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Degree Mill Grads Run the Show at Alabama State Colleges


Richard Hardin, a researcher for the Alabama Cooperative for Public Education (ACOPE), based in Mobile, Alabama, has authored an eye-opening report about degree mills and state college employment practices. The report, which appears in The American Reporter, alleges that several Alabama state college systems are knowingly being run by presidents or chief academic officers whose PhD degrees have been issued by scam degree mills that specialize in selling bogus life experience degrees.In the report, “Dumb in Alabama: College Presidents Have Diploma Mill Degrees,” Hardin names the scam degree holders as: Trenholm State’s Director of Educational Talent Search, Bruce E. Gearhart, who holds a PhD degree from Columbia Pacific University; Bishop State’s President, James Lowe, Jr., with a PhD degree from San Francisco Technical University; and Bishop State official Latitia McCane, Dean of Instructional Services, who claims a PhD from Lacrosse University, long reputed to be one of America’s largest and most prolific online degree mills. 

Hardin points to a state law in Alabama, enacted in 2008, that requires college employees to hold credentials from “duly accredited institutions.” He also reports that the names of the degree mill holders have been known by the Alabama Education Commission for quite some time and that the Commission is failing to take appropriate action to protect the public and academic integrity of the Alabama state education system.

Lacrosse University, San Francisco Technical University, and Columbia Pacific University all lack accreditation by any agency recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education to award degrees, whether these be online degrees or credentials earned in residence.

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