Thursday, October 21, 2010
GW Trustees: Repudiate Life Experience Degrees
Okay, I'm going to come out and ask for it. I call on the trustees of the George Wythe Foundation to publicly repudiate the "degrees" awarded in the past for "life experience."
As has been noted in the comment sections, these "degrees" are having real consequences for real people in the real world.
I'm talking about degrees like the "doctorate"* awarded to Ann Blake Tracy** (see here) for self-publishing a book on anti-depressants that the Deseret News pointed out "contains spelling and punctuation errors and incomplete sentences." Tracy took this degree and attempted to serve as an expert witness for the defense in a child rape trial in Arkansas. Luckily, her testimony was thrown out. (David Eric WOOD v. STATE of Arkansas, Opinion delivered September 5, 2001)
How many similar cases are there that we just haven't heard about, concerning this individual or some other recipient of a George Wythe "life experience" degree?
Therefore, as the board seeks to legitimize this school, a crucial step in that process will be to stand up and divorce itself from the seamy practices of the past.
Publish an honest history. And repudiate these "degrees."
*According to this website, a "Doctorate in Health Sciences with the emphasis on Psychology"
**According to Tracy, "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." (Source: Deseret News, "Depressed over Prozac", Sunday, Aug. 22, 2004)
UPDATE: According to Tracy's website, "Since 1992 she has testified as an expert witness in Prozac and other SSRI related court cases around the world." So it wasn't just that one case after all. Real consequences people.
UPDATE: Following is a list (with links) to degrees no longer granted by George Wythe. These may or may not have been awarded for life experience. But given the broad range of "majors," they certainly beg the question.
(On some of these you'll have to search for the term "wythe" to find the referenced statement.)
* B.A. in Finance
* B.A. in Biblical Studies
* M.A. in Youth and Family Counseling
* Ph.D. in Family Counseling
* Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies
* Ph.D. in International Business
* Ph.D. in Education
* Ph.D. in Health Sciences with emphasis on Psychology
* Ph.D. in Biblical Studies (previously at http://greatvoicesofdestiny.net/; now taken down)
* Ph.D. in Musicology (previously at http://greatvoicesofdestiny.net/; now taken down)
Here is a video of "Dr." Tracy: