Jesus Christ, can I apply for this guy’s job? At least all my education is from accredited organizations. Although if VCU keeps this up it won’t be:
Willie B. Fuller became Virginia Commonwealth University’s police chief with a bachelor’s degree of questionable quality.
For VCU, which has endured nearly a year of negative publicity for improperly awarding a degree to Richmond’s former police chief, Fuller’s arrest Wednesday on charges of using a computer to solicit sex from an underage girl is a setback in efforts to repair its reputation.
Fuller holds a bachelor’s degree in police science from St. John’s University in Springfield, La., according to St. John’s director of permanent records. St. John’s in Louisiana is not affiliated with the prestigious Catholic university with the same name in New York, or with St. John’s College, which has campuses in Annapolis, Md., and Santa Fe, N.M.
Robert D. Holsworth, former dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU, said yesterday that he discovered St. John’s University was not an officially accredited institution while researching the case of a VCU employee who did not have a legitimate undergraduate degree.
“In this instance, I personally made the unhappy discovery that the degree not only came from an unaccredited institution, but that the Web site of the institution was now a conduit to pornographic sites,” he wrote June 26 to Richard O. Bunce, VCU’s director of assurance services.
Holsworth made the discovery around 2006, the year VCU awarded an undergraduate degree to Fuller, who had attended VCU in the 1970s. When Holsworth discovered it, “I brought that to the attention of the appropriate individuals at VCU,” he said.
Fuller was awarded a VCU bachelor of interdisciplinary studies degree [the same degree that Rodney Moore was awarded], university spokeswoman Pam Lepley said. He also has a post-graduate certificate in public management from VCU, Lepley said. VCU officials did not say who approved Fuller’s undergraduate degree.
The St. John’s degree apparently raised no red flags until Fuller began work on a master’s degree at VCU.
However, the university is not accredited in Louisiana, said Cheryl Michelet, director of communications for the state Board of Regents.
Nor is it accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which covers Virginia and Louisiana. Tom E. Benberg, the commission’s chief of staff, said the university is “totally unfamiliar to me.”