Report finds Dickinson State U awarded bogus degrees

February 13, 2012

A state audit has revealed that North Dakota-based Dickinson State University has awarded hundreds of degrees to Chinese students who did not complete required coursework and who in some instances may not have been able to do so. The report describes a campus that was so focused on attracting students that it cut corners to build its international enrolments. The university could face sanctions from the US Department of Homeland Security over visa issues, from the state over enrolment figures, and from accreditors over failure to assure educational quality. Briefings on campus about the report were interrupted by reports that a university official, with a weapon, was missing. The dean of the College of Education, Business and Applied Sciences was later found dead from a self-inflicted gun wound. The audit did not mention the dean by name, but officials say many of the students who received degrees inappropriately had been enrolled in the college he led. The chancellor of North Dakota's university system says no immediate discipline is planned for any Dickinson State U employees. The institution's VP for academic affairs has since stepped down. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)