Moderated Newsgroup?

2 views
Skip to first unread message

Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
to

Sheila Danzig <shei...@aol.com> writes:

> I don't think the First Amendement protects you from slandering non-
> accredited schools and calling them Mills, bogus, etc., when they
> are in fact legal (legitimate). I think that is what everyone is
> very annoyed with you for, and why you are the aim of our flames.

As you know, Sheila, "slander" is a legal term which indicates verbal
or spoken defamation. (The correct term for written defamation is
"libel," but for the purpose of our discussion, I'll consider that a
matter of semantics.) Nonetheless, there is an old expression to the
effect that the ultimate defense to a charge of defamation is *truth*.
And, thus far, no school which I have accused of being a degree mill has
had the gumption to sue me for my comments - nor have any of the
hundred-plus schools for which I used the term in my book "Name It &
Frame It" - despite my having invited them to do so, especially after
receiving initial litigation threats from some 50 schools.

I can't help observing, however, that the term "everyone" is a bit
broad, since I can only think of four newsgroup participants who have
ever flamed me, and all four have been affiliated with schools that are
unaccredited. I have never been flamed by accredited schools, graduates
of accredited schools, accreditation advocates, or persons who have been
tipped off by degree mills - merely by those who hold unaccredited
degrees, or persons who run schools I have accused of being degree
mills. In short, I must confess to being quite satisfied with my track
record of flamers versus fans (though, quite frankly, I'm not seeking
either).

> May I add that your signature file violates the rules of
> nettiquette. A sig file should be no more than 8 lines total,
> including spaces, stars, ads etc. In some newsgroups they cut sig
> files at 6 lines.

*Whose* rules of netiquette? I've gotten more compliments than you can
imagine on my tag lines and, considering the fact that prospective
students are often led down the primrose path of merde de boeuf, this
group could use a little humor. But, then again, since my own degrees
are all from regionally accredited colleges and universities, I guess
I'm just not as sensitive as others.

I'm reminded of studying with John Warwick Montgomery, the noted
apologist, who used to require that papers written in his classes be a
maximum of ten text pages, although students could add as many endnotes
as they chose. Needless to say, a few would write 10-page papers with
40 pages of notes. At least my sig lines are not more lengthy than my
messages themselves, and I've resisted the temptation to add kinky ASCII
art. (So far.)

########################################################################
# . : 0 .. . | #
#`. . .. . | #
# \`. : _|_ .. | #
#\ \\`. ... . | .. | Access your inner bitch. #
#----------------------------| #
# Steve Levicoff, Ph.D. | #
# 7662...@compuserve.com | #
########################################################################

Steve Levicoff is the author of "Name It and Frame It? New Opportunities
in Adult Education and How to Avoid Being Ripped Off by 'Christian'
Degree Mills," a guide to both accredited distance learning programs
focusing on religious and counseling professions and an expose of
religious degree and credential mills. For information, request an
e-mail brochure by sending a message to 7662...@compuserve.com.

With the following freebie added to access *my* inner bitch:
-----------------------------------------------------------

<'o / o
()-^ ---c-()>
/ > < \

(In a spirit of collegial humor - Sheila and me.)

Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
to

Ken Brownson <kenbr...@aol.com> writes:

> Steve Levicoff writes:
>
> > Ken neglected to note the asterick in my comment about Rita was
> > accompanied by a footnote indicating that this comment was
> > satirical in nature and full of parady.
>
> Generally I have found that when someone says something unkind about
> someone then adds a footnote stating that it was in satire or full
> of parady -- red flags immediately go up. It has been my experience
> that this type of comment was meant to be as stated. If I
> misinterpreted your sense of humor I am indeed sorry.

Ken, even if you happen to be one of the minority of straight male
nurses practicing today, please have some sensitivity for correctly
quoting me . . . My original message used "asterisk [and] parody," not
"asterick [and] parady," which sounds more like a detective team on a
poor TV sitcom. (Attention, Nurses: It was a joke. Please don't start
flaming me about statistics regarding the sexual orientation of the
profession.)

> > Bad move. I would submit that anyone who is presuming to act as
> > an "adult education consultant" and adult education resource"
> > would have *every* reason to ensure that his or her credentials
> > are as open and above board as possible.
>
> Not sure how having your dissertation available on UMI Dissertation
> Abstracts accomplishes this. I had reasons not to list my
> dissertations and I had no reason to list it. My dissertation for
> CPU involved a series of management issues particular to nursing. I
> had hoped after completing my work at CPU to sell these articles for
> continuing education. I even had a BRN provider number in CA to do
> it. Unfortunately, the advertising and mailing cost was more than I
> was earning so I stopped. In my dissertation for Newport I actually
> completed my data base that I currently use and update for my work.
> (Actually Adult Education Resource is my business name). Part of the
> research was also to develop an undergraduate DL program for a
> school (which did not have one) for mid-career adult professionals.
> I specifically did not want my data base available to anyone who
> wanted to see it as some dishonest person might use my work to into
> business for themselves.

I don't buy either rationale. First, if you had intended to sell or
publish your first dissertation, there would be no reason not to list it
with UMI; dissertations are published in book form all the time. As for
your data base, don't be so bourgeois. John (Bear), Marcie (Thorson),
and I are constantly using each other's source material to update our
own work, not to mention referring people with information requests
within our respective fields to each other on a regular basis. We know
that dishonest people already use our work (after all, I publish the
addresses and phone numbers of the schools I classify as degree mills,
and am fully aware that some yahoos use this information to seek out the
schools rather than avoid them.) Surely you're aware, as well, that the
average lay person isn't even aware of the Dissertation Abstracts in the
first place. Want to talk about red flags? When a person claims a
doctorate, the very first thing I do is run them through UMI. If they
don't show up, *that* raises a red flag, since UMI is the standard
publishing form for *all* legitimately accredited programs, and
publication by UMI *never* precludes publication by another publisher.

> > True, and graduates of non-ABA approved law schools in California
> > can sit for the California bar exam. But even John Bear
> > statistically notes that their pass rates suck eggs.
>
> We were talking about the license exam in Marriage, Family, and
> Child Counselor. Do you have any information/statistics on the
> failure rate of Newport University, California Coast University
> etc. for this exam. Seems like you are comparing two completely
> different professional licensing procedures.

Seems to me that to call the comparison of the law boards and the MFCC
board exam an example of apples and oranges is to imply that the
counseling field is less challenging than the legal profession. Any
counselor worth his or her salt will tell you that's not the case. And
no, I don't have those stats available, but occasionally I'm willing to
go out on a limb . . . in this case, by saying that, if I were a
gamblin' man, I'd be willing to bet that their pass rates are not as
good as those of any AAMFT-accredited program.

> > Careful inspection? California is one of the most historically
> > notorious states for degree mills. They've tightened their laws,
> > but the fact that they're just getting around to closing schools
> > like Kensington University raises serious questions about their
> > "careful inspection" process.
>
> While it was well known that CA was the diploma mill capitol of the
> U.S. CA is not that way anymore. Probably because of the reputation
> that it had CA has been making drastic changes in their education
> policy since 1980s. There was a 3 tiered system and the first tier,
> "authorized" is no more. All schools must be "approved" which
> requires a lengthy process and onsite inspections. You probably
> should call or write: California State Department of Education,
> Council for Private Postsecondary & Vocational Education, 1027 10th.
> St., 4th. Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 445-3427 and ask for a
> copy of the Private Postsecondary & Vocational Education Reform Act
> and see the sections on "Approved" schools. You might be plesantly
> surprised.

I'm quite familiar with the California laws - old and new, but
implementation apparently takes a long time there, which is why they're
just getting around to acting on schools like Kensington.

> I am not really sure what the credentials should be for someone who
> helps people find DL programs suited to their particular needs. I am
> not sure what school has a program that would prepare anyone to
> become an expert in the field -- except by individual research. And
> this is what I did to learn what know about non-traditional
> education. My dissertation at Newport is what helped me pull it all
> together and put it all down on paper and in my computer. I still
> don't see how accredited degrees in theology can be held up to be a
> credible credential for advising about nontraditional education and
> everything I have done and know is not. I am assuming most of your
> knowledge, limited as it is, (just joking Steve) about non-
> traditional education was learned by research, unrelated to your
> theology degrees, as mine was. By the way I don't consider Newport
> University, California Coast University, or Columbia Pacific
> University to be degree mills and haven't heard of any other
> credible people calling them such. Being ripped off is certainly a
> personal decision. I don't feel that I was ripped off, you do. That
> is what is so great about this courtry.

I fully agree with you here, and can take your humor quite well.
Incidentally, my degrees are in theology/religion and law
(interdisciplinary), with specializations in church-state issues and
pastoral law. My teaching positions over the past six years have been
in law, not theology, even though my book "Name It & Frame It" deals
largely with religious schools (both legitimate and degree mills). Also
FYI, my graduate coursework included extensive studies in non-
traditional education resources and methodologies, with a paper that was
probably as long as your dissertation. (No, thanks, I'm not interested
in comparing specific lengths. That would be too akin to comparing
endowments.)

Also incidental, but it may help you understand my perspective . . .
Before I did my M.A. at Vermont College, I spent a semester at the Simon
Greenleaf School of Law (now Simon Greenleaf University) in Anaheim, a
non-accredited, state-approved California school. While I declined
credit there (it was of no use to me), I do not consider Greenlef a
degree mill. Nonetheless, I interacted with enough students in the non-
ABA California legal programs to note that many of them had come in from
out of state having no idea that their J.D. degrees would be of no use
to them anywhere *except* California. That, in part, is why I *do*
consider both California Coast and Columbia Pacific to be degree mills.
(I'm not as familiar with Newport, so I reserve judgment on them.)
There are sins of commission and sins of omission, and many unaccredited
schools are certainly guilty of the latter in terms of their lack of
disclosure.

Also keep in mind that I define the term "degree mill" as a school that
implies, whether through commission or omission, that it's degrees are
universally accepted when, in fact, they re not. Additionally, they may
require some degree of work on the part of students, but no the same
degree of work as would be required in regionally accredited programs.
I define the term "diploma mill" as one which will sell its degrees
outright, with minimal work (like a 10-page doctoral dissertation) or no
work whatsoever. Under this definition, California Coast and Columbia
Pacific are certainly not diploma mills but, in my opinion, they are
degree mills.

The criteria I use to define degree mills are specific and consist of
some 60 individual test points, all of which are listed in "Name It &
Frame It." And, lest I look like I'm trying to push books in this
paragraph, I'll be delighted to send a copy of the specific criteria at
no charge to anyone who requests them by e-mail. (They might even do
you some good, Ken.)

> > ...My biggest source of pride, however, is that I am *not* paid
> > for any advice I provide to prospective students (or students who
> > have been ripped off by degree mills), nor (like my dear colleague
> > John Bear and others like Rick Walston of Faraston Seminary) have
> > I ever been professionally affiliated with a degree mill.
>
> Could you please tell us what degree mill John Bear has been
> associated with? We will all be anxious to hear dirt on the man who
> is considered to be the father of nontraditional education in this
> country and the foremost expert in the field.

My reference is to John's former affiliation with Greenwich University,
which I have classified as a degree mill based on the criteria
referenced above.

Since you rather facetiously refer to "dirt" on John, and to him as the
"father of nontraditional education [and] foremost expert," I would also
note that I like to answer questions like yours carefully. There have
been people in the newsgroup that have tried to drive a wedge between
John and me. Readers should note that despite some differences about
which John and I are quite open, we respect each other as colleagues and
tout each other often. I'm sure, however, that you wouldn't stoop so
low, would you, Ken? :-)

(BTW, I regret that John isn't in town to read your wonderful paragraph
about him. As many of our readers know, he is in Tibet until mid-June
and, on his return, your wonderful words will hopefully be awaiting
him.)

> I don't see how people can make any money by offering free advice
> here on this newsgroup. Although I do get people writing private e-
> mail (usually for further free advice) I generate very little money
> here. However, I do notice that every post of yours does list your
> book and where to write to get more information about it. Give me a
> break!

Ken, if ever you write a book, I wish you as much luck as I've had with
"Name It & Frame It" (or John and Marcie with their books), even on the
newsgroup. As you have seen if you've been here long enough, I provide
plenty of free advice, so I make no apologies for making information
available on the best damn book around for information on programs in
religion and counseling. Neither, I'm sure, does "the father of non-
traditional education in this country and the foremost expert in the
field," who includes regular information on his book in newsgroup posts
as well.

> > As a former investigative journalist, I see red flags when I see
> > words like "several" and "including." You mentioned "several," but
> > listed only three. I'd certainly be curious to know what programs
> > you've completed but *haven't* listed.

> Sorry Steve didn't mean to send up red flags. I listed several CA
> approved schools including MS from CCU, MS and PhD from CPU, and EdD
> from Newport. By several I meant more than two but not many.
> Certainly 4 is more than two and can be considered as not many. By
> including I just meant that these four were part of the group of CA
> approved degree programs that I completed. You are getting very
> picky -- lighten up Steve, you are taking yourself too seriously.
>
> *SEVERAL* - 3. more than two but not many: few --n [Websters New
> World Dictionary]
> *INCLUDING* - 1. to enclose 2. to have as part of a whole; contain;
> compromise 3. to take into account [Websters New World Dictionary]

Ooooooo, semantics! Gee, I guess that means I, too, have "several"
degrees. But I think I'll still say "three" degrees, because that's the
accurate number. And, since they're all from regionally accredited
colleges and universities (Edison, Norwich, and Union for the newcomers
to the group), I still can't help but observe that the people who play
such semantic games all seem to have *unaccredited* degrees.

> > Again, I see the word "several" without elaboration. So,
elaborate.
>
> Sorry on this one Steve. I don't care to elaborate my affiliations.
> You have frequently called all the schools that I am affiliated with
> degree mills even though they are not.

Cool, Ken. Once again, people who tend not to "elaborate on their
affiliations" are usually the ones with unaccredited credentials and
unrecognized affiliations. I've always been open about my affiliations,
perhaps because they can stand scrutiny under the microscope of academic
evaluation.

> By the way there was a time when Thomas Edison and Union Institute
> were not accredited and thought by many to be diploma mills. And for
> the many people who went through their programs before they received
> full accreditation are running around with unaccredited degrees.

True and, as you know, I have stated both in my book and in this
newsgroup that *one* legitimate reason for non-accreditation is that a
school is too new to be accredited. Nonetheless, a legitimate school
will work toward regional accreditation from day one of its operations.
California Coast, Columbia Pacific, and Newport have been around for
many years, and they're still not regionally accredited. That doesn't
say too much for them.

> Yes, you are certainly smug (Only kidding Steve ;-)
> SMUG - annoyingly self-satisfied; complacent [Webster's New World
> Dictionary]

Well, kimosabe, as Lenny Bruce once observed, "In a crowded arena, the
cliche 'It takes one to know one' is actually a profound philosophy."

> Sorry to everyone who has read this far and has gotten bored with
> this childish banter. I just felt that I had to address some
> concerns that Steve had.

Hell, I'm not sorry. I agree with you, Ken, on the notion that there is
a lot of childish banter in this group, often as a result of challenges
to or from you, Rita, Sheila, and Ray regarding the legitimacy of your
credentials. Nonetheless, our readers can use even that banter to
educate themselves about accreditation, licensure, and academic
credibility issues. And since I'm the most perfect one of the bunch, I
don't feel threatened by such dialogues.

And, if you take that last comment seriously, I have a bridge for sale
in Brooklyn.


########################################################################
# . : 0 .. . | #
#`. . .. . | #
# \`. : _|_ .. | #
#\ \\`. ... . | .. | Gay, Proud, and #
# \\\\`. .. . | Living in the Suburbs. #

Marshall Rice

unread,
May 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/17/96
to

In article <4neltf$d6i$1...@mhadf.production.compuserve.com>, Steve
Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM> writes

>Sheila Danzig <shei...@aol.com> writes:
>
> > I don't think the First Amendement protects you from slandering non-
> > accredited schools and calling them Mills, bogus, etc., when they
> > are in fact legal (legitimate). I think that is what everyone is
> > very annoyed with you for, and why you are the aim of our flames.
>
>As you know, Sheila, "slander" is a legal term which indicates verbal
>or spoken defamation. (The correct term for written defamation is
>"libel," but for the purpose of our discussion, I'll consider that a
>matter of semantics.)


As you clearly DON'T know, "slander" is usually the appropriate term for
a defamatory statement or implication conveyed by a transient medium
(other than a public broadcast). Until the law relating to defamation
and the internet is clarified, Sheila's choice of terminology no more
justifies your sneers than any of your other targets in this newsgroup.


>Nonetheless, there is an old expression to the
>effect that the ultimate defense to a charge of defamation is *truth*.
>And, thus far, no school which I have accused of being a degree mill has
>had the gumption to sue me for my comments - nor have any of the
>hundred-plus schools for which I used the term in my book "Name It &
>Frame It" - despite my having invited them to do so, especially after
>receiving initial litigation threats from some 50 schools.


Are you worth suing, financially? If the content of your much-plugged
book is as accurate as your postings to this newsgroup, I don't suppose
you will have earned a fortune from the sales.


>
>I can't help observing, however, that the term "everyone" is a bit
>broad, since I can only think of four newsgroup participants who have
>ever flamed me, and all four have been affiliated with schools that are
>unaccredited. I have never been flamed by accredited schools, graduates
>of accredited schools, accreditation advocates, or persons who have been
>tipped off by degree mills - merely by those who hold unaccredited
>degrees, or persons who run schools I have accused of being degree
>mills. In short, I must confess to being quite satisfied with my track
>record of flamers versus fans (though, quite frankly, I'm not seeking
>either).


Since you apparantly do not categorise my past responses as flames, may
we take it that you acknowledge them to be fair comment?

--
Marshall Rice

SheilaD1

unread,
May 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/18/96
to

Steve Levicoff wrote:

>>>As you know, Sheila, "slander" is a legal term which indicates verbal
>or spoken defamation. (The correct term for written defamation is
>"libel," but for the purpose of our discussion, I'll consider that a
>matter of semantics.) <<

You are correct here Steve. I was in the wrong mental set, as I think of
this as talking to each other. *Thank you* for considering it a matter
of semantics - I would hate to think what would happen to me if you did
not forgive my error. <g>

>Nonetheless, there is an old expression to the
>effect that the ultimate defense to a charge of defamation is *truth*.
>And, thus far, no school which I have accused of being a degree mill has
>had the gumption to sue me for my comments - nor have any of the
>hundred-plus schools for which I used the term in my book "Name It &
>Frame It" - despite my having invited them to do so, especially after
>receiving initial litigation threats from some 50 schools.

Steve, the fact that they have not sued you does not mean you are right.
It means that we have a legal system that makes suing you almost
impossible to be financially worthwhile.

Is this a new definition of truth? A statement that does not get
challanged in court. "If I don't get sued I must be telling the truth."
I can't wait for the next edition of the Webster-Levicoff Dictionary.

A MORE significant issue to examine is HOW many of these schools have been
closed down for not operating in a lawful (synonym of legitimate) manner?

Your twisting of the language does little to support the value of all of
your accredited degrees.

Rita's honest descriptions of herself and her degrees makes me believe
that perhaps CCU does a better job producing PhD's.

-Sheila


Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/18/96
to

-------------------------------------------
O F F I C I A L U S E N E T N O T I C E
-------------------------------------------

Due to recent inquiries about the efficacy of
moderation in this newsgroup, we are pleased to make
the following announcement:

______________________________________________
| |
| Effective June 1, 1996, at 12:01 A.M. GMT, |
| ALT.DISTANCE.EDUCATION |
| will be split into |
| two *moderated* newsgroups. |
|______________________________________________|


ALT.EDUCATION.DISTANCE.ACCREDITED will be moderated by
Dick Adams, John Bear, Dennis Huber, Steve Levicoff,
Marcie Thorson, John Wetsch, and Jonathan Whatley.

ALT.EDUCATION.DISTANCE.UNACCREDITED will be moderated
by Ken Brownson, Ray Chasse, Sheila Danzig, Rita Laws,
Scott McDonald, and Rick Walston. This newsgroup can
also be accessed under the names ALT.DISTANCE.EDUCA-
TION.SHAM, ALT.DISTANCE.EDUCATION.AIRLINE-MAGAZINE and
ALT.DISTANCE.EDUCATION.MATCHBOOK-COVER.

Prospective students with inquiries about legitimate
non-traditional education opportunities are welcome to
post in ALT.DISTANCE.EDUCATION.ACCREDITED. Prospec-
tive students looking for an easy or cheap way out
will have their messages automatically transferred to
ALT.DISTANCE.EDUCATION.UNACREDITED.

Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/18/96
to

Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> recently addressed me:


> As you clearly DON'T know, "slander" is usually the appropriate term
> for a defamatory statement or implication conveyed by a transient
> medium (other than a public broadcast). Until the law relating to
> defamation and the internet is clarified, Sheila's choice of
> terminology no more justifies your sneers than any of your other
> targets in this newsgroup.

Not that it particularly matters to me, are you operating under American
civil law or British common law? My position is that since the
newsgroup consists of written transmissions, libel is the correct term.
Of course, my perspective also comes from six years of serving as a law
professor. You're welcome to disagree, since I find you quite
insignificant.


> Are you worth suing, financially? If the content of your much-
> plugged book is as accurate as your postings to this newsgroup, I
> don't suppose you will have earned a fortune from the sales.

You obviously haven't read my "much-plugged book." And of those who
have, no one has raised questions about its accuracy. And you're
still insignificant.


> Since you apparantly do not categorise my past responses as flames,
> may we take it that you acknowledge them to be fair comment?

Actually, Marshall, I don't remember ever seeing your past responses.
In fact, this is the first message of yours that I recall making its
merry way to CompuServe. (Remember, not all networks catch all Usenet
posts.)

I had heard from a third party that you allegedly put a gay-oriented
flame on the net about me, but since I didn't see it, I saw no need for
response. Nonetheless, any comments that I have made about others has
been predicated upon my knowing who they are, what credentials they
hold, etc. I know nothing about you and, unless you'd care to enlighten
the group, you're *still* insignificant. Sorry, old boy, I don't have
enough information to insult you, so I must simply dismiss you.

If you would like the courtesy of future response, feel free to e-mail
me a copy of your future posts in case they are not transmitted to the
CompuServe network. At which time, of course, I'll be delighted to send
a humorous flame or two your way. In the course of doing so, you might
want to cover the classic four questions: Who are you? Who were you?
Who do you hope to be? And do you really matter?


########################################################################
# . : 0 .. . | #
#`. . .. . | #
# \`. : _|_ .. | #
#\ \\`. ... . | .. | When you shoot a mime, #
# \\\\`. .. . | should you use a silencer? #

SheilaD1

unread,
May 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/18/96
to

Steve Levicoff wrote:

>
> <'o / o
> ()-^ ---c-()>
> / > < \
>
> (In a spirit of collegial humor - Sheila and me.)
>
>

I did get a chuckle here, but I don't think we are just having a little
joust here. You are defaming schools and I have ended up defending
schools that I am not a champion of. I do not think that an unaccredited
degree should be a first choice. It took me YEARS to decide to go with an
unaccredited degree. And while I am VERY happy that I did, and the degree
serves me perfectly, it is not my intention to be a champion of
non-accredited shools. However, I can not allow you to state your
opinions as facts about any subject.

So if this is all done in humor and jest on your part, please remember it
is much more serious than that.

-Sheila

Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to
Yes, of *course* it's a joke!

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that the only people who can't
seem to take a joke on this newsgroup are the ones who have graduated
from *unaccredited* programs?


########################################################################
# . : 0 .. . | #
#`. . .. . | #
# \`. : _|_ .. | #
#\ \\`. ... . | .. | Eternal nothingness is OK #
# \\\\`. .. . | if you're dressed for it. #

Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

Sheila Danzig <shei...@aol.com> writes:

> Steve, the fact that they have not sued you does not mean you are
> right. It means that we have a legal system that makes suing you
> almost impossible to be financially worthwhile.
>
> Is this a new definition of truth? A statement that does not get
> challanged in court. "If I don't get sued I must be telling the
> truth." I can't wait for the next edition of the Webster-Levicoff
> Dictionary.

I never argued that point, which would be about as valid as your
argument from the Danzig Dictionary that if a school is not closed down,
it must be legitimate. Truth stands on its own, validated by testimony
from primary sources, many of which I have quoted in these posts.


> A MORE significant issue to examine is HOW many of these schools
> have been closed down for not operating in a lawful (synonym of
> legitimate) manner?

Hmmmm . . . I can't help thinking that, every time you use your
"lawful=legitimate" argument, you have to go quite a way down the
definition list in Webster's to support your argument.

Much like the average public or social services agency, resources are
limited. However, I have participated with both state agencies and the
media in closing down *several* degree mills over the past few years.


> Your twisting of the language does little to support the value of
> all of your accredited degrees.

Pardon the term, dear one, but in the world of psychology, this is known
as "mind fucking." (Don't blame me, campers, I didn't invent the term.)
Also known as "projection," in which the person making the argument
attempts to transfer the syndrome he or she exhibits to another person.
You'll notice that I have never felt the need to defend my regionally
accredited degrees, whereas you, Rita, Scott, and others here are
*constantly* attempting to define your unaccredited degrees. Perhaps
that says something to all of the prospective students who read our
posts when seeking guidance for themselves.


########################################################################
# . : 0 .. . | #
#`. . .. . | #
# \`. : _|_ .. | #
#\ \\`. ... . | .. | Apparently you've mistaken #
# \\\\`. .. . | me for your therapist. #

#----------------------------| #
# Steve Levicoff, Ph.D. | #
# 7662...@compuserve.com | #
########################################################################

Marshall Rice

unread,
May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

In article <4nl87j$f66$1...@mhadg.production.compuserve.com>, Steve
Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM> writes
>

>Not that it particularly matters to me, are you operating under American
>civil law or British common law?


English common law. There is no such thing as "British" law,
"Professor"; Britain encompasses several jurisdictions and Scots law, in
particular, has a substantial civil law element. I had always thought
that America was a common-law and not (with the partial exception of
Louisiana) civil law country.


>My position is that since the
>newsgroup consists of written transmissions, libel is the correct term.


You appear to have developed misconstruction into an art form. My point
was that "slander" is arguably also correct and that Sheila's use of it
did not warrant criticism.


>Of course, my perspective also comes from six years of serving as a law
>professor.

What happened?

>You're welcome to disagree, since I find you quite
>insignificant.

>
> > Are you worth suing, financially? If the content of your much-
> > plugged book is as accurate as your postings to this newsgroup, I
> > don't suppose you will have earned a fortune from the sales.
>
>You obviously haven't read my "much-plugged book." And of those who
>have, no one has raised questions about its accuracy. And you're
>still insignificant.
>
> > Since you apparantly do not categorise my past responses as flames,
> > may we take it that you acknowledge them to be fair comment?
>
>Actually, Marshall, I don't remember ever seeing your past responses.
>In fact, this is the first message of yours that I recall making its
>merry way to CompuServe. (Remember, not all networks catch all Usenet
>posts.)
>
>I had heard from a third party that you allegedly put a gay-oriented
>flame on the net about me, but since I didn't see it, I saw no need for
>response. Nonetheless, any comments that I have made about others has
>been predicated upon my knowing who they are, what credentials they
>hold, etc.


It is irrelevant to me who YOU are, or what credentials you do or do not
hold. What concern me are your unnecessary and unjustified attacks on
honest, sincere and decent individuals, whose comments I find
interesting and informative, whose opinions I respect and whose input
into this newsgroup I am grateful for. I do not wish to be deprived of
the benefit of such comments and opinions because of the possibility
that the authors may be disinclined to subject themselves to your
vituperations.


>I know nothing about you and, unless you'd care to enlighten
>the group, you're *still* insignificant. Sorry, old boy, I don't have
>enough information to insult you, so I must simply dismiss you.
>
>If you would like the courtesy of future response, feel free to e-mail
>me a copy of your future posts in case they are not transmitted to the
>CompuServe network. At which time, of course, I'll be delighted to send
>a humorous flame or two your way. In the course of doing so, you might
>want to cover the classic four questions:

>Who are you?

A reader of, and occasional contributor to, this newsgroup.

>Who were you?

Someone, inter alia, once able to enjoy this newsgroup without having to
wade through your ill-informed and egotistical ranting.

>Who do you hope to be?

Someone, inter alia, once again able to enjoy this newsgroup without
having to wade through your ill-informed and egotistical ranting.

>And do you really matter?

Who knows or cares? Not me.
--
Marshall Rice

Dick Adams

unread,
May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

Regardless of what anyone suggests, I will not participate in
the moderation of a DL newsgroup.

Anyone who is even thinking about a moderated newsgroup is
most likely ignorant of the work load to the moderator.

Dick

RW HANNU

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

In article <4nnlun$qnt$1...@mhafn.production.compuserve.com>, Steve Levicoff
<7662...@CompuServe.COM> writes:

>Pardon the term, dear one, but in the world of psychology, this is known
>as "mind fucking."

Do we have to put up with stuff like this?

RW Hannu

Moorshidee B A Kassim

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Steve Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM> wrote:

>first place. Want to talk about red flags? When a person claims a
>doctorate, the very first thing I do is run them through UMI. If they
>don't show up, *that* raises a red flag, since UMI is the standard
>publishing form for *all* legitimately accredited programs, and
>publication by UMI *never* precludes publication by another publisher.

I beg to differ here. I don't think that UMI is the standard
publishing form adopted by all legitimately accredited programs. In
Asia, many top accredited (recognized and legitimate) universities do
not make it compulsory for graduates to publish in UMI. Furthermore,
many graduates at Master's degree level do not adopt any specific
styles in writing their final projects! Final projects are mostly
group effort as opposed to individual's own research and writing.

Perhaps, you should come to Asia to expose the practice of accredited
universities for your next book. You will find that many accredited
universities in USA, Australia and UK are giving exemptions or credit
transfers to students who have completed studies at non-university
parallel institutions. However, at some unaccredited universities,
students are required to prove their knowledge by taking challenge
exams or portfolio assessment.

In my opinion, you lacked the knowledge and understanding of how
unaccredited universities operate. Your opinions attacked not only on
state-approved unaccredited institutions of higher learning but also
attacked on people (faculty advisors, mentors, educational
administrators etc) who hold accredited creditials involving in
unaccredited institutions of higher learning.

Furthermore, what qualifies you to qualify state-approved institutions
as degree mills?

Moorshidee B A Kassim
kas...@singnet.com.sg
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My Opinions, No Book To Sell!


Jonathan Whatley

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

In article <4nnlun$qnt$1...@mhafn.production.compuserve.com>, Steve Levicoff
<7662...@CompuServe.COM> wrote:

> Sheila Danzig <shei...@aol.com> writes:

> > Your twisting of the language does little to support the value of
> > all of your accredited degrees.
>

> Pardon the term, dear one, but in the world of psychology, this is known

> as "mind fucking." (Don't blame me, campers, I didn't invent the term.)
> Also known as "projection," in which the person making the argument
> attempts to transfer the syndrome he or she exhibits to another person.
> You'll notice that I have never felt the need to defend my regionally
> accredited degrees, whereas you, Rita, Scott, and others here are
> *constantly* attempting to define your unaccredited degrees. Perhaps
> that says something to all of the prospective students who read our
> posts when seeking guidance for themselves.

Freudian typo: They're trying to _defend_ their unaccredited degrees.

But why do they feel the need to? Perhaps only because they're being
hounded about them so continuously. Because they're being _defined_
as the product of "degree mills" by various other posters.

If everybody turned around and quite bluntly criticised Steve's
degrees, for instance, he would defend them. We'd expect no less from
anyone.

And the prospective students reading the posts see quite positive
evaluations by graduates of a variety of prominent unaccredited schools,
which may be realistic. They also see a context (Steve) challenging
their unaccredited credentials at every opportunity to no end, which
is very realistic.


Jonathan Whatley <mailto:io...@interlog.com>

wdh...@acsu.buffalo.edu

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to kas...@singnet.com.sg

kas...@singnet.com.sg (Moorshidee B A Kassim) wrote:

>Steve Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM> wrote:
>
>Perhaps, you should come to Asia to expose the practice of accredited
>universities for your next book. You will find that many accredited
>universities in USA, Australia and UK are giving exemptions or credit
>transfers to students who have completed studies at non-university
>parallel institutions. However, at some unaccredited universities,
>students are required to prove their knowledge by taking challenge
>exams or portfolio assessment.
>
>In my opinion, you lacked the knowledge and understanding of how
>unaccredited universities operate. Your opinions attacked not only on
>state-approved unaccredited institutions of higher learning but also
>attacked on people (faculty advisors, mentors, educational
>administrators etc) who hold accredited creditials involving in
>unaccredited institutions of higher learning.
>
>Furthermore, what qualifies you to qualify state-approved institutions
>as degree mills?
>
>
>
>Moorshidee B A Kassim
>kas...@singnet.com.sg
>++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>My Opinions, No Book To Sell!
>

Moorshidee,

You asked Dr. Levicoff what his qualifications are. They appear elsewhere in
his postings, as do mine.

However, I could not find yours anywhere in your posts. What are they, and what
knowledge do you possess of American higher education? From another of your
posts I must assume your degrees are also unaccredited. Is this correct?

Dennis Huber


wdh...@acsu.buffalo.edu

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> wrote to Steve Levicoff:


*****

>It is irrelevant to me who YOU are, or what credentials you do or do not
>hold. What concern me are your unnecessary and unjustified attacks on
>honest, sincere and decent individuals, whose comments I find
>interesting and informative, whose opinions I respect and whose input
>into this newsgroup I am grateful for. I do not wish to be deprived of
>the benefit of such comments and opinions because of the possibility
>that the authors may be disinclined to subject themselves to your
>vituperations.
>

Marshall,

First, here in America we have something called the "First Amendment." It
basically means, "I disagree with what you say but I'll fight to the death your
right to say it." Second, I would be surprised if you respected the comments
of *every* individual who has posted to this group (not including, of course,
Steve, whose comments I assume you you do not). I would also be surprised if
you thought the comments and opinions of *every* individual both interesting
and informative (again excluding's Steve's whose comments and opinionsl you
find neither interesting nor informative). Let's face it. There have been a few
posts by individuals who did not know what they were taking about. Third, I see
you are not so bothered by his vituperations that you are disinclined to post.
If others are, perhaps their arguments are too weak to withstand them.


>>Who are you?
>
>A reader of, and occasional contributor to, this newsgroup.
>
>>Who were you?
>
>Someone, inter alia, once able to enjoy this newsgroup without having to
>wade through your ill-informed and egotistical ranting.
>
>>Who do you hope to be?
>
>Someone, inter alia, once again able to enjoy this newsgroup without
>having to wade through your ill-informed and egotistical ranting.
>
>>And do you really matter?
>
>Who knows or cares? Not me.
>--
>Marshall Rice


Thanks for clearing that up, Marshall. However, I must add that I have not
found your posts to be without your share of egotistical and ill-informed
ranting either. I ignore it, however, and try to dig for something useful.


Sheila Danzig

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to Steve Levicoff

Steve,
I can take a joke. I just don't think you are particularly funny.

BTW, I recently advised you that your sig file far exceded the size
approved by netiquette. You could lose your CIS acct if people
complained. If you look in the abuse newsgroups you would learn that an
acceptable sig file used to be 4 lines but 6 is accepted by many.

Commercial services (like compuserve) enforce this more than the direct
accts. I am not complaining to anyone, but I just thought that if you
knew, you would NEVER want to break any rules. <g>

-Sheila

-- large text clipped--

> Yes, of *course* it's a joke!
>
> Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that the only people who can't
> seem to take a joke on this newsgroup are the ones who have graduated
> from *unaccredited* programs?
>

> ########################################################################
> # . : 0 .. . | #
> #`. . .. . | #
> # \`. : _|_ .. | #

> #\ \\`. ... . | .. | Eternal nothingness is OK #

> # \\\\`. .. . | if you're dressed for it. #

Sheila Danzig

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Steve Levicoff wrote to Marshall Rice:

> >You obviously haven't read my "much-plugged book." And of those who
> >have, no one has raised questions about its accuracy. And you're
> >still insignificant.

I have read your book. I found some statements grossly innacurate, but
since they were not directed at me I did not question the accuracy here.
Nor will I. The book is of value, if one understands that Steve has
redefined degree mill and legitimate, and has made a few other similar
inaccurate statements.

You're no John Bear, Steve.

-Sheila Danzig

Sheila Danzig

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Steve Levicoff wrote:

> I never argued that point, which would be about as valid as your
> argument from the Danzig Dictionary that if a school is not closed down,
> it must be legitimate. Truth stands on its own, validated by testimony
> from primary sources, many of which I have quoted in these posts.

Back to twisting scriptures, eh Steve. You have turned it into an art.
I have said that if it is LAWFUL it is by definition LEGITIMATE.

I know what both Lawful and Legitimate means and (unlike you) do NOT use
my own dictionary.

Since you refuse to learn the Miriam Webster definition, and continue to
attack me for using that definition I have decided not to discuss this
any longer. I urge you to write Miriam Webster and demand that the
definition is changed to suit your needs as your needs are all that
matter to you.

Steve also wrote:

> Pardon the term, dear one, but in the world of psychology, this is known
> as "mind fucking." (Don't blame me, campers, I didn't invent the term.)

That is totally uncalled for and disgusting. Having run out of anything
close to an arguement you resort to vulgarities. I have NEVER in quite
some time of reading this group seen that type of language used. And
you call yourself a REVERAND. And you call yourself a BIBLE expert. I
didn't invent the term either, but I certainly would never use it. I
doubt that there is one person in this group that would.

> You'll notice that I have never felt the need to defend my regionally
> accredited degrees, whereas you, Rita, Scott, and others here are
> *constantly* attempting to define your unaccredited degrees.

Perhaps given the quality of your posts, you should defend it. I have
NEVER defended my degree. Only stated its usefulness for me. Rita and
Scott have only replied to your attacks.

I suspect that Steve loves these attacks going on since they allow him
to reply with his giant sigfile that violates internet rules (one such
as Dennis or yourself, might even call the sig file not legitimate.)

Therefore, unless the subject changes, I will refrain from replying.
Steve is unwilling to do anything except attack others. If this were a
moderated group, I assue you that you would be thrown off.

-Sheila

wdh...@acsu.buffalo.edu

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to


Dick, I am speculating here. I'm going out on a limb. I'm just guessing.
But, I think Steve was making a joke.

Dennis


Jonathan Whatley

unread,
May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

In article <31A154...@danzig.com>, she...@danzig.com wrote, in
response to <mysterious tone> somebody we all know... :


> And you call yourself a REVERAND.

What dictionary did that come from? <groan>


> Perhaps given the quality of your posts, you should defend it. I have
> NEVER defended my degree. Only stated its usefulness for me. Rita and
> Scott have only replied to your attacks.

Scott called ~me~ an "immature lack-wit" and a "jerk," and if I'm correct
his involvement in the AICS thread came about in response to someone
(Stephen Dowd?) canvassing for any AICS graduates who might have something
more to say on the acceptance of their degrees. How would Steve manage to
flame him before he posted?

Then again, if anyone could do it...


> I suspect that Steve loves these attacks going on since they allow him
> to reply with his giant sigfile that violates internet rules (one such
> as Dennis or yourself, might even call the sig file not legitimate.)
>
> Therefore, unless the subject changes, I will refrain from replying.
> Steve is unwilling to do anything except attack others. If this were a
> moderated group, I assue you that you would be thrown off.

Trust me: Signatures of above-average length are the very least of the
worries of any reasonable person responsible for moderating any online forum.

Steve has been willing to post quite a bit of factual information and other
fair comment, including, free of charge, extensive excerpts, informational
and editorial in nature, from his on-subject book.


Jonathan Whatley <mailto:io...@interlog.com>

Marshall Rice

unread,
May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

In article <4nqte6$e...@azure.acsu.buffalo.edu>, wdh...@acsu.buffalo.edu
writes

>Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> wrote to Steve Levicoff:
>
>
> *****
>
>>It is irrelevant to me who YOU are, or what credentials you do or do not
>>hold. What concern me are your unnecessary and unjustified attacks on
>>honest, sincere and decent individuals, whose comments I find
>>interesting and informative, whose opinions I respect and whose input
>>into this newsgroup I am grateful for. I do not wish to be deprived of
>>the benefit of such comments and opinions because of the possibility
>>that the authors may be disinclined to subject themselves to your
>>vituperations.
>>
>
>Marshall,
>
>First, here in America we have something called the "First Amendment." It
>basically means, "I disagree with what you say but I'll fight to the death your
>right to say it."

I see. Is that the reason why you also have the Ku Klux Klan, Black
Panthers and Edward Kennedy?

In England, we have something called "decorum". That means, amongst
other things, occasinally keeping one's more extreme and/or offensive
views to oneself.

>Second, I would be surprised if you respected the comments
>of *every* individual who has posted to this group (not including, of course,
>Steve, whose comments I assume you you do not). I would also be surprised if
>you thought the comments and opinions of *every* individual both interesting
>and informative (again excluding's Steve's whose comments and opinionsl you
>find neither interesting nor informative). Let's face it. There have been a few
>posts by individuals who did not know what they were taking about.

I neither said, nor implied, anything to the contrary. I suggest you
read my posting again.

>Third, I see
>you are not so bothered by his vituperations that you are disinclined to post.


Not quite, although that point is fast approaching.


>If others are, perhaps their arguments are too weak to withstand them.
>

Or perhaps their distaste of "Dr" Levicoff and his overwhelming of this
newsgroup has simply exceeded their interest in the forum.


>
>>>Who are you?
>>
>>A reader of, and occasional contributor to, this newsgroup.
>>
>>>Who were you?
>>
>>Someone, inter alia, once able to enjoy this newsgroup without having to
>>wade through your ill-informed and egotistical ranting.
>>
>>>Who do you hope to be?
>>
>>Someone, inter alia, once again able to enjoy this newsgroup without
>>having to wade through your ill-informed and egotistical ranting.
>>
>>>And do you really matter?
>>
>>Who knows or cares? Not me.
>>--
>>Marshall Rice
>
>
>Thanks for clearing that up, Marshall. However, I must add that I have not
>found your posts to be without your share of egotistical and ill-informed
>ranting either.

That is a matter of opinion. What is not, however, is that I offend
rather fewer people and take up condiserably less bandwidth doing it.


>I ignore it, however, and try to dig for something useful.
>


--
Marshall Rice

Doctor SBD

unread,
May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
to

Johnathan Whatley said:

>Scott called ~me~ an "immature lack-wit" and a "jerk," and if I'm correct
>his involvement in the AICS thread came about in response to someone
>(Stephen Dowd?) canvassing for any AICS graduates who might have
something
>more to say on the acceptance of their degrees. How would Steve manage
to
>flame him before he posted?


I think John Wetsch asked for input from students or grads. I think that
my first response to him was cordial, but also contained what I thought
were the "hard questions" about AICS. He flamed me pretty bitterly, called
my questions "irrelevant" and used the typical tactic of accusing me of
flaming him first.

I have been critical of AICS/Chadwick and the others here in the past for
reasons of lack of a campus, their suspect operation in the state, and
their bogus "accreditation" - so that might be how I flamed him first. I
found our whole thread rather irritating, since it was Scott who
complained about lack of recognition of his degree and when we indicated
why that might be, he felt compelled to attack.

But it was pretty typical of the posts I see/e-mail I receive from
students in that group.

Steven B. Dowd

Steve Levicoff

unread,
May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
to

Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> writes, in relevant part and in
respnse to Dennis Huber:

> Is [the First Amendment] the reason why you also have the Ku
> Klux Klan, Black Panthers and Edward Kennedy?
>
> In England, we have something called "decorum". That means,
> amongst other things, occasinally keeping one's more extreme
> and/or offensive views to oneself.

Marshall, dear Marshall, I think that the KKK, Panthers, and Ted Kennedy
would probably be amused to hear themselves referenced in the same
breath.

We in the States have decorum as well. We also have what the First
Amendment has led to, a "marketplace of free ideas" that has led to a
greater variety of options available, even in nontraditional education,
as well as greater opportunities to be ripped off by unscrupulous
charlatans. That raises the specter that our dialogues on various
issues will, by nature, be more lively than those which might take place
in the U.K. Here, in short, we enjoy the option of being able to debate
in the mode of Sir Thomas More or Rocky Balboa, and have created an
atmosphere where there is room for both modalities.

As for decorum, perhaps the reason so many students from the U.K. have
chosen to attend U.S. institutions is that the constant decorum into
which they run in the U.K. has bored them to tears.


> Or perhaps their distaste of "Dr" Levicoff and his overwhelming
> of this newsgroup has simply exceeded their interest in the
> forum.

As I have said in the past, Marshall, it's better to be talked about in
vain than not at all. Inherent in each of my posts, however, is the
message that prospective students should *always* be on the lookout for
the possibility of being ripped off. If I can help prevent that from
happening to one student, you can call me anything but late for dinner.

A side note . . . I have always found it interesting that when people
don't have anything to reach for in the bottom of the barrel, they
either refer to me as "Dr." Levicoff (with the "Dr." in quotes, as if my
own doctorate is questionable) or "Mr." Levicoff (as if I hold no
doctorate at all). From an ego perspective, that doesn't concern me,
since I still prefer being called Steve (including by my own students).
Nonetheless, it's notable that (1) this is usually done by persons with
a questionable, unaccredited doctorate, and (2) it's being done now by
you, despite your advocacy of "decorum." You may find it offensive,
but, speaking in the pontifical first-person plural, we are amused. :-)


########################################################################
# . : 0 .. . | #
#`. . .. . | #
# \`. : _|_ .. | #
#\ \\`. ... . | .. | Would you care for some #
# \\\\`. .. . | cheese with your whine? #

#----------------------------| #
# Steve Levicoff, Ph.D. | #
# 7662...@compuserve.com | #
########################################################################

Marshall Rice

unread,
May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
to

In article <4ockae$nd3$3...@mhadf.production.compuserve.com>, Steve
Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM> writes

>Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> writes, in relevant part and in
>respnse to Dennis Huber:
>
> > Is [the First Amendment] the reason why you also have the Ku
> > Klux Klan, Black Panthers and Edward Kennedy?
> >
> > In England, we have something called "decorum". That means,
> > amongst other things, occasinally keeping one's more extreme
> > and/or offensive views to oneself.
>
>Marshall, dear Marshall, I think that the KKK, Panthers, and Ted Kennedy
>would probably be amused to hear themselves referenced in the same
>breath.
>
>We in the States have decorum as well. We also have what the First
>Amendment has led to, a "marketplace of free ideas" that has led to a
>greater variety of options available, even in nontraditional education,
>as well as greater opportunities to be ripped off by unscrupulous
>charlatans. That raises the specter that our dialogues on various
>issues will, by nature, be more lively than those which might take place
>in the U.K. Here, in short, we enjoy the option of being able to debate
>in the mode of Sir Thomas More or Rocky Balboa, and have created an
>atmosphere where there is room for both modalities.
>
>As for decorum, perhaps the reason so many students from the U.K. have
>chosen to attend U.S. institutions is that the constant decorum into
>which they run in the U.K. has bored them to tears.


Hmmm. I think we probably agree on that.


>
> > Or perhaps their distaste of "Dr" Levicoff and his overwhelming
> > of this newsgroup has simply exceeded their interest in the
> > forum.
>
>As I have said in the past, Marshall, it's better to be talked about in
>vain than not at all.


We clearly differ in our needs and objectives.


>Inherent in each of my posts, however, is the
>message that prospective students should *always* be on the lookout for
>the possibility of being ripped off. If I can help prevent that from
>happening to one student, you can call me anything but late for dinner.
>
>A side note . . . I have always found it interesting that when people
>don't have anything to reach for in the bottom of the barrel, they
>either refer to me as "Dr." Levicoff (with the "Dr." in quotes, as if my
>own doctorate is questionable)


Your doctorate may not be questionable (at least in the U.S., or in
Britain, where it would be tolerated; in Germany or Japan it would be
regarded with amusement or contempt) however your use of it certainly
is.

Unless I am much mistaken, the doctorate you hold is in a field quite
unrelated to education and in the context of that subject and as the
"credential" as which you continually flaunt it, is as bogus as if you
had bought it from ULC.


>or "Mr." Levicoff (as if I hold no
>doctorate at all). From an ego perspective, that doesn't concern me,
>since I still prefer being called Steve (including by my own students).
>Nonetheless, it's notable that (1) this is usually done by persons with
>a questionable, unaccredited doctorate, and (2) it's being done now by
>you, despite your advocacy of "decorum." You may find it offensive,
>but, speaking in the pontifical first-person plural, we are amused. :-)
>


--
Marshall Rice

Jonathan Whatley

unread,
May 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/30/96
to

In article <05AOaEAk...@msrice.demon.co.uk>, Marshall Rice
<mars...@msrice.demon.co.uk> wrote, in part, in response to
Steve Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM>:


> Your doctorate may not be questionable (at least in the U.S., or in
> Britain, where it would be tolerated; in Germany or Japan it would be
> regarded with amusement or contempt) however your use of it certainly
> is.

You raise an interesting point. Do standards in Germany or Japan
differ as to the recognition of degreees that might be accepted, even
accredited, in the United States? On what basis do you believe this
to be the case regarding a Union Institute PhD? What do they consider
to be wrong with it? Would this carry over to other nontraditional
university programs? What about nontraditional programs ~in~ Japan
and Germany? Is it because Union is a private university? Founded
relatively recently? Accredited by one of the six possible (and
three relevant) regional accreditors? Is it because of the name?
Inferior faculty? False claims? Inquiring minds would like to know,
and you seem just the source for such enlightenment, Marshall.

If not, however, a general point, you'd have to have reviewed the records
of Steve's studies there and passed appropriate judgement on them,
or perhaps some authority you trust has. If so, however, you probably
wouldn't make the next cautious statement.


> Unless I am much mistaken, the doctorate you hold is in a field quite
> unrelated to education and in the context of that subject and as the
> "credential" as which you continually flaunt it, is as bogus as if you
> had bought it from ULC.

I don't believe that on this newsgroup at least he's ever ~claimed~ to
have a PhD in education; neither has John Bear who also prominently mentions
his doctorate in his sigfile, book jackets, Heriot-Watt agency promotional
literature, etc. Why? Perhaps because there are no accepted standards
that people should, at every turn, specify the subject of their accredited
doctorates!

Now I conceed that if "Dr. Steve Levicoff" were promoting, say, his health
care practice, standards, not to mention laws, would be being broken.

However, the field of education is made up of individuals of distinction
from across the disciplines... Would you argue with the president of
a university using his doctorate if it were in anything but higher ed.
administration?

Btw, you don't know that he didn't study church-state law as applied
to education, even though he repeatedly talks about it (eg. Bob Jones
University.)


Jonathan Whatley <mailto:io...@interlog.com>

STEVEN DOWD

unread,
May 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/30/96
to

In article <05AOaEAk...@msrice.demon.co.uk>, Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> says:

>Your doctorate may not be questionable (at least in the U.S., or in
>Britain, where it would be tolerated; in Germany or Japan it would be
>regarded with amusement or contempt) however your use of it certainly
>is.


I find this to be a questionable statement; after all, Germany has the
FernUniversitaet, which offers distance doctorates in a similar vein.

If you were trying to say that Germans don't use "doctor," you would
also be quite incorrect. In Germany, everyone with a doctorate uses
the title, unlike the US, where it is somehow suspect in some
settings to call yourself "Dr." unless you are a physician. In fact, in
the roster for our chess club we used to differentiate; the Ph.D.s
were Herr Dr., the physicians (if they had earned a doctorate, which
all had not) were Herr Dr. med. in the line-up. Even in non-academic
settings (eg., in my grandparents' neighborhood), you were expected
to address individuals with doctorates of all types as Herr or Frau Doktor
so-and-so.

In fact, if I read my Bear correctly, Germans are among the worst
buyers of fake doctorates in the US since the title is so highly thought
of.

But that may not have been what you were trying to say, or was it?

Mr.A.Wilson

unread,
May 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/31/96
to

In article <ionic-30059...@ionic.interlog.com> io...@interlog.com (Jonathan Whatley) writes:
>
>You raise an interesting point. Do standards in Germany or Japan
>differ as to the recognition of degreees that might be accepted, even
>accredited, in the United States? On what basis do you believe this
>to be the case regarding a Union Institute PhD? What do they consider
>to be wrong with it? Would this carry over to other nontraditional
>university programs? What about nontraditional programs ~in~ Japan
>and Germany?

I don't know much about Japan, but know quite a bit about Germany.

As far as I understand things, the nature of German doctorates occupies
a middle position between British doctorates and American doctorates.
They require much less coursework than American doctorates, so in that
sense they are more like British doctorates, which are based (normally,
though not exclusively) only on a substantial dissertation and its defence.
However, a number of German universities DO require some coursework of
PhD candidates and most/all require a general oral exam of 1-2 hours on
the major - and often a minor - subject in addition to the dissertation
defence. In this respect, they are more like American doctorates. The
dissertation can vary quite a bit in length: I have seen references to
dissertations of less than 100 pages (almost impossible in a British
university for a PhD, but possible in the US) to 300 pages or more.
If you read German, a number of German universities have their detailed
doctoral regulations on the World-Wide Web (search for "Promotionsordnung").
For example, the regulations for a PhD in the science faculty (Dr.rer.nat.)
at the University of Ulm can be found at:
http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/satzungen/promo-1991.html

As for non-traditional programs, there is the Fernuniversitaet Hagen
(http://www.fernuni-hagen.de/welcome.html), which is the German open
university.

Also, don't forget that Germany has a two-level doctoral system. In order
to be appointed as a full professor, you have to obtain the Habilitation
(Dr.habil.) after your PhD. This requires another, more substantial
thesis (or alternatively a portfolio of publications) in addition to
oral exams, teaching experience, and a general assessment of your
academic activity.

Andrew Wilson
email: eia...@comp.lancs.ac.uk

Mr.A.Wilson

unread,
May 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/31/96
to

In article <ionic-30059...@ionic.interlog.com> io...@interlog.com (Jonathan Whatley) writes:
>
>You raise an interesting point. Do standards in Germany or Japan
>differ as to the recognition of degreees that might be accepted, even
>accredited, in the United States?

Just a quick footnote to my earlier posting about the situation in
Germany as regards doctorates. You also asked about recognition.

The doctoral title in Germany is strictly protected by law. It is
an offence to call yourself "Doctor" if you are not one. In fact,
legally, the "Doctor" title becomes part of your name when it is
awarded. I believe I heard or read once that the university notifies
the police when the degree is awarded.

This being the case, a foreign doctorate has to be formally
"recognized" if you are to use the title legally in Germany.
The only real exception is if you are, in essence, just
"passing through", for example on sabbatical leave. Recognition
is a matter for the individual states, not the federal government,
and an application has to be re-made if you move to another state.
Some states will recognize your degree only in its original form
(e.g. PhD) whereas others will grant the equivalent German title
(e.g. Dr.phil.). Recognition is governed by a set of regulations
under the general provisions of federal and state university laws.
Basically, it is a purely administrative procedure requiring submission
of a brief CV and relevant documentation (diplomas, transcripts, etc).
The basic requirement is that the program of study should be similar
to that required in a German university, and that the university which
awarded the foreign degree should be approved and licensed by the foreign
state and be of a status that would allow it to have the status of a state
("staatlich") or state-approved ("staatlich anerkannt") university in
Germany. Out of interest, I got the application form for the state of
Brandenburg and it only had spaces for "staatlich" or "staatlich
anerkannt" for the university which awarded the degree. I assume -
but do not know - that all US regionally accredited schools would
count as "staatlich anerkannt". I am unsure how this requirement
would relate to the California approved schools that have
been mentioned in this group: in purely linguistic terms, it could be
said that they have a greater claim to the title of "staatlich anerkannt"
than regionally accredited private schools, since it is the State of
California, not a non-government accreditation agency, which approves
them. However, the German requirements for staatliche Anerkennung
would probably, in fact, be closer to those used by regional accreditation
agencies in the US.

Andrew Wilson
email: eia...@comp.lancs.ac.uk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: this posting is my personal understanding of the
situation in Germany, based on my reading of relevant literature
and legal texts. It should not be taken to be an authoritative
description and exposition of German law and regulations.
----------------------------------------------------------------

Marshall Rice

unread,
Aug 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/17/96
to

In article <4nfshk$kab$1...@mhadf.production.compuserve.com>, Steve
Levicoff <7662...@CompuServe.COM> writes

....<SNIP>
> There have
>been people in the newsgroup that have tried to drive a wedge between
>John and me.

You seem to be doing an excellent job yourself, of late.


>Readers should note that despite some differences about
>which John and I are quite open, we respect each other as colleagues and
>tout each other often.
....<SNIP>


It amuses me to see you alternately comparing yourself to Bear, then
clutching at his coat-tails.

Bear is a World authority, with a reputation to match. You are a pygmy
in comparison (Can I still use that word, these days?) and your constant
recourse to directing poisonous darts at those with whom you disagree
only serves to reinforce the image.
--
Marshall Rice

STEVEN DOWD

unread,
Aug 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/19/96
to

In article <yZjlbAAd...@msrice.demon.co.uk>, Marshall Rice <msr...@demon.co.uk> says:

>It amuses me to see you alternately comparing yourself to Bear, then
>clutching at his coat-tails.

In one later post he has told people to take anything John Bear says
"at face value," and earlier I believe he called H/W a "scam."

You are correct in that he is driving his own wedge, quite deeply. Maybe
we should regret the fact that he is leaving since he is digging such a
nice hole (or driving a wedge) on his own.

Steven B. Dowd

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages