Quote of the Day

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Degrees No Longer Offered

George Wythe University has offered many degrees in its 17 years, sometimes for nothing more than a shoddy book manuscript, and sometimes, apparently, for nothing at all.

Degrees no longer offered:

-Youth and Family Counseling
-Near Eastern Studies (Rachel DeMille, 1993)
-Education (Andrew Groft, Ph.D., date unknown; (Julie Earley, Ed.d, date unknown) UPDATE: Masters still offered
-International Business (Mark Siljander, Ph.D., sometime in the 1990s)
-Business Management
-Health Sciences (Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D., sometime in the 1990s)

Expert witness
By the way, Ann Tracy puts herself out as an "expert witness" based on this degree, and apparently has testified at several trials. At one in Arkansas -- a child rape case, where she was TESTIFYING ON BEHALF OF THE ACCUSED -- she was forced to admit that the degree came from George Wythe College. Her testimony was thrown out. (David Eric WOOD v. STATE of Arkansas, Opinion delivered September 5, 2001)

Does anyone else find that disturbing?

Tracy explained to the Deseret News that "the Ph.D. was awarded for 'lifetime experience,' specifically for the writing of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? which she says she has been told is the equivalent of, or 'far beyond,' a dissertation."

The Deseret News then noted that the self-published book "contains spelling and punctuation errors and incomplete sentences."

The school's response (given via administrators' edits to the school's Wikipedia article) is that it cleaned up its act in 2002, and that it now has a sharp focus on Statesmanship and Constitutional Law -- no more psychology or business degrees.

Interesting doctorate
One final tidbit. Shanon Brooks reports that his Ph.D. from George Wythe, received in 2004, was for Constitutional Law AND Entrepreneurship. Wow, I can't even find where that degree has been offered. I would love to see the dissertation (in fact, I would love to see ANY dissertation for one of these "doctorates")!

Let me know if I'm missing any!

UPDATE: Brooks says in his CV above that he earned his doctorate in 2004. However, in this article he wrote in 2003, he is already calling himself "Dr. Brooks."


Anonymous said...

Actually, George Wythe offers Masters in Political Economy and Masters in Education still. Also they offer doctorates in Constitutional Law. I have no idea where you get your information - I would love to know because obviously you aren't looking very deeply. Also, why don't you come on over to the school and look at all of the dissertations. They aren't in the library, but if you ask the receptionist, she knows where they are kept and would be more than happy to let anyone read them.

The Real George Wythe said...

Anonymous - You are correct; I meant to say that the doctorate is no longer offered, but you are correct that the masters is still around.

Regarding the dissertations, can you please put them online?

Anonymous said...

I've also seen references to Brooks claiming an Ed.D. and then changing it to a Ph.D.

The Real George Wythe said...

Anon -

Man, I think I saw that somewhere too but it looks like I didn't document it. Does anyone have support for that claim?

Anonymous said...


IIRC the Ed.D. was listed on an early personnel webpage of GWC or CRBU. Wish I could be more specific.

Anonymous said...

"Also, why don't you come on over to the school and look at all of the dissertations. They aren't in the library, but if you ask the receptionist, she knows where they are kept and would be more than happy to let anyone read them."

What is wrong with publishing the abstracts and titles online? Honestly, I think that GWU has a real problem with transparency on this one. Why not even the titles, authors, and advisors?

I have repeatedly asked various individuals associated with GWU, including graduates about the dissertations. The moment I ask for even a title, all communication is over.

I am not in a position to go to GWU directly. I don't have time, money, or much interest to go to the GWU dissertation holding site (which apparently is not the library). Proquest, and other online sources provide access to other dissertations. Why not GWU?

Dissertation defenses are public events. For a person to go into public calling themselves "Dr." or writing "Ph.D." after their name is important. It does mean something to the general public. Why else would Shanon Brooks represent himeself as such? Why else would real academics represent themselves based on their credentials and scholarly work? I emailed 4 individuals who claim PhDs from GWU. None of them have provided any details of their dissertations to me. Instead, they become defensive, and critique what they see as bad dissertations at real universities. They do this at their own peril. For as long as they hide behind their plastic PhDs, they will further embarrass the school from which the degree came. Frankly, it makes GWU look like a diploma mill when they hide research and academic work.

GWU is breaking academic tradition by hiding dissertations. If they are going to grant a PhD, then they need to be open about their students and their work. Here is my final public appeal: GWU please release titles, authors, adivsors, and if possible abstracts or full text of your dissertations.

If there are any GWU PhD holders out there, tell us about your dissertation. Otherwise, it will reinforce the notion that GWU is a diploma mill.