Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ramsey Absolves UofL in Deasy Degree Scandal

UofL investigates UofL and Finds Integrity

“Based upon the totality of the circumstances
and information available,
it is evident that waivers were granted by the then-graduate dean
which permitted the student to register
and defend his dissertation in one semester.

The dissertation defense before a committee of
University of Louisville CEHD faculty
was successful, and the degree was subsequently awarded.

“The degree stands; no further action will be taken.

--UofL President James Ramsey and
Exec VP and Provost Shirley Willihnganz

Interpretation: This decision concludes our review and confirms the integrity of our degree granting process. We do not give away degrees.

Alternative Interpretation: We were so totally screwed by former Dean of Education Robert Felner that it took a lot of people months and to dig through all of the bad acts he perpetrated and we still found the record sketchy. What we do know is that Felner influenced a former graduate dean to bend the academic rules for one of Felner's buddies, John Deasy. We have high standards at UofL but sometimes we waive them. Deasy was permitted to register and defend his dissertation in one semester which effectively proves that the work was not done at the University of Louisville. But what are we going to do? Having given Felner the authority to screw us, he screwed us. Since the error was clearly UofL's, we're not in a position to take it back now. Maybe we'll get a big grant from the Gates Foundation some day.

In a letter from President Ramsey and Provost Willihnganz to the university community the issues surrounding John Deasey's easy degree was laid to rest.
  • A blue-ribbon panel reviewed the awarding of Deasy's 2004 degree and found...
  • In very rare instances, almost always when student well-being was at issue (though no such claim is made here), the graduate dean acted within his authority to grant waivers.
  • The Blue Ribbon Panel reinforced the need to reconstitute the graduate school to increase oversight and accountability.
  • The panel noted several needed changes that were made in graduate education at UofL since the Deasy degree was granted.
  • The authority of the graduate dean was changed so that he or she could no longer allow certain types of exemptions and variances in graduate student programs.

That's a lot of fixin' for something that supposedly wasn't broken.

Hat tip to PageOne Kentucky.

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