When Drew Johansen starts his job in July as diving coach at Indiana University, he will arrive with a raft of credentials: six Atlantic Coast Conference titles at Duke University and four Olympic medals as coach of the 2012 U.S. team in London.The Star article then goes on to describe Rochville:
But he also arrives with a puzzling and some say troubling entry on his resume: a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Rochville University — widely described as a diploma mill that issues bogus degrees through the mail for a few hundred dollars.
Fred Glass, IU Athletic Director
Johansen’s decision to include Rochville on his resume for a job that required a bachelor’s degree — and IU’s decision to overlook it — is being criticized by some who believe a bogus degree from a diploma mill sends a bad message to students and should possibly have disqualified Johansen as a candidate, irrespective of his international coaching acclaim.
Concerns about Rochville are well-documented. Texas goes so far as to call it “an illegal supplier of educational credentials” and has made it a crime to use a Rochville degree with the intent to obtain employment. Last month, the Oregon Employment Relations Board upheld the firing of a state employee who had included a Rochville bachelor’s degree in his application years earlier.IU Athletic Director Fred Glass though seems to think there's nothing wrong with this, except for the fact Rochville is "not accredited":
“Rochville University is a mail order degree mill operating outside of the United States that offers requested degrees to applicants in exchange for a one-time payment,” wrote the administrative law judge in his decision. “It provides no physical or virtual education, no testing, and no skill or knowledge evaluation.”
How easy is it to earn a degree from Rochville? Four years ago, the institution mailed a master of business administration degree to a pug dog named Chester after its Vermont owner, who runs a consumer site, sent $499 and filled out paperwork stating that the dog had “life experience credentials” as a food taster.
Glass added he did not consider Johansen’s use of the Rochville degree on his resume to be a misrepresentation or breach of academic integrity.
“He represented that he had a degree from Rochville, which he does. There’s no misrepresentation there. It just turns out it’s not accredited and we understood and dealt with it appropriately.”I don't have a problem with a non-college grad coaching college sports. But I do have a problem with academic dishonesty, and with a university official who condones that dishonesty by excusing the fact that a coach he hired lied on his resume by claiming he was a college graduate.
I studied very hard and paid a lot of money for my undergrad and graduate degrees. I also taught at the college level for over 20 years. At IUPUI and the University of Indianapolis I have seen the work and sacrifice that students, often older students with significant other family and work responsibilities, endure to try to get their degrees.
It turns out that we could have just bought our degrees on-line. That route is so much easier and cheaper.
What happens when a diver or other athlete gets in trouble for missing class? How is Glass going to enforce the rules? Those students, after all, could just point to the example of the diving coach who, according to Glass, committed no offense by simply buying his diploma on-line. I guess Glass wouldn't have a problem with IU students buying term papers on-line either.
To see the full, rather lengthy Indianapolis Star article, click here.