Government Officials Receive Phony Degrees

From Wired News:

At least 28 high-ranking government officials, including three managers responsible for emergency operations at nuclear facilities, have fake degrees from so-called diploma mills, according to a government report issued Tuesday. [...]

"We have clear evidence that tax dollars are being wasted on bogus degrees from unaccredited institutions that the federal government does not even recognize. It is also cause for great concern that federal officials who hold high-ranking positions, and security clearances in some instances, have degrees from diploma mills," [Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)] said. "It calls into question their qualifications and abilities to do their jobs."

How about the abilities of those who hire them?

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"...bogus degrees from

"...bogus degrees from unaccredited institutions that the federal government does not even recognize."

Doesn't that bother you in the slightest? That only government recognized institutions can award legitimate degrees? It bothers the hell out of me.

Jonathon - I think this

Jonathon - I think this story is just a ruse, fluff, afterall, a degree is just a piece of paper. Being in possession of this piece of paper, a degree, signifies little in regards to an individual's actual capabilities.

Doesn?t that bother you in

Doesn?t that bother you in the slightest? That only government recognized institutions can award legitimate degrees? It bothers the hell out of me.

Yes. However, I would think that someone would do some checking into the background of a college or university without a recognizable reputation. Most employers do so. I would not want someone responsible for emergency operations at a nuclear power facility to have a degree from a diploma mill.

I think this story is just a

I think this story is just a ruse, fluff, afterall, a degree is just a piece of paper. Being in possession of this piece of paper, a degree, signifies little in regards to an individual?s actual capabilities.

Mostly true, but some degrees do confer value. I would not hire someone to test the structural integrity of a bridge who had not done basic engineering.

I would not hire someone to

I would not hire someone to test the structural integrity of a bridge who had not done basic engineering.

What if the individual could capably demonstrate, and provide private references to ability in the field, but had no formal schooling, a piece of paper that said completed basic engineering? Would you hire them then?

What if the individual could

What if the individual could capably demonstrate, and provide private references to ability in the field, but had no formal schooling, a piece of paper that said completed basic engineering? Would you hire them then?

Absolutely. I am just criticizing the lack of evaluation these people are put through. There will be quack references, whether private or public, and when hiring, I would think someone would check and make sure that those references were reputable.

Jonathon - I agree with you

Jonathon - I agree with you in regards to the lack of evaluation of validity of credentials presented, if the credentials are actually the main determining factor in hiring. But let's consider that the credentials are not valid, or accredited.

I think one needs to consider if the person presenting the credentials knowingly did so falsely, or, if the credentials were presented in good faith, with the presenter considering the credentials as valid.

If the credentials seemed to be rather easily obtained, by the presenter, but not obtained under false circumstances, the obtainer of the credentials then is merely a duped buyer, cavet emptor, and lacking in judgement skills.

If the credentials were presented knowingly falsely, then I think one would consider immediately terminating the individual's position, or, determining the individual's actual value to the organization, and what actions this turn of events warrants.

"Mostly true, but some

"Mostly true, but some degrees do confer value."

At best they indicate value.

"I would not hire someone to test the structural integrity of a bridge who had not done basic engineering."

But you might be able to easily verify proficiency in engineering without reference to a degree. Ultimately the judgements of others are no substitute for your own judgment.

For low-level security

For low-level security clearances, it is not at all unlikely that persons listing fake academic diplomas could be granted such clearance statuses. However, for the very high-level clearances (i.e., TS-SCI) such would seem to be impossible. Persons interested in the granting of high-level security clearances might be interested to learn that a short psychological type test exists that quite accurately can predict success/failure to be eventually granted high-level security clearance status. This test, the Personnel Security Standards Psychological Questionnaire (PSSPQ), was developed by a very seasoned psychologist who, in the past few years, retired from federal service while serving as the Chief Research Psychologist in the USA's largest intelligence agency. Information about the PSSPQ and on how to be administered this instrument can be found at: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~lastone2/psspq.html.