Chutzpah & Unaccredited (US) Higher Education Providers


Chutzpah (pronounced /ˈhʊtspə/) is the quality of audacity, for good or for bad, but it is generally used negatively. The word derives from the Hebrew word ḥuṣpâ (חֻצְפָּה), meaning “insolence”, “audacity”, and “impertinence.” 

This word, one of my favorites, describes with great precision a recent email exchange I had with the representative of an unaccredited California-based school.  In the not so distant past this “university” was based in Wyoming, a former sanctuary for diploma mills.  The individual who contacted me was upset because I had included her school’s name on a list of US-based or affiliated unaccredited schools that had entered the Vietnam market. 

I replied that I would remove her institution’s name from said list if she confirmed that 1) Unaccredited California University (UCU) in its present incarnation does not and has not enrolled any Vietnamese students; and 2) UCU is not currently recruiting in the Vietnam market.

UCU’s rep implied that I am a “rogue consultant overseas putting fear in the public to drive their (sic) own business.”  Uhh, I’m not sure how providing a public service contributes to the bottom line.  As I mentioned in an August 2010 post, one of 12 or so devoted to this issue – in response to someone who questioned my motives (I understand that Dr. Mark is concern about the education industry of Vietnam. But, the criticized of unaccredited university is merely good comment or with hidden agenda ), I have no hidden agenda and receive no compensation.  In fact, it increases my “pro bono” workload.  (Responding to this woman’s emails and writing this blog post fall into that category.) 

Criticizing unaccredited institutions brings some of their reps out of the woodwork because such action produces a reaction, including angry “alumni” and declining profits or the potential thereof.  Some use the stick approach, threats, implied or otherwise, while others use the carrot approach.  An example of the latter is an offer by the president of one such institution to fly me to Malaysia and put me up at a five-star hotel to “discuss” the situation.  To use a southern US idiom that applies to both approaches – that dog don’t hunt

Many California-based rogue providers are at least approved by that state’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE),  for what that’s worth (i.e., not much).  So…does UCU appear on BPPE’s list?  This is what a BPPE official had to say:  According to my records, we have no school approved by that name.

At the end of the day, UCU is just another university-company that lifted a catchy name from one of its sister institutions that went belly-up in another state because of more restrictive laws regarding rogue providers. 

Note:  Names have been withheld to protect the guilty.  

MAA

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