.

    This is a difficult decision. As they say, "measure twice, cut once." Be sure you're sure before you do anything this radical. Good luck. (And no, I'm not ignoring your posts. I'm enjoying them instead.)
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I agree absolutely. No one will care about where your credits came from or how they were earned. I did a BA 100% by testing. No one has EVER inquired about that. (My BS in Business is an incredible hodge-podge of credits from a multitude of sources; no one cares).

    I have a PhD from Union. My transcript has no grades nor credit hours. No one has ever cared. I have a degree from a foreign school. The transcript is weird by US standards. It isn't even issued by the university (the university doesn't transcript doctoral degrees; it leaves that to the individual school). No one cares.

    I wonder how much influence on NCU has been its move to not-for-profit status and inclusion in the National University System?
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    Don't listen to this narcissistic diatribe. Steve likes to think he actually has influence over people and events, but he does not. Make the best choice for you.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  16. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input, Rich. I have had a lot to ponder on. However, one thing that is consistent among my relatives, chair, and some of the feedback on here is the idea that Liberty is more than Falwell. As I stated, I have had a good experience with the faculty and my dissertation chair and reader are fantastic. I don't know if this is a norm, but my chair holds bi-weekly virtual meetings with me (our next is this Saturday). Even after my venting yesterday, I thanked my chair for listening. His response was, "that's why I am here." It's those little things that make me want to persist. I can see myself completing this program because I have invested a lot of time and money so far.

    As to your last sentence, someone recently shared that today we're quick to block people when we don't agree with them. I'm not saying that's what you did. Instead, I think I was perhaps rude and a bit snobbish. However, I am guilty of blocking people on social media whose ideas differed from mine. I know a lot of people are guilty of this. I think when we do that, we eliminate the possibility to be challenged intellectually or look at situations from different perspectives. That said, I hold no hard feelings towards you :)
    JoshD likes this.
  17. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Member

    You should stay the course! You've made it this far. If your only goal is to adjunct online or in person with a Ph.D, I don't see the point of paying extra money to transfer to another school in order to finish your dissertation. You are near the finish line and shouldn't worry so much about the politics and the administration of the school as long as you are not the direct target. As long as they are not losing their accreditation, finish there at Liberty!
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    We shall move forward with positivity.

    I really do think that the shenanigans of the school's president are a small factor compared to all of the other issues related to earning a degree, a doctorate. The learning you experienced, the research you did, the impact it has on who you are and who you will become matter far more than the actual source of the degree. By leaps and bounds.

    What I DO NOT understand is how someone with a doctorate from a no-name school can insult and demean the choices of others. It's disgusting and not helpful.

    Go get the degree you want. Then be the person you want to become. Listen to those who are actually paying attention and not to knee-jerk responses (emphasis on jerk). Good luck with your decision.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    While I hesitate to actually advise someone else on this choice, I agree with this sentiment.

    In the vast majority of situations, no one will care if his degree came from Liberty or from some other university no one has ever heard of. The key is to do the learning, do the research, and grow from the experience.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I have decided to stay the course. I am already 22 pages into chapter 2 (30 pages minimum) and have about 10-12 pages of synthesis to add. I anticipate submitting my first draft within the next two weeks. Chapter 1 is basically done. Although I am primarily interested in adjunct gigs, I don't discount the possibility of obtaining a full-time college position. In the latter part of last 2019 into early 2020, I had positive responses to some of my faculty applications. I was interviewed for an assistant professor position at a top 150 (per U.S. News) university. I was also invited to interview for an assistant professor position at a 2-year military college and a lecturer position at a 4-year state university. I declined the last two because the salary wasn't in my desired range. It's important to note that all three positions required master's degrees, with the first one stating a preference for a doctorate. By the time I finish my doctorate, I will have three years of teaching business and criminal justice courses (college-prep) at the high school level. I have over five years of sworn law enforcement experience plus 15 months of juvenile justice experience.

    I am passionate about juvenile justice, though, and that's why my dissertation and hopefully, future research, will focus on juvenile justice issues. My task is to figure out how to get into a juvenile justice public policy position in government. My only "regret" is that I took my three electives from the School of Education instead of taking three public policy courses within the School of Government. Maybe one day I'll go for a grad certificate in public policy (if necessary).
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